July 08, 2009

The Australian

My friends and I are always on the lookout for cheap and tasty Happy Hour spots! I met up with my friend, Blonde Beth, yesterday for a long-overdue catch-up session. She did some googling and came up with this place, which was within walking distance of my office. The Australian touts itself as a bit of Down Under flair in the middle of Manhattan. Our waitress even had a pretty believable Australian accent. I ordered the Passion Fruit Martini off the HH menu (6 bucks) and Beth was already drinking a non-HH Drink. The martini was scrumptious and STRONG. Our experience was going along nicely....until.... Beth found something in her glass. Something globby, something gross, and something altogether unpleasant. I was taking a picture of it when the waitress came back to check on us. We showed her the glob, and she barely blinked. Beth ordered another drink (this time off the HH menu), and we shuddered and tried to think of puppies and sunshine. Unfortunately, I'd already ordered my chicken saté app, or we would have up and left. Maybe we should have anyway. Oh well. I figured I'd at least give them the chance to make it up to us. Yeep.

My sate and Beth's ouzmo arrived (I was already halfway through my martini) and we decided to soldier on (brave souls that we are). The sate was good, but it didn't taste as advertised--the menu called for peanut sauce and a chili yogurt sauce, but I saw none of that. I tasted rosemary and olive oil, and it was still good. Oh well. They were all white meat, delicious, and the potato wedges underneath were good-sized, expertly seasoned, and FANTASTIC. All in all, this was an excellent value for 5 bucks (another HH special). I was quite full, and the food was good for absorbing my 2nd passion fruit martini. Beth had one ouzmo but then switched to the passion fruit martini as well--I highly recommend them. They're sweet, but they have a tartness to them, too.

When our bill came, I was annoyed to see our waitress had not removed the 10-dollar drink (which Beth took 3 sips of before seeing that unsightly glob). However, she had long since gone, and when we explained it to our server (a lovely young man with a tongue piercing I couldn't help staring at), he quickly removed it from the bill and set it right. While I wasn't initially satisfied with our female server's lack of concern re: globs in drinks, I am pleased at how the second server fixed it. It made our disconcerting moments pale next to his attentiveness and the rest of the food and drinks (which were great). We will definitely come back and give it another go.

The Australian
20 West 38 Street
New York, NY 10017

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