I’ve heard a lot about a little eatery with giant burgers and quirky decor that’s everything old and winged like tiger moths, old fighter planes, memorabilia and no way of getting table at night without a booking, so being only five minutes from where I live, I suggested to the hubby that we stop by and have look. Yep it’s a quirky cool little spot nestled in between a new style cafe and a Chinese restaurant that has been there for more than 30 years. The premises used to be a vinyl record store many years ago, I spent many an afternoon browsing for the latest long-haired glam-rock boys to listen to and write their name all over my school books, but that’s a whole other story. Then it became an aquarium and a jacket potato take away place among other things but now it’s Spitfire! Upon arriving we couldn’t wait to get inside, it was a cold blustery lunchtime on the Peninsula but that proved a little too much for the front door, it blew off, yep off it’s hinges, literally. We were seated away from the door which should have helped but the wind blowing in the opening was in my hair, my face and my ears, I was about ready to run when I thought you know, it’s not their fault and the chefs who presumably should have been in the kitchen were doing their best to reattach the front door plus I was offered a blanket, one of many hanging off chairs around the small cold room but I declined in the surety it will all be fine and warm soon enough!
Water and menus were promptly in front of us and we were given the option of ordering a coffee or a drink then and there, instead I asked for the wine list. Granted it’s not the wine list from the Vineyard in Newbury UK with over 30000 cellared bottles and more than 200 wines by the glass on offer, the options were a lot simpler, one red or one white, so now with frost bite kicking in I opted for the Pinot Noir and hubby chose the one and only cider on the list, a 5 seeds which along with my wine took about 20 minutes arrive at the table, the six other diners across two tables had their beverages, maybe the door was proving a distraction? The lunch and dinner menu was as expected loaded with burger options all very appropriately named – The Tiger Moth, The Spitfire, The Red Baron, The Mosquito, The B17 Flying Fortress and The Witch to name a few ranging in price from around $12 – $ 17 for beef patty, chicken or pulled pork, pan fried mushroom and a vegetable patty option too. Good sides to chose from as well, sweet potato chips served with a choice of sauces including a delicious garlic aioli, yum! Also available on a weekday until 2pm is the breakfast menu which looks very intriguing, The Battleground Breakfast or the Broken Arrow eggs, I love it!
Corsair for me, a homemade beef patty, grilled bacon, pineapple, cheese, tomato, cucumber, lettuce, caramelised onion & tomato relish on a toasted turkish bun and Spitfire for the hubby, a homemade beef patty, caramelised onion, cheese, tomato, cucumber, lettuce & tomato sauce on a toasted turkish bun were our choices. I should warn you with regards to the hubby, he finds long spaghetti a challenge along with my five year old, he calls it “stupid food ” or “dumb food” this is basically the food that’s a bit messy or a bit difficult to eat, crunchy tacos provide me with hours of entertainment!
Our gigantic burgers arrived on a chopping board, there’s another bone of contention for another day, stabbed into position with an oversized steak knife plunged carefully into the board. WOW! It’s huge and looks so amazing I can’ t wait to dig in but I’m not sure how to tackle the big boy? Maybe cut in half, yep that’s what I’ll do is my line of think ing when I look over at the hubby and I start to giggle, he hasn’t even touched it when he exclaims, “well isn’t this f@#$%^d” much to my amusement I had to stifle my laughter an try the calming approach, I feared for the well being of the tiny freezing waitress! I managed to eat about half of my delicious but ever so messy burger, cooked medium rare as advised it would be and seasoned perfectly. The bacon and pineapple together is divine and the relish was such a compliment to the entire thing, so well balanced and just yum! Unfortunately for the hubby it just wasn’t the same, aside from obvious consumption issues the hubby’s burger patty was clearly overcooked and after having a little taste it was well under seasoned and not quite right. Not to mention just the approach of the knife and fork to the humongous burger was enough to collapse the entire thing, it’s not funny, poor, poor hubby!
Finally after I managed to devour only half of my delicious meal but I ‘d noticed some of the other struggling diners were supplied with take away boxes, feeling full but delighted that I can take the rest home with me for round two, thank you. I asked the now not so freezing waitress since the front door has been returned to it’s rightful place if I can take my remains with me she replied with “of course” another 10 minutes goes by, another semi cold waitress walks by and I asked again for a takeaway box, another 10 minutes goes by. At this stage the only reason we are still sitting in the cold eatery is that damned take away box. Hubby is now suitably cranky and goes to the kitchen window and to his credit returns with an elusive take away box!
In all fairness I have heard many a good report about Spitfire and I can see why, groovy decor, the reputation as the best burgers in Rosebud is true for me anyway and dining there is very, very good value. I think we had possibly caught them on a bad day, door blown off and staff that should be in the kitchen that aren’t? All the staff were distracted which meant for slow service and inconsistency in all areas. Will I go back, yes! Did I love the burger, yes! Will Spitfire Restaurant & Grill survive on the reputation of its burgers alone……watch this space!