It’s taken us far too long to pay our first visit to The Homestead!
First opening their doors in late 2013, The Homestead replaced a Hobart mainstay, The Sir William Don Hotel…more colloquially known as ‘The Don’. I never had the privilege, but by all accounts it was a dive! I had to laugh when looking at their old Facebook page, noticing that the last comment reads (and excuse the crudity):
Ahh, the ubiquitous smiley face, helping the medicine go down since 1982…
The Homestead isn’t your typical pub by any means. In a tough market many are looking to pokies as their financial saviour, yet The Homestead takes a different tack, focusing instead on providing what I like to think of as a welcoming family space that happens to serve drinks and put on the odd psy-trance glow stick rave when you least expect it!
In my last article I ruminated on our propensity for categorisation (apparently in too many words for some), yet the Homestead is another venue that defies the box. I’d go so far as to call it Jack, escapologist extraordinaire!
In some ways it evokes a similar vibe as The Winston, yet where The Winston attracts a wide cross-section of humanity baying for a bevvy or three, The Homestead has a slightly narrower focus, but delves a little deeper into a few interesting pub/club sub-cultures.
Four things make a good pub in my mind. In no particular order:
- Culture (or ‘the vibe of the thing‘)
Alcohol? They’ve got that base well and truly covered! Personally I would have preferred a few extra boutique beers on tap, but there’s a plethora (amphora?) of exotics by the bottle if the local ales are leaving you uninspired.
When it comes to music, the Homestead really does offer a point of difference. I wasn’t joking when I mentioned psy-trance, because only a few hours after we upped stumps (like the other ‘Don’) they had a DJ booked to provide exactly that for the sweaty, dreadlocked masses!! A quick scan of their recent bookings show an eclectic mix of funk, brass, electronic mashups, jazz hop (wtf is that?), ambient, reggae, blues…and the list goes on. I like it.
As you can probably already tell, the vibe is different. It’s alternative, but not like a snobby hipster. More like one of those weird family reunions that on paper should never work, but in reality brings an odd symmetry through shared experience. Feel like Naked Girls Reading? Or for the kidlets, how about the Cool Kids Cabaret? It’s all very Bohemian…
And then there’s the food.
Where The Winston takes you on a delicious dive down a cholesterol hardened Yankie aorta, Carl and the team at the Homestead focus on bringing wholesome home-style food to their weird-arse family. Of course there are some fried pub staples in the mix, but week on week the specials board is ever-changing, offering fantastic soups, vegetarian dishes and some of the best curries you’ll find in Hobart!
On the first Tuesday of every month they also provide a really interesting concept in their ‘World Feast’ dinner, wherebythey showcase a different cuisine, offering 3 dishes for sharing at only $20pp. The last one was Mexican, while June is going to focus on Korean! They’re popular, so make sure you book. For details about the World Feast you’ll need to drop by the special page they’ve set up here – The Homestead World Feast
The gravlax was perfect for whetting the appetite! Simple, yet fresh and palate cleansing.
They advertise it as spicy, and for once a venue actually delivers on the promise! Never to the point of detracting from the flavours of the beef, but enough to leave you with an accelerated heart beat and a feeling of accomplishment when the last drop of rocket fuel had been mopped up!
And then there was the beef, cheese and bacon burger.
It is a burger as it should be. No frills. Quality ingredients. Perfectly prepared.
It might not be the prettiest burger you’ll come across, but take a peek under the hood and you’ll be pleasantly surprised. The patty is thick, and with that comes the risk of either too much charcoal on the exterior or being raw in the guts. I tip my hat to the chef because neither eventuated. Instead, I was greeted with a super moist, perfectly pink core that was as close to raw as you can possibly get without accusations of, “It’s still mooing!” Just brilliant.
As with all great burgers, the beef to bacon to cheese ratios were good as well. The nicely fried rashers of bacon couldn’t be faulted, and the cheese was tasty.
My only criticism would be in the selection of the bun. I’m pretty sure it was wholemeal, and this hungry clown doesn’t do wholemeal. It added a slightly grainy texture to each mouthful that, while tasty in itself, did detract a little from the overall experience. It IS a point of different though to almost every other burger out there, so if that’s your thing then give it a shot!
Taste – 4.5/5
Patty – 5/5
Bun – 2.5/5
Ingredients – 4/5
Condiments – 4/5
Presentation – 3.5/5
Stuffable* – Yes
Value – 4/5
*Can you stuff it in your face without a knife and fork?
Overall Burger Score?
White Collar Burgers
1. Mohr and Smith – 5/5
2. The Standard – 4.5/5
3. The Winston – 4.5/5
4. The Homestead – 4/5
5. Tasman Quartermasters – 4/5
6. Chrome – 3.5/5
7. Crumb Street Kitchen – 3/5
8. Moots in Kahoots at the Naked Bike Cafe – 3/5
9. pOp Cafe – 3/5
10. Burger Haus – 2.5/5
11. Burger Got Soul – 2/5
12. The Squire’s Bounty – 1.5/5
Blue Collar Burgers
1. Red Jaffa – 4.5/5 (these guys are my sentimental favourite, so they get the #1 gig, despite the equal scores!)
2. Albert Road Store – 4.5/5
3. Budgie Smugglers – 4.5/5
4. Stevo’s Takeaway – 4/5
5. Devil’s Kitchen Cafe – 3.5/5
6. Argyle Take Away – 3.5/5
7. Langridge Store – 3/5
8. Darcy’s Cafe – 3/5
9. Burger Me – 2.5/5
10. Atlantis Takeaway – 2.5/5
For more info on The Homestead and the events they’ve got planned for the coming week, drop by their Facebook page here – The Homestead
It took me a while to find, but their menu is stored in the ‘Notes’ section here – The Homestead Menu
Address: 304 Elizabeth Street, North Hobart
Open Tue-Sun: 4pm ’til late
Kitchen Hours: 4pm – 9pm