There’s been a lot of hype about the burgers and fried chicken at Mary’s, so we hit it up before we headed over to try out Mooberry down the road at Newtown. Mary’s is one of those trendy places that hide in plain sight with no obvious signboards to mark the entrance tucked away in an alley – but if you look closely at the dingy looking door with peeling paint and graffiti next to Kelly’s Lounge, you’ll see “Mary’s” scribbled in permanent marker on top of the blue metal doorframe.
For such a hidden venue, the place was positively buzzing when our little group came in for a late Sunday lunch. It looks pretty small from the outside but it was surprisingly spacious inside due to the high ceilings, with enough room for a bar on the street level and more seating upstairs. The vibe was quite grungy with street art on the white walls, no frills wooden furniture and deliberately worn fixtures.
They keep things simple at Mary’s – the whole food menu is short enough to fit onto one blackboard mounted high above the downstairs dining area. Like any other burger/fried chicken joint, simply choose your flavour and size, any sides of trashcan bacon, fries or mash and gravy, and you’re good to go!
The mash and gravy came out quickly and our group wasted no time whipping out the spoons and digging in. The mash potato was silky smooth and the gravy was quite buttery. We thought it was a great (albeit carb-filled) start to lunch with a sprinkle of black pepper on top for extra flavour.
Mash and gravy, $5
Our Half Bird came out next in a paper lined basket, looking rather appetising with its lightly battered exterior glistening with oil. There’s no graceful way to eat fried chicken, so we all decided to just dispense with the cutlery and eat it by hand. We gave it a thumbs up for its crunchiness and flavoursome first bite. However, even though we found that the middle of the chicken pretty tender and juicy, the seasoning hadn’t really infused into the meat completely. To combat the blander parts of the chicken, you can slather it with some of the sauces lying around in cute mini Jack Daniel bottles!
Half bird, $16
To cap off our junk food feast, we had also ordered their signature Mary’s Burger and the Cheeseburger with an additional slice of trashcan bacon. It was uncanny how much the burgers resembled the flattened burgers that we all know from the Golden Arches on first glance and first bite too. The trashcan bacon added an extra dimension to the familiar flavours of the Cheeseburger, but despite its quirky name (apparently because the strips are smoked in clean trashcans for extra flavour), it didn’t taste all that different from conventional smokey bacon. The Mary’s burger tastes healthier with a salad of lettuce and tomato and a delicious mayo sauce for a dash of gourmet flavours, but otherwise is a regular American style burger with a juicy beef patty. Both burgers come served in a plastic basket with greaseproof paper to soak up all the oil from the burgers and the shoestring fries too.
Cheeseburger $14 (with side of trashcan bacon, $4)
Mary’s Burger, $14
I’m not sure if it was worth all the hype, but if you’re in the area, Mary’s is a decent spot to satisfy any junk food cravings provided you don’t mind paying a bit of a premium. As a bonus, there’s also a bustling bar with plenty of beverage options for you to wash down all the oily goodness.
6 Mary Street, Newtown NSW 2042
Ph: (02) 4995 9550