Pub & takeaway food: Driving across Australia, including the Outback, the Nullarbor & then some more

I took heaps of foods to make our own snacks, breakfasts, lunches and dinners (if need be). Everything from fresh foods, to canned chicken and 2 Minute Noodles (Top Ramen). This included drinks and snacks of all types galore. Healthy and unhealthy alike.

Lunch I made on the side of the road the first day

I wasn’t sure where we would be able to stop for food, and even how much it was going to be in the remote areas and knowing how much food is at a pub in a normal town, I heard meals could be $30 on up at a roadhouse. So I figured, we could at least have the option to eat what we had and make a sandwich of our own, or we could choose to have takeaway or pub grub when possible.

2 Minute Noodles I made in the Caravan in Carnarvon

Now knowing what I know now, there is plenty of food across the journey. You can always grab snacks, meals and even milk along the journey. All the roadhouses along the Nullarbor and gas stations along the way have plenty to snack and stock up on. Often, even the little stations almost always had takeaway food like hamburgers, sandwiches, rolls and chips.

With that said, I am incredible proud of us for the amount of times we didn’t eat out or didn’t buy snacks at the service stations. While there is plenty to munch on, plan on paying 2-3 times what you normally would at a grocery store, understandably.

We always ate breakfast, lunch and all snacks from the things that I had packed with the exception of one morning we passed a McDonald’s and I was craving eggs. Along the way, and after really long drives we did decide to have our dinners out. With that said, eating 6 meals out in 6 days is pretty darn good!

The most expensive meal was $50 for the 2 of us for dinner at the Norseman Hotel (Pub), otherwise the average we spent was probably $30 for the two of us for all the other takeaway dinners. Aussies will know that’s really good, Americans probably think that’s dinner for 2 at a decent restaurant. Because of the price difference in takeaway food here, $30 is quite reasonable, especially for the smaller, remote areas we were in.

Night 1 Broken Hill, NSW: Bernels Takeaway Shop

Bernels Takeaway shop had the average takeaway shop look, and even the ladies looked the same to the ones in Orange! They were really friendly, and it was pretty quiet inside. There were only 2 other people waiting for their food since it was a Sunday at about 7:00 p.m.

This was my actual chicken burger.

I ordered the chicken burger and Nathan the prawn pack. The prawn pack came with about a dozen little battered prawns that were tossed in with the chips in a little box. My sandwich had a breaded chicken, a pretty huge bun that overpowered everything on the sandwich. On it was tomato sauce (ketchup) lettuce, cheese & mayo. The cheese and tomato sauce were extra, while the mayo and lettuce was standard. And then Nathan also ordered 3 potato scallops.

Because I’ll pretty much eat any beef or chicken on a bun slathered with sauce, my sandwich was good. It wasn’t great, definitely wasn’t anything special, but it wasn’t bad.

Nathan’s prawn pack was really basic as well. It was pretty small on the size, and it had that soggy look to it. He rates his a 2 1/2 out of 5.

Nate’s actual prawn pack.

The scallops were yuck. I’ve only had amazing life changing scallops from one place, Greengate in Orange. I’d never had them before (they’re similair to a hash brown, a battered potato absolutely drenched in layers of oil and fat) Jess told me that they were life changing and had to try them a few months ago. You know what? They were. So much so I used to go and order just potato scallops when Nathan was a work. Then a few weeks back when I was craving them I OD’ed on them, and haven’t wanted them since. Because they’re literally like a heart attack on a plate.

But the ones at Bernels were stale and ordinary. I had one bite and handed it back to Nate.

We did get 2 ice creams. Nate a Magnum and me a drumstick. And our total for everything was about $27.00.

Night 2 Ceduna, South Australia: Bill’s Chicken & Seafood

I had the Burger with the Lot, it’s the Aussie version of the hamburger ( “The Lot” includes cheese, pineapple, beetroot, grilled onion, fried egg, bacon, tomato and lettuce) with chips, while Nate had chicken schnitzel with chips and gravy.

Mine was okay, it was huge though. It looked absolutely delicious, but I am so spoiled when it comes to beef over the last 10 months. Orange and the country NSW has the best beef ever (probably has something to do with the fact there are cattle farms everywhere, and beef is always local.) This beef was too perfectly round to be anything fresh, and really felt and tasted like frozen pre-made meat that you buy at the store. That part was disappointing as it took away from the burger. Even with all the fixings, it just felt like it was missing something.

Nathan loved his chicken schnitzel with chips and gravy. That was the special for the night, so I believe it was only $12.50 for two big pieces of schnitzel over an entire takeaway container full of fresh chips.

The customer service was fantastic though. The girls working there were extremely friendly. I always say I will go back to places with good customer service. You can have the best food or product, but if your customer service is poor, I will go with the ordinary tasting food any day.

Both our meals were about $25.00 and we had out own drinks back at the motel.

Night 3 Norseman, Western Australia: Norseman Hotel

The Norseman Hotel was our most expensive meal of the trip. This was after our 13 hour, 1,200 kilometer trip and we were hungry and exhausted. We tried finding a takeaway shop, but there was nothing open at 7:00 p.m. except the only local pub. So off to the pub we went.

