The Brunswick Hotel is one of the CBD's best kept secrets. Before last weekend I'd never been to the lovely spot on Gilbert Street. I had no idea what I was missing. If I'd known that the food was fab, the service staff friendly and helpful, and the place itself is such a nice spot for a drink or two (with a classier vibe than some of Adelaide's watering holes), I would've been hiding out at this place much sooner.
I almost don't want to go on so that it can be my little secret but that wouldn't be showing what a caring, sharing soul I am, and wouldn't quite fit into the WeekendNotes ethos. So, I guess I'll keep going now that the cat's head is already out of the bag.
On my visit the beer-garden was delightfully sun-drenched but with plenty of shade offered by the umbrellas, and we had it largely to ourselves which was a real treat.
I can't wait to go back and sample something else. I can't be sure the menu will appeal to everyone but there were about five things that I was tossing up between. My partner too had difficulty making his decision.
If it hadn't been such a nice day we would've happily sat in the dining room, which is classy with some nice regal looking couches in front of the windows for those who are feeling a little royal or have just been watching too much of The Tudors.
There were some other cute little features at the hotel including a 'guess how many lollies in the jar' competition and a door with a handwritten sign saying 'Micro-brewery in progress'. There was also some pretty rad artwork on display.
The overall vibe of the pub is nice and relaxed, and there's something very charming about the whole place. They have a good selection of beers on tap including pale ale, sparkling ale, dark ale, Carlsberg, West End, Hahn Super Dry, and Cascade Premium Light. The wine list is also pretty good.
When it came time to order food, even though I'd been dreaming about taking a bite into a huge pub burger all week, when push came to shove I couldn't go past a pizza that combined pumpkin and caramelised onions (two of my favourite ingredients). I also got a rocket, pear, parmesan and pine nut salad on the side. The pizza also had rocket and pine nuts and I worried I might be overdoing it but then I thought no you can never have too many pine nuts, and the rocket gives the semblance of a healthy meal.
The pizza came out on a rectangle plate and was in a rectangular shape itself. The base was very thin and crunchy and the edges were almost like crispy pastry. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I appreciated them putting their own spin on a pizza. I'd also worried a bit because pub pizza can be a bit hit and miss but I didn't regret my choice for a second. If you prefer a thick crust though then perhaps give the pizza a miss. I'm sure there's something else on the menu to tempt you, like perhaps the Brunswick Beef Burger.
Loaded with a big beef patty, caramelised onion, cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato, BBQ sauce and bourbon aioli and served with chips on the side I almost had food envy. Almost. The small bit of the patty I sampled was good with a nice texture and flavour and just the right amount of moistness.
The side salad was also delicious. It tasted very fresh and I think I saw the chef go out to a side garden to pick some ingredients for it (although I'm not one hundred percent sure on that). If I'm right though then you can't get much fresher than that.
[ADVERT]For dessert we indulged in a melting chocolate cake to share. It came served with butterscotch sauce, vanilla ice cream and nuts. In retrospect I want to say we shouldn't have ordered it because we were both so full for the rest of the day, but it tasted good so I don't know whether I can honestly wish that we didn't indulge.
Despite being very tasty, overall the chocolate cake didn't taste like it was baked there and the vanilla ice cream was slightly icy rather than creamy. The butterscotch sauce was pretty much divine, and all together it was a pretty good pub dessert while not exactly knocking it out of the park - although, perhaps my expectations were a bit too high after those fabulous mains.
I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to this hidden little gem and look forward to returning with a group of friends to soak up the sun in the beer-garden come summer. I'm happy to be in on the secret now and may have just found my new watering hole.