New West End establishment The Burrow is a coffee house, pizza joint, wine bar, cafe, and craft beer and cider specialist, all rolled into one.
Add friendly owners, cool music and an 'everybody's welcome' vibe, and you have an unusual combination of offerings that you can't find many other places in the suburb.
I sampled The Burrow last Saturday night, just a few days after it opened. It's taken up residence opposite Coles Supermarket on Mollison Street, in the building previously occupied by The Ottoman Turkish cafe. With a fresh fit-out that features lots of exposed wood and communal tables, it's an inviting space.
My companion and I lobbed in at about 6.30pm and joined a bunch of families enjoying an early-evening dinner. With 20 pizzas to choose from (ranging from $15-$22), we were tempted by traditional offerings like the Margherita and Pepperoni, but also by unusual combinations like the eatery's signature pizza, The Burrow (confit rabbit, green olive, basil). There were plenty of vego options, and gluten-free bases available for $2 extra.
The dinner menu also includes bread and dips ($9), an antipasto platter ($12), salads ($9-$12) and beer-battered chips ($5). In the end, we went with pizzas: for me, a Peawee (garlic prawns, chilli, pea, basil), while my fellow-diner had the PNG (prosciutto, nashi pear and gorgonzola). Fussy customers that we were, we asked for no chilli on the Peawee, and no nashi or gorgonzola on the PNG! Our friendly waitress was happy to oblige, and whisked our order off to the kitchen.
With food sorted, we turned to drinks. The Burrow offers around 20 red, white and sparkling wines, from $6.50/glass or $29/bottle. It features a thoughtful selection from around the world, including offerings from South Australian vintners Some Young Punks (which I love for their labels alone).
If your fancy runs more to beer and cider, you're spoilt for choice. The Burrow has feature beers on tap each week, and stocks more than 30 bottled craft beers, including everything from India Pale Ales to stouts, fruit beer and more ($5.50 to $8 per glass). Cider-drinkers should also rejoice, with more than a dozen cider varieties to choose from (all under $10 -- add $2 if you want to be brave and try a Vanilla Cider Spider). Basic spirits and cocktails are also available.
My companion and I decided to go non-alcoholic, ordering fresh apple and watermelon juices respectively ($5). They were delivered in just a few minutes, big and fresh and the perfect accompaniment to our pizzas, which arrived soon after.
Our pizzas were very good, with light yet substantial bases (neither ultra-thin nor thick and doughy). My prawns were fat and flavoursome, unlike many rubbery pizza-prawns that I've endured, and well-balanced by the flavour of the accompanying peas. My companion's prosciutto was also of good quality, and the servings were generous - neither of us could finish our meals, and groaned to a halt about five slices in.
While we waited for our food to digest, and got a box to pack our leftovers in to take home, we chatted with The Burrow's four lovely co-owners -- Alan and Sarah, who have a restaurant background, and Noni and David, who are new to the game.
They were a friendly bunch, welcoming and keen to create a dining and drink experience that works for a wide range of customers. David also has the distinction of making the only cafe music mix that I haven't wanted to turn off, with a selection of great tracks that had me anticipating what would come on next. It's this attention to detail that seems to flow through The Burrow, with a degree of care evident in the fit-out and food and drink selection that many other eateries lack.
Our chat also revealed that The Burrow offers a breakfast menu (6.30-11.30am) that includes everything from granola to savoury mince and 'beer baked beans', and a lunch menu (12-2.30pm) with pizzas, burgers and the like. And they offer specialty coffee, good tea, smoothies, etc., etc.
So - this is a joint that can cater for everything from an early morning breakfast to a quiet beer or wine after work, from a family pizza night to a post-clubbing chow down and coffee.
And the name? Well, co-owner Alan said they chose 'The Burrow' because of its cosy, welcoming feel. And, based on my dining experience, they got it just right.