Darwin – Day 1

Diners I hope you’ll enjoy these next couple of entries where I share hubby and I’s first visit to Darwin.
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Seeing as we were only going to spend a couple of days, we just wanted to get a feel of the food and culture of the CBD area and didn’t get a car. Next time, we’ll definitely get a car and really go exploring!

Our trip began with a business class ticket on our Qantas flight. It was hubby’s birthday treat to me!
I’ve never traveled anything but economy class so this was a big treat!

Apart from the extra leg space, we were treated really well and offered some tasty food! As we were on a morning flight, our meal was breakfast and we had a choice of bircher muesli, or bacon and poached egg with mushrooms. Hubby wasn’t quite sure which one he wanted and was told he could have one of each if he wanted. Wow. He just took the eggs. Apart from that though, we had whatever we wanted to drink, fruit salad, zucchini and walnut muffin and probably lots more things that I’m forgetting. They do make you feel very special!

I really loved my bircher muesli. At one point hubby brought his spoon over to taste some.
“NO, NO!!!” I exclaimed in horror.
“But you have to share” he replied while dipping into my muesli
“But it’s my birthday!” I protested weakly.
I only mention this as this conversation was clearly heard by the other business class passengers….
Later I did try to taste one of the mushrooms on his plate but he just growled so I backed away slowly.

We got to Darwin and were immediately engulfed by humidity. People seem very nice here. Laid back and friendly. I’d always heard that and got to experience it for myself.

Walked Mitchell st because everyone says everything is in Mitchell st and started looking at the different cafes, restaurants and bars along that road, trying to figure out which one we were going to go to.
Up to now, although it had been humid, it hadn’t rained.We decided to go into the Ducks Nuts for a drink and while we were there, a huge torrential rain occurred. It was over ten minutes later though and you wouldn’t have known it had happened!
Unfortunately we never got to go back to the Ducks Nuts for a meal. I really would have loved to as it seems like a really cool place.

Kept on walking along the esplanade and eventually found the wharf area. Had to stop for a Sangria at the Hot Tamale

Food prices seem slightly cheaper than Adelaide. Although I haven’t seen the size of the serves yet but that’s my first impression.

img_8162We went back and to our hotel and checked in. I wanted to check out the gym and pool area as I was hoping to utilise at least the gym area.

What you’re seeing in the pic on the left is a look of pure joy as I discovered that the hotel gym, really was a pretty good gym!

Not only that, but no one was in it so I decided to go a few K’s on the treadmill and build up my calorie bank in preparation for dinner tonight.

After resting and freshening up in our room, we ventured out into the humidity once more to see where we were going to go for dinner.

We were told the streets were quite empty because it’s “off” season right now. We knew we would be visiting in the Wet Season but we still wanted to have a look. There were still plenty of people around, enjoying their surroundings and doing whatever they like to do.

We found ourselves back on the Waterfront and I just couldn’t go past another Sangria so we went back to Hot Tamale, this time for dinner as well as a drink….


I commented to hubby that the people you think are going to be friendly and nice haven’t really been, and those you don’t expect it, go out of their way to be nice and friendly to you.If it was hubby’s choice, we wouldn’t have come back here but I’m just a sucker for Mexican food and it was my birthday after all so he obliged.

I decided to go for a Chili con carne. Hubby was pretty undecided. When we had been here earlier in the day he’d wanted to split some nacho’s but I didn’t want to waste calories at that point. Now, for dinner, I told him if that’s what he felt like, he should get them for dinner.
We asked the waiter if it was enough for a main and he said they were even too much for him. He was not a slender bloke so we trusted him and ordered the nacho’s for hubby’s main.

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I think they make the corn chips themselves. They were ok. They had a strong oil taste to them and felt a little like prawn crackers that you get from chinese takeaway stores.
They weren’t bad, just not what I was used to.

I don’t think it’s a serve that’s big enough for a main meal though.

What I did love about this place was that they had Latin music playing the whole time. You just can’t be sad when Latin music is playing!

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My Chili con carne was pretty good.

It was not a huge serve but as I wasn’t running as much as I normally do when I’m home, that was ok.

At one point I looked at my dish and I looked at hubby’s dish and noticed there wasn’t a great deal of difference between them.

We both had braised beef and homemade nacho’s as the main elements on our plates.

After dinner we strolled back to Mitchell st and joined other locals enjoying some live music as “Wisdom”

These guys party like there’s no work tomorrow!

We arrived back to our room with a few naughty snacks and fell asleep while watching some movie playing.

