Pub Of The Week review: Tony Leonard visits the Pascoe Vale Hotel
PUB: Pascoe Vale Hotel.
WHERE? 12 Railway Parade, Pascoe Vale.
PHONE: 9375 9800
WHEN? January 27, 2017.
Second review. (first circa 2005).
Since the last visit, the Pascoe Vale Hotel (aka Paco) has had some walls knocked out, plenty spent on patron comfort, new outdoor area for the punters and the result is an absolute winner.
The pub is part of the ALH/Woolworths group, but unlike others that dominate the ‘burbs under this group, the Paco goes to a different drum and has an autonomy to go outside the template of pubs of this type, i.e., Big sports bar, Pokies, Standard food and drink menus.
Maybe given its slightly off the beat location and medium size, the Paco doesn’t fall into the suburban barn category, (it is not quite intimate inner suburban local either).
From the rear car park, you enter into the bistro (large, cavernous, maybe 150-200 seater) and it looks like most you have seen, only newer.
Big sports bar for the horses, discrete pokies area, big public bar which opens out onto the garden and from here music legends like Captain Spalding (God bless him) play to full houses on Sundays.
The food is good pub grub, staff is excellent, the pubs ticks over very well.
The menu is fairly standard of ALH pubs, but to be fair there is one or two things that cause you to take a second glance e.g., King Avo Parma, chicken breast topped with avocado, bacon, prawns & mozzarella then finished with a drizzle of rich hollandaise. $25.
How does a Ricotta & Roast Vegetable Lasagne of Eggplant, zucchini, sweet potato & pumpkin layered in a tomato ragu with ricotta and topped with mozzarella then served with chips and salad?. Yep. $21. Good sized burgers around $20, Parmas from $23, Steak from $23.
Entrees ($12 but limited) , Mains $24, Desserts $8.
Trio of Sliders, $15. Fresh Calamari, Juicy Beef & Tender Pulled Pork. What a neat start, with all 3 well presented, providing a good taste, and a clear nod that any of these 3 could be ordered as a main with confidence.
Graziers Rump, 250gm. $23. Reliable cut, as ordered MR, chips and salad fine. Good shopping for a fully plated meal.
Tuna Steak, crushed potatoes, vegetable caponata, avocado salsa. $25. Nice surprise to see this on a menu.
Steak was closer to medium (no probs though) and the remaining elements were fresh and supported the Tuna well. Another good meal.
The Paco has a fearsome reputation of serving the best draught in the northern suburbs and one which it covets. On Australia Day you want to get it right – they do.
Take note big pubs – send your team out here and get a lesson on consistent pouring.
Wine sticks to known favourites – DeBortoli Windy Peak, Devils Lair.
An acme of the industry – Pewsey Vale Riesling – at $8.5/glass was the preferred.
SERVICE AND STYLE
Both warm and efficient, something not always in evidence at pubs of this nature.
The managers and staff make a real effort to get to know you, and nothing seemed too much trouble. ***Surcharge of 10% on food for Public Holiday? Hmmm.
Decision out of the pubs hand so c’mon head office!
There is a comparison between suburban pubs with pokies that can be done here and the Paco is better than most, if not all.
The fitout is fabulous, food/drink has a better edge than its brethren, and the feel – something lacking in most due to size – is very much one of community.
A local for the locals for sure, but moreover one with confidence that you can go to due to the can do attitude of everyone there.
A good start to the year.