You won't find Ryan Squires' name on the menu at Fritzenberger, but fans of Esquire, his Brisbane restaurant, may recognise his hand at work behind the scenes at this new burger-frites and brew bar. Squires' touch is evident in details like the "Fritzensalts" - salts flavoured with the likes of roast chicken, Vegemite, beetroot, shiitake and vinegar - designed to properly shake up that $6 cone of top-notch chips. The organic ketchup is made in-house, while the patties that fill soft, lightly toasted, sesame seed-sprinkled buns are juicy and generous, made from a mix of grass-fed, dry-aged chuck and brisket sourced from the Byron Bay hinterland.
The fish burger, meanwhile, is made with sustainably fished, crisp panko-crumbed Cone Bay barramundi fillet from Queensland. There's a clear focus here on nailing nice-to-haves as well as the basics, which ratchets the venue up a notch. Smart add-ons like bacon jam, maple-candied bacon and house-made dill pickles also make the cut. "Loaded frites" arrive boosted not just with sauces, green onion and that candied bacon, but also with a Twisties salt.
Fritzenberger's dessert burger.
For a real five Health Star Rating, there's the icing sugar-dusted dessert burger which comes on a milk bun, replete with a dark chocolate ice-cream patty and raspberry ketchup. The venue anchors a prominent corner on the busy Caxton Street strip, the latest venture from Squires' mates Steve Minon and Matthew Bailey, the pair behind ice-cream brand Nitrogenie and dumpling bar Harajuku Gyoza. High ceilings and windows opening onto the street keep things airy, otherwise it's industrial-chic by the numbers - shiny brew tanks, bare brick, timber, steel and a rivet-studded bar. A slick selection of unfiltered, preservative-free house beers from brewer Matthew Glanville - anything from a sparkling ale to a coffee-infused IPA - only add to the party.
Fritzenberger, 52 Petrie Tce, Brisbane Qld, (07) 3506 3656, fritzenberger.com