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.
3501 30th Street, North Park
It’s a pretty cool setting, with a nice patio, perfect for drinking on a balmy autum evening.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.