Sunday, 19 May 2013

Casual Dining - The Burrow

What's up in Brisbane at the moment?  It's starting to get cold, seriously cold, the type of cold that you would expect in August, right in the middle of winter and not at the tail end of Autumn!  When it's this cold I often think of comfort food and stuffing yourself in a nice warm room.  So on a cold and windy night in the middle of May, we decided we would head over to West End and get some pizza!

When you think of pizza over at West End, the Burrow is the first place that springs to mind and is surprisingly one of the restaurants around town that I have never been to before.  The Burrow is a much loved and popular pizza joint in the fringe of West End.  I had been warned before that it's pretty hard to get into and had experienced this myself when trying to book in at short notice a few weeks ago.  Thinking ahead this time, I called up with plenty of notice and booked a table for two.

Being such a cold night, I dropped SC off out the front of the Burrow and then proceeded to find a park  and luckily found one just a few minutes walk from the restaurant.  I might add a few very cold minutes away and by the time I arrived I was pretty cold.  SC was already seated at our table and after joining her was disappointed to hear that they didn't have our booking but that we had lucked out and scored a table anyway.  I would have been mighty peeved if we couldn't have been seated after making a booking!

If this was the only issue of the night, I would have laughed it off and considered myself lucky that we got a seat, but there was more to come!  SC advised me that pretty much all of the entrees were not available on the night and the two options that we were both pretty excited about trying were in that list!  It looked like there would be no entrees on this night.....  We had arrived fairly early to the restaurant and the place was not yet pumping, but we really struggled to get anyone to come and take our orders, even after repeatedly trying to catch the eye of the wait staff wandering around the place (looking cool, but not doing much).

Just as it seemed as if we were about to reach our limits of patience we finally had one of the 'cool' looking wait staff come over and apologise about the wait and that he had been trying to get over to us. Good to know in hindsight, but a little nod to say that we had been seen would have been appreciated!  Without the yummy looking entrees available, we just decided to go for a pizza each and a side of chips with a Pilsner Beer for SC.

The beer and pizza menu at the Burrow actually looked pretty exciting with some really interesting options available with some crazy ingredients with even crazier names!  Some of the names included 'cheese is a kind of meat', 'to grace greenfields' and 'life aquatic'.  SC chose the Diana Ross pizza which consisted of calabrese, chorizo, pancetta, capsicum, mushroom, onions & black olives, but SC asked for her pizza to come without the olives.  The Diana Ross pizza came with a liberal covering of a tasty tomato sauce and covered in toppings on a lovely cooked and crispy base.  The pizza was actually pretty good.

I tend to stick to the classics when it comes to pizza and it does not get more classic than a margherita!  The version at the Burrow is called a 'bloody margherita' and comes with buffalo mozzarella, tomato, fresh basil and a 'Bloody Mary' base.  I have had margherita pizzas that have been taste sensations and onces that were completely bland and this one tended towards the latter.  When hearing terms like Bloody Mary I was expecting a tastier base with a bit of a punch, but it fell pretty flat.  Also, with so much sliced tomato on top of the pizza, it needed a little seasoning (simple salt and pepper) to get the flavour out of the tomato.  The best part of the pizza was the base which was nice and crispy although it didn't do enough to save the pizza for me.

By the time our pizzas arrived the place was pumping and was mostly full of twenty-somethings and hipsters.  There were a couple of older folk spread throughout the restaurant, whom most likely were West End locals in for a quick pizza for the night.  There was a certain vibe in the place with actually looks great and the presence of the hipsters really contributed to the vibe.  The interior of the Burrow is an eclectic mix of old style wood and funky art, mostly drawn in chalk around the venue.

I found the service on the whole to be lacking.  It seemed as if the staff were too concerned with walking around the place looking cool, but perhaps I was a bit jaded on the night with the lack of entrees and being ignored for too long.  They seemed friendly enough when you were talking to them, but the trick on the night seemed to be to get someone's attention.  In fact, it only seemed that we were deemed cool enough to be served when I took my jumper off and had my tattoos showing!

I'm not entirely sure why the Burrow has the reputation as one of the better and more popular pizza joints around town, perhaps it's because there are not too many in West End.  There are far better pizza restaurants around Brisbane and places where it doesn't feel as if you have to look just right to fit in.  I actually normally like restaurants and cafes with an edge to them, but to pull it off, you have to have seriously good food and I don't think the Burrow's pizza quite cuts it.


The chips had to do as a substitute for no entrees and they were pretty good, nice and crispy.  SC actually wanted the tomato relish with them but got the aioli instead
The Burrow uses chalk boards all over the place to draw cool looking art
Starting to fill up and the odd older customer in sight!
Does anyone else think the burrow sign looks like the mask from Scream?
The burrow is a cafe and bar too
I love the colourful art in the background
Through the bar you can see the kitchen
Lots of interesting little drawings around the Burrow

The Burrow on UrbanspoonThe Burrow


  1. Looks like you had a crap time! I have never been here when they are really busy, so perhaps thats why I've had good experiences. Their pizzas aren't the best in Brisbane, but I think they are good, and its a good place to go if you have a group of people to share them around. You'd pay the same for takeaway Pizza Capers really...


  2. Its all about the timing sometimes! SC's pizza was pretty nice, but mine was just bland. Yeah, there were large groups of twenty-somethings hanging about and drinking heaps of beer :)


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