When? - 6th of October, 2011
Where? - The Local. 22-24 Bay St. Port Melbourne
Price? – $15 with a pot of Boags Thursdays ($19.90 normally)
Barry? - No
Website? - http://www.thelocalportmelbourne.com.au/
Reviewers – Adam, Cale, Lee, Matt, Nikki, Stefo[/info]
It had been ten years to the month since I had been through the doors of ‘The Local’. Back in October 2001 I was finishing year 12, had just turned eighteen, and my dad had his fiftieth birthday party at the very same location. It was a very (very) messy night and I’ve still got video footage of one of my 17 year old mates spewing in the dunny after trying to drink a pint of every beer they had on tap (although at the time it was an ‘Elephant and Wheelbarrow’)
Not much has changed in the past ten years, other than the name switch the pub still has a very ‘Elephant and Wheelbarrow’ feel to it - just with more TV’s (I’ll get to that in a moment)
Picture almost any Irish pub you’ve been to and you’re picturing The Local, Elephant & Wheelbarrow, Bridie O’Reillys, Waxy’s on the Gold Coast, they all share the same feel and if you’ve been to one you have been to them all. The thing that stands out about The Local is the sheer number of TV’s - I counted seven that I could see on the bottom floor alone, large Plasmas in each corner and even a personal TV in each booth lining the walls - This would be an awesome pub to watch the footy in, if the season hadn’t just finished.
We booked on the pubs website before we left, loaded up the parma bus, and arrived to our table waiting for us - a quick glance at the menu revealed that we had a choice ahead of us, as ‘Thursday Parma Night’ at The Local came with a few extras -
Although the Mexican looked damn tempting, I’m a traditionalist at heart so I went for the Classic parma, almost everyone at our table did the same apart from Reviewer Stefo who went with the Hawaiian and Reviewer Adam who opted for the Aussie.
Once again (as seems to be tradition) I forgot to start my stopwatch until a good 10 minutes after we ordered our food, but the parmas arrived before anybody complained, so it mustn’t have been too long of a wait -
The chicken was real chicken, thick and juicy (although thinning out in some parts), almost zero nude schnitzel with a great coverage of cheese. napoli and ham.
The ham served its purpose and the napoli was plentiful and tasty, however at times there was far too much, overpowering the taste of everything else. Most of the parmas were quite well cooked, however it seemed one or two of them could’ve used a couple more minutes under the grill, as the cheese wasn’t quite the golden brown goodness it could have been.
All in all it was a good effort, very tasty and with just a couple of tweaks it could be a great contender!
The Chips were good old fashioned pub chips, salted and sprinked with what looked like cracked pepper - they had the potential to be quite good however the time they spent under the chicken, and the proximity to the very well dressed salad caused the bottom layer of chips to become a soggy, balsamic vinegar-y mess.
Fortunately there was quite a healthy serving of chips, and the ones one top that escaped the drowning death of their chippy comerades wound up quite tasty, a little undersalted but the salt shaker on the table quicky fixed that.
Opinion on the salad was quite divided - Being a big onion fan I quite liked it, as the the garden salad of Rocket, cucumber, shallots, tomato and onion was extremely onion-heavy. As I mentioned earlier there was a heap of dressing and in my opinion it was quite tasty however some reviewers thought the constant insistance of rocket over real lettuce was a big let down, and to be honest I’m inclined to agree.
Now for something a little different! Rather than just listening to me go on and on about what I thought of the parma, Last night each reviewer in attendance received a score sheet with a ‘comments’ section, allowing them to voice their opinion! hopefully this will be a regular feature on Parma Daze as sometimes I don’t get the full spectrum of opinions from my parma compatriots!
Napoli overload seems to be a pretty common opinion. The quotes seem to have come off a tad negative so I will say this - its a damn fine parma! and at only $15 with a free pot its fantastic value, and with the option of novelty parmas it makes an all round great deal.
On a regular night the parma rings in at $19.90, which isn’t too bad, The Mexican parma is still an option on the menu on regular nights however that option rings in at $22, now thats a little too expensive in my opinion, especially since the ham is removed from the mexican option.
Overall a very decent parma with some minor issues which are very easy to overlook when it has a $15 price tag and a free pot thrown in for good measure - would definitely have again!
Parma - 7.42
Chips - 6.67
Salad - 4.50
Value - 8.08
Total - 6.82
The search continues…