The Burger Theory guys, Rob Dean and Dan Mendelson, have opened their first brick and mortar location in a small group of neighbourhood shops behind the Payneham Pool in Felixstow. Pearl's Diner, named after the Burger Theory truck Pearl, opened for the first time on 6 June 2012. (hooray!)
Opening hours are very limited so you'll need to check Facebook or Twitter to plan your visit. If the church pew waiting area is empty when you arrive, you might be lucky enough to snag a table straight away. They don't take bookings so it's first come, first served.
We arrived early in the service, which allowed us to avoid the queue. The Pearl's menu consists of burgers & fries, omelettes, fried chicken & coleslaw, chili & cornbread, waffles, milkshakes and coffee. Once you've carefully made your selections and made a mental note of your table number, head up to the front counter to place your order and pay.
On our first visit, we went with a tested favourite - a #1 Burger (lettuce, tomato, American cheese & truck sauce) with fries, $13. It's a really good burger and it's nice to be able to eat it indoors and on a proper plate.
Another bonus for the burger experience at Pearl's is that you can add a milkshake to your order. Choices are Vanilla, Chocolate or Coffee, $6 each. We chose Chocolate and it was thick with a good chocolate flavour. A silver milkshake mixer cup instead of the glass would really top off the experience.
The Belgian waffles (from La Waffle) have a great, full flavour. I went with the maple syrup and vanilla ice cream option ($8), but you can also get your waffle with icing sugar or cinnamon sugar ($5) or Belgian chocolate, berries and vanilla ice cream ($10). The vanilla ice cream was full of vanilla bean flavour and very moreish.
Hiding under the Sides list at the bottom of the menu is this Pork Bun ($7). It's a Breadtop bun filled with 14-hour smoked Berkshire pork in a tomato BBQ sauce. This is a must try if you're a fan of BBQ pork, but be warned that it is a small snack size serve and not a meal in itself.
We're lucky to have this food venue in the suburbs of Adelaide because there's nothing else like it around. I look forward to watching the evolution of Pearl's Diner in the future. I would love to see some vinyl & booth seating and some biscuits & cream gravy on the menu one day. Serving sizes are small here, but this could be a good thing as it would be very easy to overeat since it all tastes so good. Quality ingredients and classic American flavours are what will keep me coming back.