Wide Open Road is the newer, further-south cousin of one my favourites from back in my uni days, A Minor Place. I happened to be in Brunswick on the weekend and while I was tempted to revisit the old faithful, I thought it might be worth trying something new.
Slow roasted beef cheek sandwich, red cabbage, apple and walnut slaw, hommus ($16)
This was yet another one of those dishes where all the thought went into presentation, and none went into how one would actually go about eating the thing. I initially tried to eat it with my hands, but after half the filling fell out the sides and the other half ended up on my face I gave up. Picking up my cutlery, I attempted to cut through the sourdough bun to no avail. I ended up just picking out the filling and leaving the bun behind (hope the waiters don’t think that I’m one of those carb-phobic people. Ugh).
Moving on to taste though, the beef was tender and full of flavour. The mild and nutty hommus, topped with a sprig of mint and coriander, was a lovely match. I did feel that the slaw was out of place though. The apple was barely noticeable, but the walnuts were and their flavour and texture profile just didn’t feel right against the beef. The cabbage was also basically drowning in mayo. I’ve personally always been a little bit iffy about beef with mayo but the amount on this sandwich was just way over the top. To summarise, this whole sandwich should just be beef, cabbage, hommus and herbs.
I only ate one thing, so I can’t make too much of a judgement of the menu overall. I did however feel a little unsatisfied with my meal. It had potential but there were a few design flaws that needed fixing. Consider this sandwich to be very much in beta. (I’m sorry, it’s the engineer in me. )
I also found that service was quite slow, despite being there at 3pm when the place was mostly empty. I think this is another one of those ‘in the area’ places – worth a shot if you’re around, especially as there is handy free parking at Barkly Square nearby. Otherwise probably not worth the trip from Richmond.Wide Open Road 274 Barkly Street Brunswick