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Make room for shrooms

Dunedin brings New Zealand to North Park

Portabello mushrooms come with a rosemary dipping sauce, similar to aioli — something worth a return visit.
Portabello mushrooms come with a rosemary dipping sauce, similar to aioli — something worth a return visit.

British pubs are so boring, but a pub themed after one of its former colonies? That’s clever! That’s the conceit behind Dunedin, a New Zealand-themed pub in North Park that just celebrated its first anniversary.

Place

Dunedin New Zealand Eats

3501 30th Street, San Diego

It’s a pretty cool setting, with a nice patio, perfect for drinking on a balmy autum evening.

Dunedin on 30th St. in North Park.

Typically, when I go to a new place, I peruse the menu online in advance to see if there is anything I really crave. In this case, I saw the Brat Burger ($14), which is a patty made up of bratwurst sausage instead of its tradition weiner shape.

The outdoor bar.

It comes on a soft pretzel bun with mustard, horseradish, sauerkraut, grilled peppers, and muenster cheese. I fell in love with the idea of a hamburger patty-shaped sausage a few years ago when Draft Mission Beach had it on the menu (but they dropped it).

Dunedin's Brat Burger turns a sausage into a patty and covers it with Muenster cheese, sauerkraut, mustard, horseradish and grilled veggies.

I liked but didn’t love Dunedin’s burger. The patty seemed sweeter than traditional bratwurst and the horseradish lacked a little heat. The mustard and kraut did add a nice tang to the dish and the muenster cheese was creamy. Since this is a natural Oktoberfest dish, I might try it again next year.

One of my dining companions got the grilled swordfish sandwich ($13) and was very pleased. He only let me have one bite — gee, thanks — but he fish was fresh and grilled nicely. The spicy cole slaw was a nice complement and the toasted sourdough bread added both texture and aroma to this.

Dunedin's southern fried chicken

My other friend got the Southern Fried Chicken ($17), which came with grilled veggies including corn. It was billed as spicy, but I didn’t get much burn when I tasted it.

The guy who ordered it admitted some bites were spicier than others. Can’t argue with the way it was cooked. It was crisp on the outside and tender on the inside.

The swordfish sandwich.

One dish I would definitely get again is the fried portobello mushrooms, which are sliced like traditional fries, breaded and then deep-fried. They come with a rosemary dipping sauce, similar to aioli. This is something worth a return visit.

Dunedin doesn’t have a hard liquor license, but they cater to beer-friendly North Park with beer cocktails. I tried two: The Shandy, which is a lager topped off with ginger beer. It tasted like a slightly flat Moscow Mule. It would be better if they used a sparkling lemonade instead.

The Red Beer was much better: A spicy Michilada-style drink with using Ballast Point Bloody Mary mix with a lager and a salt rim. Very refreshing.

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Portabello mushrooms come with a rosemary dipping sauce, similar to aioli — something worth a return visit.
Portabello mushrooms come with a rosemary dipping sauce, similar to aioli — something worth a return visit.

British pubs are so boring, but a pub themed after one of its former colonies? That’s clever! That’s the conceit behind Dunedin, a New Zealand-themed pub in North Park that just celebrated its first anniversary.

Place

Dunedin New Zealand Eats

3501 30th Street, San Diego

It’s a pretty cool setting, with a nice patio, perfect for drinking on a balmy autum evening.

Dunedin on 30th St. in North Park.

Typically, when I go to a new place, I peruse the menu online in advance to see if there is anything I really crave. In this case, I saw the Brat Burger ($14), which is a patty made up of bratwurst sausage instead of its tradition weiner shape.

The outdoor bar.

It comes on a soft pretzel bun with mustard, horseradish, sauerkraut, grilled peppers, and muenster cheese. I fell in love with the idea of a hamburger patty-shaped sausage a few years ago when Draft Mission Beach had it on the menu (but they dropped it).

Dunedin's Brat Burger turns a sausage into a patty and covers it with Muenster cheese, sauerkraut, mustard, horseradish and grilled veggies.

I liked but didn’t love Dunedin’s burger. The patty seemed sweeter than traditional bratwurst and the horseradish lacked a little heat. The mustard and kraut did add a nice tang to the dish and the muenster cheese was creamy. Since this is a natural Oktoberfest dish, I might try it again next year.

One of my dining companions got the grilled swordfish sandwich ($13) and was very pleased. He only let me have one bite — gee, thanks — but he fish was fresh and grilled nicely. The spicy cole slaw was a nice complement and the toasted sourdough bread added both texture and aroma to this.

Dunedin's southern fried chicken

My other friend got the Southern Fried Chicken ($17), which came with grilled veggies including corn. It was billed as spicy, but I didn’t get much burn when I tasted it.

The guy who ordered it admitted some bites were spicier than others. Can’t argue with the way it was cooked. It was crisp on the outside and tender on the inside.

The swordfish sandwich.

One dish I would definitely get again is the fried portobello mushrooms, which are sliced like traditional fries, breaded and then deep-fried. They come with a rosemary dipping sauce, similar to aioli. This is something worth a return visit.

Dunedin doesn’t have a hard liquor license, but they cater to beer-friendly North Park with beer cocktails. I tried two: The Shandy, which is a lager topped off with ginger beer. It tasted like a slightly flat Moscow Mule. It would be better if they used a sparkling lemonade instead.

The Red Beer was much better: A spicy Michilada-style drink with using Ballast Point Bloody Mary mix with a lager and a salt rim. Very refreshing.

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Comments
1

New Zealand is a most pleasant country to visit. Dunedin is well to the south on the South Island, and has a flat waterfront. As soon as you leave the waterfront, the terrain steepens, and you have San Francisco-style hills. A most interesting city.

There is the matter of the Kiwi accent. Seems as if they have utterly banished the short "e" sound, and are on the way to eliminating other short vowels. So, how to pronounce Dunedin? It's "doo-nee-din". Emphasis is equally on the first two syllables. So stretch it out, and it starts to sound and feel natural.

The Kiwis have been really trying to develop a cuisine that is their own. The restaurants try to make the food look as appetizing as possible. (On one or more occasions I'd have much rather they just bring some food to me, and not spend so much effort on the appearance.) So, maybe I'll visit the place and see if it brings it all back to me.

Oct. 29, 2017

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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