Walkers Arms

Today on the Dining Diaries

Empty dining rooms leave a lump in our throats,
An interesting menu makes selection hard and
Can a vegetarian dish really cost over $25?

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Diners today we found ourselves at Walkers Arms on North East Rd.

I have so many memories of Walkers Arms before the restoration. That is, when it still had the buffet restaurant with those delicious selections that you could avail yourself of, over and over and over again. It was a gluttons wet dream. It definitely was my favourite all-you-can-eat restaurant in Adelaide!

But like anything else in life, things change.

Hubby and I knew there no longer was a buffet part to this restaurant but were still interested to see how it had changed since it’s refurbishment. And as we liked the buffet food, the a la carte menu food had to be good too right?

We were struck by how few people were around as we entered. This place was hustling and a bustling on a Sunday in the past!!! In the past…. when the buffet was still happening… Today only a handful of tables were occupied and it was a Sunday afternoon. That can’t be good for anybody…


The picture on the right shows the now empty buffet dining area. I’m not to sure what the plans are for this area but it was sad to see it sitting there not being used. No doubt they will do something amazing with this space in the months to come…

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Hubby and I got a nice, heated, spot outside (pic on far left above) and started off with the classic, Salt and Pepper Squid with aioli and lemon

I thought this wasn’t bad value for money. The Squid had a nice texture to it and the aioli and lemon were just perfect.

It was a great way to whet our appetites.

The menu was pretty good. It had your usual pub fare plus a few different things. I was a bit undecided as to what I was going to have for mains but ended up choosing the Vegetable Tagine – Seasonal vegetables in Moroccan style sauce, cous cous, labna, preserved lemon, mint and dates.

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I thought there were beautiful flavours throughout. The vegetables were just gorgeous in the Moroccan sauce. The lemon was unexpected and added a bit of zing in your mouth. I enjoyed this dish a lot but I wasn’t sure if $25 was too expensive for a vegetarian dish. I know there’s a lot of work/elements that go into it, but when you consider that you can get a beef or chicken parmigiana for under $20 it seems a little over priced but maybe I’m wrong.  In any case I did enjoy it so I didn’t mind.

Hubby decided to go for the ribs. Unfortunately I couldn’t find them on their online menu so I can’t tell you how they were described on there.

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I thought they looked great when they came out! Hubby got that glazed over look again and could barely wait for me to take a photo before digging in.

He said they were very tasty. The sauce was kind of sweet but also had a tanginess to it.
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I wanted to see the inside after he’d cut into it and had to take a pic because it looked so good!

That even makes MY mouth water and I don’t usually go for ribs!

With regards to the empty tables, I hope what hubby and I saw on this day wasn’t the norm for Walkers Arms as the food was pretty good and I’d hate to see people not coming here anymore just because the buffet is no longer here.

In fact, I’m looking forward to going back and trying a few different items from the menu or I’d go back even just to sit outside in the comfy outdoor area and watch a game of footy on their big screen TV’s.

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

Till next we chow…

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The Curious Squire

Today on the Dining Diaries…

After a couple of false starts, we are curious no more!
Music and interesting decor made for topic of conversation and
Burgers and yummy finger foods to die for!

5teatdrink153curious3Diners today we were at The Curious Squire in North Adelaide; A hip, US-inspired hub for burgers, slow-cooked BBQ steaks, wings and ribs, plus craft beer and cider.

We have driven past this place so many times and even attempted to dine but they were always fully booked and it just never happened. Tonight we got lucky!
We really were only lucky because we had come fairly early. Our table was going to be booked a few hours later and there were reserved signs over most of the tables we saw.

I love the look and feel of this place. Rock music was playing, people working looked like they were enjoying their jobs and lots of other customers were around having a good time. It wasn’t so loud to be distracting though, just enough to make you want to be a part of it.


I love the dark furniture and the streaming light coming from the windows. There’s plenty of interesting things to read on the wall about James Squire himself!

The table numbers are large cards and there’s even a wall of cards in the dining room! I’m not sure what the significance is of a deck of cards but it would be something to look into.


