GRILLED GOODNESS

Reminiscing. It’s a funny concept really. To remember what has passed. Why do we spend so much time remembering the past when we have an entire future ahead of us? Well because it can be fun, heartwarming and helpful to relive those memories that were so wonderful…or so we thought. It can however make you miss stuff as well. And that is what this blog post is really about.

I MISS BURGERS!!!

There, I said it! Straight up I miss burgers, not the ones that you can whip up at home however good…but one that someone else can whip up for you. You see over 30kgs ago I was a McDonalds junkie…Cheeseburger, Big Mac, McAnything! Don’t get me wrong, I don’t miss that chain with their greasy, smelly-oil (as my 13yo terms it) laden burgers and fries – that although appears in advertisements to look healthy and in person are squished bread and ?meat, with some small dollop of something resembling lettuce mush. But I do miss burgers, and until now I have not been able to find a place to grab a burger and enjoy it without thinking it should come with a side of statins!

Until now. Yes until now.

Now I have found that place that I can have what I want without sacrificing my health. Those of you who are reading this from the Sunshine Coast in Australia may already know where I am referring to. I will enlighten the rest of you but first let us take a little trip there in our minds first….I will set the scene.

Mr Omni-Awesome and I are out with our two precious girls at the Sunshine Plaza and in between shopping and going to the movies we decide to have a spot of dinner. What to have is always a difficult decision partly because both my husband and I are not fast decision makers, partly because Little Miss Rebel has made a conscious choice to be dairy free, and partly because Littler Miss is both lacking some teeth taken by the tooth angel and has NO decision making ability. A salad wrap is commonly done for school lunches, sushi is not an option due to the risk of cross contamination with my seafood allergies, McDonalds of course is never even uttered, and a sit down restaurant is out of the question due to timing. So what do we do? We decide to have a burger! Yeah baby!

As you walk inside the first thing that occurs to you is that this place doesn’t smell like the regular greasy burger joint, instead almost giving you a sense that you are at a friends BBQ. Real food cooking, that’s what it is…and it deliciously overpowers the icky smell of the fast food chain next door. It’s a good thing it does too because smell has such an important role in the gastronomic equation. The second thing that jumps out at you is the atmosphere. Dimly lit with down lights and oversized light shades hanging low from the ceiling, you get a warm cosy feeling that welcomes you in. That’s not to say it isn’t totally funky too because it is that and more. In the backgound there is always funky music playing at a level that allows for conversation that is still audible but quite lively. The atmosphere is complimented partly with the furniture and decorations that make this unique. Along with the rough brick and black walls, comic book art lines the length of this venue all the way to the ceiling in a funky, non dominating fashion, very cleverly with references to healthy burgers healthy minds, hold me tight, open mind, burgers made good etc. The seating set up is equally funky with dark timber and black…catering to all types of guests.

These timber tables are set up and placed for maximum enjoyment. Smaller family friendly tables are great and also the perfect size for couples. Those naughty “kids” that wish to chill out with their burger can find a gorgeous section up the back with very comfy diner type seats. The long wooden tables that make up the centre of the venue are perfect for that catchup with friends or family, and its not an odd sight to see my favourite beer Carona being consumed with your delish meal. What is great about this place is that the alcohol being served does not in any way diminish the family friendliness (I add this because I know there are some families who would be concerned about this). All in all this place caters amazingly well for all age groups and crowds.

When you walk in and order you can see the entire food prep and cooking area. This gives it a transparent feel that makes you feel like not only can you see everything happening with your meal, but also feels like you could just jump right in and cook alongside them. Ha! When you get to the process of ordering you will see how amazing it must be working there because all the staff appear to happily wear a smile, and nothing is ever too much. The funky bandanas worn give the staff a flair of fun to their uniforms. (Anyone who knows me knows that I love wearing funky fun stuff to work!). It probably helps staff morale that the owner is not easily identifiable from the rest of the staff because he gets in there and works just as hard…he is always being seen serving, clearing tables, and chatting to the customers genuinely interested in you enjoying everything. And you don’t feel rushed to leave either, in fact as I sat there typing some of this post after finishing my meal and the plates cleared away, the only thing that had us leaving was the timing of our movie starting. It is obvious that customer satisfaction is paramount and it shows when you are leaving and the goodbye is as friendly as the welcome.

Now to the burgers. Oh sweet burgers how I have missed you! Now a real burger has certain qualities. The main one is that is deliciously, lick your fingers, messy. A real burger is so full of yumminess because of the crunch of real lettuce, the juiciness of real generous slices of tomato, and all the other salad goodness bursting out of the burger. Here they arrive at your table fast hot and 100% fresh. What I will admit to is that yes, I do have some chips with my burger. My are they good though. Crunchy and covered in herbs giving you much more than its greasy thin versions from other such places. And yes they have kids burgers…however we have found that my children love the adult ones better because of the extra ingredients like capsicum, avocado etc.

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Now what they do that is unique here is their “LOCAL MATTERS” program. When you order you are given bottle caps and there are three charities in the local community that have a jar…and these change each month. Each customer chooses what charity they want to support and thusly puts their bottle caps in one or all of these jars. At the end of the month they count them up and $300 $200 and $100 is given to most to least filled jars of those charities. It’s nice that they give back to the community that supports their business.

So what is this place?

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Sunshine Plaza….go reminisce sometime!

Everybody Be AWESOME!!!

TAM 🙂

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