2014 Qtr 2 Report

The bye has been and gone and we’ve got 7 more of Adelaide’s pub steaks in our bellies, so what better time for another wrap up. At the mid way point our ladder is starting to take shape, with several venues leading the flock, whilst others trail the mob.

New Dad, and inform full back of the competition Bobby Carlile joined us at the Seven Stars hotel. The Seven Stars produced a faultless evening, with divine service, ample Tuesday night vibes and as Phil Walsh would say “eeeelite” quality. Bobby tried to attribute his recent form to his increased maturity and hard work but it’s no doubting his guest appearance was the telling factor.

Seven Stars Hotel

Similarly, on the back of a hearty rib eye (the only option available), new arrival Jarred Polec & his left peg have been in scintillating form, taking the competition by storm. Poly, the ex-Brisbane midfielder has been carving up since his return to Adelaide, on and off (at the dinner table/on instagram) the field. The highlight of the Kings Head was the service, whilst the other elements proved decent but not exceptional. The high quality of the steaks was reflected in the premium price. Kane’s pet hate of having his steak served on top of his mash was realised, detracting from his meal, whilst No sauce Newton was very complimentary of their lack of sauce.

On the theme of new recruits, our next two guests were Matt White, the zone 7 dynamo, and Sam Gray, the chippy from Cleve. If you’re struggling to put face to ankle with Matt White, he’s the bloke with a tattoo of a flame on the side of his leg. He joined us at the Exceter, which offered a variety of graziers cuts at a very reasonable price. Whitey said that his steak “was on the rare side of medium rare, which I really like.” Whether they were telepathic or just fluked this is up to the reader. Brogs was also unusually descriptive with his remarks about the diane sauce saying it was “very nice”. The Exeter, located on the main strip of Semaphore is an enticing pub, especially on a warm summers evening. The highlight however was the skill tester, which appeared to be spewing out fun sized chocolates. For a group of easily pleased footballers, and several middle aged Dads this proved the highlight and a genuine drawcard for the establishment.

Excelsior

Grayza Junior was out of luck, joining us at the Excelsior in Brompton. For a pub proclaiming to serve the best (steaks) in the west, they are basically proclaiming that the West only has shit steaks, which from our experience we know is a lie. Sammy said he’s had better at the Cleve pub, which is slightly insulting to Cleve. He also stated that it was lucky he got drafted because according to his tradie math $45 for his steak was a rort. The service was slow, the vibe was poor, and the meat, whilst cooked to our liking was slightly tough. However, they do offer some ‘big hooers’ (big steaks), so if you’re in the Matt Lobbe mould perhaps this is the place for you. Lobbes, for the second time since our inception, tackled a 1.5kg beast, claiming victory despite once again cutting off up to 400gms in the name of fat.

Our round 1 showdown clash saw us take on one of our own, the Alberton Hotel. Fittingly, we were joined by big game specialist and showdown medallist Chad Wingard (so many accidental rhymes today). The Alberton has a familiar feel, friendly service and a SALAD BAR. This is a bigger deal for some than it is for others. I’m sure you can guess who! The Alberton could easily be confused for a take away establishment, as was the haste of the whole dinner service. One could say we went slam, bam, and thankyou mam- in steak eating kind of way. Despite the speed, quality & quantity were of a reasonable standard (7 & 7). The standout was service, quantity and the mushroom sauce.

