Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Victoria's hubby

Curious as to what might have caused the Prince Alfred Hotel to be demoted in the Cheap Eats guide this year, I paid it a visit. The Alfred lies on the corner of Bay Street and Spring St North inbetween The Rose and the Sloaney Pony. At first glance the exterior suggests an unrenovated pub, however inside all interior walls have some time ago been taken out to generate a huge open area with an imposing central bar. However unlike many local pubs it still retains a period feel, thanks to exposed beams, woodwork and arched windows.
For me, this is an ideal Port Melbourne pub. In fact, were it not for the imminent intriguing rebirth of the Rose, I'd be tempted to declare it the town's best. It has a proper range of domestic beers on tap, it's not brightly lit, it has live entertainment, it has a menu good enough for a date, but it's still ultimately a traditional inn with a good atmosphere. It might have dropped a notch in The Age's estimations (although this is possibly more due to rising menu prices than declining quality), but it's still more highly regarded than those flashier joints at the other end of Bay Street.
And so concludes my review of every single pub in Port Melbourne. We are lucky to have so many proper pubs (way more than wonder-suburb South Yarra), and catering to such a wide range of punters. The biggest lesson I've learnt is that you just can't tell what a pub's like by its exterior, so if there's one that's always put you off from outside, give it a go!

Beers on tap: Coopers Light, Carlton, Coopers Pale, Pure Blonde, Becks, Little Creatures Bright Ale, Prickly Moses Otway Ale, St Arnou Pilsner, Mountain Goat Steam Ale, White Rabbit Dark Ale!
Wine range: $8-$11 a glass
Parma: $22 (nicely presented, but cheese and chips are a let down)
Gastro: Heading that direction
Tradie vs Yuppy: Smack bang in the middle

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