American Diner Degustation at Mad Cow (March into Merivale)

Yes boys and girls, it’s that time of year again! March into Merivale kicked off a couple of weeks ago, offering a variety of food and booze events (including the $33 meal deals) in the ever-expanding Merivale empire. With so many to choose from, it was hard to decide and these events were selling out like hotcakes! I was lucky enough to snag a spot at the American Diner Degustation with some other awesome peeps and we eagerly awaited a meal full of American diner classics in a room decked our with US flags and ketchup and mustard squeeze bottles.

Corn and cheese quesadillas

We start things off in southern USA with the Amuse Bouche of corn and cheese quesadillas. It’s not just corn and cheese in there though – there’s also some red peppers and guacamole – and with only one piece each it’s gone before we know it. Bring on the next course!

Mad Cow chopped salad with Spencer Gulf prawns

I’m no expert on American food, but I’m struggling to see how a chopped salad with prawns features on an American Diner menu. Anyway, the dish was everything I expect a chopped salad to be – a bit of lettuce, tomato, radish, cucumber, avocado – and on top of that are pieces of a cooked, giant prawn. The prawn is sweet and juicy and though the dish isn’t exactly what I would call American, it is a tasty and refreshing first course.

Grilled Atlantic salmon, crushed peas, mint

Heading north now, we feast on some Atlantic salmon which has been grilled until the skin is crisp and the flesh still medium rare. It’s beautifully cooked and goes well with the sweetness of the crushed peas and shredded mint.

Braised beef short ribs, peas, baby carrots, thyme

I’d been especially looking forward to this course, hoping for some Southern or Midwest inspired BBQ meat. The dish turns out to be a more French-inspired dish with a slow-cooked beef short rib with creamy mashed potato and a hell of a lot of thyme! The meat is meltingly soft and the whole dish is absolutely delicious, but I can’t help but be a little disappointed at the lack of American-ness.

French fries

But all is well when a bowl of fries arrives at the table! This is what we’ve been after the whole time – a simple bowl of french fries which are perfectly crisp and lightly salted, just like you would get at a real American diner.

Key lime pie

For dessert, we enjoy a slice of key lime pie complete with candied lime zest and cream. The pie filling is nice and tangy with a cloud of sweet meringue on the top, but after a while it all starts to get a little too sweet. The crust reminds me of a good old biscuit cheesecake base and I may or may not have started digging an underground passage through my pie just to eat the base without the top.


We finish with coffees (not the crappy filtered kind) and a selection of cookies and we try to eat them in order to make sure we save the best for last! There are (from foreground to background) Grandma’s oatmeal cookies, peanut butter cookies, choc chip cookies and home made oreos. I’m disappointed by the choc chip cookies but the rest of them were awesome and a great way to end the meal. As much as I hate raisins in my cookies, I still loved the oatmeal cookies which were laden with raisins heh. Now, if only I could get my hands on the cookie recipes!

March into Merivale runs from 16th February to 5th April 2012. Check out the website for more information on the special events and $33 meal deal menus.

9 thoughts on “American Diner Degustation at Mad Cow (March into Merivale)”

  1. I remember being curious about the American diner degustation. I was expecting reuben sandwiches, fried chicken and waffles, hash browns, meat loaf, cheeseburgers, vanilla malt milkshakes, root beer floats and banana splits! I thought the chopped salad might have been a cobb salad at least?

  2. A bit of a random combo of food, not really diner food from my limited diner experience in the US of A….it does all look tasty though. I’d love to try Key Lime Pie sometime.

  3. I was tossing up weather to go to this or not. I can’t say I felt like I missed out on an American Diner experience. Food looks good, but not what I would of expected at all. Except for the key lime pie, all looks pretty normal.

  4. Man I have not had a good key lime pie in the longest time. Strangely there was one place in London that did an amazing one… must find one in Sydney!

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