Blarney Stone Irish Pub

4 Comments

35 Anderson St, Yarraville. Phone: 9687 2034

We’ve had a heap of meals at our local pub over the years.

None of them have been great, some of them have been good, some of them have been just OK, some of them we’ve said rude things about.

But where we were once rather dismissive of the pub fare on offer, we are now converts – of a sort.

The catalyst for this is a chilly mid-week night.

We feel like a break from the arduous work/school/eat/sleep routine.

We don’t feel like cooking. We do feel like a quick, cheap feed.

But nor do we feel like hopping in the car for a jaunt to Footscray.

So off we go to peruse our back-yard options.

After examining the bar menu at the pub, and going “Nah, not this time”, we stroll around the corner to Ballarat St.

We check out no less than five menus, and are dismayed to find them all beyond our mood or means.

We’ve become accustomed to the super-cheapness of Lebanese pizzas, so paying $16 or more for an Italian version doesn’t appeal.

Nor do we feel up to paying $24 for pasta.

And so on … and that’s just half the Ballarat St options, but I doubt the rest offer much variation.

Truth is, while Yarraville has myriad good food possibilities, it is sorely lacking the sort of choices that allow us to grab a quick and healthy bite for under $10 each – so easily had in Footscray.

Even at Nando’s or Burger Edge, the bill can exceed budgets, especially when a full-on meal is sought.

And the fish and chip shop lacks seating facilities.

So back to the pub we go.

It still has a metal sign that reads Railway Hotel under the Blarney Stone painted signage.

And therein lies its charm.

While it got swept up in the bloody silly Irish-themed pub syndrome that swept across Melbourne several years ago, nothing has changed.

Sure there’s a bit of Irish artwork around the place, and maybe a few more backpackers and travellers come and go, but basically it remains a well-worn home of a steady and loyal and mostly blue-collar crowd.

No pokies, but much beer and punting

As a holdout amid the solid yuppieness that surrounds it, the Blarney Stone/Railway Hotel is to be treasured.

And as such, applying any of our usual foodie standards – be they concerned with flavour, healthiness or pricing – seems both superfluous and ridiculous.

Even here, though, the bistro is a but rich for us, so the bar menu it is.

Bennie goes for the $12 burger – not for the first time.

This time around, it’s a tidy package that holds together well. It’s more in the style of an Aussie burger than its American counterpart, but he makes quick work of the lot, so to speak. All the chips follow likewise.

I order the chicken parma with chips and salad at a cost of $13.

This is less successful.

Disappointingly, the salad bits are little more the inconsequential embellishment.

The chicken is moist, but more like your typical chicken breast than a flattened piece of chook, parma-style. The very thin slice of ham add a surprising level of flavour and goes well with the cheese and bol sauce.

It’s an unusual option for me to pursue, so obviously I’m no expert. But I suspect it’d fall short of raising robust enthusiasm from hardened parma fans.

Still, it suffices. And the chips are fine.

Presumably, this could be ordered for $10 on a Thursday, which is Parma Night.

Tuesdays are anointed Locals Night and Wednesdays Pasta Night.

Our “local” will never be cherished among our favourites, but sometimes it’s just right.

And for dad at least, it is a handy stopover for a post-work or pre-footy beer.

Take it as it is or not at all.

Blarney Stone Irish Pub on Urbanspoon

4 thoughts on “Blarney Stone Irish Pub

  1. Maaate! The locals night is a great deal. I got introduced to it by my landlady Brenda Bedford, who lives in the crumbling manor house over on Willis Street? (Wonder whether she’s still there? She was friendly at first, but then showed her skinflint side with tricks like expecting us to pay $5 for doing a load of laundry if we put through more than one wash a week.)

    Glad to see they still have it. During the five or so months I was living stag in Y’ville, before Carol came down, I hit the Stone several times for the cheapo meals. Not because I couldn’t afford better, being a CUS (cashed-up Seppo) but because the daggy old pub was the real deal. It was at the Stone that I had my first Aussie burger with the lot. I wasn’t surprised at the beetroot on top — I knew that was a Strine thing — but what struck me as weird was how your burgers are compounded with fillers, like they were meatloaf between a bun.

    Looks like things are still doing it tough with the journo trade? I loved it when I was in that racket; it was my chosen career, but the nooz biz shat me out too. The arse-wiping work still goes well here in Canuckrainia, and the best thing is, I don’t have to swipe shite off sick peoples’ bums any more because I got a transfer to the psych ward! All I do is talk with the schizos (who did NOT get that way from marijuana) and occasionally call in security guards if they get stroppy and I have to stick them with syringes. It’s even easier working there than where I was at the Royal Melbourne, which had previously been the cushiest nursing job I ever had. (That was one of many reasons that I loved it in Oz. Bugger all that Carol hated it so much, bloody fascist copper dragnets and all.)

    • Hello there, Bukko … I must concede it was also your strident defence of the Blarney Stone at Urbanspoon that led me to re-assess my own attitudes.

      The journo trade in Oz is going through difficult and changing times, the latest bombshell being Fairfax’s immediate sacking of pretty much the entire sub-editing staff of the Age and SMH. I continue to inch slowly towards a life allied to but perhaps not so dependent on the big guys.

      • Hah! Glad to have inspired you. I’ve been on an Urbanspoon kick recently. Going back over restos from Vic and other Aussie states to do reviews (even though it was 2006-2009 when I was eating at these places, not sure if it’s valid to be writing them up now) is a pleasant trip down memory lane.

        Carol and I keep a “wine journal” where we write details about bottles, meals and events. I can cite you the date of all those Deadhead parties! So that provides a basis for reliving past repasts. No sensible reason why, just an ego trip because I like to blort out the written word.

        I was one of the writin’ wretches you like to take the piss at when I was in newspapers during the 1980s-early 90s. Bugger all that they’re “rationalising” so bloody hard Down Under. Inevitable evil of modern corporatocracy — gotta keep sacking staff to keep the profit margins rising and to funnel money to the bondholders, eh? Until we’re all so hollowed out that we collapse.

        It’ll come to Canada too. All the major newspapers in this country are owned by the right-wing corporation that’s the successor to Conrad Black, that crooked bastard who was even more venal that Rupert of Mordor. We don’t subscribe to any paper on account of that. I still read The Age online (not the Hun, thank you!) to keep up on Aussie affairs.

        Lack of proppa copy editors led to that scandal with the naughty puzzle answers in Canberra, didn’t it? Brilliant! I got a chuckle out of that, even though the bloke who pulled that got sacked, eh?

        Anyway, nice to find out you have a blog. I’ll check it out from time to time. I agree with your views on food a lot more than I do your politics. Say hello for us to any of the Deadhead gang you see. Carol’s in San Francisco at this moment to see the band that Lesh and that other Weir fellow have organised. Still at it. Her AND them.

      • “I agree with your views on food a lot more than I do your politics.”

        Ha! Good one! Yeah, well I take the former a whole helluva lot more seriously – in a fun sort of way – than I do the latter.

        The Dedhead Gang is a little moribund at the moment, though I see Kurt regularly, and have roped him into chow/blog duties a couple of times. He’s pretty busy with the wine bar, which seems to be going OK. I stay in touch with Tony, too

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