1st year draftees Darcy ‘Bones’ Jones and Sam ‘Rooster’ Russell found time in their all consuming milk drinking, fashion swindling schedules to join us at the Arab Steed on Hutt st. The Arab Steed proved a real stayer, bolting to the front early with brilliant service and vibe, before holding on down the back straight with high quality and quantity to top our mid year rankings by the half a head. The service was impeccable, not waiting furlong for our meals. Furthermore, they catered fervently to Bones Jones calcium requirements, sourcing the finest glass of skim milk in all the ‘lands’ (fridge) to accompany his steak. Brogs, upon sampling the milk, made known his proclivity for ‘really cold milk.’ Kane felt like the Steed was “pumping for a Tuesday” while several of the boys made mention that “the futuristic pod” as being a “nice touch”, proving very stable (sorry not punny). The boys devoured some high quality and good value porterhouse and rib eye steaks, with plenty of horsing around on the side. Kane’s penchant for presentation was highlighted again, with a sly remark regarding his aversion for his sauce served in a jar, whilst Bones offered some mildly ruthless criticisms of the lack of menus and forks- fa forks sake. Despite these small faults the evening was far from a night-mare. – 8/10.

Arab Steed Hotel

QTR 2 Results

‘Be there or be rare’

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The Hackney Hotel, 8 April

Billed as the Showdown between ‘Roos Rib & the Medium Rares’ this week’s dinner was sure to produce fireworks. We were greeted at the Hackney Hotel by Triple M Rush Hour hosts Mark Ricciuto and Chris Dittmar straight from their evening segment. This was Ditts’ second invite to the MR’s and he was eager to remind us of this. Brogs was quick to water down the significane of this, explaining that he was merely being used to reach Roo.

Roo took control of proceedings, providing us with a set menu listing including starters and a 400gm rib eye. Despite this hint of pre-planning he insisted that nothing being served up was different from what we could get off the menu. We were happy to play second fiddle to Roo and as The Honey badger would say ‘we were keen to get a bitta meat!

After some tasty starters and a few of Ditts’ stories, most of which we pretended to enjoy as they were the same ones he told on his last visit, dinner was served. Expectations were high, as was the anxiety and nervousness of wanting to uphold our values of truth, honesty, and commeatment, without offending Brownlow medallist, Radio guru, and steak aficionado Roo.

Luckily the meal was superb. Steaks were served to our liking, with a mixture of toppings, all of which were met with a grumble of satisfaction as the lumps of meat were consumed. Kane mentioned that he wasn’t a fan of having his steak served on top of his mash but this was the only qualm.

For a Tuesday night the Hackney provided ample vibe, with a full car park and all dining areas buzzing. Newts said that it was louder than a Crows home game, while KDash mentioned that it was nice to see patrons staying until the meal was actually over, regardless of the result.

Quantity was hard to measure but there as no doubt the steak was every bit of the 400gm it claimed to be. Roo, a fair statured man himself, declared that this was the perfectly sized steak; although we did witness him devour a jar of olives prior to the steak arriving. Lobbes objected to this but still gave an impressive score.

The Hackney claimed a top four finish, giving it a home final, and deservedly so. From forwards (starters) to mids (main) to backs (dessert) everyone played their role, producing a result that all diners appreciated.

8/10

The Hackney Hotel

‘Be there or be rare’

2014 Qtr 1 Report

It’s been a sheepish start to the 2014 steak season but finally things are fully underway. After herding up half a dozen or so pubs it’s time for a report detailing rockers, shockers, anything in between & the various personalities that have joined us along the whey.

Senior Port Adelaide physio Pipes (Tim) O’leary was the first cab off the rank, joining us at the Metropolitan Hotel. Pipes provided some average banter; mainly focusing on his own gym regime (100% biceps) but did pioneer the dual steak/single plate combination, which had never been done before. For the likes of myself and big meater Lobbes this was considered an astonishing yet brilliant innovation.

Stirling Hotel

New Irish recruit Daniel Flynn brought his strong background in potato eating to the Stirling Hotel on a perfect summers evening. Unfortunately we’re a steak group, not a baked potato group. And unfortunately a balmy summer evening for us is like a visit to the gates of hell for Flynny; requiring him to slip slop slap to protect his porcelain skin. The steaks were of a high calibre, as was the vibe that the Hotel created on what was a run of the mill Tuesday evening. Flynny mustn’t have liked the Stirling much, or our company, because he didn’t hang around for long after that. One could say he meat and ran.