The server who greeted us was really so very lovely and did as much as she could to make sure we could be served today.
We were left with some menus and after not eating for most of the day, were drooling in anticipation.

I couldn’t go past one of the specials that was written up on the board behind the bar.
Ben & Lamb burger; Toasted Blue Bun, Smoke pulled Lamb, Potato skin, mint jelly, lettuce, tomato and onion.
I probably should have paid more attention to the “mint jelly” part of that description!

Hubby ended up ordering the Trio of Sliders -pig mac, mother clucker and american cheeseburgerers;

But before those dishes came, we got some entree’s to start…

We had to try their wings! American Buffalo Wings – crispy fried chicken wingettes with our curiously different take on the famous frank’s hot sauce with ranch

On Wednesday’s they sell these for 50 cents each!

We also got the Cheesy Macho Nachos – 12 corn tortilla chips served with queso, refried beans, smashed avocado, sour cream and added texas chilli on the side.

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I’m not much for wings but hubby definitely is and he just loved these.

Hubby said they had a strong vinegar based sauce and they were perfect!

Just like the way he makes them.

Although I don’t eat wings I tried one and could see they had been cooked well and everything was fresh and crispy. I was almost converted!

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The Nacho’s were also really well done.

The cheesy sauce was gooey and oozed a little to the nacho’s below.

Again, all the sauces were fresh and the nacho’s themselves were large (not broken) and crispy.

The texas chili on the side was soooo delicious!! Again, a little too hot for my liking but I have a low tolerance. Hubby just loved it! The meat in there was so tender and the sauce had a beautifully sweet tomato taste. I couldn’t help dipping my fries in there later even though I knew it was hot!

The one thing that did bother me a little was that our mains were brought out before we were even halfway through our entree so we had a table full of food that was now all going to get cold. Perhaps it was just a mix up in the kitchen.

Hubby’s sliders looked good and deceivingly small…
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These buns were all full of flavour. They are not stingy when it comes to filling!
I also love the way they bring the food out on those silver trays.

Hubby said he really couldn’t fault a thing, it was all really great tasting. There was one he particularly liked that had a mustard sauce in it.

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My burger was equally good! I wasn’t quite sure how a “BLUE” burger was going to look or even why you would want to do that though. It’s green in the picture, but when you bite into it, the inside is blue.

I instantly tasted the mint jelly and wished I’d asked to not have that in the burger. Thankfully, there really wasn’t a lot of it. The potato skin was more like a slice of cooked potato rather than skin but that too was ok.
It’s a really big burger so probably not something you’d order on a first date!!! I ended up having to take some of the insides out and eat them separately.

Overall, I’m so glad we came here. It’s seems to be a buzzing place and you really don’t mind spending your money when you know the service, food and atmosphere are going to be good!!
I definitely recommend going down to The Curious Squire and having a look at what they have to offer but go on a Wednesday if you can to take advantage of that wing special!!

Have you been to The Curious Squire?
What did you think?
Let me know in the comments below!

Till next we chow…

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…

The Sneaky Pickle

Today on the Dining Diaries…

A hungry ‘cowboy’ enters hungry, empties his pockets, and still leaves hungry…
Dim lighting is used, not for romantic purposes, but so you can’t see how small your serve is and…
Not sure how to deal with a waiter who joins you at your table to explain the menu and take your order.

Diners, you may think I like doing reviews where I write about all the things I didn’t like but in fact I loathe them and yet I would be disingenuous if I wrote anything but what I’m about to write about The Sneaky Pickle.

This place came with a HUGE recommendation from a previously trusted source so hubby and I were quite eager to try it out.

sp1.jpgIt’s location on Goodwood Rd is a little difficult to get to and the frontage is quite unappealing. We didn’t even know if they were open! Hubby tried the door and said it was still locked. We waited in the car for another ten minutes or so when finally I said I’d try the door… I couldn’t believe they’d still be closed when it’s after their advertised opening hours….
Turns out hubby hadn’t turned the handle…. they’d been open..
But honestly you wouldn’t know because it seems like you’re walking into a shop that hasn’t been used in years.
From the outside, we couldn’t hear or see anything going on inside.

