FOOD REVIEW: THE ALMA TAVERN

It’s a beautiful Sunday afternoon and I finally have a day to myself. After a solid week at work and the kiddos doing my head in at home I needed to release some tension. With the UFC showing live at the Alma, as well as the great things I have heard about the menu, my Sunday is set.

I take a seat at the booth-like couch in the Alcove, a little lounge area inside that can seat or stand about 50 people. Its low lighting, dark marble tables, exposed red brick walls, three television screens and close proximity to the bar make it the perfect place to grab a meal and watch some guys and girls beat the stuffing out of each other. After taking my place at the Alcove and putting my order, in I take a wander outside to the beautifully designed beer garden. There’s a row of red and black booths on the far side, plants to the right, lots of standing room in the middle, bar at the back and a humongous television screen up front showing the fights in lovely 22 degree sunshine. Unfortunately all the booths are reserved on this day, as the Alma hosts ‘Sunday School’ sessions from 2pm. A DJ and $3 pints from 2-3pm is enough to get a crowd rolling in from about 1.30pm.

Inside the Alcove though, there are only about 20 of us watching the fights. Lots of guys stare intently at the television screens screaming or groaning as each hit takes place, while their girlfriends stare, disenchanted, at their phones wondering why on earth they came.

13211188_201591533567414_1072504723_oI go for a safe pub meal with my order the Texas Beef Burger – as of this week the name has changed to Tex’s Beef Burger – as in Tex Walker who plays football for the Adelaide Crows. He co-owns the establishment with fellow footballers Mark Ricciuto and Rory Sloane.

The Texas Burger contains a toasted bun encasing a deliciously hearty Angus beef brisket patty served with cheese and tomato relish and an absolutely amazing piece of bacon that I just had to ask the manager where he got it from. His answer was “well it’s locally sourced and not from Coles!”

Accompanying the burger was a deep fried pickle and a mouth-watering stack of steak cut chips, the onion relish served on the side was the ‘cherry on top’ of this great meal. At $21 I thought it was a tad pricey for a burger and chips but being locally sourced and delicious, my wallet could forgive it, sort of.

To accompany this hearty meal, I decided to order a couple of pints on tap. The first was a pint of James Squire Nine Tales (Amber Ale), a bit of a palate cleanser before my meal arrived. It was a robust, malty beer with a touch of citrus and a refreshing way to start off 13241551_201591580234076_1610722839_omy Sunday afternoon. Once my lunch arrived, and seeing the size of it, I decided to change tack and ordered a lighter, less filling beer which came in the form of a James Squire pint called The Swindler (Summer Ale). Dryer and sweeter than the Nine Tales it was the perfect partner in crime for the burger. At $9 a pint though…ouch! Lesson learned folks. When ordering beers on a Sunday, and as mentioned earlier, order Aussie pints on tap between 2-3pm and it’s only $3, between 3-4pm $4, 4-5pm $5 and 5-6pm $6 base spirits.

So the fights were good, the atmosphere great, and the food and drink fantastic. Showing all UFC pay-per-views live it is a great place to come down with your mates and kick back on a Sunday arvo (before the DJ kicks-in at 2pm) and enjoy a great meal. Feel free to bring the girlfriend too if she is into UFC or just likes to stare at her phone and use the free wi-fi!

4 beers out of 5.

Reviewed by Shane Berketa