It was a good first day!

Stay tuned for “Day 2” out tomorrow!

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Lone Star Rib House

Today on the Dining Diaries…

We’re nuts about nuts,
We must have looked very, very, very thirsty and
I told a waitress “I’m a big eater” in a solemn and serious voice.

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Diners today we were at Lone Star Rib House at Glenelg.

Lone Star took over the building where McDonalds had been located at Glenelg.

You may recognise it from the picture.

Hubby and I had been here quite some time ago, before I started reviewing, and didn’t have a great experience. While the food was ok and the serves were large, the dishes took a VERY long time to come out and the restaurant wasn’t full. In fact after about 90 minutes I had to ask a waitress if we were going to be getting any food…
When I checked out other reviews online, I found this to be a common complaint.

However some time has passed since that visit and I was curious to see if anything had changed.

There were four of us in our party today. When we walked in, a server greeted us immediately, gave us a bucket of complimentary nuts and took us to a table.

ls7I have to say, I love the decor in this place. I love the wooden benches, the brick walls and the decorations on them, and the country and western music that plays! It really sets the mood and gives you an expectation of the food you will receive.

They have the slogan “Our food is Bucking Awesome” on the walls with the added suggestion “Better read not said”

Hubby and I greedily ate through the nuts while Miss 22 and Mr 21 watched in astonishment. We barely stopped to give the waitress our order. It was a little embarrassing but we didn’t care. We could have only looked more “Bogan” if we’d started shoveling them into our purses…

On first sight the menu seemed quite big but there were a lot of similar options on there. For example, lots of different burger, hotdog, and schnitzel options that took up a couple of pages. They did have a few chicken and fish options too. As far as meat went, they had one Steak, one T-bone and a Prime Rib option. I thought for a “meat” place, there really should have been a few more steak options.

I didn’t know what I was going to have when I saw the nachos with chili con carne option in the “Teasers” section of the menu. I really had a craving for nachos but wasn’t sure this was going to be a big enough serve. Embarrassingly, I asked the waitress and she said it was a substantial serve but I told her quite seriously “Are you sure because I’m a big eater”.
To her credit she didn’t react like she was talking to a crazy person and showed me the plate it was served on and that sealed my choice.

Miss 22 is a vegetarian and was a little worried about menu choice. I guess you can’t really expect vegetarian options at a Rib/Steakhouse however she did find a vegetarian burger.

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It looked like a pretty good size dish. She said the veggie patty was mostly peas and corn which is not her first preference but it still tasted ok and said the beetroot gave the dish a nice sweetness.
I tried one of the fries later on and thought there was a heavy old oil taste but I could be wrong. They were seasoned really well though.

Mr 21 went for the smaller sized T-bone with a Garlic Shrimp Topper add on.

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Everything looked really fresh. He really loved this dish. He said the meat was cooked well and was really well seasoned too. The salad was fresh and colourful. His only complaint was that the mashed potatoes were a little lumpy… it’s a wonder he didn’t think that was normal considering the mashed potatoes I’ve served him in the past…

Hubby decided to choose from the “Teasers” section also.
He chose the Amarillo cheese fries (With cheese and bacon) and the Lone Star Tex Mex Chili

The fries were quite a generous serve and had a good amount of cheese on there, just like hubby likes it! He said the chili was really good too. He certainly didn’t have any complaints.

I was in raptures when my nachos came. Nachos all to myself!! I was so excited.

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The dish was large enough for me and the topping were really good. I couldn’t have any complaints about this. I enjoyed every mouthful. The only thing I could have wished for was perhaps a little more chips, but that’s only a minor complaint.

The food came out pretty quickly! I was pleasantly surprised.
The only minor annoyance was that we were asked at least three times if we wanted more drinks, and this was while we all still had full glasses!
I guess the servers are told to really sell, sell, sell but it was just a little annoying when you’re having a conversation, to have to stop and tell the server “no, we’re fine for drinks thanks”

When the bill came I thought “My god this is cheap!” and then realised our food was not on that bill. They’d brought us a different table’s bill.
It ended up being half of what our bill was and I almost wish I “hadn’t noticed” and just paid the wrong bill… I thought the server could have comped us a drink or something for my honesty but no big deal.

In summary, Lone Star have definitely given us a better experience this time around. The food is reasonably priced and mostly presented and cooked well. The serves are generous and… there’s always that bucket of complimentary nuts!!!

Have you been to the Lone Star at Glenelg?
What did you think?
Let me know in the comments below!

Till next we chow…