My first taste was in February and then it was a long wait until I could return to make sure of the answer to the question : Are the burgers better at Billy’s?
If you’ve encountered Shred Burgers at festivals over the years you’ve had a taste of what has grown up to become Billy’s. Here the ethos remains the same, serve up quality burgers to the masses, but now they have a bar in an idyllic waterfront location a stones throw from the CBD.
Lunchtime it’s all about casual eats in the sun and watching the world go by. As the day progresses so does Billy’s with a soundtrack of 80’s rock anthems pumping into the evening as groups fill up the space. They’ve live music on the weekends as well. It’s all very relaxed, order at the bar and a vibrating block will alert you soon after when your meal is ready.
Sides are aplenty although a mixed bunch. The BBQ chicken skewers are sublime, smokey in flavour and so very moreish, order a few of these for the table to snack on. ‘Boneless Buffalo Wings’ were tasty but not really wings, the sauce shone but would have loved to be able to greedily dip the tenders in instead of being rationed to a drizzle on top. Jalapeño poppers weren’t quite as expected, being mini croquettes instead of the traditional stuffed pepper. They were oddly given to us free though as they weren’t happy with that batch. The chips though, oh the chips! Tassie potatoes, skin on, crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, everything a chip should be. Wonderfully seasoned they’ve eight different sauces to chose from and you can get them loaded in a variety of ways.
The drinks? They’ve done well here with the list being mostly Tasmanian and not your usual drops. Standout of the wines is the excellent Nocton Vineyard Merlot at just $9.50 a glass while they also feature a rotation of local craft brewers on the taps. Happy hours occur between 4pm-6pm daily with $6 house wines and schooners. They’ve cocktails, shakes, and softdrinks as well.
Host Leo excels coordinating a barrage of customers and online orders. When my daughter spills her drink everywhere he is more concerned with cheering her up than showing any inconvenience. Some great hospitality right there.
Oh wait, you’re here for the burgers!
Classic Burger had all the makings of a classic. Richly flavoured charred patty and melted cheese in a luxuriously tasty soft bun. It’s great seeing a return of iceberg lettuce to gourmet burgers as well, that fresh crunch is unmatched! Missed out on being a true classic due to the condiments though, the sauces didn’t really shine and sans the advertised mustard. I’ll still go back just for this burger again and again.
The signature Billy’s Burger? Now we’re talking! Absolutely loved how fresh everything was in here, the char on the patty, the smoky bacon marrying well, and the sauce bringing it all together. This was truly a great burger. With jalapeños added for $1.50 it was heaven.
Are the burgers better at Billy’s? They’re certainly a cut above a lot of places and I expect them to improve with time. The service is friendly, the mood happy, it’s casual dining. Do check them out if in the city, wanting a place to catch up with friends, or just to sit and eat a delicious burger.