When? – 06/07/2012
Where? – The Quarry Hotel, 101 Lygon St. Brunswick East.
Price? - $16.90
Website? - http://www.quarryhotel.com.au/
Reviewers – Fridge, Lee, Nikki, Pat, Stefo
There is a bit of a story to how we ended up at The Quarry.
Our plan was to visit a brand new little pub on Sydney Rd called The Snug. We had heard great things about the food there and figured we’d head down and give it a go. There was only a small group so I didn’t make a booking, little did I know that The Snug lives up to its name… It was extremely snug, there were only a few of tables in the whole pub, and unfortunately they were all taken.
So what were we to do? The Snug is pretty much across the road from Bridie O’Reilly’s, but we had already visited Bridie’s two years prior (almost two years to the day! spooky). The Cornish Arms was up the road, but we had already tried there as well, so we figured we would go for a wander and see what popped up. Our first stop was the Brunswick Hotel, looked pretty good, great looking beer garden and a live band was setting up, however once we got in we realised they don’t actually serve food at the Brunswick Hotel, So out the door we went.
From the entrance of The Brunswick we could see the welcoming glow of a Carlton Draught sign down Weston st. We followed it down to find The Sporting Club, which did have a menu on the wall that looked quite promising. I thought we found it, until we realised the unthinkable - The Sporting Club didn’t have a parma on the menu (tragic)… as hungry as we were by this point, we pushed on.
Standing out in the cold I thought back to the list of pubs pinned to the wall in my office, and one pub sprang to mind. The Quarry. It had only been added recently, but it was pretty much exactly where we were, just one street over. so we hustled to our cars and headed up to Lygon St. and The Quarry.
We normally order our parmas at about 7, however by the time we got to the Quarry it was 7:45 and we could collectively eat the crotch out of a flock of low flying ducks (such a “dad” phrase). We went straight to the bar and ordered. Took our seat and concentrated on calming our nerves … it was a close call, but our parmas were on the way.
To be quite honest, I had low expectations for The Quarry, I had heard bad things about their parma from a few sources - but I was hoping against hope that they had lifted their game. A game of pool was played and a pot of Mountain Goat was downed while we waited, but before too long our meals landed in front of us.
I was pleasantly surprised when the food hit the table. The parma was sizable, thick, juicy, and had the most fantastic looking home made crumbs I’ve seen in quite some time (without confirmation I’d say they were literally made by blending bread, spices and baked in the oven. fantastic). The whole dish came out on a massive square plate with paprika sprinkled in the corner as a garnish, it looked quite impressive, and Reviewer Pat, who had tried the parma at the Quarry once before said that it wasn’t at all like the parma he had eaten previously, this one looked a lot better.
There was some slight nude schnitz around the edges that I didn’t worry too much about, as the schnitzel on its own was flavoursome enough to stand on its own without toppings. The cheese was delicious, despite being a bit overcooked and there was plenty of ham for those needing a pork fix - I normally don’t like a lot of ham on my parma, yet this one had quite a few slices and it managed to not overpower the dish in the least.
The napoli was fresh, rich, slightly peppery and I suspect also home made - but there was a ton of it, I’m not sure if it was caused by the cheese melting and contracting to the center of the parma, bringing the sauce in with it, but under the cheese was a river of napoli that some considered too much (Reviewer Nikki’s parma had far too much nap, which she resorted to scraping off the parma).
Instead of chips, we got wedges - which I am all for, who doesn’t love a good wedge?
They were tasty and did their job, however they were a bit undercooked and if I weren’t dipping them in my paprika garnish as I mentioned earlier, then I would’ve been jonezing for some seasoning, or some sour cream for dippage.
The garden salad of lettuce, onion, cucumber, tomato and carrot was pretty straightforward and scantily dressed with a creamy dressing. Not terrible but nothing noteworthy.
Clocking in at $16.90 this was one of the cheaper parma’s we have had in some time, especially on a non-special night. The Quarry has a great atmosphere, friendly staff, pool tables, and a parma that is both cheap-ish and high in quality, with a only a few minor issues holding it back; However for the price I would definitely recommend checking it out if you’re in the area.
Parma - 7.70
Chips - 6.60
Salad - 5.80
Value - 7.90
Total - 7.14
The search continues…