OutBack Jacks – Glendale NSW – Review

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Brad and I have beautiful friends. Some we see often and some we don’t but when we do get together it’s like we were never apart. A friend of ours, Jason (who used to work with Brad) applied and got accepted to work  FIFO (fly in fly out) and one his last night in Newcastle we were lucky enough to catch up with him, his wife Alyson and his son Joey, for dinner at Outback Jacks.

Brad and I went to this establishment for the first time 3 years ago when it was Lone Star. WOW, what a disappointment that was! Brad had been raving about this place for weeks (after finding it at Glendale) and was desperate to get there. My white wine was warm, our entrées looked like they had been thrown on the plate and our mains failed to even come out. After 1 hour of waiting we were told our “dockets” had been misplaced. Needless to say, we got a full refund back and ended up at McDonald’s!

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Anyway, Lone Star changed hands and became Outback Jacks. Of course I was dubious when Brad suggested we go there for dinner one night….”it might be better” he said “we need to eat and we are right there” he proclaimed. When we got there then ambiance of the place was completely different, all the waitresses were wearing cowgirl hats and had huge smiles on their faces. We ordered and I’m happy to report the food was amazing! So this is why we went back!

We met A, J and J at the restaurant and they had already ordered their drinks, a beer, a cider and a coke. We had a quick look at the menu and progressed to order a house red and a beer also. I have to admit now that I was slightly surprised at paying $8.50 for a glass of house red (only known once I received the bill) but the wine was good, I’ll give it that! We all ordered.

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Jason ordered the Lump-a-Rump 500g rump steak with chips and salad. He ordered medium and I advised they cooked the steaks pretty on key so he went medium rare – this bloke has eaten blue with me before! He was super impressed with the way his steak was cut and how it came out. IMG_0911 Alyson ordered the chicken and ribs combo and unfortunately was the only dish on that was ordered that failed to come out with the rest of them, we thought it had not been cooked, but eventually it came out and A was very impressed and managed to finish it off! IMG_0916   Joey, as teenagers do, ordered the chicken schnitzel and gravy with chips and he was delighted with what was placed in front of him! IMG_0913   Brad opted for  what he had the time before, the Wagyu burger. WOW when it came out on a silver platter it was like dinning with a king! Hilarious but still delicious. I had a bite of Brads burger and normally trying to eat a steak burger doesn’t work for me with an over bite but it was that tender it just pulled apart! IMG_0915   And me, well I opted for the same I had last time, the Sparrows Rump at 300g. OMG it was huge! I ordered blue and pleased I did because I came out rare but I am happy with that. IMG_0912 IMG_0918

So again, a really successful trip to a franchised joint Outback Jacks! Go there people of Newcastle NSW you will not be disappointed!

 

Note: picture of outside and inside of outback jacks taken from google images.

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Polenta – Enough Said

OMG I am slightly addicted to this beautiful ground cornmeal substance!

It was only a few weeks back when I was chatting with Kate, a girl I work with about polenta. She is gluten intolerant and I tend to cook a lot of dishes that are gluten free as my mother is also intolerant. I was telling her about the ready made stuff I used to use in the UK and how amazing it was. You see, I had attempted to make it from powder form and failed miserably. As I’m sure you’re cottoning onto, I don’t do measurements or timing so well and therefore this make it yourself polenta ended up in the bin.

I was super excited two weeks ago when i was just daydreaming down the pasta isle of Coles when I stopped to check a message on my phone and just glanced right and there, low and behold was this ready made polenta!

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Super excited, I snapped a picture quickly and sent it to Kate, I placed the polenta back on it’s shelf and started walking away, only to find myself dashing back to this exciting find and throwing it into my trolley like a little guilty pleasure!

When I got home I popped all my groceries away and then sat and stared at this wonder, wondering what I would make to go with it! You see the ready made stuff, although super easy to use, only as a 3-4 day window from opening the packet and placing it in the fridge. I definitely didn’t want to waste this golden treasure so I started planning meals that I could do that would utilise it all.

The first dish I did I pan fried the polenta in thick steaks trying to achieve the rather difficult black line look. I served this with a T-bone steak, green beans and home made red onion relish. This recipe can be found here.

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I had enough polenta left over to try a very simple polenta and rosemary fries recipe that I just made up. This time, however, I decided to spray the fries with olive oil and sprinkle salt and finely chopped fresh rosemary and then bake them rather then fry them. Although this took around 30 minutes to achieve, the result was mind blowing and I will post a recipe for this as soon as i make them again and remember to take a picture of it!

Last night, I had bought a new packet of this wonderful accompaniment and decided as it was Meatless Monday that I would use some frozen Salmon steaks and build on that. In the end I made a homemade salsa and served the dish with a swirl of Sweet Chilli Sauce. Not the cleanest of eating but OMG it just topped the dish off to a T! You can find that recipe here……

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So my journey with polenta is really only starting. Maybe one day I will venture back to the “do it yourself” kind, but for now, I am happy in the knowledge that sat in my pantry (or fridge when I have opened the packet) is my ready made polenta just waiting to be eaten all up!

#Getinmybelly

Friday Booze Lunch

I love how I work for a wine company and yet when we (me and the colleagues) venture out for Friday Lunch we all end up drinking beer! Maybe it’s the fact that we think, speak, and look at wine all day that drives that need for a fresh, crisp bubbly beer or in fact could it be the need for something you can gulp down and feel some what “thirst quenched” by?

As the sun was shinning here in Newcastle, NSW we (well me and two others) decided the best place to go would be the Honeysuckle Hotel as you can sit in the sun – needless to say although the sun was out and the skies are blue, the wind was wild and we ended up sitting inside.

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Most places around our office offer a good lunch time special. Sometimes we opt for $20 pizza and a pint, if we are feeling flush we go to the very popular but pretty pricey James Squires. Today was a non flush day (even though it’s pay week) and we opted for the Honeysuckle Hotel where they offer $12 Steak and Chips, Schnitzel and Chips, Calamari and salad or battered fish and chips. They do of course have an array of other dishes available which are pretty $$$$ but for lunch $12 is great for a good feed, not mentioning the beers are nearly $7 for a scooner! (for those of you not from Australia this is less then a pint!) So we opted for a cheap feed and saved our coin for two scooners!

I ordered the Steak and Chips. I like my beef still “mooing” but because of being out with colleagues I didn’t want to gross them out with blood so ordered rare. Slight disappointment on the rareness of the steak as it was barely pink in the middle but still a gorgeous cut of meat and melted in my mouth. All the other options were a little disappointing. The calamari, although delicious, lacked the all important chips and the fish and chips were apparently frozen shop bought sticks of fish that did not satisfy the Red Dog (Christian) one bit.

Aside from that, I, as always, enjoyed my colleagues/friends company and of course the witty remarks and copious laughter that echoed from our table.

Cheers to a great working life!

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