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Cheap Eats – Marble and Grain (Braddon)

By Alexandra Craig - 6 January 2016 32

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Marble and Grain in Braddon is the restaurant attached to The Avenue hotel. They opened up some time last year and then had a re-launch this year with the new addition of a gastropub. When they initially opened, I went along with a couple of friends and had an utterly terrible experience. I won’t go into details but it was very, very bad.

I heard Marble and Grain had a $14 lunch special so despite my awful experience, I still wanted to go along to see if things had changed.

When we arrived it took a little while for us to be seated and we were advised we would have to sit in the pub section as there was no more room in the restaurant. We could see about 15 empty tables in the restaurant but perhaps they were expecting a rush of reserved bookings. Anyway, the pub section was fine to sit in. It was nice and quiet at one o’clock in the afternoon.

The $14 lunch special has a handful of options; a beef burger, poached chicken salad, fish and chips, chicken schnitzel, and mushroom gnocchi.  My friends ordered the burger and the gnocchi, I opted for the chicken schnitzel as it sounded a bit fancier than your average pub schnitzel.

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The meals came out quickly and they looked really good. They far exceeded our expectations in terms of presentation. Often lunch specials aren’t nicely plated because well, you’re paying $10-$15 for it, but our meals looked great.

My schnitzel was much smaller than what you would expect a schnitzel to be (but by no means was it a small dish), but this was not a bad thing at all. Less is more. It was cooked perfectly and the potato salad it came with was delicious.

My friend loved her beef burger, she said the meat was delicious and cooked perfectly. Her only complaint is that the bun was a bit bready, as in, too much bread. Other than that she really enjoyed it.

My partner had the gnochhi and he thought it was great. He said it may have been a tiny bit oily, but there was lots of mushroom and lots of flavour.

Overall, I was highly impressed with the quality and the value for money that the $14 lunch special had to offer. Comparing my two experiences with Marble and Grain, I think they have improved significantly since the first time I visited and I’ll definitely be back again.

What: Marble and Grain
Where: Mort Street, Braddon (back of The Avenue hotel, just up from McDonalds)
Opening hours: 6.30am-12.00am (7 days) Lunch special 12.00pm-2.00pm (7 days)
Website: http://www.marbleandgrain.com.au/

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32 Responses to
Cheap Eats – Marble and Grain (Braddon)
1
oursandy 3:28 pm
07 Jan 16
#

Gnocchi…….sigh

2
rubaiyat 4:34 pm
07 Jan 16
#

I am never much wiser on reading these reviews, but I don’t read them with the expectation of learning anything, except what the RiotACT correspondent eats, which seems to be a narrow band of junk food.

The English language is one of the most astoundingly expressive and detailed languages the world has ever seen. We are rapidly losing track of exactly how many words are in circulation and the fine distinctions in the many alternate meanings of those words.

In this case what exactly do “delicious”, “cooked perfectly”, “lots of flavour”, and even “looked great/really good” mean.

The photo is a happy snap so I can’t be absolutely certain but that schnitzel looks well over-cooked, my guess is dry and getting on the stringy side. The chips look standard bendy. The presentation seems to be the throw away skewer in the “bready” burger.

So short of getting out my atomic spectrometer and running it over the jpeg to ascertain the salt, fat and sugar content, are we left with anything other than “I liked it/didn’t like it”? Since “Man (woman) is the measure of all things” we have the same problem as when a yard was the length of the king’s nose to the tip of his long finger.

The only thing I can say for sure is that you think $14 for any of that is actually a cheap mid day lunch in a pub. I don’t even know if the drinks were thrown in, or extra? Or whether they were “poured perfectly”.

3
rommeldog56 7:17 am
08 Jan 16
#

Geezzz……what a mob of poo poo’ers. Just give the reviewers on here a break will you ! .For $14, what would u expect these days anyway ?

I for one enjoy these reviews – regardless of spelling, grammer, making interpretations of the “look” of the chow, the pic’s, etc. I have visited a few of the establishments reviewed and they have generally been good value for my $.

Keep it up Alexandra – its a good series – despite the poo poo’ers on here !!!!

ps : My apol’s to all for my spelling, grammer, ineffective use of the “astoundingly expressive and detailed” English language, etc.

4
Ghettosmurf87 8:22 am
08 Jan 16
#

rubaiyat said :

I am never much wiser on reading these reviews, but I don’t read them with the expectation of learning anything, except what the RiotACT correspondent eats, which seems to be a narrow band of junk food.

The English language is one of the most astoundingly expressive and detailed languages the world has ever seen. We are rapidly losing track of exactly how many words are in circulation and the fine distinctions in the many alternate meanings of those words.