Lastly, fellow croweater, private school boy & sheer man mountain Mitch Harvey joined us at his local, The Maid & Magpie.  Sporting a rather ginger hair colour and a 110kg frame (something around that) he quickly earnt himself the nickname red 2 or sauce 2 (or 3) at the club. This is because PAFC have seemingly snapped up every tall redhead player or past player in the AFL, the most significant of which is our own Matt Lobbe. As is the nature of these big fair skinned, brightly fleeced creatures, their competitiveness spilled from the field to the table, seeing who could put away the biggest slab of meat.

Grange Hotel

As highlighted in the table below the Stirling takes the cake so far, closely followed by Kane Mitchells slick back…wait…. the Grange. For vibe, the layout of the Stirling hotel, which provides multiple dining areas, coupled with an exciting buzz from a hive of patrons is the place to be. The Gov also gets thumbs up in this area, with live music and the option of watching a comeatian a rare opportunity. The Dianne sauce at the Royal hotel, as well as the mushroom sauce at the Grange were very ‘saucey baby’ (good), while the stirling and Maid came up trumps for quality. A cutla free jugs of coke, and another nice set of jugs were strong reasons for the Metro and Royal to rate highly in service. I recall Newts stating “if we don’t fall in love with the food at least I’ve fallen in love with something.”

Disappointingly, the presentation throughout was mediocre. Brogs summed it up like this; “The Maid are acting like they’ve made it” and “the Gov needs a good Shove”… Good ones Brogs! Youngy took particular offence to the Saracens, saying it smelt like a Thursday night, and also noted that the value at The Royal was not fit for a king (Jeez the MR’s are clever).

Screen Shot 2014-03-23 at 8.03.39 pm

‘Be there or be rare’

The Birkenhead, 17 September

Apologies for the delayed report. As footballers the end of season provided a rare opportunity to let our hair down, before disbanding temporarily to jet set all over the nation and globe in search of the WORLDS BEST STEAK.

Our final Medium Rares gathering for the 2013 season took place at a Port Adelaide Institution, the Birkenhead Tavern. Seated beside the glowing Port River on a still spring evening, with the welcome addition of a few hard earned froffs (not to mention the few pre-froffs at the Glanny), the night couldn’t have had a better start. Newts’ anticipation of a succulent rib eye with a perfectly paired glass of Shiraz was only matched by that of our guest, loyal PAFC and MR’s supporter, property mogul and PAFC board member Kevin Osborne. Kev provided plenty of culinary expertise from his background in ‘eating’, as well as assuming a kind of mentoring role in regard to property and share investment. In fact, its believed his expertise in investment outweighs his expertise in food as he was overheard telling one of the boys “I’ve owned more properties than I’ve had cooked dinners and you’ve had steaks combined”. Lobbes took full advantage of this and if my eyes served me correctly, Kev had either missed his plate with the tomato sauce, or his ear was actually bleeding from Lobbes’ constant heckling.

We’ll kick things off with the positives; the first being the brilliant vibe created by the alfresco dining area overlooking the water, which is home to some beautiful 3 eyed Port River dolphins. This was accompanied by a pleasant hum from the hustle and bustle inside the restaurant mixed with some easy listening tunes.

The service, by Frank in particular was hasty, polite and well received (just like our meals I suppose) contributing to the quality of the evening.

Furthermore, the Birkenhead represents a great value family dining location with its affordable prices and vast salad bar. This is always well received by the MR’s contingent, even more so on this occasion as the boy’s diets blew out for a few days/weeks/months (kidding Kenny…Rondo…Burgo).

The lads pigged out on a variety of Porterhouse, Sirloin and Rib-eye cuts. As always, empty plates provided a decent measure of the boy’s meal assessment.

The negatives were few and far between, but I’ve listed the isolated and rather trivial complaints below.

