LOVED AROUND THE WORLD: Beach Grill and Salt Bar  owner Nerida Baker (left) with manager Bri Rossi and the famous
LOVED AROUND THE WORLD: Beach Grill and Salt Bar owner Nerida Baker (left) with manager Bri Rossi and the famous "Ballina burger”. Graham Broadhead

Humble burger taking Ballina to dizzying heights

A BURGER is taking Ballina to dizzying heights.

Tuesday of last week was International Burger Day and a film and production crew were in Ballina to create a social media video for Virgin Australia, with a burger as its star.

The Ballina works burger served at what is now the Beach Grill and Salt Bar at Ballina-Byron Gateway Airport has made a name for itself among the Virgin crews.

Business owner Nerida Baker said she knew it was popular among the crews as flight attendants often rang through to order burgers for all crew members - including pilots - on a flight before leaving Sydney.

Ms Baker said she had met a flight attendant now employed by Virgin who previously was working out of Dubai and had heard of the "Ballina burger" in the United Arab Emirates.

"It's famous," Ms Baker, who has owned the business previously called Horizons for seven years, said.

But she said she was surprised when approached about making the video and serving up burgers to all the passengers on one flight.

The burger was on the original menu when Ms Baker took over the business and they retained it with the changes brought on by upgrades to the airport terminal because of its popularity.

She said the secret to the burger was its unique patties, which she said were not supplied to other eateries in the region.

And she said the burgers were filled with fresh local produce.

On the Virgin flight that landed just after 3pm on Tuesday last week, the airline had organised for all passengers on the flight to get a free burger.

The video on the Virgin social media accounts showed a flight attendant telling passengers last week the Ballina burger was a "highly anticipated treat".

While the Advocate was at the airport last week, an Evans Head couple chimed in: "They're the best burgers in Australia."

The couple weren't flying anywhere but said they regularly went to the airport for lunch.


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