The Workers on Balmain's Darling Street opened its doors with a rather impressive nod, wink and a nudge to the venue's Labor Party roots. Not only did Tim Freedman from the Whitlams play out the night, former PM Bob Hawke officially opened the doors to this hip mash-up of Mexican, American and Aussie.
Once the home to Sydney's first Labour Electorate League, now a funky addition to Balmain's watering holes, we suggest you take a drink. The big bar, headed by Lo-Fi mixologist Ben Johnson and overlooked by a great big hairy buffalo head, is stocked with a nice range of the usual beer and wine suspects as well as fine-tuned cocktails like the tall and refreshing Batanga of tequila, lime, salt and cola ($18).
The menu follows this city's well-versed trend of Mexican tapas bites, even featuring $3 tacos on Wednesdays. Titled Viva La Tacos, and on other days $5.50 each or four for $20, you can live life to the belly full with options like the Nemo Gonzales: a combo of battered blue eye, slaw, salsa pico de gallo and baja sauce (a spicy seasoned mayonnaise). The Pulled Porky Pig of slow cooked pork shoulder, red slaw, pico de pina asado and fresh coriander is also tops.
Or head due north on the culinary map for a little stars and stripes spangled loving with a variety of sliders, named The Slider Diaries. Identically priced, the pulled duck with cabbage, spring onion salad and smoky BBQ sauce, aka The Quack, pulls rank, swiftly followed by the Mini Mac of grilled beef, pickles, onion, cheese, tomato and French yellow mustard mayo. Don't miss $4 sliders complemented with $4 ciders every Sunday from 2pm.
Then there's everything else, or The Rest, like fresh corn chips with very decent guacamole ($7), spicy Jalapeno Poppers consisting of deep-fried and bacon, jack cheddar and cream cheese stuffed jalapenos ($12) or Fried Frys: shoestring fries with cumin, rosemary salt and baja dipping sauce. Basically, if you don't give a crap about calories, you're in heaven.
The place itself is undoubtedly cool, has plenty of space for live music every Thursday and even a colourful and relatively spacious outdoor seating area to lap up the summer rays with shades on and drink in hand. Worth a visit, The Workers won't be going anywhere soon.
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