How do you enjoy watching your weekly Super 14 fixtures? Your team is playing, you and your mates are set to watch the game, plan to experience all that rugby in South Africa has to offer. How do you enjoy it most? Some prefer to opt for a braai at home with mates, or visiting mates with a few beers and enjoying the game that way.
Let’s say you decide to go out to watch the game, at a pub or sports bar. Which one would you go to? Where do you go to watch your team win? Or in the case of the Lions this season, watch your team lose? These are the questions we found ourselves asking one another and decided to begin a new quest to discover where the best sports bars in the Cape Town and surrounding areas are. We hope to experience the games at these different venues, enjoy their respective atmospheres along with the “vibe” that each venue has to offer.
Now “Lettuce” tell you about this place…(excuse the pun)
The Slug & Lettuce. 107 B Main Road, Green Point.
Myself, Dooley and a few other good mates headed to The Slug & Lettuce this past Saturday to experience what this venue could offer for the game between the Sharks and the Blues, played at The Absa Stadium, Durban. While watching the game it’s only fair we keep ourselves adequately hydrated with some refreshing beverages and should we become rather “peckish”, seek to try something from the food menu that is available.
Not a bad place to enjoy a cold one...
Now picture this as you enter the The Slug & Lettuce… Massive open windows to your left as you walk through the entrance, wooden counters just below these open windows and bar chairs positioned in the sunny front area. You turn and look to your right, down a long, seemingly narrow bar area with wooden tables neatly mounted along a face brick wall.
Opposite these tables is a stretched dark wooden bar, practically the length of the venue. Two flat screen TV’s (not huge but large enough) are at either end of the bar and chalkboard style menus are mounted across the walls. Rugby fans are chatting amongst themselves, ordering drinks and having a loud laugh or two at the previous game between the Bulls and The Lions. And as you see all of this, you think to yourself, damn this is a neat bar…
The bar reminds me a more modern version of the traditional English pub. It is no doubt buzzing, and we are set for a great experience ahead.
We arrived at The Slug & Lettuce about 30 minutes before the kick off, and ordered a round of drinks from the bar. We ordered Jack Black Draught’s (R28.00 /500ml…A tad rich) and a Castle Lite (R16.00 /bottle). Seeing that the pub was already looking close to full, we quickly secured the nearest open table and inspected our surroundings, making some mental notes for the post ahead.
Do you see what I mean by the long yet slightly narrow?
Sporting our BlogSpotRugby.com t-shirts, we soon attracted the attention of the super friendly and efficient manager, Alex. He made us feel welcome, relaxed and soon after began suggesting we try something off of their tapas and snacks menu. All their specials, food selections and wines (over 60 wines I believe) are listed across the walls on chalkboard style menus. A great idea considering the bar sized tables can quickly fill up with drinks glasses leaving not much table space for food and drink menu’s.
After a few more liquid refreshments, brought to us by a very friendly waiter, we decided it was time to refill the tanks and ordered some tapas for the table. We ordered nachos, crumbed chicken strips with spicy mayo, boerewors pieces, jalapeno poppers and frites (thin fries) with mayo (tasted exactly like English mayo). These are just a few of the items The Slug & Lettuce has to offer the hungry patron. Including full meals, all jotted down on the chalkboard style menu, which gets updated regularly.
The tapas arrived at the table and were neatly presented on wooden block boards with red and white checkered clothe napkins (very nice). This is by no means your typical “pub grub”, and was really tasty, fresh and perfect while having a few drinks and watching the rugby. The tapas and meal selection ranges from R10.00 for Sweet Potato Crisps to R60.00 for a larger meal depending on what you order.
Shortly after finishing the tapas, our table was cleared from the empty plates and soon filled up with some Saffa favourites (thanks to English barman, Pete). These came in the form of Snake Bite’s (half cider, half lager, topped with a dash of blackcurrant cordial) and Turbo Shandy’s (half Smirnoff Spin, half lager if I am correct). Both drinks are served in 500ml draught glasses and pack a heavy kick. Not my favourite to be honest, a tad sweet for my liking, though definitely went down well with the ladies.
Oh yes. The rugby was also great, and the two flat screen TV’s are clearly viewable from all angles of the bar. The atmosphere was friendly, with the odd rants at the TV, hoping the ref and players would hear the desperate cries. A great place to watch the rugby.
Overall our experience was relaxed, fun and friendly. We will definitely return. For more information about The Slug & Lettuce check out their website, follow them on Twitter and catch them on Facebook.
Oh, wait, wait, wait. One more thing I felt you needed to see. The slightly random framed poster with the pouncing kitten that was discovered on the back of the gents bathroom door. WTF?
Don't kill them kittens...
Have you ever been to The Slug & Lettuce? What was your experience like?
I can imagine The Slug and Lettuce doing some great trade during the World Cup, especially amongst the English fans.
Click here to view a Google Map of where The Slug & Lettuce is situated (They are jointly managed and situated next door to the Hussar Grill)
The Slug & Lettuce in Green Point opened in December, but unless you are a regular at Ultra Liquors next door, you’d probably never know it. Somehow, I seem to have become aware of it. Hmm.
Of course, for all those Saffas who did their stint in the UK, most likely working out of somewhere with a SW postcode, “The Slug” was a favourite haunt. Now the idea has been exported back to South Africa, where presumably hordes of expat English will descend on the pub, get hideously drunk, be arrogant about their country’s sporting prowess and then dance topless on the bar.
It was thankfully quiet when we popped in there for Valentine’s Day lunch. Mrs 6000 was immediately drawn to the S&L classic Snakebite & Black, while I settled for a draught Peroni (they also have Jack Black on tap). The pub itself is tiny, but the welcome was warm and the service excellent. The tapas menu looks interesting and I would highly, highly recommend the chili poppers, the mere mention of which is making my mouth water in front of the Winter Olympics highlights this evening.
We also tried the sweet potato crisps, which were great.
Mains were a superb cheeseburger and a standard, but enjoyable calamari. We probably would have stayed for dessert, but by this time, Mrs 6000′s third snakebite & black had gone to her head and we wandered down to Three Anchor Bay where I took advantage of her inebriation to comprehensively beat her at Putt-Putt.
The Slug will need to get a few more punters in if it is to survive. On a strip where there is a bar every few yards, some advertising wouldn’t go amiss. Apparently when there is an event on at the stadium, it is packed, but unless it manages to reproduce those numbers on other days, it will quickly fall by the wayside. And that would be a pity.
The trick will be keeping it open until June, when it’s sure to be a big hit with the visiting fans. I’ll certainly be making it my pre-match drinking haunt. Whether the match is in Cape Town or not.