Adelaide’s new entrant to the somewhat over-crowded burger market is a fast, friendly and enjoyable place.
Brought to you by the same successful group behind Press* Food and Wine, Bread & Bone is a groovy, hipster-style diner fittingly situated in the tunnel which joins Peel Street to Leigh Street above the basement bar Maybe Mae.
Open for lunch and dinner every day (which is unusual for Peel Street), it features a fit-out that is industrial, clean and simple; dim lights peer through a bronze false ceiling onto stone-topped communal tables with their own built-in lamps.
Small café-style tables line one wall and a long bar runs along another, where diners can enjoy a drink while waiting for a table. There are no bookings but tables move quickly.
There is a noticeable absence of any branding, artwork or colour, which makes the place feel a bit sterile, but the atmosphere is still enjoyable. The small, open kitchen at the far end is bustling with chefs during the busy lunchtime when we visit.
We are greeted by friendly staff, seated, and delivered water and menus. The crowd is a trendy mix of beards and tattoos and suits and scarves.
The food menu is quite long but broken into three main areas – burgers (priced around $20), hotdogs (about $12) and wood grill (near $30). The drink menu is a little on the pricey side but maintains a strong South Australian focus; there’s a large list of reds, a small selection of beer and cider.
To start, we order an $8.50 cheese burger and onion rings. The cheese burger is a tasty appetiser, bigger than a slider yet smaller than a regular burger. It comes with an extra pickle in a bowl. A slightly pink, moist patty, red onion, pickle and a small amount of cheese is a tried and true delicious combination.
The most obvious difference between Bread & Bone burgers and those of other, similar places is the bun – here it is far more doughy than the usual Vietnamese-style bakery buns.
The onion rings aren’t your typical, massive slice of onion covered in a stodgy batter. They are thin slices of red onion in a thin batter which allows the sweetness of the onion to shine through.
It doesn’t take long to realise the service is a standout at Bread & Bone; although few in number, the staff are attentive, dressed well and calmly work the busy room.
For mains, we order the ocean trout and the dry rubbed ribs, both $28 from the wood grill.
The trout is a large slab of fish, fried both sides and pink in the middle, resting on a small stack of dauphinoise potato with salsa verde dressing. It is a nice, simple meal. The potato is perfectly flavoured with garlic and thyme, and while the fish is slightly over-seasoned, it is cooked to perfection – crisp skin gives way to lightly cooked flesh, but there is no smoke or wood flavour from the grill.
The ribs come with a massive lump of tasty slaw, but are a disappointment. Rather than the expected tender and saucy strips of meat, they are dry; the beef is cooked hard on to the bone, making it more jerky than juicy.
For dessert, there is an offering of soft serves from a shiny machine behind the bar.
All up, Bread & Bone plays well to its target market. It is quick, cool and the food is simple yet tasty.
The wide range of burgers, (including soft-shell crab, roast pork, and quinoa and lentil) and dogs (including bratwurst, blood sausage and Vienna styles) will have many people returning to try their second or third choices. The vegetarian burger of quinoa and lentil has been garnering rave reviews.
While it doesn’t re-invent the wheel, Bread & Bone’s positioning, trendy style and speed of service make it a good place for a quick bite before or during a night out. It is pleasing the owners have decided to open all day, every day – hopefully, if this proves successful, others along the reinvigorated street will follow suit.
Three and a half out of five
Bread & Bone Wood Grill
15 Peel Street, Adelaide
Open for lunch and dinner seven days
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