Arbory Bar Goes American for Independence Day
In America, Independence Day (04 July) is synonymous with BBQs, beer, fireworks and great American Music. The Arbory Bar and Eatery managed to successfully pull off its own version of Independence Day and The World Loves Melbourne was invited to spend the afternoon paying homage to all things American.
The Arbory turned the former Flinders Street terminus into Melbourne's longest outdoor bar and eatery earlier this year. It was a chilly day to be eating outside but the cool temperature and rain didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits. The staff was well prepared with umbrellas, heating lamps, blankets, and Soul Time DJ, Vince Peach played some American classics that kept the energy going all afternoon.
Executive Chef Nick Bennett headed up the menu and put together a snapshot of typical “American" cuisine. The two-course meal was paired together with a selection of American wines and beer. Most started off with the Brooklyn Lager from New York then slowly moved into the wines. The Byron ‘Santa Barbara’ Chardonnay from California brought out the flavour in the lighter dishes and the Underwood Pinot Noir Oregon went exceptionally well with the meats.
We started off with the freshly shucked oysters and chorizo corn dog with jalapeno mayonnaise.
The oysters were nice, firm and slippery and the twist on the mini American corn dog brought more zest and spice than a simple hot dog.
The rest of the food was served ‘share plate’ style. Red meat is beloved in America so we expected nothing less than the Smokey BBQ pork ribs, beef brisket and cheese kransky. It was a lot of meat but each was cooked distinctly and some even on the Yoder Smoker. The favourite at the table was the beef brisket. It can be a tricky meat to cook but it came out moist and tender with a tangy BBQ sauce on top.
Shortly after, the Mac N Cheese, Coleslaw and Chilli cheese fries arrived. In true American fashion the Mac N Cheese was gooey, rich and creamy with baked breadcrumbs on top. The Coleslaw was suitably tangy and fresh, and ensured we got some of our vegetable intake. The Chilli cheese fries were delicious; lightly seasoned and topped with cheese, more cheese, chilli and spring onions.
If that wasn’t enough food we still had the Southern fried chicken wings to imbibe. Now, Americans take their fried chicken seriously and it’s all about the outer coating. This one struck a balance with the right amount of crispiness and saltiness. The chicken was so good that I forgot about the Mississippi comeback sauce. The wait staff walked back with empty sauce containers so it’s fair to say that the sauce was a hit.
We’re sure that not a single person left hungry and impressed with a top notch American style lunch celebration. Hat’s off to the Arbory. You’ve made Uncle Sam proud.