Midtown Happy Hour: The Australian
If you like to eat, chances are you like to drink (read: a lot of you are freakin’ lushes), so I thought maybe it was time to introduce a happy hour column to the site. Every Friday we’ll post about a different bar in Midtown that fits the Midtown Lunch mentality: unhealthy food, not lame (unless it’s lame in a cool way), and most importantly… cheap. For this week’s recommendation we turn to Profiled Midtown Lunch’er Kate who still seems to be turning in slightly blurry photos… although I suppose it’s just proof that she’s doing her job.
Traditional, with twist of the unusual, seems to be the running theme for Midtown Lunch happy hour. You know, bar (check). Bar stools (check). Weird Australian twist (why not). For this week’s Midtown Happy Hour, I grabbed my friend Matt (again), and we went to The Australian. I know what you’re thinking, because I thought it too… midtown theme bar, expensive drinks, bartenders in tank tops and pictures of Crocodile Dundee on the wall. Eek, but no. What we did find was a big beautiful bar with cheap drinks and tasty bites.
The bar at the Australian is super long and made of a warm shiny wood, and the barstools are high-backed and comfortable. Their tap selection is pretty good and they boast a full wine menu composed solely of Australian wines. They have numerous flat screens (all play sports) and booths and tables in the back for eating and large groups. Also the bar has super high ceilings, which for some reason made a big impression me. The proportions of this establishment are great and I generally felt very comfortable sitting at the bar.
The Australian has their happy hour from 4-7pm everyday and while there’s nothing jaw-droppingly cheap it does include all sorts of great little deals. The deal on beer is $4 draughts including Miller, Fosters, UFO, Cider, Stella and Harpoon IPA, which is what I started with. Matt got a Cooper’s Lager in a bottle for $5 because he was feeling the Australian thing. I got one with my second round and it was way refreshing… go Australia! The wine special is also $5 a glass, and a good chance to try that Shiraz they’re always bragging about. Cocktail specials go for $6 a pop and a few of the more interesting offers are a Kir Royal and an Ozmo which is composed mostly of Mandarin vodka and orange zest (as I understand).
The Happy Hour food menu had about a dozen options. You could get wings or potato wedges for $4, Sausage Rolls and Veggie Nachos were both $5 and a plate of Fish and Chips can be had for just $6. Matt and I split some Veggie Nachos which were fully loaded with cheese and guacamole, salsa and sour cream. They were nummy, however there was the addition of some sort of sweet and sour sauce which at first was good, but later quite off-putting. Regardless, it was a bangin’ time for our buck in a sweet bar and I think we’d do it again.
The Australian, 20 W 38th St (btw. 5+6th), 212-869-8601