If you’ve got a Texas-sized hole in your stomach, we know how to cure it. Kirsten Hyam rounds up the latest trend in Perth: cool American-themed bars.
1. The Blue Flamingo – Beach Boys go hipster
Tucked down a side street, it’s hard to believe this little oasis is just minutes from the city. Take a seat at The Blue Flamingo where the drinks list is worldly and the South and Central American tapas plates are easy to share. Staff wear tropical shirts, pastel walls add a soft, beachy vibe, while palm fronds sway outside. It’s like one big open Mexican food truck mixed with a Miami beach bar.
Rear 742 Newcastle Street, Leederville
2. Alabama Song – Honey, you’re in the Deep South now
Enter through the saloon swing-doors to discover that Clint Nolan’s latest venture is, unsurprisingly, another winner. Rockabilly tunes, dim lighting and one of the largest bourbon, whisky and rye collections in the state, Alabama Song doesn’t mess around.
Take a seat at a comfy leather booth among the requisite Texas longhorn heads, but be warned, this ain’t the place for quiet conversation; country bands play from behind the chicken wire in front of a makeshift dancefloor. BYO flannelette shirt, y’all.
Level 1, Rear 232 William Street, Northbridge
3. Jack Rabbit Slim’s – Tarantino tribute
An ode to cult fave Pulp Fiction, Slim’s is your quintessential 1950s diner with retro décor, neon signs and red leather booths, complete with a fries and shakes menu – but with an adult twist. The late-night eatery plates up classic and premium fries like Ragin’ Cajun and Gran Torino to match with a boozy (or virgin) shake with shots of Jameson and vodka. Head through the false fridge doors and there’s a live music venue.
133 Aberdeen Street, Northbridge
4. Old Faithful – Make like a Manhattanite
It’s one of the very first bars to bring low-and-slow-cooked meats to the city. And we’re talking real slow here; meats are soaked in brine for 12 hours before being massaged with spices and smoked for a day. Try the wagyu brisket or barbecue chicken.
Naturally, a craft beer is the way to go when eating all this slow-cooked meat and there’s always the eponymous Old Faithful. It’s all served in a more refined take on the American smokehouse; you won’t find guitars hanging on the walls here. And don’t miss the incredible S’mores dessert.
86 King Street, Perth
5. Varsity – Red-blooded hang-out
This frat-themed sports bar offers up big screens playing out all the acronyms you could imagine – UFC, NBL, AFL, NHL, NBA, MLB and NFL. The entertainment at Varsity continues with pool tables, ping pong and PS3 games available to play. State licence plates hang above a giant US flag with graffiti also decking out the joint.
The super-American, super-affordable menu pulls in the crowds (mac ’n’ cheese dog, anyone?) and special nights include $5 cheeseburgers on Thursdays, Pabst Blue Ribbon Sundays and Monday’s Dux Nuts quiz night, playing to the bar’s location right next to UWA.
88 Broadway, Crawley
Still want more? Okay, how about…
• Miss Kitty’s Saloon: Head to this retro ranch joint at Inglewood to enjoy the maple-loving country’s signature dish of poutine.
• East Village: Loud and lively, this place is NYC to a tee in Perth’s CBD. Everything about this place is New York – big food, big drinks, big atmosphere.
• Brooklyn Lounge: A slick and stylish fit-out serving Italian-American fare in Claremont. Kick back on a Chesterfield with a suitably NY cocktail (Lady Liberty, Coney Island, Upper East Side Sour).
• Decanter: Caramel popcorn waffles, pork belly bites, jerky, bacon and cheese balls, sliders, pulled pork; need we say more? There’s also a decadent Reese’s peanut butter cocktail.
• The Old Crow: Grab some soul food streetside in Northbridge. Hush puppies, jerk chicken and brisket sandwiches, oh my!