The Sporting Club has fast become one of our favourite pubs, so we were a bit anxious when it rebranded itself the Charles Weston Hotel. We peered in the windows a few times when they were closed and nothing really seemed to have changed, but we figured we should go and check it out to make sure. Aside from a couple of shiny signs on the outside, the fit-out is basically unchanged. We set up camp in the courtyard to make sure the food still measured up. The menu is clearly labelled and includes an expanded range of vegan options, including tofu tacos ($10), polenta fritters ($10) and a beetroot and quinoa salad ($18). There's plenty of gluten-free stuff to choose from as well.
Cindy spent all morning craving the haloumi burger ($18), which we've somehow never blogged before despite ordering a whole bunch of times. It's the same as ever: a crumbed haloumi square with some tomato and lettuce on a brioche-y bun. Throw in a side of crispy fries and this was an ideal lunch - it's a simple but effective pub meal that's pretty hard to top.
I ordered the black beans on fried tortillas, with guacamole and Greek salad ($18). This was awkward to eat - soft tacos would be more manageable than these crispy discs, but the beans and guacamole combo was top notch, so I scarfed it down hoping that nobody saw my messiness. The Greek salad was fine, but was a pretty odd fit with the Mexi-themed centrepiece.
We were relieved to find that the Charles Weston Hotel really is just the Sporting Club with a different name - the food is still great, there are even more vegan options and there's always a range of delicious tap beers to choose from. It's a great local pub, but even if we didn't leave nearby I reckon I'd travel to visit it.
Food bloggers don't seem to have discovered the Charles Weston yet. Read about our previous trips (back when it was The Sporting Club) here, here and here.
Charles Weston Hotel
27 Weston Street, Brunswick
Accessibility: The Charles Weston has a flat standard-width entry and plenty of space inside. Ordering and payment takes place at the bar, which in our experience can be very loud. The toilets were easy to get to but were just ordinary sized cubicles for men and women.