  • Brogs complained that his steak was dryer than Kennys sense of humour

  • Lobbes was diaspoointed they ran out of the 600gm cuts of meat

  • Pfeif and Kev felt the acoustics could have been better (whatever that menas)

  • Newts felt that the presentation of the pub food shouldn’t resemble pub food, but something greater. Pfft

  • Someone near us had BO- it shank…sorry stank.

The Birkenhead Tavern received an overall rating of 7.5/10. This seemed a fitting close to the 2013 season, which highlighted promise on the field and in pub kitchens all over Adelaide, not to mention the excitement and continued room for improvement in 2014. I’m not sure who said it, probably Sam Kekovich but “there’s more to this group than meats the eye.”

The Birkenhead

‘Be there or be rare’

Hyde Park Hotel, 13 August

After putting three Unley pubs under the microscope there was nowhere to hide for our final destination, the Hyde Park Hotel. Located on King William Road the Hyde Park was the final flank of our City of Unley tour. Joining us for the evening was Olympic track cycling gold medallist Anna Meares and her better half, the glue, the emotional punching bag, and esteemed cyclist in his own right, husband Mark Chadwick. Not to be outdone by this Olympic standard duo, one final guest joined us. After escaping the throws of family duties, and mustard keen for a big hit of protein with the MR’s (essential man time!), Kane’s brother Luke Mitchell joined us. Judging by his neat and mature appearance there was no way Luke could be as excitable, hilarious and attention seeking as his younger brother…. or could he?

The Hyde Park dining room where we were seated was distinctively stock-standard, but with a neon lit keg room, providing some visual stimulation. More so, it felt like the CSI forensic lab and also served as a reminder to the boys, and Anna about our ongoing alcohol abstinence in our part time occupation as athletes (and full time steak critics). Youngy mentioned that the vibe was only a 3 compared to the Cremorne where he accidentally went first, and Luke mentioned that he likes ‘jazz music with his steak’, and it was disappointing they didn’t accommodate this. Vibe: 3.5

The service attracted a similar assessment, with pretty waitresses and a comprehensive performance only detracted from by minor lapses of, culminating in a 3.5 Anna, after ordering first received her meal last. Being the competitor that she is, coming last, or anything but first isn’t entirely what she’s used too. Similarly Luke was unhappy that he wasn’t offered more wine, stating, “I was tonguing for more!”

The valmoo capped off a consistent pub rating, and would be considered economical for the Unley area receiving 3★‘s. Luke was the only exception, dishing out a perfect score on the grounds that in Perth a similar steak would cost $60!

It was obvious upon arrival that everyone really lycrad the presentation of their meals (could even say atrackted too!) The beef fillet, angus scotch fillet and wagyu rump options were all rested on hand cut fat chips with a broccolini garnish, resembling a jenga type structure. Presentation: 4

After hoofing down the steaks at hand, all parties spoke highly of the quality. Mark embraced the puniness of our group, stating, “Mine was wheely good, tender and flavour filled.” Unfortunately, in Pfeiffs eyes the Hyde Park let its own tyres down in some respects, stating his wagyu rump was “tougher than tom Logan”. He forgot to mention that it was as “pretty as Paul Stewart.” Quality: 4

As has become trademark, Lobbes seemed distressed and disgruntled by the absence of steak sizes on the menu. For a majority though the size was adequate, although as mentioned previously “the presence of a ‘big hooer’ (the steak equivalent of Lobbes) is always a nice luxury to have.

Quantity: 3

The Hyde Park scored an overall rating of 7/10, coming in first position amongst the Unley pubs that we visited, and only narrowly missing out on the podium.

‘Be there or be rare’

Arkabar Hotel, 8 August

On Thursday evening we prized a young man by the name of James Aish away from his homework to join us at the Arkabar Hotel. James, at age 17 is a Norwood Redlegs premiership player and is being touted as a top 5 AFL draft selection at the end of this year. Being a young developing body we felt a big hit of protein in the form of a juicy rump steak was ideal for his development. His father Andrew agreed to this, with only one condition; that James was home before his bedtime!

