Where? - 5115 Northern Hwy. Tooborac.
Price? - $15 Pot & Parma Thursdays, $22.90 Standard, $35 "double decker"
Website? - http://tooborachotel.com.au/
Reviewers – Cale, Fridge, Lee, Pat, Shanan
We first stumbled upon the Tooborac Hotel when we were on our way up to Echuca for our 200th parma weekend. I fell in love with the Tooby then and have been wanting to get back up and give them a proper review ever since, so when the opportunity came up on the weekend that landed five of the ParmaDaze review team in the Tooby's vicinity I jumped at the chance to get them on the board.
If you missed the 200th parma review the Tooborac Hotel is about an hour drive out of Melbourne, on the Northern Highway, about 15km south of Heathcote. Tooborac is a small town, with seemingly only a petrol station and a pub ... but what more do you need?
Footy on the TV, open fire and a game of pool. Doesn't get much better than this.
Luck was on our side as the weather on the weekend was gorgeous, and one of the Tooborac's best features is it's beer garden, out the back of the pub is a massive open area with a stage, plenty of tables and even some outdoor taps for special occasions.
We pulled up a pew and checked the menu. Now the standard pub menu looks a like this -
With an extra something on a separate page (I'm thinking this is the "specials" menu) -
Now we were lucky enough to also get to select from the Thursday night parma night menu, which looks a little something like this -
Quite a selection! After much deliberation the five of us made our choices, as usual I opted for the classic, as a bit of a control parma to compare the novelty options to. We placed our orders and waited for our parmas to arrive.
Now while we wait, lets talk about the beer. Because not only is the Tooborac a pub, it is also a brewery, and a damn good brewery at that. We took the opportunity to take a wander through and see the brewing take place
Then headed back into the bar to have a taste of the finished product.
The beers are just fantastic (and beer never tastes better than when its brewed ten metres from where you're drinking it) The Tooby has their five flagship beers on tap as well as a couple of rotating taps for whatever they're tinkering with out the back ... these are my favourites, with the chilli-chocolate stout would have to have been my favourite for the day. Absolutely delicious.
Tooborac beers are popping up more and more around Melbourne, If you happen to stumble on to one I recommend giving it a go - You won't be disappointed.
Hold on ... I'm forgetting something here. Oh yeah! The parmas!
Back out in the beer garden the meals hit the table -
The Hot & Spicy -
The Bushman's -
The Meatlovers -
The Classic -
This parma started on a solid foundation. Pure chicken breast schnitzel, cooked to golden brown perfection and juicy as hell. Decent thickness and not over-crumbed, while big enough to cover an impressive portion of the plate. You're not walking away hungry from this parma, thats for sure.
Normally when I order the classic when everyone else is getting fancy looking novelty parmas I'm secretly jealous when their meals arrive on the table - but with the sheer amount of toppings on the Tooby's classic parma it looked just as fancy as the novelties! Shredded ham on a parma is a rarity, and even rarer is shredded ham on a parma that actually works, but the Tooborac manages to hit it out of the park.
It's rare we come across a parma this generous with their toppings - and not just the ham, the cheese and napoli was also applied with gusto. Everything tasted great, and every mouthful was a delight.
The chips were okay, well cooked, well seasoned and there were plenty of them - but they were your standard pub chips. Better than maccas fries, thats for sure - but nothing to write home about, Pretty much everyone at the table said if they swapped these chips out for something beer battered (maybe even some Bad Boys) this parma would be up there with the greats.
The salad was served in a separate bowl beside the parma, a great move. It was on the smaller side, but there was plenty going on. Tomato, cucumber, onion, carrot and lettuce topped in a very flavoursome honey mustard dressing. Couldn't really ask for much more.
For $22.90 a parma I'll be back at the Toob, for the sheer amount of stuff on top of the schnitzel I think that is a perfectly reasonable amount to pay. Notch that down to $15 on Thursday nights and its an absolute winner.
We weren't in a hurry to leave on such a gorgeous day, so we kicked back and worked our way through the rest of the Tooborac Brewery's offerings (the Maple Cream Brown ale? also amazing).
I hate that the Tooborac is an hour drive away, although it's probably for the best as if it were any closer I'd probably never leave. If you're ever nearby I highly recommend dropping in for at least a beer and to take in the scenery. We're getting Grand Final Eve off in a few weeks right? How about on the Eve of Grand Final Eve you go for a drive and check out the Tooborac's Thursday parma night - you won't be disappointed.
- Great pub
- Great beers
- Great parma (love the shredded ham!)
- Chips could have been better