Sunday, August 19, 2007

August 18, 2007: The Cascade Brewery

Saturday was Michael's last day in Hobart, and we kicked it off with a wander through that tourist staple, the Salamanca Markets. It's dominated by crafts and gourmet foods rather than fresh produce, and I picked up some fudge and ground spices along the way. I'm looking forward to experimenting with my lemon myrtle and ground wattle seeds when I return home!

For Michael's last few hours in the city, we took the advice of our friendly waitress at Kafe Kara, grabbing a bus to South Hobart and visiting the Cascade Brewery for lunch. Giving the tour a miss, the gardens surrounding the visitor centre proved a pleasant diversion instead. In warmer weather it would be lovely to sit out amongst the greenery, but this wussy northerner preferred to enjoy the view from a window seat inside. As you might expect from a brewery, the menu is full of deep-fried munchies and meaty meals, though Michael and I were both pleasantly surprised when we encountered a "Cascade Stout and Mushroom Pie with crusty mash on top & served with vegetables". Then when our waiter arrived to take our order I had this conversation with him...

Me: Can I confirm that the stout and mushroom pie is actually vegetarian?

Silence - just a bewildered grin fixed on our waiter's face.

Me again: Is there any meat in it?


Waiter, vaguely and cheerfully: I think... I think there's a bit of meat in that.

More dead air.

Me: could you check that with the chef?

Turns out there's a heapin' helpin' of beef in that pie. Makes sense, I suppose, but when the rest of the menu touts its meat explicitly in the description I was mildly surprised that they weren't openly boasting about the juicy steak chunks here.

To be fair, the list of snacks, starters and sides offers plenty that's meat-free but I was quite put out by the complete incomprehension and passivity from our waiter. For visiting vegetarians, I'd recommend the idyllic Cascade visitor centre for a stroll, some beer and a snack, but make your meal booking elsewhere. We don't really belong here.


  1. I know the scenario when you assume something is vegetarian only to find it isn't - I think it makes me realise how much I live in my own little vegetarian world sometimes!!! Thanks for all your travel updates - sounds like you are enjoying some great food on your holidays!

  2. Glad you've enjoyed reading them, Johanna! My worst incident of a misplaced vege assumption was ordering garlic bread at a Holiday Inn in America and receiving it smothered in gravy with bacon chunks! (Not mentioned on the menu, of course.) What a safe, uncomplicated place inner-city Melbourne is. :-D

  3. It must be hard trying to make sure if dishes have meat in them. I guess its not as bad as having a peanut allergy or something where it may mean life and death by eating the wrong thing.

    I think I have the anti-meat problem. I would have to ask "Is there a lot of vegetables in this dish", as I don't like vegetables too much. :-)

  4. To the 'where's the beef team.
    Visit The Gobbler for more info on the Tasmanian scene.

  5. Thanh, it's not too difficult most of the time now, though this was an odd incident! Not nearly as bad as having a medical reason for banning a food from your diet.

    Hi Gobbler, I'm familiar with your former life as the garrulous gourmet, but didn't find your new blog in time for our trip!

  6. Ah, Tasmania. Would love to see more of this - my entire experience was a day with a colleague driving me around and showing me the sights of Richmond and the Hobart surrounds. *sigh* you're lucky to have seen so much. I've enjoyed reading about it!

  7. You're right, Anna, I've been very lucky! I hope you'll have another chance sometime, perhaps to hire a car and explore more for yourself over a week or so.

  8. You guys. I Googled the restaurant where we're having our staff Christmas lunch tomorrow and your review was on the first page! I can't escape you, can I?

  9. Bahaha! We are on yr internets, controlling your menus. :-D