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Published January 9th 2018
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Secret Garden - Relax in the Cool Beer Garden (Image Supplied)
Thirty years ago, Adelaide could quite aptly be called the city of pubs. In the CBD, you might not need to go as far as the street corner to find one, and lunch time conversation for city workers was often centred around which pub lunch to have. A short walk from Rundle Street would take you to the Norfolk Arms Hotel, the Earl of Zetland, Grenfell Tavern, Sturt Arcade or Criterion Hotel, and many others which still survive today.
Back in 2012, I asked which is the best pub in Adelaide's south-west corner. The world has changed since then, even for the hotels that have survived. A pub grub lunch as cheap eats is rare to find now, as hotels concentrate on providing top quality food and other attractions to bring in customers.
I heard from a friend that the Duke of Brunswick Hotel on Gilbert Street had new management, and offered a breakfast menu in addition to lunch and dinner. Feeling lazy after particularly relaxing holidays, I decided to have brunch there and test the Brunswick's dog-friendly qualities. Being a hot day I looked forward to eating alfresco outdoors under the vines.
At 11am, the pub was unsurprisingly quiet, which gave me a chance to wander through the bars for a sneak peek. The Brunswick interior is light and airy and the front bar and dining room were clean and tidy. A Secret Garden at the rear serves as a beer garden, with a water feature, decking and shade, and lots of decorative plants and things.
Delicious All day Breakfast - Bacon, Eggs and Herbed Tomatoes
After parking my dogs under the vines I ordered bacon and eggs with optional herbed tomato for brunch. It's a simple treat that I don't get enough of, although I dwelled longingly over other menu choices including the Smashed Avocado and Eggs Benedict. There's quite a range of extras available to build your own breakfast, and free water on the tables which I drank in lieu of a beer at that hour.
My meal arrived quickly and was delicious. The poached eggs with soft yolks (it's your choice how they are cooked), a decent serve of crispy smoked bacon, tomatoes and sourdough toast made a satisfying meal for me. I couldn't fault the quality of the food, and the atmosphere under the vines is great. There's not much traffic along Gilbert Street, and passing pedestrians loved the pooches. They, in turn, loved the handy water bowl.
DOB: A Welcoming Community Pub in Adelaide's South West Corner (Image Supplied)
The Duke of Brunswick Hotel is a heritage pub built in 1858. Visiting the hotel not only supports the local community but also keeps the building alive. As I ate my meal I wondered about the stories that those walls could tell after 160 years of life in Adelaide. In the early 20th century the hotel was owned by the charismatic Bert Edwards. Edwards was an immensely popular and generous man elected to Adelaide City Council and later as a Member of Parliament. Despite being convicted of homosexual offences in 1931, he remained well respected even after his death.
Fast forwarding to the present, not only does the DOB offer great food and a wide selection of beer, wine and spirits - it's a social hotel too. Licensee Simone has organised a program of activities which will have wide appeal. Pilates, fitness sessions, and cricket will appeal to the more health-conscious among us, while D&D (Dungeons and Dragons) games and a secular social night is a good way to meet new people. There are even Dogdayz in the Secret Garden where you can relax with your dog on the deck. Head over to the DOB events list for more info.
Smashed Avocado Breakfast With Bacon and Hash Browns
For more about the great menu of delicious pub meals and other entertainment at the Duke of Brunswick Hotel, head over and join in on their Facebook page. Oh, and did I mention that parking is easy to find and there's not a pokie machine in sight.
The Brunswick Function Room, Perfect for Meetings (Image Supplied)