We were won over by the descriptions of burgers and chicken wings and fries so settled in for the afternoon at a free table in the corner.
BACON CHEESEBURGER - Char grilled brisket pattie w/ chopped onions, rocket, Kewpie mayo, tasty cheese, pickles, ball park mustard, in-house maple smoked bacon in a brioche bun
BASKET OF CHICKEN WINGS - we had two of these babies which meant 8 wings and shoestring fries
POUTINE - Fries with mushroom gravy and cheese curds
BBQ COUNTRY BRISKET SANDWICH - Inhouse smoked brisket w/ caramelised onions,
pickled beetroot, buttermilk sauce on a rustic sandwich roll (unpictured)
HAND CUT CHIPS – LARGE BOWL w/ soy aioli
MAC & CHEESE w/ chipotle, three cheese macaroni topped with pumpkin floss
The boys wanted a burger / sandwich as well as wings and Shern and I thought we would be ok on just wings. Food arrived quickly and I had already helped myself to an array of condiments including sriracha. I do love a good condiment selection!
So I find with American style food that I always look forward to it but it often disappoints. But overall this was good stuff. I took a large bite of Steve's burger and it was exactly how a good burger should be - meaty, beefy, juicy, contrasting textures of pattie, salad and bread, some creamy cheesiness and a cleansing tang of pickle. It also stayed together and didn't fall apart so credit for construction!
The chicken wings were also a hit. Giant sized with a sweet and sticky glaze but not overly sauced or flavoured, we all loved getting down and dirty with these.
Feelings on the poutine were a little mixed across the table. Jon doesn't do mushrooms and the gravy had hints of canned mushroom soup but this didn't seem to put him off. The texture of the sauce was a bit grainy for my taste and Shern found it a bit weird. I'm not sure cheese curds are the same as melted shredded mozzarella which is more what the cheese was like. I liked it generally but found the last few bits left went a bit overly soggy and salty - minor quibbles in the grand scheme of things but we're glad that the chicken wings came with un-poutined shoestring fries to dilute some of the richness of the gravy soaked ones and provide some less soggy options.
Macaroni cheese was well liked by us all. We all commented on the secret stealth spice hit of the chipotle that comes out of nowhere and the pumpkin bits on the top added a bit of welcome sweetness.
Jon commented his brisket sandwich wasn't quite as good as the burger in both construction stakes and it was a touch over beetrooted. The hand cut fries were a good chunky contrast to the shoe string fries. More roast potato than chip but we don't discriminate and welcome both roast potato and fries to our tummies!
There was a ranch dressing that came with the chicken wings which was very runny. That added to the mess we made as it dripped but flavour wise it was fresh and the notes of herbaceous dill running through it cut through some of the richness of the fried food.
It's quite a hip place this Tramway Hotel from bartender to clientele. It's a bit like when Steve tells people,"We live in Fitzroy. It's where all the cool kids are...and us!" And we love being part of Fitzroy even if we don't quite fit in. In the same way, we were comfortable in the Tramway even when everyone else there seemed to wear tighter jeans and have a lot more facial hairy! Like we don't discriminate between potato, they certainly didn't make us feel unwelcome and as a venue for a Sunday feed that isn't a roast, it's definitely a good option.