Sunday, October 18, 2009

Captain America's Hamburger Heaven

38 Forest Rd
Ferntree Gully 3156, Victoria
Ph: (03) 9758 0711

When you go to Captain America's Hamburger Heaven, it's blantantly clear what to expect. Captain America's is located way out in the middle of nowhere along a small strip of shops in Ferntree Gully. However, it's reputation is strong enough to entice people out there to eat.

When you step inside, you're greeted by the classical diner type fitout that you see in American movies. There's memorabilia strewn all over the walls. There's also lots of clever puns written all over the ceiling which will keep you amused and with a sore neck after a while.

The menu, predictably, is dominated by a variety of hamburgers. They also have their famous Big Heavenly Burger, which is a 1 kilo burger with 600g of chips that you have to eat in the fastest time to get it free. It is indeed a whopping big burger, as a couple of guys in the next table ordered it. They did not manage to finish them.

We start off with some Buffalo ("I didn't know buffalo had wings" - Jessica Simpson) wings and Shrimp. The buffalo wings had a good taste while the shrimp was the bland tasteless stuff of the 80s served with a seafood sauce. Ah, how retro.

We all go for a variety of different burgers, which were just a variation of a few ingredients and sauces. I wanted to try the Captain America's Celebrated Heavenly Burger. All burgers came with a choice of chips or salad. Obviously, I chose chips.

Look how patriotic my burger was, so many flags. Taste wise, the burger was ok. The patty was good quality meat and the ingredients were all pretty good. However, it lacked that hit of flavour that you want. The patty wasn't smokey enough. The bacon could have been more crisp to give a texture contrast. The egg could be cooked a bit less. The pickles didn't have a big enough kick. The cheese didn't melt enough, the buns were a bit bland and not very crunchy. Finally, the sauce holding it all together didn't really excite the taste buds. The burgers at Grill'd are much better and cheaper too.

Finally, for dessert, I had to try the Key Lime Pie. I keep hearing about this American tv shows, and just had to see what it was about. It turned out to be a cheesecake type thing with meringue on top. It was insanely sweet but I rather liked it. I wouldn't be eating too often, but it did have a nice lime flavour.

The service was acceptable. At times our requests were misunderstood but quickly rectified. The atmosphere is very retro just from the fitout and the booth seating. The booth seating meant you were quite isolated from surrounding tables, which can be good if you want privacy. I enjoy a more open restaurant and to hear the vibes.

I don't think I would specifically drive out to Captain America's for a burger as the burgers aren't spectacular enough to justify it. They are acceptable burgers but maybe they need a modern update to reinvigorate the place in terms of taste and style. Or maybe that is their attraction, that nothing changes. Vlado's in Richmond have thrived on being the same for 30 years. Who knows.

Overall Rating: 12/20, A nice retro feel with acceptable tasting burgers.

Scores: 1-9: Unacceptable, don't bother. 10-11: Just OK,some shortcomings. 12: Fair. 13: Getting there. 14: Recommended. 15: Good. 16: Really good. 17: Truly excellent. 18: An outstanding experience. 19-20:Approaching perfection, Victoria's best.

Captain America's Hamburger Heaven on Urbanspoon


  1. Thanh you've brought back memories of my uni years! When I would come back to Melbourne in the hols in the mid/late 80s, there was a Captain America's Hamburger Heaven in Queen Street, cnr of Lt ?Bourke St. I always wondered what happened to that place! I'd never have guessed it moved to Ferntree Gully of all places:(

  2. This review reminds me of the place at Werribee Plaza near the cinema... the name of it escapes me... Hot Rock Diner or something... but yes, this review could almost apply to there as well.

  3. Duncan and Anna, I think this place is definitely one of those old retro style places that never change. Worth a visit just for the memories.

  4. I visited this place recently with an American friend. We had a slightly different experience from you - we all totally loved the burgers! I actually prefer it to Grill'd. But I agree that it's quite pricey.

    Lots of my friends go there after hiking at the 1000 steps or in the mountains to reward themselves/undo all their hard work.

    xox Sarah

  5. Hey Sarah, I definitely agree that it's a great place to reward yourself after doing the 1000 steps and totally undo all the work. Usually I head out to Miss Marples for a massive lunch and desserts after the 1000 steps. That's enough calories for another 3000 steps.