In this case what exactly do “delicious”, “cooked perfectly”, “lots of flavour”, and even “looked great/really good” mean.

The photo is a happy snap so I can’t be absolutely certain but that schnitzel looks well over-cooked, my guess is dry and getting on the stringy side. The chips look standard bendy. The presentation seems to be the throw away skewer in the “bready” burger.

So short of getting out my atomic spectrometer and running it over the jpeg to ascertain the salt, fat and sugar content, are we left with anything other than “I liked it/didn’t like it”? Since “Man (woman) is the measure of all things” we have the same problem as when a yard was the length of the king’s nose to the tip of his long finger.

The only thing I can say for sure is that you think $14 for any of that is actually a cheap mid day lunch in a pub. I don’t even know if the drinks were thrown in, or extra? Or whether they were “poured perfectly”.

To be brief, you have used a lot of words to say that you didn’t find the article informative, correct?

This commentary offers about as much as your dear friend Dungers usually does.

The reviewer has simply offered their opinion based on their real life experience. You have trashed their opinion because you didn’t like their writing style and on the basis of your “expert” analysis of the photo they posted.

We all know you have a complete disdain for food from any restaurant in Canberra, none of which ever meets your own impeccable standards and all of which is apparently mass-manufactured slop.

If the quality of analysis isn’t to your standard, perhaps you should go and do some reviewing yourself and provide to the RiotAct readers, so that we might finally receive the Rubaiyat standard of food review?

5
Masquara 8:51 am
08 Jan 16
#

Looks like VERY good value compared to the more hipstery establishments in Braddon! The gnocchi looks a bit under-sauced – or was it waiting to be turned over & around? Good to see an unpretentious place in the city.

6
chewy14 9:38 am
08 Jan 16
#

Ghettosmurf87 said :

rubaiyat said :

I am never much wiser on reading these reviews, but I don’t read them with the expectation of learning anything, except what the RiotACT correspondent eats, which seems to be a narrow band of junk food.

The English language is one of the most astoundingly expressive and detailed languages the world has ever seen. We are rapidly losing track of exactly how many words are in circulation and the fine distinctions in the many alternate meanings of those words.

In this case what exactly do “delicious”, “cooked perfectly”, “lots of flavour”, and even “looked great/really good” mean.

The photo is a happy snap so I can’t be absolutely certain but that schnitzel looks well over-cooked, my guess is dry and getting on the stringy side. The chips look standard bendy. The presentation seems to be the throw away skewer in the “bready” burger.

So short of getting out my atomic spectrometer and running it over the jpeg to ascertain the salt, fat and sugar content, are we left with anything other than “I liked it/didn’t like it”? Since “Man (woman) is the measure of all things” we have the same problem as when a yard was the length of the king’s nose to the tip of his long finger.

The only thing I can say for sure is that you think $14 for any of that is actually a cheap mid day lunch in a pub. I don’t even know if the drinks were thrown in, or extra? Or whether they were “poured perfectly”.

To be brief, you have used a lot of words to say that you didn’t find the article informative, correct?

This commentary offers about as much as your dear friend Dungers usually does.

The reviewer has simply offered their opinion based on their real life experience. You have trashed their opinion because you didn’t like their writing style and on the basis of your “expert” analysis of the photo they posted.

We all know you have a complete disdain for food from any restaurant in Canberra, none of which ever meets your own impeccable standards and all of which is apparently mass-manufactured slop.

If the quality of analysis isn’t to your standard, perhaps you should go and do some reviewing yourself and provide to the RiotAct readers, so that we might finally receive the Rubaiyat standard of food review?

Yes, vote 1 for a Rubaiyat food review series.

As someone who likes (good) food, I’d definitely be interested in finding out if there are actually any restaurants in Canberra and the region that meet the correct (Rubaiyat) standard and what exactly the other ones lack so I know where to stay away from.

7
JessP 11:44 am
08 Jan 16
#

rubaiyat said :

I am never much wiser on reading these reviews, but I don’t read them with the expectation of learning anything, except what the RiotACT correspondent eats, which seems to be a narrow band of junk food.

The English language is one of the most astoundingly expressive and detailed languages the world has ever seen. We are rapidly losing track of exactly how many words are in circulation and the fine distinctions in the many alternate meanings of those words.

In this case what exactly do “delicious”, “cooked perfectly”, “lots of flavour”, and even “looked great/really good” mean.

The photo is a happy snap so I can’t be absolutely certain but that schnitzel looks well over-cooked, my guess is dry and getting on the stringy side. The chips look standard bendy. The presentation seems to be the throw away skewer in the “bready” burger.

So short of getting out my atomic spectrometer and running it over the jpeg to ascertain the salt, fat and sugar content, are we left with anything other than “I liked it/didn’t like it”? Since “Man (woman) is the measure of all things” we have the same problem as when a yard was the length of the king’s nose to the tip of his long finger.

