A couple of weeks ago, when I was asking some fellow foodies on suggestions about a great pub that serves delicious food and might convince someone to move to Melbourne, they pointed me towards Le Bon Ton in Collingwood.
As we got off the train we thought we might've ended up in the wrong street, it looked more like a residential area than the location for a Southern American Saloon.
The nondescript looking building was however hiding some incredible food and decor inside. The ceilings were covered in ornate copper tiles, which added a very cool feel!
We chose the Southern Pride Sharing menu for $59 a head and added some oysters to start with. Because when there's oysters on the menu you never say no!
Moonlight Flat Oysters with mignonette sauce
First dish as part of the Southern Pride were the Chilli Cheese Fries. I would return just for these, they were THAT good!
Chilli Cheese Fries
I guess black beans aren't as widely used in Australia as they are in the Southern American cuisine, but this hommus could definitely become a fixture on my meal plan. It didn't look like the most appetising dish, but it was packed full of flavour and the BBQ corn chips had that nice slightly smokey hint.
Black Bean Hommus with BBY spiced corn chips
I'm a sucker when it comes to fried food, especially fried chicken. (I actually ordered Southern Fried Chicken on L and my very first date... I guess not very lady like, but it's delicious, hey!). The Fried Chicken at Le Bon Ton was served with a white gravy which was absolutely amazing!
Fried Chicken with white gravy
This was all just the foreplay, next out came the serious stuff: The Smoker's Lot! The boy's eyes got bigger and bigger as the platter approached our table and if I had been unsure before, I was now more than sure that I had taken them to the right place. A platter full of the juiciest meats.
The Smoker's Lot
There was brisket, pork shoulder, different kinds of sausages and some apple BBQ sauce-basted chicken! There was SO MUCH MEAT! I gave up after half a piece of brisket and a sausage but the boys had no troubles finishing the platter without me (there might have been 'meat sweats' later though).
The sides: coleslaw - iceberg lettuce - potato salad
The Smoker's Lot was served with potato salad, coleslaw and some iceberg lettuce. I didn't grow up with coleslaw in Germany so when I first moved to Ireland and then later to Australia, I never thought it's something I could like, I just never tried it. But I have recently developed a real liking for this mayonaise covered salad, it's so delicious! And who can say no to potato salad?!
House made Chocolate and Cream Pie
We were all pretty satisfied but as part of the Southern Pride menu you also get a dessert, so we kind of 'had to have' it. The chocolate mousse tarts were good, but the highlight of Bon Ton's menu are definitely their entrees and mains. Nice, honest, Southern American food.
After lunch we checked out the beer garden at the back where they had live music and we could enjoy another drink in the sun. (Sorry, I didn't actually take a photo, but it was a cool space, so go and check it out yourself!).
I think we were all really surprised what a gem was hiding behind those nondescript walls in a residential street in Collingwood. And maybe that added to the charm as well. I don't think my friend has fully decided yet whether he'll move or not, but I know for sure that he's not worried about starving here! I've also been told they do a mean fried green tomato sandwich, so I guess I have to go back and try that too!