Pub Review – The Macclesfield: Man v Megalodon Hamburger

It was the size of an adult human head.

 

This, of course, is neither alarming or humorous if you’re expecting a fully-grown person in which case it warrants no observation.

 

Plonked down on our table and despite its silence, inactive state and general amicability it was instantly startling. I was in for the fight of my culinary life. I was about to die in an episode of Man v Food. It was a hamburger.

 

A megalodon hamburger.

 

6pm on a Friday is the textbook time to gust into a country pub, and this is true for the Macclesfield Hotel in the Adelaide Hills. It’s the sanctified end of the working week, the festive start of the weekend, and a chance to see a community skipping and jabbering, busy and recalibrating.

 

A full, spectral moon floodlit the countryside, and a toasty glow encased the front bar. There was cheery commotion for the (possibly over-capitalised) Friday Night Weekly ‘Pick-a-Pint’ Jackpot Draw was on. Chocolate-smeared kids dashed about, and leather and patch jackets, and work shirts, and bushy beards coloured our canvas.

 

We secured a stretch of timber and towel and coasters. I opted for a Coopers Pale Ale while Claire had a house white, and both were atomically accurate. To our left with a clattering plastic bucket, Bic biro and little paper books was that most principal of pub peoples, the meat tray ticket seller.

 

Despite there being no visible meat tray, we fished out our coin, and prayed to the patron saint of Free Sausages, but as it was later revealed, all those canonised in the name of chops had enjoyed a rostered day off. Even local saint, Mary MacKillop was working on subsidiary projects.

 

An enlivening din swirled throughout and I wondered at the chat: recent rainfall; tomorrow’s home footy fixture in which the local Blood ‘n’ Tars would take on the Gumeracha Magpies; Sunday’s celebrity cricket match at Davenport Square starring former Australian cricketer Wayne Phillips (whose wife has a Kapunda connection); houses and farms bought and sold; kids’ sport, kids’ achieving, kids’ causing concern.

 

The dining room was also ministered by a wood fire. Large tables crafted from tree trunks had been coaxed in and like the bar, the tone was both industrious and intimate.

 

Claire ordered sliders, and next morning two of these remained so we evoked Pulp Fiction:

 

Jules: It looks like me and Vincent caught you boys at breakfast. Sorry about that. What ‘cha having?
Brett: Hamburgers.
Jules: Hamburgers! The cornerstone of any nutritious breakfast.

 

Meanwhile my meal was intimidating, and I felt like the skinny teenager who learns that tomorrow he’ll be on Plugger Lockett. It loomed on the plate like an aircraft carrier (surely the USS Ronald Reagan) and the chips clung to the cliff all cowering and awed. If the hamburger had eyes it would’ve stared me down like Ali at the weigh-in.

 

Anxious for a food coach my challenge was how to accost the behemoth. Right, I’ll pick it up and tackle it whole. I blinked. Nup, maybe if I had a gob like a hippo, then just maybe. OK, I’ll cut it in half. Peering now at the knife, my cutlery seemed impossibly tiny, like a toy you’d get from a kids’ lucky dip at a particularly dismal country show.

 

With gallows acceptance I murmured to Claire, “I have no choice.” She whispered, “God’s speed,” before nodding, “and please, take care.”

 

Deconstruction.

 

And so, my colossal hamburger became a creaking plate of two beef patties, bacon, eggs (yes, two bum nuts), cheese, lettuce, onions, tomato, relish and bread rolls: a medically-necessary mixed grill.

 

Like a (considerably) less menacing version of a middle-career Robert De Niro I tightened my teeth, and worked methodically through it while eventually the Friday night footy match wound up; the pub cleaner later dragged her mop and bucket about me wheezing, “You’re alright darlin’, take your time”; and the last of the front bar faithful wobbled off into the moonlit midnight.

 

My hamburger was magnificent.

 

The subsequent surgery a success I drove into town Saturday morning to buy the paper and accidently found myself in the Maccy cup-house administering a punt. At the bar was a solitary woman, and as I fed my betting slips to the machine, she asked in her throaty way, “Gotta tip, love?” Such is the agreeable nature of this boozer that she and Yorky laughed at my reply, “Yep, keep your cash in your pocket.”

 

Minutes later the car radio crackled my horse saluting (Sandown, race 2, number 8, Shrouded in Mist, 6/1) and with this happy coda I thought, gee, I really like this pub.

 

 

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About Mickey Randall

Favourite film: The Shawshank Redemption Favourite song: Khe Sahn Favourite holiday destination: Gold Coast Favourite food: steak Favourite beer: VB Best player seen: Dogga Worst player seen: Frogga Last score on beep test: 3.14159 Favourite minor character in Joyce’s Ulysses: Punch Costello

Comments

  1. Colin Ritchie says

    Well done Mickey! I know what it’s like to try and get the jaws around a big burger. Like you, I deconstructed after losing the overwhelming battle with burger going all over the place, but it was a fab burger!

  2. Where does it rate on the Top 10 Burger Scale Mickey? Never mind the quality feel the width? Or a genuine contender? Have always rated the Coopers Sparkling (in moderation) much more highly than the pale ale – a bit metallic – or is it better on tap than stubbies?

  3. Great yarn, Mickey.
    It sounds like a place worth visiting.
    You have also reminded me that I am on ticket-selling duty this coming Friday at the Stags Head.

  4. Colin- no delicate way of eating one so probably not great first date food, methinks.

    PB- Pale Ale much better on tap whereas the Sparkling is the rare, glorious ale that goes better out of a bottle. Unsure why. Did you get along to the rugby league last night? Biggest ever crowd at the new stadium! This won’t sit well among the Eagles faithful.

    Smokie- Good luck with the ticket selling. Meat tray prize? Incentives like 15 tickets for $10 to get the punters to buy more? The Glenelg footy club now sells its raffle tickets online, but I prefer to buy them in person as the sellers make slow laps of the ground.

  5. Hey Mickey, Do you know one of my old friends, Warwick Bills. He often manned the turnstiles at the Glenelg Oval on footy days.

  6. Mickey – $270 for the worst seat in the ground for State of Origin. Desperates only need apply. Pissing rain. Interstate SOO is an event put on for tourists and TV. Fair enough, but that’s 8 rounds of golf for me!

  7. Fisho- Don’t know Warwick, but will keep an eye out for him. Most of the attendants seem pretty young nowadays. Saw Peter “Super” Carey and dog down the frosty beach this morning. Between us we played 448 games for the Tigers.

    PB- $270! Ouch. Got in for nothing to the Glenelg game yesterday (not really- home game membership) and the beer caravan under the scoreboard is staffed by former players and has $5 shiraz from club sponsor Reillys wines of the Clare Valley. Was just the ticket after half time when despite the winter sun it quickly cooled off. Beat Centrals by eleven goals and didn’t have to endure too many “Youuuuu Doggggsss” from their fans.

    Thanks very much.

  8. Luke Reynolds says

    Nothing beats a Sunday celebrity cricket match in June. Or a meat tray raffle. But by the sounds of it, your Megalodon Burger just might be even better.

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