The only thing I can say for sure is that you think $14 for any of that is actually a cheap mid day lunch in a pub. I don’t even know if the drinks were thrown in, or extra? Or whether they were “poured perfectly”.

A $14 lunch is a good deal. The food looks good in the photos, the article tells me enough to make a decision whether I want to try it for myself.

8
Acton 12:40 pm
08 Jan 16
#

Yes, well done Alexandra. I enjoyed your informative, fair and honest review. I do get these. They are about everyday cheap eateries. Keep them coming.
A thumbs up to #4 ‘Ghettosmurf87’ who articulately (and better) expressed my thoughts upon reading comment #2.
Perish the thought that #2 should undertake their own food reviews as has been suggested, because if past comments are a guide, then any such review is likely to be a vitriolic, indulgently pretentious, ego-boosting and distorted culinary assassination of limited amusement value, more useful to indicate which rare, if any, eatery meets with approval, so that it can be avoided in case of patronage by the reviewer.

One of the roles of a food critic is to encourage people to try out restaurants they might not have known about, considered or visited. When I choose an eatery it is more for the ambience, than the food. Good everyday food can be cooked at home or purchased at any number of restaurants, but a special place with decent food makes the experience enjoyable. A juicy cinnamon muffin and iced coffee by the lakeside listening to the Carillion. The local bakery beneath shady trees with a mocha, a fresh pear and raspberry tart and a free newspaper. Fish and chips on a picnic rug at the yacht club. Do you miss the Cotter Pub with its warming fire on a winter day? Lead me to those places.

9
switch 1:28 pm
08 Jan 16
#

Acton said :

Perish the thought that #2 should undertake their own food reviews as has been suggested, because if past comments are a guide, then any such review is likely to be a vitriolic, indulgently pretentious, ego-boosting and distorted culinary assassination of limited amusement value, more useful to indicate which rare, if any, eatery meets with approval, so that it can be avoided in case of patronage by the reviewer.

Surely not if it’s like these http://www.tramrestaurant.com.au/

10
rubaiyat 4:09 pm
08 Jan 16
#

You are what you eat.

By inference many do not know what they are.

Canberra has grown by leaps and bounds to a place where you can actually eat very well, but most are stuck in the country town mentality of:

1. Got a parking spot practically by the door! check

2. Did I have to wait longer than Macdonalds? check

3. Is it hanging off the side of the plate? check

4. Has it been in the fryer long enough? Better be sure, give it another 5 minutes. check

5. Anything here frighteningly unfamiliar? No. check

6. Did it come in a cardboard box? No, must be a be a posh place then. check

7. Pass the sauce, salt, mayo, chilli. check

8. Pay 50% more, its only credit. check

9. Write up the experience in the style of “What I did in my holidays”. check

There is though the logic that since there obviously can be nothing outside your own personal experience, that by direct deduction there can be nothing worthwhile outside your own personal experience. Therefore If someone is critical of your poor choices, and you can not imagine anything else, they logically like nothing.

The gap between what people think they experience and what they get in reality was summed up pithily by Leo Schofield in a memorable review of a cafe once sited in the gloom of the Sydney Hyatt Hotel car park ramp overhang, “Diners enjoying their barely visible Parisian cappuccino, lightly dusted with brake lining”.

I am well aware of how people insistently choose the notion: “the sounds like”, “the looks like” over “the is”.

That we are not on the same plate, is obvious. Being on the same plate is not what has had Canberra, nor Australia, become as good for food as it has.

Despite the opportunities for eating well, the gap has grown between those who choose their food from photos of food that never exists, and those who simply pay attention to what is actually in front of them.

11
rosscoact 4:22 pm
08 Jan 16
#

Food was pretty good, not great but certainly up to pub standard.

Wine list was about the same as you would get at an RSL in a small country town. Mediocre at best. Which is a shame because the experience could be much improved by a well curated wine list.

12
rubaiyat 4:31 pm
08 Jan 16
#

For those interested:

Have I eaten at Marble and Grain?

Yes.

13
rubaiyat 9:14 pm
08 Jan 16
#

Just saw the Pialligo Smokehouse bacon get mentioned on the ABC tonight in Countrywide.

Anyone who has tried it will know, not just what “good” is, or “great tasting” is, but if they paid attention when they were young, what bacon USED to taste like. That smokey full on pork, not too much fat, thicker cut and a good rind, that we used to enjoy before we got substituted watery sulphurated mass produced imports of unexercised caged pigs that deceptively say “Made in Australia”.

I get that a lot of people only want lotsa and cheap, blithely ignoring quality, but please it is Deception to make out, like the “Australian” bacon, that it is something it is not.

