You may have heard of Jake Chalmers, a very cool burger joint in Cronulla, and you should have heard of the Friend in Hand Pub in Glebe. Well like the great duos of history bacon and eggs, Frodo and Sam and me and food the two have come together. The food from the old Fork in Hand Bistro is now Jake Chalmers aka Jake at the Friend. It is a fantastic experience and make sure you have plenty of time to wander, gawk and play with a cockatoo.
FRIEND IN HAND PUB:
This backstreet Glebe pub is everything. Having just turned 160yrs old and with her original name she is still going strong. The place is a kitsch retro (more museum) that serves beer and food than what you would expect from pubs these days. Everywhere you look there is incredibly cool stuff that I gather all has stories to tell. A train runs around the roof of one section, a scuba diving mannequin sits in another corner and there are boats, posters, collectables, a fish tank and many street signs that must have been left in the lost and found.
The place has had many clientele over the years and if you look at photos stuck up on the walls you will see some of the Underbelly criminals of the past next to photos of the corrupt police of Sydney’s shadier past. The place needs it’s own TV show: Underbelly at the Friend – I see $$$$!!
And none of that is even the coolest part of it all. They do something special at the venue every day. For 22yrs now they run crab races on Wednesday nights – I need to attend this – I want to know why I need to bring an umbrella!! They do poetry readings on Tuesday nights and mix it up every third with Nerd Night. Thursday nights are comedy nights and they do life drawing on random nights.
And that’s still not the coolest thing about the Friend in Hand – the place is ruled by a Sulphur Crested Cockatoo called George. He literally rules the pub and has free reign – do not be surprised if he lands on your table to come and check you out. He has more rights than you will ever have in the bar so treat him like royalty. George let me pat him and loved a soft side-of-the-head rub.
JAKE AT THE FRIEND:
Jake Chalmers is a burger joint in Cronulla, it is popular, and from what I have heard, damn good. Shocking I am yet to visit. My last venue visit to Cronulla however took me four hours in return travel time so I haven’t been racing to return. They are serving a lot of their burgers, meals and specials at the Friend – hence the new nickname for this joint – JAKE AT THE FRIEND.
The menu is burgers, wings, fajitas, fries, salads, tater tots and more. They have a lot of specials and while the menu has a couple of burgers on there make sure you read up on the specials or ask them direct what burger specials they have going because the burgers we smashed, and it was a hell of a lot of them, was superb.
The salads, fajitas, nachos, tater tots and loaded fries were divine. The tater tots were so bloody addictive I couldn’t stop even when I was bursting at the seams. They also had this chicken nuggety popcorn dish with chilli. It was like a popcorn chicken dish, it was so hot I couldn’t eat it so if you like your hot stuff get all over this! If you order this ask for some of the blue cheese sauce they use on the Buffalo Chicken Burger – will make it heavenly!
The burgers are top notch and up there as some of the best in Sydney. I think I have shown five in the article but we smashed about 10 between four of us. It was one of those review visits where I was rolled out of the venue. The selection on the actual menu is quite small and more than satisfactory but the specials, OMG, there are a many and they will be releasing at different times. Check out their social medias, special boards and ask them when in store, because these babies need to be demolished.
WHAT WE SMASHED:
- Standard Cheesburger – 4.2/5
- What I can remember as a cheese burger with fried Brie?? Can’t find accurate deets – 4.3/5
- Donald Trump Burger – even typing his name on the website makes me feel ill – 4.4/5
- Trump’s Mistress – 4.7/5
- Pork Kimchi Burger – 4.8/5
- Buffalo Chicken Burger – 4.4/5
- And a few more but you have to find out some things for yourself 🙂
The cheeseburger and fried brie cheeseburger were delicious and perfect for anyone wanting a normal sized standard burger. Great buns, perfectly cooked patties, great sauce to meat ratio and pickles and cheese on point.
The Trump Burger was double pattie, nacho cheese, jalapeños, Doritos, lettuce and tomato. It was marvellous but his mistress was better than him which sounds about right. Trump’s Mistress was fried chicken, cheese, waffle, crispy bacon, maple reduction, mayo and lettuce. It was a gift from the burger gods and I am in love with it. I will eat that skanky tart again!
The next two were easily my fave burgers of the day – I would rate them in high 4s on my Fat Bastard Spoonometer of Burgerly Foodgasms scoring. The Pork Kimchi was a masterpiece – slow cooked Asian pork butt, kimchi, crispy wonton, sriracha and mayo – I never order a pulled pork burger but I will eat this one again without hesitation. If you visit and it’s available – ORDER IT!
And to wrap it up – the Buffalo Chicken Burger – Buffalo sauce fried chicken, blue cheese, fried pickles, lettuce, pickled carrot and celery. The blue cheese is the winner of this dish. The Buffalo sauce is hot and if you don’t do hot don’t do this burger but that blue cheese brings it back into the realm of love.
Jake at the Friend is much more than a burger joint and much more than a pub. It is a nostalgic trip to a retro pub museum ran by a cockatoo serving some of the better burgers in NSW with a side of beer. What more do you want?
SCORE BREAKDOWN: 3/3 food, 2/2 service, 1/1 drinks, 1/1 venue & ambience, 1/1 cost, 0/1 toilets and 0/1 bonus
Jake Chalmers at The Friend in Hand’s Deets:
PH: 02 9660 2326
58 Cowper St, Glebe NSW 2037
MON – FRI 8am – midnight
SAT 10am – midnight
SUN AND PUBLIC HOLIDAYS 10am – 10pm
BAR: Licensed bar – it’s in a pub
LOCAL DELIVERY: Most likely
VEGETARIAN OPTIONS: Yes
GLUTEN FREE OPTIONS: Yes
KID FRIENDLY: Yes
*** JK was paid for this attendance and review – however, as always, if it was shit I would happily tell you so ***