One of our favourite pubs has had a makeover; and it looks great. The old tired gardens are gone, replaced with improved seating, and the old stone wall is now exposed in a wonderful tribute to the history of the venue.
The food is largely unchanged, which is a good thing as their sensible pub grub lunches were one of the attractions. They’ve added an on-trend pulled pork burger with Sichuan pepper to the new menu. It’s almost the same as the old menu, with a few additions, and presumably a few things have been given the axe. I didn’t notice anything obviously missing, so it seems only those items that we didn’t like (or didn’t sell) are gone.
There are two things that keep us coming back to Dick’s. One is how kid friendly it is. Sure, lots of places are kid friendly now; but Dick’s takes it to another level. They have plentiful supplies of paper and crayons, they have highchairs (although we have moved out of that stage), and they have a really solid kid’s menu.
The kid’s menu has all the usual suspects, and sadly, no vegetables or salads. I guess that makes sense from a financial point of view if a side salad never gets eaten. I just find it a tad disappointing that (almost) every single place we eat doesn’t offer vegetables to children. The complete lack of expectation that kids might eat a carrot, or a cherry tomato on the side of their fish and chips annoys me. And burgers for kids, presented without beetroot, tomato or even one sad lettuce leaf? Surely, chefs around the country can step up their game. Make it standard as an inclusion, and kids might just surprise. This isn’t a criticism of Dick’s per say, more of a social commentary. The only place we’ve eaten recently that included vegetables for the children was the Hope and Anchor in Hobart – who included an awesome side salad with each meal. And our kids ate it all.
By contrast, the adult’s menu has plenty of vegetable options. However, if all of society’s kids grow up with restaurant meals that don’t include vegetables, how will they grow their palate so they can explore all the variety that is available for adults?
I had the pulled pork burger with coleslaw and Sichuan pepper sauce. Bismarck had the Angus burger. The older kids decided the ‘kids menu’ was too small, and had a pizza each; while the little two had the kid’s cheeseburger and the chicken tenders and chips.
The adult burgers were excellent, with the right mix of meat, salad and sauce. Both pizzas disappeared quickly down the gullets of the starving pre-teens. No3 thought the cheeseburger was a bit boring; just a meat patty, some melted cheese and ketchup. And No4 was too busy drawing to eat properly. We took hers home, and she had it for dinner!
Dick’s also has a solid range of craft beer, so Bismarck has plenty of choice.
The refurbished outside area. This is the other reason we love Dick’s. It has a massive (for the inner west) outside area, with half of it undercover. The historic stone walls invoke atmosphere, and the new décor suits the surroundings.