Greasy Joe’s, 64 Acland Street, St Kilda
In his seminal book on being a man (cleverly titled Manhood), Steve Biddulph talks about the need for there to be a changing of the guard in family dynamics; a time where the patriarch of the family can sit back, take a deep breath, and notionally hand over responsibility for the ongoing wellbeing of his family to the next generation.
Personally, I had imagined that the time for me to hand the reins over to young Timothy Michael Watson Clarke would be years away. He’s only in first form after all.
A recent trip to Greasy Joe’s in St Kilda has forced me to rethink my horizons.
Young TMWC took one look at the trendy menu and proclaimed, ‘I’m having the Fat Bastard Burger.’
For the uninitiated, the Greasy Joe’s Fat Bastard Burger comprises triple beef, triple cheese, triple bacon, mustard, mayo, onions and NO SALAD. Plus fries or wedges (of course). And all for a very reasonable $18.50. Those who know me will appreciate that I am pretty handy on the fang, but the thought of a GJFBB was just too much for me to contemplate. And I didn’t even have a hangover.
So I let young TMWC steal the glory, all the time thinking there was no way he’d get through all of that food. Teach the young bloke a lesson and all that. I ordered myself a more sedate Chili Burger (grilled beef, diced jalapeno chilli, salsa and melted cheese , $11.80) and a Cooper’s Pale Ale, and sat back and waited smugly in the winter sun.
Greasy Joe’s is a Melbourne institution. The staff are efficient, friendly and hip, and the speakers belt out some excellent tunes. If you’re trying to impress visitors, the outdoor tables have views of Luna Park, and classic green trams rattle past frequently – you can’t get any more Melbourne than that. The menu informs you that you are on St Kilda time, so relax, great food takes time. Relax we did, enjoying the constant stream of human traffic, some specimens looking very much worse the wear on this Sunday lunchtime.
‘Fat Bastard!’ announced the waitress as she slammed the massive burger down in front of the lad. (‘If not now, he will be soon’, I thought). Tim’s eyes lit up and he instantly went to work.
For the record, my chili burger was magnificent, the chunky and flavoursome meat pattie perfectly complemented by the sharp jalapenos and tangy relish.
Meanwhile the boy ploughed through his meal, amazing all around him with his eating prowess. In between mouthfuls, he proclaimed the burger to be ‘excellent’, or at least I think that’s what he said. After an eternity, he pushed the plate away, apologised for leaving two small wedges, and proclaimed himself ready for dessert.
Luckily for us, the cake shops of Acland Street were just around the corner . . .
Next time, Tim has his heart set on the Triple Bypass Breakfast – three eggs, three sausages, three rashers of bacon, three hash browns, onion rings and porterhouse steak ($23.50). I wonder if I’ll be up to the challenge?
Happy Birthday Tim!