Lunch #5: The Best Trinchadas… In The World at The Oldest Pub In Woodstock

Determined to prove his status as a Cape Town Expert after last week’s Mexican Debacle, The Yummy Policitian rewarded me for a Saturday morning spent scrutinising bathroom tiles with a lunch at The Woodstock Pub & Grill.

Woodstock has become quite the spot for hipsters to hang out on a Saturday morning. They pour into the Biscuit Mill in their teeming millions and completely stuff up the parking for people trying to shop at the discount meat market next door. This is bemusing to me as I have lived in Woodstock for about eight years without any expectation of being trendy. I suppose it’s even more bemusing to the meat market customers.

Apparently part of the charm is that Woodstock still has Pockets Of Authenticity. These, I take it, are ‘authentically’ old and skommy spots. The Woodstock Pub & Grill, situated just around the corner from super-trendoid Superette, is most definitely just such a Pocket. It has been there for at least 28 years, which has given it plenty of time to perfect the art of trinchada-making.

The Woodstock Pub & Gill: It’s every bit as Authentic as it looks

As we approached, the experience was given added Authenticity by a bergie who asked me to take his photo. He then asked me to give him money for taking the photo, which I didn’t want to take in the first place. Yes, Woodstock is a bemusing place.

The Pub interior was promising. Dark, musty and with a small cluster of regulars studiously suiping around the bar. The restaurant area was empty, so we chose a nice window seat – where we’d have some chance of seeing our food – and perused the menu. (By now you’ve probably noticed that I never read a menu. I always peruse or consult it. This is an important quality in restaurant reviewers.)

‘Pub Interior’ – by the colourblind hedgehog workshop of Woodstock

The bartender came and took our orders. As usual, The Yummy Politician wanted a girly cider. These are not available in Pockets of Authenticity, so he had to make do with a Castle-Draft-and-Sprite Shandy. We also ordered our steak trinchadas (R40) which weren’t actually on the menu, but are apparently always on the menu. (More bemusement.)

While we waited, we went exploring. This involved me marching through the kitchen uninvited to have a look at the indoor aviary. The aviary had two budgies, a cockatoo and a cat fast asleep on top of it. There was also a slightly unkempt bonsai collection and a fish tank containing absolutely nothing but three goldfish, one of them very large.

Cat above the budgies: a case study in coexistence

Our food arrived as we were reading a page of the Sunday Times from January 1957 (it was our tablecloth). The trinchadas were everything we could have hoped for. The steak was succulent, the sauce was superb, the chips were home made and the rolls were crispy. The napkins, however, were, well… bemusing.

Perhaps The Woodstock Pub & Grill is a member of the Star Alliance too.

Coming soon: Bob’s Bar – Home of the R10 shooter.


  1. Francois Bruce Van Peer · August 12, 2011

    Loving you Blog Alison – Brilliant – go Girl

  2. Tabitha Nel · August 12, 2011

    AAAAAAAaaaaaaah! you finally found it! what a madly delightful place ‘ey?

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