Nola James gets star spangled in the 'burbs
What is it?
A 1Kg monstrosity - essentially two burgers on top of each other with the lot (a double stack of beef patties, egg, bacon, onion, pineapple, lettuce, tomato, cheese, dill pickle) served with 600g thick fries for blokes, 300g fries for ladies. Beat the best time and it's free. That's 6.58 minutes for men (held since 2009) and 12.42 for ladies (held since 08). At least one person indulges in this gluttony every night so you've got a fair chance of seeing it in action. It'll set you back $28 to have a go at the Big Heavenly Burger Challenge: understandably most people fail. It's the fries that push them over the edge.
Where do I get it?
At Captain America's Hamburger Heaven in Ferntree Gully. The attention to detail here is incredible – it's more American than America. With neon lights, wild-west style booths, wall-to-wall knick-knacks and miles of red, white and blue, it's a luminous beacon in a small-town strip-mall. The liquor list reads: Jim Beam, Cougar, ouzo, peach schnapps. It might be over an hour away but you are best advised to book.
What else should I order?
The onion rings are the best around, perfectly crisp, crumbed outsides and soft, sweet insides – try them with the house-made smoky or hickory sauce. Wash it all down with a giant American Bud, Miller, or Sam Adams brewski for the full calorific effect, then get the suspiciously lurid green key lime pie (think lemon meringue with a Hulk like twist). It's close to authentic thanks to the importation of key lime juice – native to the Florida Keys, and the gooey-tart filling is built on a sweet cookie crust then topped with puffy meringue. Bring your toothbrush.