In search of real hamburgers, not those made with frozen sausage mince

For years I relied on hamburgers once every day or two for a proper feed when travelling.  All five food groups  – cereals (roll), dairy (cheese), meat (mince and maybe steak as well, and certainly bacon), salad (lettuce, fried onion, beetroot and tomato) and fruit (a pineapple ring).  Plus a bit of barbeque sauce [certainly not pickles, mayonnaise or any of those other un-Australian, heart-attack inducing additions].   A good hamburger while on the road is impossible to beat!  You can eat it driving along if you’re smart enough to keep it cooped up in the sheet of paper and paper bag it comes in (nothing worse than dripping beetroot juice when you’re trying to keep an eye out for errant roos and emus).  And all for less than $10.

Then some lazy service station operators discovered those absolutely detestable, foul, frozen patties made of over-seasoned sausage material.  Absolutely gross tasting and with the texture of rough rubber.

A tragedy, and one that has spread throughout the bush.

So if I’m ordering a hamburger I now always ask if will come with ‘real meat’ (as in proper mince).  Just in the last few years, the answer is usually ‘no’.  So instead I usually buy food such as fruit, dry biscuits and choccy milk in supermarkets (eg Tambo, a favourite).  Especially when there’s no good bakeries within a day or so’s drive.

Every now and then I strike gold.  For example we recently found a service station in Charleville that makes real hamburgers, as good as you’d get anywhere on the road.  They make their own hamburger patties out of real mince!  It’s the Charleville BP-Ausfuel service station in Wells Street.  The downside is that everyone else in and around town seems to know they make non-greasy hamburgers with all the right ingredients and it seems to be always busy.  Plus one of the older members of staff can get a bit tense (especially if you’re rushing off to the star observatory; but don’t let that put you off; a good feed is a good feed).  The trick is to order, fill the car up, walk south for a block to the main street stretching the legs then come back and the feed should be nearly ready.

If I find any more places that sell genuine hamburgers I’ll be adding them to the blog.  If you know of any, please let me know so I can spread the good word.  I can’t understand why service station owners that still make real hamburgers, don’t make big signs and stick them in prominent places, so people who are particular about what they fork out money for, know where to stop.  I’m not the only one in search of real food when travelling, and we’ve been told often enough that service stations make their money out of selling food and drink not out of selling fuel.