Review: Burgers and Beer at the Wolf Pack in Parkhurst*

I have a love hate relationship with Parkhurst. I love the street vibe: quirky restaurants intermingled with quaint boutiques, inviting passers-by to window shop. There’s something special about walking down a street like this in the sunshine, unaware of what treasures you may stumble upon.

I have to admit, I was a little distraught when I found out that one of 4th Avenue’s institutions, George’s on 4th, would be closing down to make way for a craft beer and burger joint, owned by the same people behind Craighall’s Cnr Café.  
We arrived to a packed restaurant on a Tuesday evening, and were shown to our table. I ordered a still water, and was surprised when the waiter told me they had run out. Now, I completely understand if a restaurant runs out of something like truffle oil, but surely, still water is a staple? Nevertheless, I opted for a cocktail instead, and soon we were happily enjoying our drinks while soaking in the restaurant’s vibe.
The interior is quite unique- outside, wooden blocks take the place of tables, while inside, the combination of face brick walls and tin chairs huddled together offer a rustic but charming ambiance.

 

Service was extremely slow, but understandably, the restaurant was still accustoming itself to catering for a full house. The burger menu offers a refreshing twist on what one usually expects. I’m used to having a choice between salad or chips with my burger, so I was really impressed to see a wide variety of salads available, like Asian salad with red cabbage, julienne carrots, toasted sesame seeds, basil and bean sprouts. You even have a choice of fries, including shoelace fries with garlic aioli, or sweet potato chips with hummus.
In terms of the gourmet burgers, in addition to the usual beef, there are vegan, veggie, ostrich and chicken options. We tried the Ostrich Burger- gourmet ostrich patty, served on a vetkoek with watercress, baby spinach and rocket, topped with blueberry reduction, avocado, toasted almonds and drizzled with feta dressing, R79, as well as the Big Bad Wolf- cheddar stuffed gourmet beef patty, pan finished in tomato stock, topped with wasabi onion rings, jalapenos, pineapple, pancetta, fresh tomato and garlic aioli.
Although the burgers sounded very enticing, we found them much smaller (in terms of width, not so much height) than the Wolfpack’s closest competitor, Duke’s in Greenside. Burgers were also a bit dry, and took ages to arrive.
For dessert, ice cream is the only option, with just 3 flavours to choose from (one of which was out of stock). We tried the pistachio, halva and honey comb, R40, which was delicious.

 

I’m not quite sure if the Wolf Pack lives up to its hype, but perhaps the restaurant just needs a bit more time to get used to the demand.
The Wolf Pack is situated at 21 4th Avenue, Parkhurst. Call 011 447 7705. Note that reservations are not accepted on weekends.
PS: just a reminder, in the interest of transparency, the * in the blog post title indicates that I was hosted by this restaurant for review purposes.
xxxx H