Barton Fink is a bar on High Street in Thornbury that's been around for four or five years without ever really drawing our attention. That all changed in May this year when they introduced a fully vegan menu. It's a mock meat-heavy selection of food that feels very US dive bar: tacos, hot dogs, burgers, nachos, etc. We stopped by for dinner on our way out to a gig in Northcote.
On a Friday night things were busy without being crowded - we had no trouble getting a table and food came out super quickly. I couldn't resist the full selection of tacos on offer ($18 for 4 or $5.50 each).
The range includes mock fish, mock chicken, jackfruit pulled pork and a beef 'n' bean mix. These are excellent vegan tacos - my two favourites were the mock fish, which had a brilliant aioli on top of some crispy battered fish pieces, and the beef and bean, which was rich and smoky. It was great to try all four though - I'd recommend it.
Cindy ordered the southern soul burger - crispy mock chicken with jalapenos, lettuce, tomato, chipotle mayo and a side of chips ($16.50).
The chips were ace and the burger was a very solid effort - we think the mock chicken patty is house-made seitan, which is always an impressive effort. It was heavy on the jalapenos, which would have suited me, but wasn't ideal for Cindy's taste.
The atmosphere at Barton Fink was just okay - it's dark and there's footy on the tv, while the Coen brothers-inspired interiors won't be to everyone's taste. It's fine though - I sat happily in the corner and read my book before Cindy turned up. The food is definitely worth the visit though - I can't wait to go back and try the hot dogs.
The only blog review of Barton Fink we can find is from their pre-vegan era on Parma Daze.
816-818 High Street, Thornbury
Accessibility: There's a ramp on entry and a mix of regular tables and higher ones with stool seating. You order and pay at a bar. The toilets are unisex and fully accessible.