Where:165 Rae Street, NorthFitzroy
When: Tues-Fri from 4pm, Weekends from midday
CC and EFTPOS
Veg and Vegan friendly
Contact: (03) 9489 6100
It’s no secret that Melbournites love their pubs, and amongst the leafy streets of North Fitzroy there’s nearly one on every corner. The Tramway Hotel is one of many historic watering holes in the area, with the building dating back to the 1960’s. The veneer hasn’t changed much but I would bet the food has. Their main deal is the Burger Bar, which while it may not seem very interesting, is far more innovative and high quality than that chewy old $25 parma you had the other night. Practically everything on Tramway’s burger menu has something special about it, whether it be fried haloumi or sriracha (spicy Thai sauce) mayo. For the Traditionalists there are steak sandwiches and classic burger combinations. While for our vego and vegan friends there are delicious options like Quinoa and Hummus or the Portabello Mushroom burgers. If the choice is all too much, and I can understand why, then rock up on a Tuesday and get the Tramway or Quinoa Burger for a mere $12. Then spend that money you saved on a beer; the range is impressive.
As well as burgers, The Tramway does share plates, salads and a few select Mains too. I settled on the burger special; a Pulled Pork Sandwich ($18) which promised…slow cooked barbecue pork shoulder teased from the bone, topped with coleslaw, tomato, Spanish onion, Cos lettuce and aioli, served with a side of Napoleone apple cider chutney and chips. In the flesh (mind the pun) the burger proved itself worthy of its gorgeous description. While not mentioned above, the chips (wedges I’d say) were by far the best I’ve had in an age. “Bay and rosemary salt” might just be why. The cider chutney; sweet and aromatic with cinnamon set off the honey-smoked flavour of the pork, while a bitey, garlicky coleslaw completed the picture.
Pulled Pork Sandwich ($18)
My dining partner opted for the Lamb and Haloumi Burger ($18), so brace yourself for another mouth-watering description; Char-grilled lamb and burghul pattie, topped with grilled haloumi, almondnaise, lemon and mint yogurt, tomato, Cos lettuce, Spanish onion and chips. While it’s very hard to go wrong with grilled haloumi, this burger earns bonus points for blending the lamb with burghul for a really soft, wholesome texture. All burgers come in La Madre buns, although to be honest I’m not sure what the fuss is there. It is good to know however that they’re also available gluten free. Just make sure staff don’t clear your plates before you’re finished, they were a bit handsy with us and we lost some of those amazing rosemary wedges in the process.
Lamb and Haloumi Burger ($18)
Apart from really exciting burgers, The Tramway Hotel has a lot to offer in terms of atmosphere. While it is definitely a pub, it doesn’t have that dingy vibe. The large windows let in floods of light, which sheen from the polished floors and clean tables. At the time the music was upbeat, indie-folk, and the staff sort of are too. It’s a very friendly sort of place where you could bring a friendly friend and do friend things. Like play Monopoly or Scrabble, both of which are available at a coffee-table by the door.