Ink Bake Grill does a roaring lunch trade – on arrival, we joined a long queue so had plenty of time to decide on what we wanted to eat from their blackboard menu. I’d decided on the beef stroganoff pie, only to find that they’d sold out. Instead, I ordered the lamb and chardonnay ‘doggie’ (hot dog), served with honey mustard, tomatoes and sweet potato crisps ($11.50). Our food came out fairly quickly, considering how busy they were, and I was delighted by the pile of chips and jam-packed hot dog roll. It’s the kind of dish you can’t wait to get stuck into. I started with the chips, which were liberally seasoned with chicken salt, with just the right balance between crispy outside and soft, fluffy inside. Yum. The hot dog was equally delicious – the sweet potato crisps added a great contrasting crunch to the sausage, which had a great lamb flavour. The honey mustard was well complemented by gooey cheese, and everything was freshened up by the slices of fresh tomato. This is a really tasty, hearty meal on a cold day – I’ll be back for sure.
Ink Bake Grill, Shop 3, 7 Geils Court, Deakin ACT, http://www.inkbakegrill.com.au/
Lonsdale Street Eatery (LSR’s alter dinner ego) is one of the many serious meat-offering establishments of Canberra. They offer BYO (no corkage charge – we also had to BYO bottle opener!) and have a lovely outdoor seating area, perfect for warmer nights. We went on the first night of their new menu, and the waitress was really lovely about tracking down details for us when we had questions. In the end, we chose the buffalo wings, the ‘pitt bull’ hot dog and the royale with cheese burger, all served in fun, branded, disposable packaging. The wings were amazingly crispy and whilst they didn’t have as much meat on them as other wings I’ve had, the flavour more than made up for it. Caution – the spicy dipping sauce was too hot even for my chilli-loving Dad. The ‘pitt bull’ hot dog was quite good – I enjoyed it more than the one I’d had at Broddogs – with a good kick from the horseradish slaw and jalapeno salsa. But the pick of the bunch was the royale with cheese – this is the mother of all cheeseburgers, with a pillowy soft bun, dense, meaty patty and oozing melty cheese. So, so good.
Lonsdale Street Eatery, 23 Lonsdale Street, Braddon ACT http://lonsdalestreetroasters.com/
Broddogs is one of the more prominent, well-known food trucks at The Hamlet, originally set up in Belconnen, and I couldn’t go past it for my first visit to the food truck enclave. On recommendation from Fine Eating, I went for the Omi Dog – vienna frankfurt with a salad of onion, gruyere and mayonnaise dressing – and a side of chips. I waited about 5 minutes for my order (not bad at all really) and the first thing I noticed when sitting to eat was that the bun of the hot dog was hot, but the filling wasn’t. It made for an interesting contrast, with the sausage sliced up and mixed through the cold salad. I liked the raw onion flavour cutting through the otherwise creamy salad, but probably won’t order it again on a work day! The hot dog was very filling and the bun was nice and soft. Note to self: the serve of chips is massive and should be shared. They’re the same shoestring fries as Brodburger, with some magically delicious seasoning and no dipping sauce required. Whilst not as blow-your-mind good as Brodburger, Broddogs offers an affordable, filling hot dog served fast.
Broddogs, The Hamlet, 16 Lonsdale Street, Braddon ACT, no website