The problem with 24-hours in Hobart is that it’s simply not enough time to eat all the things one wishes to. This was my second trip there in as many years (you can read about the first one here), and as such I got to tick off a few more things from the To-Eat list. But alas, new places have opened up since then, or were stumbled upon this time by chance, so the list has gown ever-longer, and there are only so many meals in a day!
We landed in Tasmania around lunch-time, moderately hangry after a mechanical malfunction had us sitting on the tarmac in Sydney for a good 90 minutes, and burgers were all that could cure what ailed us. First stop was therefore The Standard, an unassuming burger joint in an alleyway not even marked on Google maps, but easy enough to find if you know where to look. From first bite, the All American rocketed onto my Top 5 Burger list, with its good sturdy brioche bun, nice rare beef patty, and well-balanced ratio of sauce, mustard and pickles. No fuss, no muss.
A walk was in order after all that scoffing, so we headed to Salamanca to wander around the foreshore and dip into the bookshops and galleries. It was a perfect day to sit outside and enjoy the sunshine, so we nabbed an outdoor table at The Whaler, with the Derwent on one side and stunning Mt Wellington on the other (I do love a good urban mountain). They had a taco special on the menu and while we didn’t partake due to aforementioned scoffing, we were rather envious of our neighbour’s heaving plates of taco goodness.
After a nap and a refresh back at the hotel, we walked the few blocks to North Hobart to hit up Tassie’s newest microbrewery, Shambles, housed in what used to be a butcher’s shop and offering up an impressively strong line-up of beers. The former tenants have moved elsewhere, but supply meat to the brewery’s kitchen (the brewers in turn give their spent grain back to the butchers to feed the cows, in what is a tremendous paddock-to-pint cycle). Some pleasingly simple cheese and charcuterie plates were a perfect accompaniment to their delicious Hop Shortage double IPA, and Barry White porter.
The main event was dinner at Franklin, where we were seated on one corner of the enormous horseshoe-shaped polished concrete bar, perched perfectly to watch the chefs do their thing. We feasted on fresh bread with alarmingly-good salted butter, beef heart, chicken parfait, grilled octopus with paprika and fennel, raw kingfish, grilled snapper with nettle sauce, all accompanied by an excellent Tassie Pinot, and with a not-too-cray bill at the end. I’ve since heard several mixed reviews about Franklin, from dismay at the portion sizes and cavernous-nature of the space, but I honestly couldn’t fault it and would gladly go again.
Breakfast the next day was had at Pilgrim Coffee on Argyle Street, where the beans are single origin and the food fresh from the paddock. We feasted on wild mushrooms on sourdough with goats cheese and an incredible egg and bacon roll, all in a highly pleasing art-deco space. If I didn’t have my eye on our next food stop, I would have stocked up on some of their divine-looking take-away sandwich and cake options from the cabinet at the front counter.
And for a quick bite before moving on to our next location, I was overly thrilled to hit up Pigeon Hole Café. Their coffee was even better than that at Pilgrims, which is saying something, and their focus on locally sourced wholefoods even more obsessive. We had some amazing flatbread topped with roasted veggies and mustard greens, and stocked up on some cakes for the road. Their seasonal menu was impressive, and I’ve definitely added it to the list of places to visit again (along with breakfast at Yellow Bernard, lunch at Tricycle Café & Bar, and dinner at Templo).
Until next time, Hobart!