After all the hubbub surrounding food trucks of late we decided it was time. Time to pile the household of teenagers into the car and head out on a food truck expedition. By the way did anyone put the dog out? No? I’m sure he’ll be fine. So where are we headed? Umm I thought you knew where we’re going? A quick stop on the side of the road to consult our phones yielded interesting results. Where’s Taco Taco? Night off. Where’s Big Henry? Night off. How about Van Demon? Bingo Campbell St between Warwick and Patrick. Super, let’s go … oh hang on they’ve posted about not being able to get a park?? Hazard of the trade I suppose. Three strikes and our food truck enthusiasm had wained, its time to implement plan B – the Winston.
We’d been to the Winston once before, so we knew what to expect. Let’s get one thing straight this isn’t fine dining and that is a good thing. After our first visit we came away with a lumberjackery, hipstery vibe about the place. Mainly due to the bar staff at time sporting facial growth, and wearing check shirts sometimes with and sometimes without irony. The nouveau Country and Western inspired soundtrack cemented the vibe.
On our second visit I was less struck by lumberjacks and more so by the American Diner feel. For all you Hobartians out there do a search on Google for “American Diner” and the number one result is “the Winston” and that’s no surprise. Despite the Winston being a bar as it’s day job, come dining hours it is quintessentially an American Diner at heart. It’s the food which gives it the true diner feel. Think random Tarantino movie and you’ll get the idea. The food is simple: burgers, pulled pork sandwich, fries, onion rings large enough to be worn as earrings by a 1970’s Diana Ross and not look out of place.
Due to the popularity of the Winston when we arrived our seating arrangements were limited. I might add we were out and about quite early, what some would classify as kiddy hour. Even still the Winston was nearly full. With all of the tables accommodating larger groups taken, we were forced into taking 2 smaller tables near each other. The teenagers at one and Robyn and myself at the other. We are already off to a great start, don’t have to sit with the kids, BONUS.
The ordering process is simple, as with many pubs you order at the bar. The only issue was remembering the order correctly and picking myself a pint. It’s very much a self service attitude, the barman pointed me in the direction of the cutlery and bottled condiments. Not that cutlery would be needed, the food we ordered is to be eaten by hand. For completeness the order was: Mr Kiehne’s Southern Chicken burger, 2 Pulled Pork Sandwiches, 2 Cheeseburgers, all served with fries. A pint of Willie Smith’s Cider for Robyn, 2 Lemonades, an apple juice, and I decided on a Vanilla Porter. All this came to about $115 to feed a family of 5, which if the food is good represents great value in my book. Which leads onto the most important part, was the food any good?
By the end the flavours have intoxicated your senses…
Y. E. S. The danger with such a simple menu is the food needs to be spot on. Fortunately for the the Winston it is. The pulled pork sandwich is of that sticky, gelatinous consistency which threatens at any point to escape your clutches and spill out all over your hands. You start out handling it like a new born baby with kid gloves trying your best to keep it together. By the end the flavours have intoxicated your senses so much you no longer care and your fingers drip with victory juices. A more confident diner would at this point lick his fingers clean, but alas I resorted to wiping them on a napkin. This was my one regret. The fries were cooked and seasoned to perfection. Crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside, without a hint of oily residue points to a kitchen that knows their oil temperatures. Robyn was as equally pleased with her chicken burger. She commented that the chicken was like Kentucky Fried Chicken. Now don’t get confused with KFC, KFC is a poor imitation of Kentucky Fried Chicken. Remember when you had that perfect piece of Kentucky? It was probably back in the 70’s, one of the benefits of age I suppose. Well that perfect piece of Kentucky is what the Winston put in their chicken burger. As for the teenagers they all enjoyed their meals. We’ll leave this review with the teenagers feedback. When asked for comment: “Good.”. About as high a recommendation a teenager could give I suppose.
By the way, when we got home the dog was sound asleep and all was fine.