When we finally did get inside I felt a little better. It seemed like a pretty cool place – American BBQ is their style. There were lots of decorations on the wall, heavy wood furniture, hipster looking waiters and it was dark. I mean really dark!
There was music playing that ranged from Country and Western to Sixties lounge jazz.


We were sitting right under the watchful eye of that big guy on the right there.

There’s lots of huge wooden benches/booths and hubby and I sat in one. A few minutes later the bearded waiter came and squashed in alongside us so he could explain how the menu works.

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So they’ve got those BBQ meats on the top  of the menu. You pick the meats and quantity you want. That’s what they want you to do, and then you pick your sides. You do have a couple of options for sandwiches but they really want you to pick the meats and sides.
We didn’t have the Chicken thighs or Bourbon wings options on the menu we were given.

I don’t have a picture of the drinks menu but they mainly have American Beers and soda’s here.

So I went and ordered one each of the BBQ meats, a side of Texas Beans (+bacon + chili) and a serve of Bread Rolls. Remember when places would just serve you bread??
The menu says that the BBQ meats come with House pickles and BBQ sauce.

Well my dear diners, here is what we got for $39

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See the pickle and sauce on the left bottom of the tray? That’s what they gave us to go with the BBQ meats. “All BBQ meats come with House pickles and BBQ sauce.”
Sneaky Pickle indeed!!!

Those bread rolls were tiny. One bite and they were gone. I mostly stuck to the beans because I’m usually not a big meat eater and nothing there looked appealing to me. The Brisket was ok but it had huge gobs of fat in it. The pulled pork was ok. Hubby really liked the rib but he wasn’t sure of the value for money seeing as one rib was $7. ONE.
Hubby didn’t like the sausage at all. It had a very smoky taste and seemed a bit gritty as well. I had a little of it but wouldn’t have been able to eat a whole one. I’m not sure what the herb or spice was in there.

I tried to take a few more photos of the food, getting a little closer on some of the meats…

I had to wonder why they kept the room so dark. The windows were furnished with heavy black curtains. Is it so you can pretend to be whisked away to Texas or so that you don’t see how small the serve is you’re getting?
I really didn’t like those camp style plates and trays they were using either. And they brought us that platter of food to share, but no side plates so we could actually eat our food in front of us instead of having to reach for the centre of the table and hope we didn’t drop any.

The food didn’t take long to be gone, not because we loved it, but because there wasn’t much there…. So we left poorer and still hungry…
But it was ok, we stopped in at a Maccas on the way home and filled up with a few little naughty things for a fraction of the money we’d spent at the Sneaky Pickle…

We remembered the quote “Everything is bigger in Texas” but then were reminded that we were actually not in Texas and it all made sense…

This place seems to have a bit of a cult following so please don’t just take my word for it.
If you do go though, be prepared ….

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

Till next we chow…

The Pink Pig

Today on the Dining Diaries…

We enter a place that would terrify the strongest vegetarian,
We see yet again that the ratio of food to sauce provided is not right!!
I get to watch a hot young waitress try to put a bib on hubby….

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Diners tonight we were at The Pink Pig! The Pink Pig Wine Bar is an iconic establishment in North Adelaide.

I remember walking past there many times seeing that smiling pig on the outside, and wondering what was happening behind those doors.
Tonight I got to find out….

The restaurant is actually quite large! It’s a little deceiving because the front is not overly huge and I’ve never really been able to see inside. I’m not sure how many people it actually accommodates but you could easily have a larger party there.
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The lighting was pretty dim (hence my poor quality photos) and there was contemporary music playing. Staff were really friendly and when I said I had a booking the server spoke to me as if he’d been expecting me. Well I guess he HAD been expecting us but I felt very welcome and wanted.

He left us to look over the menu which I found to be a little intimidating. I had gone through the menu online earlier in the day and nothing really jumped out at me as I’m not a huge meat eater. I figured I’d see what I felt like on the night…
But if you are a meat eater, you would love this menu.
Did you notice the little piggy on the front of the menu? In fact there were little piggies all throughout the restaurant.