My fascination with this series of reviews, and with the RiotACT generally, actually started with the reviews on that 3 minute wonder, cup cakes. The reviews actually perked my interest enough to get me to go into a couple that had such high praise heaped on them. I was shocked. One by the ridiculous prices and two by the awful childish rubbish. This was the Woman’s Weekly Kids Birthday Cake cookbook being sold to adults. Bright artificial colours, with cheap lollies planted in them as faces, dressed up with smarmy pseudo hip names and merchandising. People were catering weddings with them for more than it costs for top pastry by trained bakers who care.

Face painting meets Coles Cake Rack.

Everyone has their own idea of what “good” or “great” is, which is why just saying “good” or “great” is meaningless, but if your cookbooks are all Colour-In don’t make out like you are a discerning food aficionado.

THAT is what I find wrong with these “reviews”.

If you ask a bloke where you can get a decent pie and he recommends a place that is “cheap”, “decent feed” and “choice of 3 Heinz sauces”, you are getting an honest review. To make out the same pie and sauces are something fancier, …well that is something else.

Look forward to the annual Coke/Pepsi tasting. Tinny vs Plastic. How long you should lay the bottle down for, and whether the spouts at Maccers can ever match the experience of unscrewing that cap for yourself!

14
justin heywood 9:55 pm
08 Jan 16
#

rubaiyat said :

I am never much wiser on reading these reviews, but I don’t read them with the expectation of learning anything, except what the RiotACT correspondent eats, which seems to be a narrow band of junk food.

The English language is one of the most astoundingly expressive and detailed languages the world has ever seen. We are rapidly losing track of exactly how many words are in circulation and the fine distinctions in the many alternate meanings of those words.

In this case what exactly do “delicious”, “cooked perfectly”, “lots of flavour”, and even “looked great/really good” mean.

The photo is a happy snap so I can’t be absolutely certain but that schnitzel looks well over-cooked, my guess is dry and getting on the stringy side. The chips look standard bendy. The presentation seems to be the throw away skewer in the “bready” burger.

So short of getting out my atomic spectrometer and running it over the jpeg to ascertain the salt, fat and sugar content, are we left with anything other than “I liked it/didn’t like it”? Since “Man (woman) is the measure of all things” we have the same problem as when a yard was the length of the king’s nose to the tip of his long finger.

The only thing I can say for sure is that you think $14 for any of that is actually a cheap mid day lunch in a pub. I don’t even know if the drinks were thrown in, or extra? Or whether they were “poured perfectly”.

Ha. Do you realise that it took you 504 words of snark to complain about a review of 411 words, and you really said nothing except that YOU didn’t like the review? And you wonder why you get moderated.

A good review in my opinion. A plain just-the-facts article with a few simple photos, unpretentious, entirely in keeping with the tone of the place. Certainly made me want to try it.

15
rubaiyat 3:30 pm
09 Jan 16
#

justin heywood said :

rubaiyat said :

I am never much wiser on reading these reviews, but I don’t read them with the expectation of learning anything, except what the RiotACT correspondent eats, which seems to be a narrow band of junk food.

The English language is one of the most astoundingly expressive and detailed languages the world has ever seen. We are rapidly losing track of exactly how many words are in circulation and the fine distinctions in the many alternate meanings of those words.

In this case what exactly do “delicious”, “cooked perfectly”, “lots of flavour”, and even “looked great/really good” mean.

The photo is a happy snap so I can’t be absolutely certain but that schnitzel looks well over-cooked, my guess is dry and getting on the stringy side. The chips look standard bendy. The presentation seems to be the throw away skewer in the “bready” burger.

So short of getting out my atomic spectrometer and running it over the jpeg to ascertain the salt, fat and sugar content, are we left with anything other than “I liked it/didn’t like it”? Since “Man (woman) is the measure of all things” we have the same problem as when a yard was the length of the king’s nose to the tip of his long finger.

The only thing I can say for sure is that you think $14 for any of that is actually a cheap mid day lunch in a pub. I don’t even know if the drinks were thrown in, or extra? Or whether they were “poured perfectly”.

Ha. Do you realise that it took you 504 words of snark to complain about a review of 411 words, and you really said nothing except that YOU didn’t like the review? And you wonder why you get moderated.

A good review in my opinion. A plain just-the-facts article with a few simple photos, unpretentious, entirely in keeping with the tone of the place. Certainly made me want to try it.

I said EXACTLY why I didn’t think much of the review, one of them being “liking/not liking” isn’t very edifying because that is mere opinion and just a call to “Do as I do”.

Also you have no idea of why I get moderated.

As I don’t. One of them simply said that I had tried Marble and Grain.

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