This well established Marrickville pub seems to have traded in its daggy Stubbies for a pair of pressed chino’s; something a bit more fitting for todays Inner West demographic. It may have happened a while ago but The Vic, with its new outfit and all, seems to be pushing all the right buttons within its community. Old folk, young folk, parents and their offspring, skater kids, live music and footy fans; they all seem to gravitate to this corner pub. The Vic may prefer to be seen as an Enmore drinking hole, but something tells me it falls two blocks short of the official boundary. Who cares about geography, right?
This place seems to sprawl as you make your way through the deconstructed-in-a-cool-way front bar area. Yup, it sure smells like a pub. Those puke-smelling beer mats should make any hardcore pub-goer warm on the insides. The air gets a tad fresher as you head past the second bar to the rear dining room, plastered with photo’s from around the community. And then you step out onto the huge deck, shaded by a big tree, overlooking an ever-changing graffiti mural on a next door building. There’s even more drinking space down a few steps and a basketball hoop for those that are that way inclined.
When it comes to the edibles, there’s enough on the menu to keep just about anybody happy. Especially if you like your pubs with a bit of Tex-Mex flavour. There are six tempting sliders on the menu with fillings like pulled duck and beer battered fish. I go for the buttermilk fried chicken (6) which is done Southern-style with avocado and chilli mayo. Man, what a juicy little bugger! Or should I say burger?
Seeing I was onto the schooners I needed more fried food. Jalapeño poppers (9) lovingly stuffed with cream cheese. There’s plenty of baja sauce on the side for dunking and crunching into these fiery little babies.
The more substantial meals we choose step away from the American influenced food, and are more like the stuff you get on your regular Aussie pub menu. I don’t mind some good old bangers & mash but the pure pork sausages with mash (16) didn’t excite me too much. The mash was fine, as was the onion gravy and spiced tomato chutney, but the sausages spent a little too much time on the grill, rendering them beautifully dry.
As for the crispy skin ocean trout (26), it was perfection. Teetering high on a mound of blue lentils, shaved fennel and carrots, the fish came crowned with a delicious lump of black olive and caramelised onion tapenade. This is one pub I wouldn’t hesitate going back to.