Where: 55 Liverpool Street, Sydney
Opening Hours: Wed - Thu 5pm - 11pm, Fri 5pm - 12am, Sat 6pm - 12am
Let's not start off on the wrong foot here. It's not that I want to label any food as 'bad' ... just different. But 'cuisine' is generally not the first word that comes to mind when I think 'American diner'. Levdawg is changing all that, and turning bad food good. Real good.
In true traditional American style, it's a family affair. Andrew Levins' love of food apparently began on a family holiday to Memphis. He's road tested and experimented with his recipes at legendary barbeques for family and friends, and now both family and friends are involved on the floor. Levins' partner Bianca Khaliland is co-owner, and their placement at GoodGod has emerged from a friendship with club owner Jimmy Sing. There couldn't be a better fit for the stucco booths and jukebox tunes of the club's front room.
The menu is heavily themed and, thankfully, priced to reflect the diner vibe. With this in mind, I made it my mission to try almost everything on the menu. My picks (to share) are the Grilled Corn ($8), with lime mayo and chipotle salt to dip, and the hand cut, mega crispy Salsa Fries ($6) to start. Follow up with the signature dish, the aptly named Lev's Dawg ($12), and a deliciously spicy Double Bean Nachos ($14). Deserts were a hard decision, but it had to be the popular Cookies N Cream ($10) to finish - with salted caramel ice cream squashed between two chewy, chocolate molasses cookies and topped with hot fudge. As far as drinks go, it's an excellent chance to partake of the front bar's punch jug menu. My pick is the Pat Cash Coolah, with organic vodka, green coolah and lemon rounds. Think of it as a school night treat.
What's more, the newly added daily specials create excellent excuses to visit every night of the week. On Wing Wednesday, swing by for Red Hot Buffalo Wings with Celery Sticks and Ranch sauce. Thursdays host the Hot Dog Happy Hour, with half priced Lev's Dawgs between 5 and 7 - a bargain at $6. Be tempted out of GoodGod's Small Club on Fridays, and snap up a box of Fried Chicken, Chips and Chipotle Mayo for a mere $15 after 10. Saturdays are the highlight of the week, with new Hot Dog experiments every week a la Pub Life.
Being such a fun, intimate kind of place, you'll find most people will yell a 'thanks!' to Levins in the kitchen on their way out. I'd recommend joining in: whether you know the lad or not, the food is worth being thankful for.
Images: courtesy of The Dip
Lev's Dawg with a side of Salsa Fries
Good For Groups: