If you don't like burgers, don't bother reading on. No really I mean it. Because this post, is all about the American reminiscent diner in Melbourne's shopping mecca (Chapel Street). I first went to Soda Rock several years ago when my 'family' Vee, Linda, Jay and I took a trip over to Melbourne for some much needed retail therapy. It left an impression.
For those who remember it, it's somewhat like Morley Galleria's old joint, Johnny's Rockets. It's burgers and milkshakes and chilli smothered dishes all over the menu. And it's because of this, that I felt it necessary to bring Jeremy here since it's his first trip over east.
He, like myself, is almost giddy from the smells that come off the grill here. The sizzle of meat is loud and tempting; it draws us to look at the menu the moment we sit down.
We both decide on burgers since that's what this place is famous for (though I hear the hot dogs are out of this world). Jeremy's chosen the 'two tons of fun' ($10.95). It's described as the meat lover's burger with a double beef patty, streaky bacon, tasty cheese, smokey barbecue sauce, mayonnaise and ketchup. Wrapped in grease paper it's delivered on a fresh bun and is 100% pure fresh beef. He washes it down happily with a chocolate thickshake ($7.95) which is creamy and malty.
My cheeseburger ($7.95) goes down a treat. The beef patty with double tasty cheese and ketchup is all I could ask for. The beef is cooked perfectly and in a way that retains some moisture inside. The cheese has melted yet retained much of it's structural integrity. This isn't your fancy meal but it is wickedly enjoyable. Especially so with my cherry flavoured coke ($4.95) which is made of a syrup imported exclusively from the US.
Our bowl of hot chilli fries ($9.95) is fun side for us to choose; something we had to go for after spending way too many nights in watching Man vs Food. The bowl of crispy fries is smothered in beefy chilli con carne and melted tasty cheese. It's gooey and feels like a heart attack on a plate but that doesn't stop us from diving in. We're on holiday after all.
Interior of Soda Rock
Though we're nearly completely stuffed we decide to finish off our whopper of a lunch with a shared dessert. It has to be the banana split. There's other sundaes on the list that sound equally tempting, but what's more American than this age old classic ($13.95).
It's a banana cut into two, served with a scoop of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry ice cream. Each scoop has a mound of whipped cream on top and the middle has one of my strange loves - a glace cherry. There's sauces abundant with hot chocolate fudge, strawberry topping, pineapple topping and then of course the crushed peanuts for that extra height of decadence.
It tastes sweet and magnificent and absolutely retro. Just like the diner itself, it impresses and offers simple greasy food done right. Like I said, nothing fancy, but definitely worth eating.