It's International Burger Day this Saturday, May 28, and burger joints around the region are getting involved.
Some are offering special burger deals for you, the customer, while others are offering that ... and more.
True to form, the community-minded Newy Burger Co is using International Burger Day as an excuse to help others. This time around their focus is on Amber Hughes, of Belmont North, and her family.
Last year, at the age of 16, Amber was diagnosed with brain cancer.
She had been unwell for about six weeks, and an MRI scan at hospital showed there was a mass on her brain. The next day she had a brain biopsy and a shunt was installed to drain fluid from her brain.
The tumour was on her brain stem. It had a name - diffuse midline glioma - and it was inoperable.
Amber has been fighting it ever since, undergoing a variety of new - and trial - treatments. Predictably, these treatments are not cheap.
Her courage, determination and good humour caught the attention of Newy Burger Co's Ben Neil.
"We met Amber and the Hughes family through the good people of Charlies Run 4 Kids as they are Dudley locals who have been long-term supporters for the community, donating to CR4K, local footy and boardriders clubs," he said.
"Amber's dad Stu also rides with Posties with a Purpose; riding postie bikes to raise funds for good causes.
"From 11am to 4pm this Saturday we will be slinging $10 cheeseburgers, with $5 from each being donated to help the Hughes family with Amber's treatment costs.
"We have had a local courier company (who wants to be anonymous) offer to match another $5 from every cheeseburger sold on Saturday."
A Go Fund Me has been set up to help Amber's parents meet the costs associated with her treatment (gofundme.com/f/help-fund-ambers-treatment).
Burgerfiend at Cessnock is also using International Burger Day to promote a good cause. They are donating $1 from every burger sold on Saturday to The Australian Cancer Research Foundation.
Lone Star Rib House & Brews is celebrating International Burger Day with a $17 "Bottomless Burgers" deal. Until close of business on Thursday, May 26, customers are able to eat as many Classic Cheese Burgers as they like by simply paying for one, and can choose to wash them down with a bottomless soft drink add-on for $4.50. The offer is available at Lone Star Kotara, Maitland and Glendale.
Betty's Burgers in Newcastle's CBD are offering an Avocado Smash Burger with fries and a soft drink for $15 on Saturday only, dine in and take away. That's a saving of up to $12.
Keep an eye out for more burger deals - and potential good causes - in the lead up to International Burger Day.
The cooler days and crisp nights got me thinking about cosy winter dining experiences - and reminiscing about my overnight stay at The Table Guest House at Greta last year.
Host and cook Jo Minnet gives every guest a warm welcome and her undivided attention. She has created a new winter dinner menu for June and July that is designed to be shared over good conversation and a bottle of wine, with the wood fire blazing away in the background.
It's a set menu that uses local produce where possible: warm salad of roasted tomato with fresh basil, sourdough crisps and softened goat cheese; slow-braised lamb shoulder with blue cheese polenta and pumpkin verde; char-grilled orange vegetables with local honey gloss; roquette with apple, walnut and a seeded mustard vinaigrette; warm chocolate fudge with flamed pear, macadamia caramel ice-cream and cinnamon sugar. Or, try the dry roasted pumpkin with toasted walnuts, softened dates, coriander and warmed, marinated feta; truffle buttered roast chicken with potato galette and spinach; salad of char-grilled fennel with caramelised orange; winter greens with toasted almonds and walnut oil; and vanilla bean brulee with macadamia caramel ice-cream.
Read more: Take a seat at The Table Guest House
For late arrivals, supper is an option (soup of the day with hot buttered sourdough, plus mulled port and chocolate). Bookings are essential for dinner ($148 per couple, 6pm to 8pm, bring your own wine). For in-house guests, a ploughman's platter or a cheese board can be enjoyed in the sun-filled courtyard between 1pm and 4pm. Mid-week getaway deals are now available, which include a private day tour of the Hunter Valley. Go online to thetable.com.au for details.
Post Office pop-up
Marks Point Post Office & Cafe is hosting a pop-up restaurant at Belmont Golf & Bowls Club until July 1.
"We do Wednesday, Thursday and Friday night dinners and Thursday and Friday lunch," cafe owner Samantha Boland said. "We serve similar food to our cafe - good, wholesome, homestyle cooking such as lasagne, bangers and mash, chicken schnitzel, soup, and fish and chips. Thursday nights are $12 schnitzels."
Tasty Food Market on Sunday
A new addition to the Hunter region's market scene is the Tasty Food Market.
"Tasty Food Market is all about amazing products, tasty creations, ingredients, and local produce," founder Michelle Smith, who also owns Cake Craze, said.
"We have stallholders that sell everything from cheese, honey, grazing boards, wine, dog treats and nuts to olive oils, teas, giant cookies, hot food, and food-related products. This Sunday will be our second market, after having a few rained out. We run on the fourth Sunday of the month at Sobels Wines, from 9am to 2pm, plus some other dates throughout the year."
Stallholders include Cake Craze Cookies, Positivi-tea, Malt Boutique Designs, Custom Resin, A Little Drop of Nectar, Happy Hound Treat Co, The Hot Chilli Woman, and Riverflats Estate.
Cafe 1853 has opened at Drayton's Family Wines on Oakey Creek Road at Pokolbin. Located next to the cellar door, it offers stone-baked pizza and can be combined with a wine or a tasting. It's open Friday and Saturday, 11.30am to 5pm, and Sunday, 11.30am to 4pm.