This pub was the absolute perfect stereotype of life in the Outback! You don’t get anymore Aussie than this place. It honestly reminded me of what a saloon would have looked like back in the day, but with regular doors. Lol

They didn’t have takeaway, so we had to order there and wait to eat it. When we got there it was loud, crowded and not very big nor did they have many places to sit. I found a little table in a corner, but it was next to the pool table so Nate kept getting almost knocked in the head with the pool table stick thing. (Yeah, I don’t know what it’s called…) Luckily the man at one of the regular 2 tables next to us got up and left so we took over his table. By the time we got out food, it had really started to quiet down which was nice.

It took a good 45 minutes to get our food and by this time it was almost 8:00 p.m. and we were nearly falling asleep and not feeling the drunken miners. I think we were almost thinking it was worth starving and we should have just gone straight to bed. But as it quieted down and we got our food, we were heaps better and somehow we became a lot more pleasant. Lol

I ordered my usual burger with chips and Nate the chicken parmigiana and chips.

I enjoyed mine, and finished the whole thing! I’ve worked hard and can now almost always finish a full burger. Oh yeah! Although my jeans tell me that’s not something to be proud of. It was an average burger that I’ve had most place. The burger is my favorite thing to get at all pubs. It wasn’t the best I had, once again because the beef wasn’t as good, but it was still quite decent.

Nate’s chicken parmigiana was good as well, there same you get at most pubs. Neither was spectacular worth remembering, but it was definitely a good feed.

There was one girl working the bar and taking orders and she was fantastic. Great customer service and attitude and as sweet as pie. I believe the total for both our dinners was about $40 and Nate’s Jim Beam was about $8.50 (which is cheaper than Orange…) I had water as usual, so total for dinner was $50.

Night 4 Geraldton, Western Australia: McDonald’s 

Really? Of all options, we had Maccas? Yes. By the time we got into Gerladton Nathan was pretty sick with a fever. We had a couch with a view of the ocean and the best option for the night was pizza. Domino’s was all I found, so we ordered over the phone because I couldn’t get the app to work on the iphone. (note to self and others, if the app doesn’t find your address, it’s because they don’t deliver there.)

So Nathan called and put in the order by phone (which by the way is WAY more expensive than ordering online via Facebook, their website or the iphone app. We could get 2 pizzas for $15 easily with coupon codes in Orange. Nathan didn’t dare tell me the total until after we found out we wouldn’t be eating pizza.

We hadn’t planned on going out, hence on getting delivery, but I attempted to go out after dark to find a pharmacy. Geraldton is a real town, not sure of the population, but it is quite big and every one I found was closed and the two places I stopped to ask people both referred the same place which was closed. So after an hour of failing to get meds for my hubby I drove back tired thinking the pizza would be cold by the time I got back.

When I walked in the door it didn’t smell like pizza and I didn’t see any pizza. This was at least an hour and a half after we ordered it. So Nathan called back and they said they were unable to deliver to us. Thanks for telling us now! Apparently they tried calling us, but it didn’t go through, and we had a voicemail. Anyway, they told us we could pick it up. So I said fine, I would drive back to get it since I had to go into town to get something to eat no matter what anyway.

This is where I was heaps proud of Nate. He asked for a discount considering the situation. The girl he was talking with was really nice and said she’d ask her manager, Nathan could here the manager in the background say absolutely not very fast. Nate said, never mind then. This is when I found out it was going to be $44 for two pizzas and 2 sodas! WHAT! And pizzas here are one size, “large” but probably the size of the American small. I can eat a whole pizza on my own. Considering we would pay probably not even $20 in Orange, that was absurd because we ordered over the phone and they would’t give us the coupons over the phone because they were “Internet” coupons. Even though it wouldn’t let us “order online” on any of the apps.

Anyways, after that long story, I drove to McDonald’s got 2 Big Mac Meals, one with an Orange Fanta and another with orange juice, spent $20 and drove my merrily self home.

Beyond over it didn’t describe my mood that night. McDonald’s as usual, always the life saver, they alway deliver in their ever so faithfulness to my cheeseburger loving and orange cheese belly self.

Night 5 Carnarcon, Western Australia: Chicken Treat

I just love this name! Apparently Chicken Treat I’m guessing is the equivalent to the Red Rooster in NSW. It’s chicken. Whole chicken, chicken pieces and chicken burgers. Different from KFC because it just tastes a bit more local takeaway shop than chain. Even if it is a chain. This just doesn’t feel as fatty and greasy to the KFC max.

This was our last night and Nate was still in bed, so I went through the drive thru and bough two chicken burger deluxe meals home. I ordered a side of cole slaw as well.

Nate loved the chicken burger, but not the fries. He said the fries were way too salty.

I thought the burger was okay and loved the fries. I love salty and crispy fries. I needed some other flavor on the chicken, like a special sauce. Maybe because I am a complete special sauce whore. Give me anything with delicious sauce and I’m yours.

The coleslaw was pretty ordinary. Kind of yuck actually. It’s in a pre packaged container you have to peel the cellophane back on, like it was packaged at corporate or you’d buy in the grocery store type. I don’t think anything compares to KFC coleslaw though.

Chicken Treat’s coleslaw was ridiculously ripoff expensive. It was a little fruit cup size container for like $3.50 I believe. The total for both our meals, including the coleslaw was $30.

Guess what chain they have in Karratha? Chicken Treat. So we shall try it again eventually and see how it is here.

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2 comments

  1. You know I lived in WA for over 2 years and still didn’t eat Chicken Treat lol

    1. Lol, funny how that works!

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