Holdfast Hotel

Today on the Dining Diaries…

A Triple Cheese Burger also delivers twice cooked fries,
We learn it really is true, you get what you pay for and
Nautical themes, friendly staff and large serves make us forget the things we didn’t really like…

holdfastDiners today we were at the Holdfast Hotel on Brighton rd, Glenelg.

I have been here a few times and have never really had any complaints.
They  promote a lot of local bands and have live music on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.
If you like going to see bands, this is a great place to kick back and see what’s happening in the Adelaide music scene.

We weren’t there for music today though. In fact we had very limited time and were just stopping in for a super quick lunch. I didn’t even order any wine!
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It felt different this time, as I walked into the modern looking dining area. I’m not sure if they’ve been renovating over the last few years but I noticed a bit of a nautical theme with ropes hanging from the ceiling.
I liked it.
The dining room is big and airy and there were already lots of people sitting around having some lunch.

We were brought over some menus and it wasn’t a bad selection, hubby and I just didn’t really know what we wanted and felt under pressure knowing we were pushing time.

I decided to order the 200g Porterhouse with fries and salad, and hubby went for the Triple Cheese and Bacon Burger.
We saw some meals coming out and they looked pretty good!! Well presented and beautifully large serves. One of the meals coming out was the burger hubby had also ordered and I hoped his was going to be as big as the one I saw because it was pretty impressive!

img_7350We didn’t order any sides or starters, just went straight for a main.

Hubby’s burger looked pretty good when it came out I thought.

That patty was pretty huge!
You can’t really see it in this picture but there was quite a bit of bacon. To me, it didn’t seem like the bacon had been cooked enough though.

When I asked hubby what he thought of it he said it was ok, it just didn’t have any pizzaz. The bun was a brioche bun and the doughy part was almost a yellow colour. He said there wasn’t much flavour or spice in the burger and it didn’t have any interesting sauces on it either. Although he didn’t hate it, it was not memorable. At $19 this burger is reasonably priced so I guess you couldn’t have expected too much more.

My porterhouse looked ok when it came out too but I kept wishing I’d ordered something else.

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The meat itself tasted ok. There was quite a bit of fat around it and it seemed pretty small but maybe that is what a 200g steak is supposed to look like.
The fries look way better in this picture than they did as I was eating them. They were clumped and cooked together. I’m sure they were cooked twice. They just seemed greased out. The ones on hubby’s plate were in the same condition.
The salad was ok and fairly fresh. I wasn’t a fan of the dressing but I still ate it all and that’s just down to personal preference.
My steak was $23.50 so I guess that’s a pretty reasonable price too.

We really didn’t hate it here so I hope my words aren’t going to be taken out of context. The restaurant is really comfortable to sit in and the staff are super friendly. The food came out quickly and there are a lot of people going in and out. It feels like it’s a “happy” place to be in. I think we were just too rushed and couldn’t enjoy the experience as we normally would.

I might just have to come back here on another night!

Have you been to the Holdfast Hotel?
What did you think?
Let me know in the comments below!!

Till next we chow…

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Coopers Alehouse – Gepps Cross

Today on the Dining Diaries…

Big carpark, big dining room, big serves!
We break the “not so good” review curse (and no salad bar.. connection??? I think so!)
And, our hunger is satiated before our shared entree is devoured!

FullSizeRender (84).jpgMy fellow diners, today I put my foot down and said “no salad bars!!!” and because we were in the area, we took ourselves to Coopers Alehouse at Gepps Cross. What a good choice that turned out to be.

The first thing we noticed was how big the car park was! We wondered if it was a shared carpark with another business but if it was, we didn’t see it.

We walked in via the outside area by mistake, but I’m glad we saw it as it’s really quite large, comfortable and has a lot of heating – Not to mention the huge screen TV that had the footy on! What a perfect place to sit and watch a game with your mates!

Walking into the dining area, we were again impressed by the size and it was full! Mostly every table was taken and we were lucky to get a seat.
We grabbed some menus and went to our table. Lots of good selections on there.
I ended up going for the Braised Lamb Shanks (Yes I did note the plural!) With mashed potato, sautéed chorizo, green beans & red wine jus
Hubby “steak man” chose the Graziers Black Angus Porterhouse; char-grilled to your liking accompanied by chips, sauce & mustard.
All menu items have a “suggested” beer pairing but neither of us are beer drinkers so we didn’t pay much attention to it.
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Because we were ravenously hungry we decided to split a margarita pizza as an entree. We thought it would be a 9 inch size or smaller and be enough to whet our appetite but when it came out, it was much more than that!

