May 03, 2015

I’ve been to Howler a few times now. I find it a bit of a chameleon – changing face and character depending on when you go. 

Howler, 7-11 Dawson Street, Brunswick
On Friday and Saturday nights, the thumping beats, dark-lit interior and the glimpses you get in the crowd of oversized vintage denim jackets, distressed leather and faux (real?) fur make you feel like you’ve stumbled into a 90s music video.

On weeknights, it’s a more relaxed crowd, and there’s enough space and light to appreciate some of the features you miss on a Saturday night: the wall-mounted bike-racks to the right of the entrance as you come in, the plants that sit high on the exposed brick walls, the steel beams that stretch across the glass ceiling.

 Inside Howler

I particularly like Wednesday nights, which is Howler’s burger special night: $12 for a burger, fries and a pot. This is the perfect antidote to mid-work week blues. 

How we first discovered burger night. Oh, and someone's garage sale advertisement.
Howler has 7 burgers you can choose from. I’ve tried two of these:
(1) the fish burger: beer battered flathead, with wakame, sesame, birds eye and Asian herb slaw and Kewpie mayo; and
(2) the vegan burger: quinoa, wild rice, almond and beetroot pattie, served with beanshoots, pickled ginger, asian herbs and vegan wasabi mayo.

The fish burger

The vegan burger

Both are delicious. Living with a vegetarian but not myself being a vegetarian, I’ve had ample opportunity to try all kinds of vegetarian food, and compare these to my meat options. This has made me appreciate good vego food. Both the fish burger and vegan burger at Howler fall into this category; I think the fish burger has a slight edge. One thing on the vegan burger: its wasabi mayo is exactly like getting a mouthful of wasabi. You have been warned.

I have yet to try the other options: a grass-fed wagyu beef burger, pork belly burger, grilled lemon thyme chicken burger, a prawn burger and a fried saganaki burger. My vegetarian boyfriend religiously orders the fried saganaki burger every time, though, so I feel like this must also be a delicious option.

The fish burger (again), with the saganaki burger in the background

The $12 burger special comes with fries on the side – long, thick-cut chips that are just the right side of crispy – and aioli. A pot of beer is included too. Given that the burger and fries alone would be $18 on another night, I feel like this is excellent value.

So, next Wednesday, when your boss has been exceptionally aggravating, the printer has turned your document into something resembling chewed-up bircher, the cars along Rathdowne Street have made it their mission to take you and your bike out and, having survived all this to make it home, you just can’t fathom the thought of cooking dinner, I highly recommend Howler’s burger night. I’ll see you down there.

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