Mary’s – Newtown

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Down a skinny lane, past Kelly’s Court – Loung and Bistro and voila! you’re there. If you’ve past the ‘No Parking’ sign, you’ve gone to far. The blue door etched with crap graffiti and leading down a dark corridor? That’s the one. Mary’s is a an STI clinic-turned-bar – just one of many really! This not-so-secret hideout has been on my to-visit list since reading about their acclaimed burgers, fried chicken and mash. Once your eyes adjust to the darkness you can appreciate the menus chalked on blackboards with neat script. You order your food at the bar, which can be a bit confusing, especially when you have to lean between patrons sitting at the bar. The food is delivered to you, wrapped in grease paper and sitting in black wire baskets. You know its serious when there’s grease paper.

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Half a chicken $16 | Potato and Mash $5

They offer three types of burgers, we decided to order a burger each. My friends got a Mary’s Burger $14, Cheeseburger $14 and I got the Shroom Burger $12 (vegetarians whaddup!) because the name and everyone loves a giant mushroom! You can also ask for bacon and other toppings which are an additional cost. The burgers come with a large side of fries and the first thing I notice is the shiny brioche burger bun they use. It actually glistened under what little light we had (excuse the photos, enhanced using Instagram – I know). We agreed that the Mary Burger with a beef patty, lettuce, tomato and some special sauce was the best. We didn’t understand why the Cheeseburger with less content cost as much as this number. I particularly enjoyed my Shroom Burger, and am now on a mission to find one that is obtainable during uni breaks.

The fried chicken has a distinct flavour that I can’t seem to put my finger on. It’s spicy but in a mushy way – I could eat it, but I didn’t particularly like it. I really like the mash here as it was both smooth and yummy. We ordered some drinks because yeah; it is first and foremost a bar, but you’d probably have more luck heading over to The Strain to find a well-versed and educated review. Just to give you an indication, when I go to the bar, my typical order is “I’ll have what she’s having” and yes it will probably be a colourful drink that is 70% lemonade. Or cider. It gets pretty crazy.

Overall, I was kinda setting myself up for disappointment as I did come here with soaring expectations. In saying that, it definitely beats any bar food I’ve ever had and if I’m pressed for a cheap and greasy eat, I’d probably pop by! Though head there early because I’ve been told that the lines get grossly long in the evening. Good luck!

Mary’s
Address: 6 Mary Street, Newtown 2024
Open: Mon-Fri 4pm-midnight; Sat noon-midnight; Sun noon-10pm

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