Best pubs in Qld: Biggest and best grub in Toowoomba region
WITH a juicy one kilogram steak on the menu, the Meringandan Hotel takes its reputation for serving up the biggest and best pub grub across the Darling Downs seriously.
The mammoth piece of meat takes up an entire plate - with a separate plate just for sides - and is one of the drawcards of the iconic Toowoomba watering hole.
Another is the scenery, with the option of dining in the beer garden next to a paddock of camels, goats and chickens.
Toowoomba's upmarket dining scene might be expanding but the popularity of the Meringandan Hotel and its generous portions proves there is still a hunger for old-fashioned pub fare.
Heather and Geoffrey Murphy have owned the hotel for 15 years and put its success down to a good honest feed.
"We wanted to take it back to the way pubs used to be, offering a good honest hearty meal," Mrs Murphy said.
"So many places are becoming taverns and doing things a bit more upmarket but we are just an old country pub with quality meals.
"We wanted to stay true to what we believed in and it works for us and our customers.
"As well as quantity and quality we wanted to make it affordable for families."
Located at 30 Main St, the 20-minute drive from Toowoomba is worth it for many people, with the pub packed every night.
The pub's most popular meal is a small rump, vegetables, chips and mushroom sauce, closely followed by the parmigiana.
"You can't go wrong with the rump. If people don't know what they feel like, we suggest this and it is a winner every time," Mrs Murphy said.
The dining areas also make the pub unique.
Guests can eat in the restaurant, the bar, on the front or back veranda or the beer garden, where diners can eat beside a paddock of animals.
Thanks to all its perks Meringandan Hotel always tops The Chronicle's best pub and restaurant polls.
Mrs Murphy said she felt humbled when the pub was voted best in Toowoomba.
"We are just getting busier and it still humbles and amazes me that so many people are willing to drive out here for a feed and a yarn," she said.
"Although my husband and I are still very hands-on within the business we wouldn't be anywhere without our staff.
"We have staff who have been with us ten years and now their children work for us, we are very family orientated.
"I think that is the secret to success - not being necessarily run by immediate family but hiring those who become like family."