Donnybrook Hotel

Pub:                       Donnybrook Hotel
Where:                 Donnybrook Rd., Donnybrook
Phone:                 9745 2380
Date:                     24 February 2012
Score:                   12.5/20
Internet:              www.donnypub.com

OVERVIEW:

If you like your meals big, and I mean big, read on.

If you like an intangible like “country hospitality”, then stay with me, because I have one for you.

And finally, if you like the idea of a Sunday drive, for a sunday roast in a pub, and get change from a tenner, then I have your go to guy.

Welcome readers to the Donnybrook hotel, a generous, good old fashioned country pub, 40kms from town up the Hume hwy, which for the moment is still pretty rural, but the expanses of Cragieburn loom large in the foreground.

Love an owner/operator pub, and here the current guvnors have carved out a niche amongst locals near and far as a place for good, honest, big feed.

No Tab, No pokies, Big beer garden/play area for the kids, be assured places like the Donnybrook are the last of the mohicans.

And best of all, they are doing well.

PRICES:

Entrees:               $10
Mains:                  $22
Desserts:             $5
Wine:                    $23

COMMENTS:

Ok, the pub won’t appear in the Age Good food guide.  But there is a charm to the Donnybrook and, on entering, you feel the love.  Beer was terrific and the offer of a pot with/without a handle is cause for debate amongst seasoned drinkers.  (no handle for me ftr). 

The dining room is split into 3 rooms – white, green and red.  There is no unanimity with the fixtures and fitting and we were seated in “red’ room with its red moulded plastic chairs.

The menu covers the popular bases and in keeping with the pub’s reputation, I was startled at the amount of food on the plate.  The most jaw dropping was the kids “snags, chips and gravy”.  Never before have I seen snags the size of those (2 for $8.50) with the supporting cast equally monstrous.

The 700g porterhouse is $28, 600g T-Bone is $30, 500g rib eye is $29. What secret ingredients are the cattle on out there?

No wine list as such, just pick one from the rack and it will cost between $20-26.

It’s that sort of place.

TRIED:

- Eye fillet, 250g, with vegetables - $28.  Asked for rare and that’s how it came. Meat was good, not great to be honest, but the vegtables – 3 potatoes, 3 pumpkins, Cauliflower, Beans, Carrots.  Just looking at it almost caused me to lose my appetite, (but didn’t)

- Tempura Flathead tails, salad and chips - $20.  5 long fingers, tasty and cooked hot.  Good.  Salad, plentiful; chips massive serve.  Well what else would you expect!

- Hide and Seek Shiraz (Nagambie).  $26.  Young (2010) but not a bad drop.  Good to see they are supporting the locals.

SUMMARY:

My wife ordered the steak rare.  The waitress innocently,  said..”we don’t get too many woman ordering rare in here”. God bless her

You cannot help but peer at what the other tables are having. The pork chops at $18 amounted to two prehistoric pigs being served up;  the kids ice cream at $4, with either a frog or topping had at least 3 scoops, maybe 4.

Before anyone turns the noses up, here’s the rub.  I asked how busy the pub gets.  ‘Oh we’re quiet today and only doing about 90 covers.  Last night it was 130 and last week we did about 180 on the Sunday’ , I was told

These are numbers any small owner/operator pub would kill for.  Good luck to the Donny; I had an experience I won’t forget.

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