There are so many new venues opening up in Brisbane all the time that it's hard to find something to get excited about. I was definitely excited about Red Hook. Something about the premise of Brooklyn-style diner tickled my fancies and everything on the menu sounded delicious. I find less reason to head into Brisbane city nowadays but I made a special effort to have lunch here last week.
Red Hook is located in Gresham Lane, which is fast becoming my favourite aspect of Brisbane city dining. The vendors all serve food quickly but it's not your typical, boring weekday work meal offerings of sushi, salad and sandwiches.
For instance, at Red Hook the menu contains such delicious-sounding items as lobster roll and duck taco, plus a range of burgers. Everything is served in takeaway containers but there is a space with seats and tables for those who don't have the patience to head back to the office to eat, or who like me, made a special trip there to try the food.
On my first visit, I ordered a soy latte, a cheeseburger and a side of chips. The coffee was bought out first and the rest of the food was served quite quickly too. I think efficient service is absolutely compulsory for pleasing the inner city crowd. When you have a limited lunch break, the last thing you want to do is waste time waiting for your food to be made.
I loved the look of the packaging and will go so far as to say I felt like an excited kid on Christmas Day unraveling presents.
The first thing I noticed was that the cheeseburger was (thankfully) much more sizable than Macca's bite-sized offering. It comprises of a soft, glazed bread bull filled generously with a fat beef patty and plenty of cheese and sauce.
Brooklyn cheeseburger - beef, cheese, pickles, special sauce and pickles
The bun isn't as soft, sweet and squishy as some others I've tried so it was a bit more like a bread roll. The beef patty was solid and well-seasoned but I think it could have been juicier.
Close-up of burger
My benchmark for juicy burger patty is now Ben's Burgers and this just wasn't as good. What I did love was the special sauce. It was absolutely delicious: creamy, tangy, sweet, salty. It perfectly brought the burger together and made each bite slurpingly good.
Champion fries with ketchup (my own addition)
I became so enthralled in my burger that I completely finished it before I even approached the chips. These were pretty good. They were freshly cooked and reasonably crunchy. I detected a hint of vinegar which made them stand out from other chips. I liked that there was tomato sauce at the table so you could sauce up your chips as much as you wanted to. I wouldn't go to Red Hook just for their chips though.
On my second visit, it was right before their kitchen opened but they let me order anyway. I chose the NYC hot dog. Again, the food was served very promptly and I curled up at my table to enjoy it.
NYC dog - kransky sausage, bbq onion, american pickle and crispy fried shallot
This hot dog is huge and very, very saucy. I struggled to take bites and ended up with sauce, crumbs and more all over my face. As unladylike as this was, I'm happy to report that it was totally worth the messiness. This hot dog is simple but very tasty and I loved the addition of pickles and crunchy fried shallots.
I've enjoyed the food at Red Hook on both occasions that I visited. I still want to try the lobster roll and when I can justify spending $20 on lunch for myself, I will. The cheeseburger sauce is really awesome and I liked the hot dog too. Service is fast and friendly.