There’s no denying that the modern burger scene has thrown us some truly weird and wonderful creations, but for Burgerfiend’s Marlene Fulham, a truly successful burger needs only two things.
“When we have new staff come in and we teach them how to dress burgers, we say: ‘the bun and the patty should shine through – all the other ingredients are backup singers or backup dancers,” Marlene told Newcastle Live.
Marlene and her husband Matt opened the Cessnock-based eatery in July 2017 after identifying a gap in the market and they certainly haven’t looked back.
Burgerfiend’s simple-yet-delicious menu, one that places a strong emphasis on freshness and making everything in-house where possible, quickly won the hearts, minds, and tastebuds of the region, taking out Australian Good Food Guide reader’s choice awards in 2019 and 2020.
“It’s really nice,” Marlene said of the recognition.
“It’s good to be reassured that we’re doing the right thing and we’re putting out there exactly what we intended – good quality food in a casual takeaway environment because everyone wants more value for their money these days.”
Speaking of quality, the nine-strong burger line-up here is an all-killer-no-filler affair that is sure to cater to all tastes.
Wayne’s World fans will definitely bow down to the Cassandra Wong (honey and sriracha-glazed chicken breast, Asian slaw and soy and ginger mayo) while vegos and vegans will delight in the Shroom (panko-crumbed mushroom, Swiss cheese, lettuce, onion chutney, tomato, pickles, and house sauce) and the Clewsy Says No (house-made quinoa and black bean patty, vegan aioli, pickled red onion, house beetroot hommous, sautéed mushrooms, lettuce and tomato.)
But it is the beefy Fiend burger (beef patty, cheddar cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles and house sauce) and its big brother the Cheeky Fiend (think same but double) that have become Burgerfiend’s signatures.
“It’s just a nice and simple burger with a great harmony of flavours,” Marlene said.
“It took us weeks to figure out the blend of beef that we wanted. We knew that we wanted to make it fresh from whole muscle cuts and that makes a big difference – the fresher it is the better it will taste.”
“Quality will always trump everything.”
While simple, classic flavours shine through across the menu (including the Classic Cheeseburger, a current favourite of Marlene’s) there are also some truly unique options on offer such as the Fancy One (beef patty, pastrami, provolone, pickled red onion, garlic aioli and sautéed mushrooms) and the Tribianni (fried chicken breast, sugo, mozzarella, free-range ham, basil and Parmigiano Reggiano)
Burgerfiend also offers a breakfast menu that includes a tempting Breaky Taco with house BBQ pulled pork, free-range egg, beetroot hommous, and sriracha mayo.
“We do have a tiny breakfast menu – it’s just something simple because not everybody wants a burger at 9.30 in the morning which is understandable,” Marlene laughed.
Burgerfiend is located at 1E Cooper Street, Cessnock. Head here for a full menu and more information.