It was huge! And it was covered in cheese. This picture doesn’t do it justice. Half of this pizza each was going to be a meal in itself! The first thing I noticed were the aromas – Strong basil and tomato scents that pleased my inner Italian. The crust was not thick and not thin either. Just right! and cooked really well. I can’t remember when I last had a pizza this good. With so few toppings it was really so tasty! I was just expecting to have a little something before my lunch and got so much more.

I looked around to see what other people were eating and noticed the serves all seemed rather large. I wish I’d seen that before we ordered! Having said that, we weren’t the only people to share a pizza as an entree.
The wall behind the bar was interesting. Not sure what the style is called. Steam Punk? I thought it looked good anyway.

Our mains came out quite quickly.

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The steak looked pretty good!

Hubby likes it “medium rare” and always orders his sauce on the side. I don’t see the point of ruining the taste of a good steak and prefer my sauce on the side too.

He feels it was more rare than medium rare but I thought it looked perfect.

He said it was tender and seasoned perfectly and really enjoyed it.
The mushroom sauce was nice – not too rich and a nice accompaniment for the meat.

FullSizeRender (88)The lamb shanks looked equally good!

I’ve wanted to order lamb shanks when I’ve seen them on recent menu’s but something else caught my eye. Today I was persuaded because I knew I’d be getting two.

They were just perfect. The meat was tender and falling off the bone. The mash was just amazing! Wonderful flavours mixed through there as I wiped it up with the jus. The chorizo also, surprisingly for me, added a bit of heat to the taste. It was a wonderful dish!

Everything we had was reasonably priced making Coopers Alehouse a really good place for families to go to.
The other great thing about Coopers Alehouse Gepps Cross is that they have all day dining. That’s perfect for people like us who, by the time we stop to eat, have realised that it’s past “kitchen open” hours.

I would highly recommend this place and would be interested to hear what other people’s experience have been. Coopers Ale House – Shank you very much (Yeah I heard that collective groan)

Have you been to Coopers Alehouse?
What did you think?
Let me know in the comments below!!

Till next we chow…

Lockleys Hotel

Today on the Dining Diaries…

A stake steak right to hubby’s heart
A diner gets as fresh as the salad bar and..
I find out what lamb florentine is and marvel at this gastronomic brilliance!

lockleys-hotel-3494-1Today we are at the Lockelys Hotel.

Hubby and I were a little hesitant in coming here because we had the impression it was a dive.
In fact he said to me “We don’t have to stay there. If we get there and don’t like it we’ll leave”

But we didn’t have to leave and I’m glad. It ended up being one of our best dining experiences.

We had to wait for dinner service to start because again, we’d missed lunch and were ravenously hungry at 5pm.
We took ourselves into the Sports Bar to wait. It was very busy and loud and noticeably, I was the only woman in there.
The bar staff were lovely and the fireplace was heavenly!

We went over to the Bistro area when dinner service started and hubby was in heaven because unexpectedly, there was a  salad bar there and he’s just so enamored with them at the moment.
We were sat close to where diners were coming in and it soon became apparent that a lot of them were regulars. There was good banter between servers and customers and in fact, one cheeky old fella was chatting up a pretty young girl while his wife was standing next to him!
But it was all in fun.

The menu was simple but good. As I walked up to the counter to order I still didn’t know what I was going to have. Hubby went for the 400g Portherhouse Steak.
At the counter I noticed the specials board and I ordered the Lamb Florentine without really knowing what Florentine was… in fact, not knowing at all – no inkling – nothing.
I’m not normally that adventurous.

We watched other food coming out and it all looked sooooo delicious!!! So many people were ordering the sliders. The servings looked large and were just mouth watering.
While we waited for ours we visited the Salad Bar and although there wasn’t a huge selection, what was there was fresh and quality. There were only cold salads including a potato salad, beans, pasta salad etc etc but everything was tasty and it didn’t seem to be an afterthought as some salad bars tend to be.

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Then our food came.
They  both looked so good!
We have had food that looked good and didn’t taste good before though…
Hubby sliced through and saw that good juicy pinkness and was encouraged – the taste was even better than he could have imagined. Tender, melting in his mouth like butter.  He didn’t even want to have it with the sauce as he said that would ruin the taste.
He also said that every little bit of gristle had been removed and every mouthful was that tender goodness.
I wouldn’t know because he didn’t share any with me even though I shared mine. He said it was too good to share.