The Arkabar is located on the corner of Glen Osmond Road and Fullarton Road and comprises a multitude of dining and sports viewing areas. In fact several of the boys noted that it exuded a casino or showgirl type vibe, with unique lighting strewn throughout the pub. Nevertheless…or unsurprisingly, the boys enjoyed this vibe, with only the large number of senior citizens present detracting form the atmosphere.

Vibe: 4

After his first contact with the waitress Lobbes’ said “I could just fillet was going to be good”, and indeed it was. The service was efficient and cheerful, with Pfeiff suggesting that they’d perhaps ‘herd the MR’s were in the house.’ Service: 4

The Val-ewe was akin to most of the pubs in the area, with meals ranging between $25 for a rump to $35 for a 300gm scotch fillet.

Value: 3

Unfortunately the largest steak on the grill was a 350gm rump, which for our members rarely fills their stomachs. Lobbes called for the menu to be “beefed up”; while although the options were limited Pfeiff noted that his steak was a “generous portion.”

After receiving our meals, the chopic of conversation moooved to presentation, quality and ensuring that young James consumed all of his veggies. The presentation was a customary no thrills plating up of steak, mash and veg, comparable to an effective but unassuming half back flanker. Presentation: 3

The quality was bit of a mixed grill. The rump steaks were branded as “the worst yet” by Lobbes, but the eye fillet, scotch fillet and porterhouse steaks all received positive feedback. Kane was impressed by the side of onion rings with his meal,; while the assortment of unique sauces were well received, including a roast capsicum and green peppercorn gravy. Quality: 2.5

Overall the MR’s weren’t steaked with the Arkabar Hotel. I’d like to be able to quote the late Tony Greig and say the meal was “right off the meat of the bat” but it’s more likely that we’d need the DRS to make the decision (most likely incorrectly). 6 ★

Arkabar Hotel

‘Be there or be rare’

 

The Goody Hotel, 5 August

The Goody Hotel, located opposite the Wayville showgrounds played host for this week’s steak night. In keeping with the carnival theme we invited along one of my best mates, a very humorous individual by the name of James Jordan. Jimmy’s claim to fame, besides being the creator of Facebook (^) predominantly lies in the fact that I go out with his sister (prime cut), as well as holding some junior national swimming titles. Jim was graving a good steak so he was a natural choice.

  James Jordan - Creator of Facebook

The night was off to a GOOD start (had to do it…sorry) as we amassed in the beer garden, which created a nonchalant feel with an assortment of high tables, lounges, foliage, light music and a view of the night sky. It also possesses the tools and space to create an exciting atmosphere for punters to gather and cheer on their respective sporting teams plying their trade on the televisions located around the garden. Vibe: 4.5

In respect of service and value The Goody was akin to a majority of our previous destinations, clocking in with a 3 (service) and 3.5 (value). Jimmy noted that the service was very prumpt whilst not spectacular, which is the same as what I once heard Brogs saying about the ruck taps he gets from Lobbes!

The boys received a selection of Angus Rump, Rib Eye and Riverine MSA scotch Fillet steaks ranging between 300 and 500gm. Upon arrival it seemed, to Lobbes’ great delight that the steaks were larger than quoted on the menu. Quantity: 4

The rib eye and scotch fillet received rave reviews as our ravenous members left their plates bare. Pfeiff and Kane, or the Samurai as Jimmy had opted to call him, were extremely complimentary, commentating on the tenderness and juiciness of their meals. The rump was not far behind, but as is often the case with the rump cut, the quality was not as high. Brogs was still impressed, in particular with his gravy, saying “I like this” and “I love this” respectively. Jim and myself also held the condiments, in particular the diane sauce, up there with the best we’d experienced.

With a 7.5 ★ rating it could perhaps be said that the Hotel produced a performance equivalent to its name! The Goody isn’t a shoe in for our top 8 but on its day I dare say it could be a beast.

 The Goody Hotel

‘Be there or be rare’