When? - 18th of August, 2010
Where? - 175 Elgin St. Carlton
Price? - $12.50 Wednesday Parma night, $15 with a pot.
Barry? - Yes
Website? - http://www.puggmahones.com.au/
Reviewers - Cale, Lee, Ness, Nikki, Shanan, Stefo, Tanya, Tony Q[/info]
**EDIT** Just got word that Pugg Mahones has closed it's doors as of January 2014. You will be missed Puggs! I never got my name on your 100 pints club wall. What a shame...**
We haven’t done too well with Irish pubs in the past - Bridie O’reillys, The Quiet Man & Dan O’connell’s parmas have ranged from ‘not great’ to ‘okay… I guess’, but when we heard that Pugg Mahones in Carlton were running a $12.50 parma night it was something we had to try (it also helped that Puggs is one of my personal favourite bars in Melbourne)
We rocked up at about seven to a fairly empty pub, we took our seats and one thing struck us instantly… we were in PRIME Barry playing position - our table was just feet from the machine we all love. Points already, Puggs. I took a photo to illustrate just how close we were to Barry.
I don’t think we could have gotten any closer - people who didn’t want to stand could yell out their answers from the table!
We ordered our parmas and settled in front of Barry while we waited. we were there on ‘Parma Night’ so they came to $12.50 each, or $15 with a pot. According to the menu the parmigiana they serve on non-parma nights comes to $18.90 and is served with ‘seasonal vegetables and creamy potato gratin’. Ours was served with chips & salad, so just be aware of that.
Before we get to the chicken, I should talk about the pub itself. Puggs is a great example of a faux Irish pub, but what caught my attention the first time I was there was the ‘100 pints of guinness club’. Fill out a quick sign up sheet and minutes later you will be presented with a card (great quality ATM style card, complete with magnetic strip down the back). Every time you order a pint of guinness, hand over the card and they will give it a swipe, get to 100 and you will get your name forever immortalised on the walls along with all the other champions who have completed the challenge. Last checked I was sitting at around 25 pints, but one day my name will be up there with the other champions.
It will be mine … oh yes … it will be mine
Puggs have a great array of beers available as well as a decent wine list - there is a different event on every night of the week, I suggest you either check out the Thursday student night for a great night of drinking and good music, or the day of days for Irish pubs - St. Patricks day, which well and truly goes off. Although last time I was there on St. Pats someone through a potato from the street through the open roof of the second floor and I nearly got beaned, but that kind of thing is bound to happen once in awhile!
Oh, I also should mention that Puggs have a second location in Hardware St. in the city - another fine establishment, but make sure you don’t confuse the two in regards to this review, as it would seem they do different specials on different nights.
After a bit of a wait the parmas arrived, the place had gotten a bit busier so we tore ourselves away from Barry and sat down to our meals …
Mmmm Guinness and Parma - a winning combination!
The photo is a tad misleading I think, this parma wasn’t big - it was actually quite small and there was a bit of a burnt edge around one side of the chicken. But there was semi decent cheese coverage, a slice of ham and the parma was set beside the chips.
The chicken itself was very thin in places, even though it was small the parma was tasty - one reviewer picked up a hint of parmesan cheese in the cheese mixture, which was rather tasty. there was a slice of ham on board but it was rather low on the napoli (I can barely remember it at all, but I can see it in the photo, so I guess it was there).
As I said earlier, the chips were set aside from the parma, as opposed to below - there was a decent serving, they were crispy and seasoned well … VERY well, a few reviewers complained that they were too salty, but in my opinion the saltier the better. (theres a ‘thats what she said’ in there somewhere)
The salad was your basic garden salad with lettuce, tomato, cucumber, shredded carrot, mustard seeds & balsamic dressing, It was tasty and served its purpose, but nothing to really write home about.
All in all it was an okay parma, especially for only $12.50 (and pints of Guinness and Kilkenny dropped to $5.50 after 8 o’clock) but unfortunately it was a very small parma - everyone at the table was still hungry after and probably hit the drive through on the way home. But if you are looking for a cheap, decent tasting parma with (in my opinion) great chips then definitely give Puggs a shot. I’d be very interested to come back on a non-parma night to try their $18.90 parma with veggies and potato gratin, just to see the difference in quality (and who doesn’t love potato gratin!?). I’ll be sure to get the table next to Barry.
Parma - 5.8
Chips - 5.9
Salad - 5.5
Value - 6.4
Total - 5.90
The search continues …