Words by By Nick Mason
I’m sure we’re all familiar with a restaurant or cafe that’s overly preoccupied with image; a forced sense of style that can take away from the overall vibe of the place. The Tramway Hotel, on the other hand, is somewhere that comes off as entirely free of pretension. There’s a cosiness to the place that doesn’t feel expertly managed, a certain coolness that comes naturally.
Their focus is independent beers, burgers and music. That much is apparent from the menu and the specials board, with the burgers named in honour of ‘Melbourne Bands Who Rule’. For instance, you can wrap your laughing gear around the Batpiss Burger – a prospect much more delicious than it sounds. Appropriately, though, it’s potent stuff, with a choice of beef or mushroom patty, blue cheese butter, onion rings, BBQ sauce, rocket and chipotle pickles. There’s also the Whipper, which resembles an American-inspired super-sized cheeseburger.
A word on the burgers too – they’re massive. You get plenty of bang for your buck from The Tramway Hotel’s kitchen, as well as a rigorous jaw-focused workout trying to negotiate the best way to devour their miniature mountains. In a recent initiative, all of the hotel’s burgers were made available as vegetarian and vegan options, with the alternatives just as appetising as the originals.
The menu’s primary focus is complemented with a variety of side. There’s your classic bowl of fries, mac and cheese (chipotle or original), onion rings and a particularly moreish poutine that stands to conquer patrons before their main course should they lack self-control.