As we all know, the endorsement of products and establishments by this blog is a YUGE bonus for them (in the Trumpian sense of "I've paid a YUGE amount of taxes over the years"), but I do it gratis (in the Trumpian sense of "his businesses have for decades received the benefit of government infrastructure gratis.")
So, this weekend leads me to make the following endorsements:
* Toro Bravo - the tapas/steak restaurant/bar on Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley. This was the second time we've eaten there, and I reckon it's pretty great for its tapas or paella. (We haven't had steak there, but suburban pub steaks are probably just as good and in many cases likely to be a bit less expensive. But perhaps I should head in on the "2 for one" Tuesdays and try the steak, then I'll know.)
* a few years back, when I started singing the praises of craft beer, I did agree with a Slate article that too many went overboard with intense hops. Yet I think my palate has subsequently adjusted. I had previously avoided James Squires Hop Thief for the obvious reason that naming it after hops was a pretty good sign that I may not like it. But I recently did, and I was wrong - it's good.
I also am tending to find some of the less hopped James Squires a bit bland now. And while some people might dispute that this mass manufacturer (who, I am happy to see, is marching on tap into mainstream bars everywhere) is really a "craft" beer maker, you know what I mean - who cares as long as the beer maker has taken up the variety of flavours that smaller craft breweries got us used to.
* The Ploughman's Lunch at the Pig and Whistle, West End: Although I see there is a Pig and Whistle Tavern down in Victoria, as far as I can tell, the Pig and Whistle Pubs are a Brisbane only chain that share a franchise like set menu. I wish they wouldn't be so much into trying to be sports bars, but there is usually a quieter area you can find, and they're not bad for the occasional visit, although my wife and I think the food menu has for too many items become a bit expensive. (It may also just be my age not keeping up with inflation - we even complain about the cost of feeding a family of four with anything above the basics at McDonalds now.) Anyhow, I've decided that their Ploughman's Lunch at $29 for a good sized platter that makes for the right amount for lunch for 2 is pretty good value, and the warm herbed olives were especially nice.
* Domino's Chefs Best range: have I endorsed these before? As with all pizza, avoid the "all meat" choices, but apart from those, this range continues to impress, with the new Lamb Tzatziki being my current recommendation. Very nice