Alissa and I were hipped to Short Order by our friend Kristy (AKA the Queen of Bad Timing) after she raved that it was the best burger she'd eaten in Perth. Located in Fremantle within the hipster food court/creative hub The Mantle, Short Order are ostensibly a Pop-Up Restaurant serving up Burger, Fries and American Soda along with doughnuts made by the Banker Cafe.
Alissa and I decided to share the signature Short Order Burger (SOB) and the BBQ Bacon Burger. The Short Order Burger consisted of Premium Grass Fed Beef Patty, Smoked Mozzarella, American Cheddar, Lettuce, Tomato, Pickles, Mustard and SOB Sauce. Good god was this an amazing burger! Firstly the bun was super soft. Pillowy is a word that is often overused, but this was seriously worthy of what the definition tries to convey as it walked that fine line of maintaining structural integrity as it was held while being effortlessly easy to take a bite out of. This softness was backed up by an amazingly juicy and tender Grass Fed Beef Patty. A burger patty served somewhere between rare and medium rare might put some people off, but with the quality of the produced used the resulting patty was just about perfect; deliciously flavoursome and not at all chewy, and the most effortlessly soft piece of meat Alissa and I have eaten since trying Dum Pukht Kakori at Dum Pukht in Mumbai two years ago. The remaining components - from the long slices of pickle that meant every bite had pickle in it to the umami-rich combo of cheese and the SOB Sauce - were in perfect balance and it all came in at a size that was not overly large to bite. Mammoth burger towers or meat might impress some (and you can go and order extra patties at Short Order if you really must), but a burger that is not cumbersome to eat wins for me every time. This is a great signature burger, and was just about perfect in every way.
But of course, there is the old adage that everything can be improved with bacon, and BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger could well be even better than the SOB Burger. Sharing the same Bun, Beef Patty, Cheese and Pickles, the BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger is finished off with Caramelised Onions, SOB BBQ Sauce, Aioli and Maple Candied Bacon. The common components were all as perfect as the SOB Burger, however the fresh Lettuce and Tomato combo of the SOB Burger were replaced with roastier, Southern barbecue flavours instead. Oftentimes commercial Barbecue Sauces can be overly sweet, but the SOB version focuses on smokiness and umami to the burger's benefit, and even the Maple Syrup that had been brushed onto the slices of Bacon never overdid it in the sweetness department. It's hard to pick between the two burgers as they offer two equally excellent takes on the burger form, but I think the BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger would win for me on most days.
As a side, Alissa and I shared an order of the Short Order's Shoestring Fries and a can of Cherry Coke. Shoestring Fries are one of the menu items from McDonald's that actually gets praise from people who don't usually like Macca's, and Short Order's take was just as well made, even if Alissa felt that more longer fries would have been nice. The shortness of the fries was made up for by the fact we could order Sriracha Aioli as a dipping sauce, and as Sriracha fiends we were very satisfied. Finally, the fact that Short Order had Cherry Coke on the menu was a great way to complete the American theme of the food, and I really enjoyed the Brondecon Cough Mixture flavour of fake cherry that the drink had, as it really took my back to my (sickly) childhood!
The Verdict: Excellent +
Short Order Burger Co really blew Alissa and I away; both burgers were the best burgers we've eaten in Perth, and quite possibly ever. Both the signature SOB Burger and the BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger fit perfectly into the image I've had of the Platonic Form of a Burger, and in fact exceeded my expectations by some margin. From the super soft Bun and the Beef Patty served medium rare to the perfect sizing and balance of flavours, the attention to detail and uncompromising quality really puts most other Burger Joints to shame. If you love Burgers - or, like me, are not very often impressed by them - you owe it to yourself to give Short Order Burger Co a try. You won't regret it.