Welcome to Thornbury

When I first heard this place was opening, I wasn’t too excited. Mainly because past food truck parks and festivals were great at first, but then they got repetitive. The packed crowds and long waits for food just were not worth the overpriced food portions.

My sister hasn’t experienced one though, so we decided to give it a shot. It seems a sunny Saturday lunch was the perfect time to drop by. It gradually got busier from 12.30 onwards, but wasn’t so packed that no one could move.

The bar is long and magnificent, extending from the indoors to the outdoor section. It was quiet as it was just after 12, but as the afternoon went on, it proved quite useful. With such a long bar and several staff, you don’t have to wait too long to be served.

One of the drawcards to get me to visit on this particular Saturday was the presence of Doughboy Donuts. They announced on Instagram they would be serving some new cherry donuts and I am aware they will be opening a store at 535 Bourke St shop in a month or two. What better way to sample the goods?

My sister chose the Cherry Pot, which I avoided because of the dark chocolate mousse filling. The dark chocolate wasn’t too strong whilst the cherry coating added a nice sweetness to cover it anyway.

I grabbed an earl grey, because I was curious as to how it would weigh up against Shortstop Donut’s rose and earl grey. I was a little weary of the mandarin on the Doughboys’ version, but I think I might like this one more!

donuts2The raspberry on top complimented the earl grey. The mandarin helped make it a sweet, fruity donut suitable for spring/summer, whereas Shortstop’s is more floral.

Meanwhile, they were selling bottled espresso and filter coffee from Small Batch Roast. I’d already had a coffee but Small Batch is my favourite, so I had to try one! The espresso + milk was almost like an iced coffee (it’s served cold) with more milk and no icecream. I could probably drink it every day if it was available to me.

The second drawcard was the Dude Food Man truck. I’ve been wanting to try these burgers for a long time, as they often pop up my Instagram and make me drool.

My sister chose the double smokey BBQ burger and admitted she was probably a bit ambitious, as it was packed with meat. I chose the basic Dude burger as I wanted to save room for my donut.

They looked delicious but I felt like they needed more melted cheese and/or sauce as the patties felt plain and the burger dry in some parts. I also prefer my chips fat, so these weren’t my favourite. Brown, crispy and served with aioli – I find all chips easy to scoff down, but they weren’t a standout due to them not being thick!

Dude Food Man Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The food may not have been amazing and it was slightly expensive – $40 for all of the burgers and one tray of chips. But what I loved was the casual suburban vibe. Young people were catching up over drinks but there were many families and small children too, grabbing a burger and gelato.

Not to mention all the dogs – as I heard one of the bartenders say: “There are SO MANY DOGS here! This is the best place to work ever!!”

I’d say it would probably get busier at night and not as nice without the sun. The seating area has an outdoor pub feel but more family-friendly – so don’t hesitate to bring the kids if you’re around! Thank you Welcome to Thornbury for proving me wrong. I’ve heard a new Preston Food Truck Park has also opened but no liquor license – I think it has a lot of atmosphere to live up to if it’s competing against Thornbury.

Take a look at the food schedule for Welcome to Thornbury here. It’s open Mon-Thurs from 5pm and Fri-Sun from 12pm.

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