Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Railway Hotel

I've been travelling past the Railway Hotel in North Fitzroy every weekday for around 4 years now, and I have never really been tempted to go inside. One rather peculiar visit to the bottle shop put me off going back. The mixture of stark white linoleum, old men and decor which hasn't been updated since 1975 made me feel like I was invading a sanctum of sorts. It didn't really have the welcoming vibe.

Now, I'm going to put this out there, I'm kind of looking for a new local. Its been a few months since I have been located across the street from the Lomond, and the promises I made about always going back have been  broken. A recent visit to the bottle shop saw Jeff confessing to James how much he misses him...and I realised that I also have a gaping hole in my heart!

This review by the Age and a few reassuring words from my old neighbour were enough for me to coerce a few friends to have a pub meal on a Thursday night. Maybe the Railway could be the one...the Empress had failed me, maybe her homely neighbour could be the place for me....I was gunning for the Railway from the start. I WANTED it to be good.

I wanted it so bad that I wasn't put off by the kitchen closing at 8:30pm. And I wasn't put off by the Fluor lighting, or the lack of music...or the weird old guys ogling my girlfriends legs...I only saw $15 parma and $15 jug of beer and the hipsters lurking on the tables at the back of the restaurant. In retrospect, maybe this wasn't such a good sign.

Without going into to much negative detail, the parma was ok- nothing special. The wiener schnitzel is defiantly not top quality veal (and possibly not veal at all) and the chicken cacciatore was reportedly like eating a greasy pigeon. Not the good kind...the diseased kind that live at Flinders St Station. 

HOWEVER, I am not giving up on the Railway. It's certainly not going to take the place of the Lomond in my heart, but the pool table and beer garden look pretty appealing for a causal weekend afternoon. The beer garden is pretty impressive, and the beer is served cold.

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