On first glance things seem a little overpriced but then I don’t know the quality of what I’m going to get so I didn’t want to judge anything too soon.

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There were four in our party and we placed our order with a nice young waitress.

I looked around to try to see other people’s food but they were either finished or waiting for their food also.

The decor made me feel like we were sitting in an Italian restaurant – minus the red and white tablecloths.

The area behind the bar looked pretty interesting too. It was hard to capture because the lighting was so dim in there.


After we’d ordered, a hot young waitress came up to the table and said “Ok who ordered the ribs?” and hubby cautiously says he did.

She then proceeded to put a bib on him that said “You need our bibs to eat our ribs”

 

 

Hubby was not impressed. At least he allowed me to take the photo above but as soon as that was done, that bib was off. However after that happened, I looked around and saw a few other people were wearing those bibs!! How messy was this going to get??

By this time we’d also seen a few meals coming out and they looked soooo good!! I was really really eager to try mine.

We’d ordered some garlic bread to come out first and asked the waitress if the serve was enough for the four of us and she said “Oh yes! There’s six slices in there” but what we got were six tiny little slices and while they tasted good and the garlic was strong but not overpowering, I felt like I’d only just had a bite and it was gone.

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My main was one of the first to come out – Thai Beef Salad – Mixed salad w. a spicy Thai chilli dressing
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I’m sorry the photo is so bad. It was really difficult to capture in that light.
I have to say this was really really delicious. The meat was soooooo tender I could almost hear an old crooner serenading me as I ate it… I had to force myself to leave it till last so I could end off with that taste and concentrated on the salad first. The dressing was pretty good although the menu does say spicy Thai chili dressing and I don’t think it was very spicy at all (and I normally have a low tolerance for that sort of thing) I would have preferred for the tomatoes to have been cut a little smaller though. I know I can cut them myself but they were huge horse like chunks and it was just awkward.

Hubby, as we know, went for the Pork Ribs – Oven baked in our famous spicy sauce, served w. pickled slaw

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There’s supposed to be fourteen pieces in there. It’s a really bad photo once again (sorry) Hubby was disappointed with this dish. You have to remember he’s coming from a restaurant background himself AND he is the rib KING even if he hasn’t made them in years. He said while they were tasty, they weren’t falling off the bone and stated that he could make a better rib with his eyes closed – and that readers, is actually something I can attest to!  So while he didn’t hate it, it wasn’t as good as it could have been and remember, the prices at The Pink Pig are a little higher than other places we’ve gone to.

I had been tossing up between the Thai Beef Salad and the Risotto Fungi, and another member of our party chose that so I was able to see what it would have looked like.

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I had a bit of diners envy when I saw it as it looked pretty good! She said that it was a very tasty dish. The rice wasn’t stodgy and the tomato in there gave the dish a lift and made it really very refreshing.

The last member of our party chose to have the Salt and Pepper Squid salad but when the meal came out, it wasn’t the S & PS Salad but the Salt and Pepper dish.The difference being the amount of squid to salad I guess – Oh, and the price..

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It was a generous serve of squid and he just went with it but they also charged us for the more expensive dish which I think they probably shouldn’t have. I also wonder why, when you’re paying more than average prices for a dish like this, they don’t just chuck in some fries on the side?
Did you notice the tiny little bowl of aioli? It didn’t take long for that to finish and there was still quite a bit of squid left. Why do restaurants do this?? I find it so annoying. It’s just a little thing that doesn’t cost the restaurant much but can go a long way in pleasing the customer. The squid themselves tasted ok but it was just regular pub fare and we were not in a pub.

I do think the Pink Pig is worth a visit even just to say that you’ve been there. The food we had ranged from ok to really good so I guess it just depends on what you order on the day. All the staff that interacted with us were really friendly and helpful and into their jobs, not just going through the motions.
We may even visit again one day in the next twenty or so years…..

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

Till next we chow…..