By WENDY HARGREAVES
In the pits of winter, food doesn’t get much more comforting than a big bowl of piping hot chips or a buttery toasted sanga.
Unless, of course, they’re loaded.
Taking sometimes food to a whole new level, loaded fries and toasties are topped with flavoursome goodies like cheese, pulled pork and all sorts of other flavour bombs.
- Summit Rd, Mt Buller, 03 5777 7967
- Deep fried potato tots are exactly what you want when you’re hitting the slopes at Mt Buller. Then smothered them in melted cheese, jalepono peppers and house-made barbecue sauce, with coarsely chopped brisket cooked low-and-slow in a giant smoker called Iron Maiden, craned onto the north-facing deck at Spurs, which has one of the best alpine views in the Australia. Pitmaster Scott Gould is running this beast of smoker, moving to Buller for the winter, direct from North Fitzroy barbecue haven Que Club.
- LG 399 Little Lonsdale St, Melbourne, 03 9929 8888
- Chef Michael Smith (ex Tonka and Mamasita) has come up with a truly inspired way to load a toastie, thanks to childhood memories of smashing two-minute noodles and a fried egg sandwiches as an after school snack. Smith now makes a toastie with fabulous Peking duck noodles and a dollop of hoi sin sauce ($14).
- 226 Chapel St, Prahran, 0400 124 303
- Hot dogs come in three snigger-worthy sizes – the 12″ Massive Wiener, the 6″ Average Joe and the 3″ Little Pecker – with pork and vegetarian soy options and all the toppings, but we love the loaded “Disco Fries” with melted cheese, gravy and onions (from $5 for a small serve, or $7 for average and $10 for massive).
- Hot dog fanatics might like to try eating the 25″ competition wiener within five minutes, earning glory on the Wall of Fame. Failure leads to the wall of shame.
- 181 Adderley Street, West Melbourne, 03 9995 0308
- Once a food truck, now a corner cafe, Toasta has perfected the loaded brekky toastie with three types of cheese, a fried egg, streaky bacon, tomato relish and rocket ($15). Oh, and if you’re really serious, ask for it to be cooked in duck fat ($1).
- Crown Riverwalk, cnr Clarendon St, Melbourne, (03) 9292 5777
- This busy American burger bar loads up their superfries with popcorn chicken guacamole, triple cheese sauce, grilled bacon, jalapenos and Pecorino Romano cheese ($14). Just make sure you share this heart attack on a plate.