It’s time to migrate north of the bridge with the Stuffed Beaver and their new dining parlour.
Seven years after finding success amongst the Bondi foodie scene, the Stuffed Beaver gang have crossed the bridge into Crows Nest. Smack bang in the middle of the Pacific Highway, the Stuffed Beaver’s newest dive bar is serving up hearty, festive American fare with a Canadian twist for a new audience.
You’ll be greeted at the door with an eclectic collection of diner booths, colourful beer signs, wall paintings and fairy lights. And you’ll be greeted at the bar by co-owner Johnny Elizondo. Bar stools line the rustic counter whilst a giant 120-inch screen rolls game after game for sport lovers. It’s the perfect combination of a raucous Friday night bar and a homely, warm Canadian timber chalet.
Johnny knows Canadian hospitality and believed Crows Nest served as the perfect location for the Stuffed Beaver 2.0.
“It’s attractive for a number of reasons – its close proximity to the city, the vibe among the local community with both residents and businesses and a number of our Bondi regulars were also very vocal in wanting us to open over the bridge! This venue was a no brainer for us – we knew the moment we set eyes on the space that it was right.”
The drinks menu is dense with options. There are Margaritas ($15.99) to fulfil that Tex-Mex vibe and the Beaver Iced Tea ($17.99), a twist on the Long Island Iced Tea (I won’t tell you what makes it different from the original. You’ll have to pop into the diner to ask Johnny yourself). We start with a pint of the Beaver Brew pale ale, unique to the Stuffed Beavers.
Whilst a Bloody Mary is traditionally served in the morning, you’ll want a Bloody Cesar ($16.99) anytime of the day. This cocktail redefines the complexity of the original cocktail. Johnny tells us he uses Clamato juice instead of tomato.
“It uses clam broth in the juice which gives it flavour but none of the fishiness you’d expect”. That said, it’s got the fresh taste of tomato with a tang of clam”.
Served with all the classic accompaniments- a celery salt rim and pickle garnish, the cocktail is full bodied from the Clamato juice, with a spicy, tangy note from the chilli infused vodka and that hit of tobasco. Hungover or not this will go down a treat.
Speaking of hangovers, there’s no quintessential Canadian comfort food like poutine. Once upon a time the combination confused me. But hand on heart, all that doubt faded after my first bite of the Stuffed Beavers Classic Poutine ($14.99). A river of thick brown gravy plus cheese curds sit upon a bed of hearty chips. The gravy is a touch on the salty side but once it’s soaked up by the thick cut chips and gooey cheese, it all blends together perfectly. I can’t imagine anything tasting better after two (or three) beers. Visit on Thirsty Thursday for $10 poutines (more money for beer).
Deep fried pickles always seemed like a delicacy you could only try at a Tennessee State Fair. So I was pretty excited when I saw Frickles ($6.99) on the menu. Don’t expect little morsels to turn up, these pickles are meals in themselves. Long, chunky pickle spears are coated in a crisp, light batter and deep fried to perfection. The pickles are juicy and tender and not too sour or salty. The creamy ranch dressing was the perfect accompaniment.
Our lovely waitresses immediately recommended any one of the three chicken wings on the substantial menu. Whilst two of the wings are smothered in either hot sauce or BBQ sauce, the third are dry rubbed with sauce on the side.
The Bang Bang Wings ($11.99) are dry spiced wings served with the restaurants infamous hot sauce and ranch on the side. For wings without all the sauce, they’re still finger lickin’ good. There’s a solid hit of salt, pepper and other funky spices. The ranch will be a welcoming hit of relief for those who aren’t super confident about spice. But for the adventurous diner, make sure you smother your chicken with some hot sauce. It’s made in house and at 32 litres a week ,the gang in the kitchen know a good sauce. Be wary but be certain it’s the best hot sauce you will ever try. Keen to try all three wings? They’re all half price on Wings Wednesday!
It’s an eclectic, semi multi-cultural menu. Whilst cosy North American inspired cuisine hits up the bulk, there’s a bit of Tex-Mex flair throughout and a solid supply of burgers. With ten on the menu, you’ve got a lot of choice. We really went the chicken route and ordered up the BFC (Burger Fried Chicken) ($16.99). It came with panko crusted thigh fillet plus coleslaw and a tangy, chilli mayo. You can hear the crunch as you bite into it from Vancouver and the chicken inside is cooked to perfection. There’s also a healthy hit of spice from the tangy slaw and creamy mayo. Colonel eat your heart out.
Keep in mind there are nine other mouthwatering burgers to choose from so taste test on Tight Ass Tuesday with $10 burgers.
Prepare yourself for hibernation this winter with some dam good Canadian comfort food and some dam friendly and warm service from Johnny and the crew. Just make sure you follow the dam rules.
The Stuffed Beaver Dining Parlour.
419 Pacific Highway, Crows Nest NSW 2065
Mon 5-10pm, Tues-Sat noon-midnight, Sun noon-10pm