Sunday, September 22, 2013

You don’t need to be a dude to enjoy dude food

I first heard about Dude Food on Master Chief a few years ago and being not much of a foodie and more the arty bookish type I filed this food genre under “food fad” and promptly forgot about it.

But going out for a burger a few weeks ago reminded me of dude food, and being the bookish and nerdy type, I’ve been doing a little bit of research which turned out to be a little difficult since there didn’t seem to be a clear definition.

Dude food is far more than your traditional American fast-food fare and while it has its roots in burgers, hot dogs, etc, it takes these old time favourites to a new level to incorporate European, Asian, and contemporary Australian influences.

My latest visit was to grill’d at the Brookfield Place where I went for a Moroccan Chicken burger. For something that is supposed to be influenced by a style of cooking steeped in spices and flavour, this burger was a little bland and lacked a real flavour kick. Grill'd Brookfield Place on Urbanspoon

I know this Grill’d place is part of a chain but it did seem too much like a fast-food joint with staff seeming to work there just for the money (which is fair enough because I am doing the same) but it would be nice to go to a place that made an effort that made you feel that you were not going to just another outlet. It was super fresh though and I loved the crunchy salad. 

But you know where I really loved?

The Flipside!!

This favourite burger experience of all times was getting a burger from and this has to be Dude Food at its best.        Flipside Burger Bar Northbridge on Urbanspoon

They have an arrangement with The Mechanics’ Institute upstairs where you can enjoy a burger with your beverage. The result is that there is this little funky dynamic happening above street level where you can enjoy a really cool burger in one of Perth’s coolest spaces. I got a blue cheese and pear burger that went really well with my Rodger’s Pale Ale.

Another cool place is Jus Burgers across William Street. While Mr Jus does have a couple of stores around Perth, and the quality doesn’t make you feel like the burgers are the same. The bread is awesome and perfect anecdote to a big but classy night out. If you have cool out-of-town Cousins that you want to impress, bring them here. Jus Burgers on Urbanspoon

They also have an arrangement with the Ezra Pound Bar where, like the Flipside and Mechanics, you can order a burger with your bevvie.          

Finally, if you find yourself anywhere near Hampten Road in Nedlands, pop into Burgermeister. Here is not your usual student hangout nor is it full of staff from the local hospital, despite discounts being available. Burgermeister on Urbanspoon

Ended up having one of their burgers in between a shift and a choir gig at the university and thought it was cool d├ęcor and enjoyed their well presented burger which didn’t taste too bad. I loved the discount for hospital staff even more.     

Hope you enjoy your burgers and remember that you don’t need to be a dude to enjoy dude food!!!  


Sunday, September 1, 2013

Small Bars - a great addition to a rich city life

I don't know about you but I love spending time with my friends and family. They are interesting, funny and wildly entertaining.

Whether we visit an art gallery or concert, go to the beach, attend some kind of political event we always manage to squeeze in a visit to a cafe or bar - just so we can chat, catch up and enjoy each other's company.

Depending on where we are we often go to one of the many small bars that have sprung up around Perth. Often they have a great vibe, great coffee and menu as well as good selection of beverages.

These small bars are a relatively new concept in Perth and have been imported from Melbourne, our defiantly cooler cousin.

But the growth in these smaller venues have been met with some resistance often by those who haven't really been to enough to know that they aren't really like your local pub.

Many people argue that these small bars (which operate under the Government's small bar licence where you can enjoy an alcoholic beverage without buying a meal at the same time) encourage the over consumption of alcohol, causing people to become loud and disorderly.

But I beg to differ. 

Small bars generally pull a different crowd. A crowd that is there to enjoy a quiet night out with friends. A crowd that is probably slightly older or not into the mainstream Aussie culture. A crowd that doesn't, on the whole, drink to get drunk. 

Seriously people, they aren't that bad. They are just like cafes but with a more diverse menu.   

Sure, they might be slightly louder than your newborn's bed room when she or he is sleeping but they aren't loader than your standard footie game or even your Friday Night Youth Group and kids birthday party. 

So, the next time you have nothing to do, go exploring a bit and see how much Perth is changing.     


Phone call from Australian Christians reinforces separation between church and state

Since moving back to my mum and dad's house to house sit for them while they take a well earned holiday, I have fielded a couple of calls from people wanting to speak with them.

One such call was from the Australian Christians who wanted to know if Mum and Dad were available on election day and, explaining that they were on holiday, the caller (naturally assuming that I was a Christian) asked me if I was available to help.

If you know me at all you would know that I am a member of the Australian Labor Party and so when I said no because I believe in a separation of church and state and would be voting for a secular party, I was told that I 'hadn't thought it though'.

This seems a little unreasonable as I hold a degree in Politics and very interested in politics. It is inappropriate that a perfect stranger should tell me that I haven't thought it through just because I don't agree with him and the political party he represents.   

As I am a facebook addict, my status update following this phone call invited a few people to comment and many of them were interesting.

They range from avoiding any debate of any kind to the idea that human rights sit outside religious doctrine and that we don't need religious politicians in order to have a civil society went on to disagree with the idea that if a person doesn't agree with another's religious beliefs they are not a moral and ethical individual. 

Others pondered whether the introduction of Sharia Law by the Australian Government would assist the Australian Christian in reassessing their priorities in terms of separating organised religion and the state. 

You only have to go to Iran and other similar countries to see how dangerous theocracies are, especially for minority religions such as the Coptic Christians in Egypt.

Someone else wrote something along that Christians often assume that the only religion to get a say is theirs but in a pluralistic country you have to give equal weight to all religions. He went on to say how aggressive (his words not mine) Islam can be politically and separation between church and state is key to ensure moderation and governing for all citizens. 

It it not to say that politicians shouldn't be people of faith because at our democratically elected governments is a representation of the diverse Australian society and those who have religious convictions are an integral part of that. 

All religious groups are more than welcome to participate in the debate and, after pontificating about gay marriage and abortion, can work with the system to promote common themes in the bible (or other such text) such as the working on behalf of the marginalised, mentally ill and those who have the miss fortune of being homeless. 

It is important to be mindful of the plurality and secular nature of the Australian society and not to assume that a particular value systems can be transplanted on the Australian public. 

While some might go for the pre-enlightenment patriarchal paradigm of yesteryear, I'll be voting for progressive Labor Party values such as working for the common good, fairness at work, marriage equality, balancing environmental sustainability with economic progress  as well as a women's right to choose and gender equality in the workplace. 
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