When I went to Jack Greene Tavern/ Gourmet Burger Bar I confess that I was not thinking clearly because I was tired and hungry. I was also alone on a Friday night in the busy Salamanca area of Hobart and feeling like a bit of a loser. I felt like a big fat burger and chips. My feelings from my experience at Jack Greene's on this occasion are mixed.
To begin, walking through the door was like walking into a cloud of heat. The chilly weather outside was annihilated by some high powered fires they had going. The place was packed and pumping – as you would expect on a Friday night. I had a look at the menu on which there is pretty much every burger meat option you could want – even Venison or Wallaby and there were vegetarian and fish options too.
I asked the guy behind the bar what was upstairs and he said couches and tables so I headed up there hoping to find somewhere to plant myself. I ended up on the spinster table in the corner. Outside I'd seen a sign saying the burger of the day was the steak one and reading what it included – iron house porter marinated Tasmanian grain-fed rib eye, cheddar cheese, onion rings, lettuce, tomato and garlic aioli I decided I'd give that a shot. You get to choose your bread too from white, wholemeal, Turkish and Gluten- Free options. I went with wholemeal to pretend like I was being healthy but then ordered chips to more than cancel out any good I had done.
So you order at the bar. I headed up and ordered. The guy wasn't exactly unfriendly but he wasn't friendly either. He took my order, and then informed me that it'd be a thirty five minute wait for food. I said that could be a deal breaker, as I'd also noticed on my way to the bar that the DJ was setting up right next to my spinster table. It seemed like by mentioning the wait he was trying to get me not to order, but then, when it seemed like it might work he changed his tune. I ended up ordering (obviously otherwise I wouldn't be writing this) because I figured that I was there and everywhere would probably be busy.
I helped myself to a glass of water from a carafe on a little bench and then returned to my table, but I could no longer sit in the corner because the DJ has opened up the window and the window cover was in my way so I had to sit in the other seat, uncomfortably close to and facing the DJ – but with an amazing view outside the window.
And so I grabbed out my copy of Smith Magazine and started my awkward wait. In the end the food didn't take thirty-five minutes to come out. It looked amazing when it did though. However, when I started eating I was disappointed. There was nothing wrong with it – the onion rings were spectacularly good – but the steak was quite fatty and not really all that succulent, and the rest was quite bland. It really needed some tomato relish or chutney to spice things up a bit. The chips tasted healthy too (which I'm sure they weren't) but I was really in the mood for a fatty feast. In the end I ate all the tomato and lettuce, a majority of the chips but much of the steak I left because it just wasn't that good.
Now I feel bad because I'm not a huge carnivore anyway and I made the choice, out of an extremely good burger menu to get the one I did. They aren't to blame for me ordering poorly or for me being alone but I didn't really leave feeling satisfied with my meal. The service rankled a bit too. You also have to order chips separately they aren't included with the burgers.
The place itself is awesome though. Moody lighting, a cool vibe and this kind of old-school hunting cottage kind of décor going on. It even had deer heads hanging on the walls. I really liked the cohesion in the style of the décor and I thought it worked really well.
I'm torn because I should have loved this place but I just didn't. If I went back and made a better choice with the food then maybe everything else would fall into place, but I don't know whether I have the inclination. I would still probably recommend that people give it a go however, which seems contrary, but is the truth.
Jack Greene is absolutely fantastic! The service is great with friendly staff who, when they say they'll look out for a table for you, actually follow up. The burgers are delicious if a little slow to arrive. A wonderful ambience makes it the place to be at the moment and this means it can be hard to get a spot, especially upstairs in the cosy lounge. The wall-paper in the loos gives patrons the opportunity to be creative with their graffiti, what an inspired idea! Love it!!!!