The burger to beat 'em all

By Matt Neal
Updated November 7 2012 - 3:28am, first published October 16 2009 - 12:27am
Biggest Hamburger. Pictured - Standard reporter Matt Neal makes a start on Australia's Biggest Hamburger, from the Cavendish General Store. 091015RG11

CAVENDISH Cafe boasts Australia's biggest hamburger and the first thing everyone wants to know is just how big it really is.It's huge. They bring the burger out on a large pizza tray and it nearly takes up the whole tray.It weighs four kilograms. The meat pattie alone weighs 1.5 kilograms, and comprises premium mince, plus two eggs and a bit of sausage mince to bind it together. There's also four skewers stuck in it to hold it together.The buns have to be specially made, with Chitticks in Warrnambool manufacturing the slabs of bread to meet the load-bearing needs of this enormous sandwich.The rest of the ingredients are as follows:eight eggsnine slices of cheese20 pieces of bacontwo or three tomatoestwo or three onionsone lettucehomemade mayoSo it's no wonder no one has eaten the whole thing in the one-hour challenge. Just looking at, it doesn't seem physically possible.Last weekend, a man travelled from Dimboola to Cavendish to tackle the behemoth burger and managed to get through three-quarters of it in 60 minutes - a new record."He was very systematic in how he did it ... very methodical," cafe owner Ros Duffin said."Quite often people pull the bread off and eat the meat and salad, and I've seen people fully pull it apart. People come in with their own way of tackling it, but they all leave disappointed."But this guy (from Dimboola) just stepped his way through it . . . and cleaned up everything as he went."He's the benchmark now. We were starting to think maybe it couldn't be done until this guy came in."That someone got through three-quarters of Australia's biggest burger is quite a feat. He certainly fared much better than I did.I'll be honest, I never expected to make much of dint in the monstrosity. I'm not known for being a big eater and I think it would be a physical impossibility to fit the equivalent of 14 hamburgers with the lot into my digestive system in one sitting without messy consequences, or doing myself some kind of internal injury.My paltry effort involved polishing off about one-sixth of the burger - pretty weak, I'll admit - but I did bring the rest back to The Standard office for my co-workers so it wouldn't go to waste."I think you came in with a defeatist attitude," Ms Duffin laughed.I suggest that it was more of a realist attitude.THE burger has put the cafe and Cavendish on the map. Not only does it taste good (and it truly does) but Australia's biggest hamburger is a tourist attraction and a media magnet."We get carloads coming from Melbourne and even a carload of people from Sydney who came just to take the challenge," Ms Duffin said."We had a couple from Germany who saw our ad in a tourist magazine and came down from Melbourne and turned up just after we'd shut the shop for the night. They drove to Hamilton and came back the next day when we opened to try the burger."Another instance we heard about a couple from Brisbane who were holidaying in Tasmania and heard about us so they put us on their itinery."The burger was invented by Ms Duffin's son Joe Beardsley as a marketing gimmick, she said."We had a big round-table discussion to figure out what we could do to stop traffic and get people taking about the Cavendish Cafe," Ms Duffin said."Joe had seen in the US how they have big burgers and big food, so we just based the burger on our hamburger with the lot."We put a lot of thought and planning into the size of it and time frame to eat it and we genuinely thought someone would be able to do it."Just about every newspaper in Australia has written about the country's biggest burger. Radio personalities Jackie O and Kyle Sandilands flew Ms Duffin to Sydney so she could cook one up for them on their show. The burger has also featured in UK newspapers, on blogs, and in magazines such as People and New Idea. The staff at the Cavendish Cafe have sometimes had their work cut out for them keeping up with demand."We did 11 in one weekend and one day recently we did six in three hours. It was a challenge for the kitchen staff but they do a great job."The burgers take about half an hour to prepare (so it pays to call ahead) and each one is an event."People come in with a look of excitement on their face and you can just tell they've come for one of the big ones," Ms Duffin said."We get an absolute buzz out of it."

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