Brooklyn Depot | 4217

The 4217, 10 Beach Road, Surfers Paradise Ph: 07 5526 7666

Burgers are taking the Gold Coast by storm.

They come in all shapes and sizes, from sliders to giant mamas, from the humble fish and chip shop soft bun filled with a mince patty, lettuce and tomato to a sweet brioche wonder housing gourmet delights.

Everyone’s onto them.

Of course, it didn’t take long for the big guns to get involved; guys who’d seen trends develop before, Crust pizza founders Michael Rose and Michael Logos.

They sensed a future for classic American-style burgers, padded out with favourite Yankee street food. But it wasn’t just about the food, Manager Jeremy Davidson tells us. The guys had the concept of a social meeting place; a local hub where people could go to hang out, share a bite to eat and a few drinks in a smart casual venue. The brand would hang its hat on that idea.

There’s no doubt that the burger was central to the concept, which brings us to the question: What makes a good burger?

With lots of competition for the burger crown, chefs have gloves off, doing battle. The word is out: Brooklyn Depot’s buns are up there. The biggest? No. The hottest? No. But they’re packed with quality ingredients: a succulent juicy patty with fresh salad and sauce sandwiched between a just right soft brioche bun, its sweetness a balance for the savoury patty. Beyond that, everyone has their preference: beetroot but no pineapple, bacon but no chilli, choice of … The list goes on, so Brooklyn offers you lots of burger choices.

Brooklyn burgers are crowd pleasers: the Fuhgeddaboudit! (BD’s take on the classic Sloppy Joe), chilli, duck, vegie, crab or beef (but are they really hamburgers if there’s no ‘hamburger’ patty?)…all smacked between the lips of those yummy buns. Sweet!

Or not! There’s even a ‘Shun the bun’ option where the bun is missing and a salad slides into its place. Perfectly GF!

Central spot on the menu is taken by the Brooklyn Classic: a grass-fed beef patty housing American cheese, hickory smoked bacon, grilled pineapple, butter lettuce, tomato and Depot special sauce ($10). It gets the tick of approval from our table as a ‘great burger’. Feeling hungry? Then double up the filling with a Depot Burger to fill in the gaps ($14).

“You need to do the classics well,” Jeremy tells us. “If you can’t do a good basic, what’s the point showing off the frills?”

But there are plenty of frills. Playing backup roles to the burgers, there are lots of America’s favourite street food dishes, some spruced up with an Asian tang. Ribs (trending hot alongside the burgers, cooked overnight and as tender as…), Fries, Wings, Strings, Frips, Frickles, Dawgs and Lollipops; it’s a whole new language of food slang sloshing across us from the streets of Brooklyn. We may have trouble adjusting to the jargon, but not to the food. You can go the big Brooklyn BBQ Board, or choose lots of small dishes to share, which is our preferred option! Throw in some ‘Sweet Thangs’: gorgeous cinnamon sugar rolled doughnut balls with signature fillings, pecan choc brownies or wickedly thick handspun milkshakes with liqueur additions to complete your perfect ‘cheat day’!

I’m tucking into a Downtown Crab Salad, with crispy softshell crab and Asian green slaw on vermicelli, garnished with chopped peanuts, coriander and chilli-laced Vietnamese dressing. It’s perfect to complement some Spicy Wings or Chicken Lollipops (drumettes stuffed with spicy chorizo, baked and smothered with chipotle sauce). They’re enough to set my tastebuds tingling!

Far more than just a burger joint, diner or bar, Brooklyn Depot is all three combined, adding up to a full-blown restaurant housed in a very smart cityscape venue. The décor and layout are as carefully thought out as the food. With Treazy murals pushing us into the urban subway, flickering American neons and careful prop styling, the bar oozes New York sophistication. Besides the veranda where we’re sitting, there are plenty of high chairs along the bar – perfect for the sole traveller who wants to catch up on bar staff action. Food is available throughout the day from a take away servery at the Eastern end of the venue, with an adjoining dining room offering privacy for couples and small groups. If you’re dining in, get your parking ticket validated before you leave. Easy!

Then there’s the drinks. There’s no hint of prohibition in the new Brooklyn, in fact the liquor is flowing! On tap are the pre-prohibition style Brooklyn Brewery Lager, Corrs (US’s most popular beer), or the house Pale Ale (at a very keen price point), or you can choose an American bottled beer or local boutique beer from Burleigh Brewing and Stone & Wood.

Sporting some of the best bartenders in town, the long bar slung the length of the restaurant hosts these molecular mixologists as they infuse their own spirits, produce sophisticated cocktails with dry ice magic or a smoky surprise. From an Old Fashioned to mojitos and martinis, the cocktails are priced to compete at $14. Using coffee from next door restaurant Paradox Roasters, a smart choice is the Coffee-infused bourbon, a perfect marriage of flavours. Could this be the next big thing for an afternoon session, a stop in after work or a stopover before you hit the town?

And talking about smart choices, the G:link’s Cavill Avenue station is just around the corner.

Sitting outside overlooking the street, I’ve downed a Lychee, pear and rosemary martini, the perfect yin yang combination of exotic and known, the glass sitting on its own little ice bucket to keep cool – as cool as we feel sitting on the deck checking out the passing parade.

Approachable and affordable, Brooklyn Diner brings us chic street food from the Americas with a touch of Asia thrown in on the journey, a state of the art bar and smart service in a very classy joint. Smart concept, trendy social hangout, as well as the latest sexy cheap eats! In our books, Brooklyn Depot is an all-round winner!

Read more of Marj’s reviews on Good Food Gold Coast

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