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I was equally happy with mine. I had no idea what it was going to be but when it came, I saw the lamb had been wrapped in pastry that was lined with spinach and bacon. Yum!

It was a big serve too! The first thing I tried was the mash which was just divine! It had mixed in with that wonderful jus and I don’t know what else was in there but it was just such a pleasure to eat.
The pastry from the lamb florentine just flaked away beautifully and the spinach was a really nice taste balancer. I really loved this dish and we both took our time eating our meals.

If I have to have any negatives it’s that there was no dressing in either of our salads and while the servers were nice and friendly, it did seem like they were just doing their jobs and not really interested in whatever you might have to say – but I’m being very harsh and this is a bistro after all. They certainly weren’t rude. I think they just would benefit from more experience.

The website site for the hotel says they have a new chef and this is a new menu. I’m not sure how long he’s been there but he’s a wonderful addition if this is the food he’s producing. It’s not often that hubby says “I want to come back here” after he’s only taken a few mouthful’s of food!! He even said that this is the best steak he’s had in at least six months so there you have it!

Definitely a huge recommendation for us.

Have you been to the Lockleys Hotel?
What did you think?
Let me know in the comments below!

Till next we chow…

Portobello

What a nice little treat for us today! Through a set of circumstances, hubby and I found ourselves at Portobello, a great little cafe in New Port.

Portobello boasts waterfront views and when we arrived, we were greeted by friendly staff – always important – and shown to a table that made the most of the gorgeous day outside.
I did have to wonder what kind of business they do here as the location isn’t that easy to get to. Having said that, the instructions on their website are really clear and easy to follow, but just the fact that they have to have instructions would be a little worrying for me.

The restaurant seems to have a good layout with plenty of indoor and outdoor seating. We noticed a thermomix on the servery counter and wondered what they would use that for.

I personally loved the choices on the menu. This was my kind of menu! Lots of good Italian dishes. Pasta, pizza, risotto.
We ordered some wine then decided to start with everyone’s favourite, wedges, followed by Beef Ragu Rigatoni for me, and the Grain Fed MSA Portherhouse for hubby.

Our taste buds were definitely watering as we saw other people’s food coming out. Everything looked delicious!

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Wedges with Sweet Chili Sauce and Sour Cream

The food came out sooner than I was expecting considering the amount of people there.

The wedges were just fantastic. They were crisp, crunchy, fresh and hot! Nicely seasoned, thick wedges accompanied by sweet chili sauce and sour cream.

The only negative hubby had was that there wasn’t enough!

Wedges are wedges and though they were done well, are a pretty common item on the menu so usually not something I’d go out of my way for.

The mains on the other hand… my mouth is watering again just thinking about it!

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Beef Ragu Rigatoni

My Beef Ragu Rigatoni was just divine! The gorgeous aroma’s coming from it almost knocked me out before I’d even tried any!

The meat was so tender and so so flavoursome.
The pasta was perfectly cooked al-dente and my serve was so large I actually shared some with hubby.

The sauce was rich and I loved the odd mushroom I found on my plate.

Really a very delightful dish and just what I was craving today.
I was very sad when it was all gone!

 

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300 gram Porterhouse

 

Hubby’s Porter-house was really tasty but again he was disappointed in the size as he saw this dish being brought out to others and their serves looked bigger.
We could have been mistaken.
Food envy is a real thing!

Hubby said it was really tender, perfectly pink inside, and had a really nice flavour but he could have done without the red wine sauce.
I had a taste and actually really loved it so I guess that’s just one of those things that does come down to exactly that – taste.
His meal had steamed broccolini and rosemary baby potatoes. The broccolini was still firm – perfect, and the baby potatoes were very crisp and tasty too. Again, his only negative was that there wasn’t enough.

Our waitress was lovely. She was attentive without being intrusive and answered a few questions I had about Portobello.

In summary…
The Good: The food was more than delicious – Better than any I’ve had in a little while. Flavoursome and cooked with love.
The Bad: None really except maybe hubby’s serve was smaller than he was expecting and although I didn’t mind the short walk to the restaurant, I wouldn’t want to do that on a bad weather day.
The Ugly: The only ugly was probably how full and fat I felt as I walked out of there! But I was very satisfied and I’d love to go back and try out a few more delicious items from their menu.
Have you been to Portobello?
Does your experience match mine?
I’d love to hear your thoughts, please let me know in the comments below!

Till next we chow…