Friday, 5 June 2009

The Pav Bar

Usually my work buddies and I leave it until the last minute on Friday before deciding to go somewhere for lunch. Unfortunately, by midday on Friday we can almost never get a table at our favourite spots, like Verve or the Exchange.

A month or so ago, after wandering our end of the CBD, being rejected by places that were full, we stumbled into the Pav Bar at the Stamford Plaza. We've gone back a couple of times since, because hardly anyone seems to go there for Friday lunch - which means food comes out in a snap. Plus it's about 200 metres walk from the office, so it's way too convenient.

The tables for the Pav Bar are spread around an open courtyard. At this time of the year, it's the perfect spot for lunch, because you can grab a table in the sun and try to forget it's winter.

For lunch you can order off either the BBQ or snack menu. The BBQ menu covers all kinds of grills, including Gippsland region rib eye ($26), wagyu sirloin ($42), MSA lamb cutlets with minted yoghurt ($25) and haloumi cheese and vegetables skewers with parsley pesto ($21). All of the grills are served with a baked potato ‘Parma’ and an individual side salad.

As you might have guessed, the snack menu is a bit less "grilled", with options like rice paper rolls ($17), thick cut fries with garlic aioli ($8.50) and a club sandwich with Parma ham and chicken ($18.50).

I was craving a steak, so I ordered the 220 gram black Angus sirloin ($23). I'd asked for it medium rare, and it was perfectly cooked. It was a lovely tender steak, and had been seasoned really well. I'm not normally the biggest fan of salt, but this steak had the perfect amount, that really lifted the flavour. The baked potato 'Parma' turned out to be topped with a few slices of good, thinly sliced Parma ham and a creamy sauce - delicious. The Parma ham picked up the slight salt seasoning from the steak. Simple, but so tasty. After I'd finished that, I polished off the generous (and fresh) side salad. If every Friday lunch was like this, I'd never get back to work.

My Friday lunch partner in crime ordered the Angus beef burger, which was served with melted cheese, onion confit, vine ripened tomato, lettuce, cucumber and thick cut fries ($18.50). It's served as a "deconstructed" burger, but you can easily put it back together if you want a challenge - good luck fitting all of that in your mouth at once. The burger and chips took up an entire dinner plate, so you won't be going hungry.

Service was friendly, and we hardly waited at all for the food to arrive. The only downside to the meal was my gin & tonic, which set me back $10. Unless I'm getting Tanqueray or Bombay Sapphire, $10 is definitely on the steep side. Next time I'll stick to something a bit less pricey.

Otherwise, the Pav Bar is definitely worth a visit. It's good to sit outside in a relatively quiet environment, enjoying a well-priced, tasty steak for lunch.

What does all this mean? Good prices, good food and a lovely outside courtyard make this a great spot for your next CBD lunch.

food bling ratings
Food - Good
Service - Great
Ambience - Lovely, quiet, outside courtyard
Value for Money - Good
Wine - Ok selection, but avoid the pricey spirits
Vegetarian - Limited choice

The Pav Bar
Stamford Plaza Brisbane
Corner of Edward & Margaret Streets
Brisbane 4000
P - 07 3221 1999
E -
W -

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