Mixed Grill.jpgI am a city girl, I love the noise, the pace and the variety that a city offers… Until I moved here to Arizona, I had been living smack bang in the center of Melbourne city… The strange thing is, is that I grew up in the country. Small town Queensland. When we moved from first small town to second small town (of 10,000 people) when I was 14 I was so excited because they had traffic lights and fast food places… McDonald’s, KFC, Red Rooster… What a metropolis! I would never move back to live in a small country town but I love visiting and my parents still live in a small town so I get plenty of fresh air, country hospitality and good food when I visit them.

One of the great things I find about Australian small country towns is that there is always a good pub. At least one, sometimes 3, even 4 or more sometimes! You are never short of a pub in the country. The food at these out of the way pubs can often be some of the best, largest and most delicious pub food you will ever get. Meat so fresh you would think they had just carved it off a cow, servings so large to help fill the hole that country air seems to create. They would give many city pubs a run for their money when it comes to their food… not to mention their cheap drink prices.

Lamb Shanks.jpg

The Saturday night after we got back to Australia we had driven up to Mum and Dad’s and decided on the way we wanted to go to Meringandan Pub. This is a tiny, tiny little “town” about 10 minutes from my parent’s house and 15 minutes from a pretty big city (by Australian standards) but they have possibly the best pub food I have ever eaten!

The four of us, J., my parents and I headed off for our yummy meal. J. had decided to take on the challenge of the mixed grill that many have tried but failed to finish. I um’ed and ah’ed but finally decided to go with the surf and turf option. My Mum went with braised lamb shanks and Dad went with the bone-in rib eye.

I went up and ordered for us all and of course it is never as simple as that… the questions began… how would you like it, what kind of sauce; veggies or salad & chips??? So many options to go along with our meat… lots and lots of meat!

Surf & Turf.jpg

Let’s start with the smallest meal – Mum’s lamb shanks were quite scrumptious. Nice and tender – the meat falling off the bone. She had veggies with her shanks, there were a variety of veggies, including potato done two ways… mashed and roasted. I think she was very happy with her selection.

My surf and turf was unbelievable… it came with a mountain of beer battered chips, a great garden salad and then the meat… I a couple of battered prawns and some crispy calamari on top of a huge perfectly cooked medium rare steak. I had a chosen the pepper sauce and it was great for dipping both the chips and steak in. I was unbelievably happy with this. The meal was so big I didn’t even come close to finishing it, the steak was hanging off the plate it was sooo big. I just have to say though that the chips were amazing and I just couldn’t stop eating them!

Dad had his rib eye on the bone, also with chips, salad and pepper sauce (we weren’t so original with the sauce choices). His steak was huge as well and perfectly cooked. That is something I have found at this pub – you never get a badly cooked steak!Rib on the bone.jpg

Last but certainly not least was the monster of all meals, J’s MIXED GRILL!!!! A plate piled high with salad and chips and then stacked with a steak, a lamb chop, a pork chop, a beef sausage and some bacon just to top it all off! J also got the pepper sauce just as a side note. Now my uncle has tried to finish this as have some other friends of ours but no one has ever succeeded… until now! J attacked it with a vengeance… head down, no conversation, he was a man focused and obsessed!

I was so proud of my man for conquering the mixed grill and it was enjoyed at the same time. He said it was great steak (he usually refuses to eat steak outside of our own home) and the rest of the meat was just delicious. He couldn’t believe how tasty the pepper sauce was either – who knew it would be that yummy!

Our dinner here was just fantastic… everytime we go home to visit my parents now we will definitely make a stop off here. If you are ever in Queensland – out near Toowoomba – stop here, get some lunch or dinner… just be prepared to sleep off a feast in your car afterwards if you have to keep on driving! Another great pub with fabulous food in a small country town… unbelievable!

Let me know if you know of any great country pubs with amazing food for our next trip home!

  1. And I miss the pubs from when I lived in the UK. Why doesn’t the U.S. have them???

    When I first moved to England, it took me a while to figure out that you were “going to THE pub” when it was the one in your village, and the pub had a name if it was elsewhere. Nearly every village had a pub. A wonderful thing. Perhaps I should open one in my own town….

  2. kidlets2 says:

    This all looks delicious! I hope to one day visit Australia. My 9 year old daughter is obsessed with a show we stumbled upon on Netflix that was filmed there, H2O Just Add Water. I can’t wait to try some yummy pub food one day.

  3. Ali says:

    I grew up on a farm in country South Australia, and agree, I could never live in a small town again, but I do love going back to visit. It’s lovely to have a place to escape the business of city life (not that Adelaide is really “citylife” compared to Melbourne and Brisbane, but it is when compared to living on a farm! Every country town should have at least one good pub!

  4. It does look good, and I’ll be able to sample some Australian pub food myself as we’re going on a vacation to Australia in September. We’ll drive all the way from Darwin to Adelaide in a campervan, so let me know if you know any good pubs along the Stuart Hwy 😉 I’ll probably be doing quite a bit of my own cooking as well along the way.

  5. Pheebz says:

    Looks so yum – craving pub food now! The dangers of reading food blogs 😉

  6. Iain says:

    I used to live in Sydney back in 1980’s and have very fond memories of Australian pub food. In fact Aussie food in general, so much variety and great ingredients. There used to be a very cheap and cheerful Italian place called “No Names” I think.

  7. paulheels says:

    I’ll take a to-go plate next time. Thanks

  8. judilyn says:

    Australia is on my travel agenda . . . but will I ever get there? Hope so – even if just to go to this pub. Putting Toowoomba on my “must see” list, fur sure!!

  9. oh wow great recs! i agree that country food can be way better than city food, they have access to such great produce! i might have to stop by there sometime when I’m out to toowoomba next!

  10. mirkit1 says:

    It looks so good! I had to stop reading halfway through and go up and finish the steak I made last night, I got so hungry! But I have a question. If you call what we Americans know as “fries” chips, what do you call potato chips? I’ve always wondered…

    • We generally call them chips or potato chips… if you wanted to truly distinguish we might call “fries” hot chips and the other just chips… I know confusing!

      • James says:

        By the way, how do Aussies pronounce the word “fillet” when used as a noun? Is the 2nd syllable not pronounced the same was as “ballet” and “buffet”?

        Yet when the word “fillet” is used as a verb, it’s pronounced the same way as “ballet” and “buffet”… I don’t get it.

  11. Vanessa says:

    Quite exciting to read about somewhere I have actually eaten too……

  12. suth2 says:

    There’s no place quite like Australia. Love it.

  13. mawarre says:

    What a great memory. As a former Toowoomba girl myself, I think I will be making a trip to that pub next time I am visiting my mother-in-law. Yum Yum. Good place to take teenaged sons, too. Bet they wouldn’t be defeated by anything served up to them!

  14. Great steaks, this is the kind of meat that made me turn my back on vegetarianism… Thanks, Tracey

  15. *drool* Those pics are the epitome of good pub grub! Adelaide is like a big country town that is classified as a capital city – and we certainly have a great number of pubs! I think we are quite fortunately in Australia that our pubs do have access to great produce which results in great meals. I’ll have to make note of this pub so I can visit if I get a chance to stop by Toowoomba.

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