High Country / Travel

The high country: eating out in Beechworth (pt 2)

Whew! It’s been a while but I’m finally up to part 2 of our high country trip. If you’d like to read part 1, it’s here.

Our first night in Beechworth, Mum and I dined at The Green Shed, housed in a former printery on Camp Street in central Beechworth.

The Green Shed was pretty empty when we arrived at about 7pm on the Thursday night, and it didn’t get much busier while we were there – a couple of solo diners came in and that was about it really. Fair cop though, it seems that Friday and Saturday nights are the nights to go out in Beechworth.

The green shed, Beechworth

Former printery (1891), current good looking restaurant

They had a special deal which was $45 for two courses, and we went for it so we could order four different dishes and share them 50-50 each way.  Of the four, my favourites were probably the sardines with harissa (top picture) and the cauliflower pie dish.

We were wondering whether we had ordered enough food to fill us up (at $45 a head we kind of expect that!) but luckily the banana chillies with thai fish cake dish was ample and the rice finished us off nicely! No bread served as part of our meal, which was an omission I think. Although the menu does lean more towards Asian-inspired dishes, I do like a nice bit of bread and butter to come with my meal, and up near Beechworth I’m sure the butter is astoundingly good!

The Green Shed, Beechworth

Vine wrapped sardine fillets with pearl cous cous tabouli, harissa & toasted sesame flat bread

The Green Shed, Beechworth

Spiced cauliflower pie, house made saffron ricotta, smoked paprika grape tomatoes & toasted almonds

The Green Shed, Beechworth

Baked baby squid filled with butted apple & cinnamon cous cous with a shaved fennel, orange salad & parsley puree

The Green Shed, Beechworth

Steamed banana chillies with Thai fish cake filling, jasmine rice & green curry sauce

We also had a nice wine to drink and all in all felt pretty special for our first night in Beechworth. The waitress was lovely and although the atmosphere would have been a lot better had the restaurant been more full, overall we did enjoy our meal. The price however, does seem to lean more towards the ‘fine dining’ end of the spectrum, while the food was not quite there but still very enjoyable.

I hope the Green Shed does well in Beechworth. I think they’d need to rely on a lot of tourist trade, because – and I’m generalising here without any knowledge really, ’tis the beauty of having a blog – I think it’d probably be too expensive to eat out at regularly for locals.

Thegreenshed on Urbanspoon

So our second morning after having the ginormous breakfast the motel provided, we knew we had to do something drastic in order to be hungry for lunch. Isn’t that always the way with travelling? Or is that just the way I travel? Basically planning out my day between meals – what can I do in order to be hungry for lunch/work off breakfast?

We went exploring in the Beechworth Gorge and Beechworth National Park. It’s quite easy to lose yourself in the park and indeed we did, emerging a little hot and sweaty from the forest 2.5 hours later and ready for some more civilised activity like shopping, and eating. We checked out a couple of shops on the main street, but quickly crunched our way down the gravel drive of the Bridge Road Brewery in search of sustenance.

Bridge Road Brewers

Scrumpy cider and an american pale ale. The scrumpy cider was VERY dry and after having a sip of Mum’s APA I regretted my choice…

I checked us in on Facebook and one of my friends commented, “I hope you’re having the pretzels.” Apparently pretzels at Bridge Road Brewery are a Well Known Thing!

Way ahead of you Dan. Wayyyyyy ahead of you.

Bridge Road Brewers

Pretzel (half eaten) with “bavarian dip”

The pretzel was insanely delicious in the way all doughy twisty things encrusted with giant salt flakes can be.

We also shared a large pizza for our lunch, which was the Morrison St Butchers sausage with tomato, bocconcini, caramelised onions, fresh tomato and mustard sauce drizzle. It was fantastic. I’ve never had mustard sauce on a pizza, and I doubt it works more than 10% of the time, but luckily this was one of those times.

Bridge Road Brewers

Sausage pizza

I would not hesitate in recommending a visit to Bridge Road Brewers during your stay in Beechworth. Apparently they are now opening nights on weekends, which gave Mum and I pause: do we go back there again or do we try somewhere new? (Next time, I’d just go back!)

Service was great too and we bought a mixed six pack of the beers to take home, as well as a lunch-dessert:

Bridge Road Brewers

And then this happened: Gundowring (local) ice cream

Bridge Road Brewers

Lemon curd flavour for the win!

Bridge Road Brewers on Urbanspoon

Before going out for dinner the second night we had a cheeky Brown Brothers prosecco, blue cheese and fig cracker moment in the motel room. This kind of ruined us for our actual dinner, but was a delicious snack and damnit I had no regrets.

A cheeky Brown Brothers (local!) prosecco and blue cheese in the motel room

A cheeky Brown Brothers (local!) prosecco and blue cheese in the motel room

Given we lashed out a bit the first night, we thought we’d go to one of the local pubs the next night. The Hibernian Hotel is one of those classic, old-school pubs with a dining room reminiscent of an RSL. Not that that’s bad or anything – they were certainly packing in the punters on the Friday night.

Hibernian Hotel

Pretty standard hotel bistro interior

We ordered some local drinks – Beechworth cider, which was excellent. Beechworth Cider comes from the Amulet Vineyard.  I just ran my eye down the list of stockists on their website and the closest one to us Outer Easties is First Choice in Burwood East (near the 24 hour Kmart).

However, I note they have an offer on their website: if you can convince your local wine shop / bar / whatever to start stocking Beechworth Cider, they’ll give you a case for free! Hmmm… this gives me some ideas… anyway the link to their website is here if you think you can achieve said goal.

Hibernian hotel

Beechworth Cider at the Hibernian Hotel

I also really enjoyed the cider label (refer ingredients below).

Beechworth Cider

Check out the ingredients!

Mum did the right thing given we had gorged ourselves on cheese beforehand and ordered a light dinner, the chickpea fritters. (All meals on Friday nights come with unlimited veggies from the bain marie as well, which were standard steamed vege sides and cauliflower cheese.)

Hibernian Hotel, Beechworth

Chickpea fritters with rocket, parmesan and spanish onion and tsatsiki ($20)

I did completely the wrong thing and ordered a really heavy meal which I struggled to finish, but did anyway (REGRET!).

I thought I was ordering a crumbed chicken kiev breast (you know, like what’s found in the supermarket freezer section) but I got a huge pan-fried breast covered with this cream-cheesy garlic sauce and a sad sprig of parsley. The sauce made a pretty terrific chip dip but the overwhelming sensation was “I am killing myself with this dish” – too heavy, too unhealthy, and everything was beige.

Nevertheless, if you can overlook the guilt and go in with a good appetite (perhaps earned from cycling the Beechworth to Bright rail trail, that’s on my bucket list now), it was pretty yummy.

Hibernian Hotel, Beechworth

Chicken kiev with creamy garlic sauce ($23)

Hibernian Hotel Beechworth on Urbanspoon

That’s it for Beechworth folks…. stay tuned for part 3 where we hit Myrtleford and Bright!

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