I know. My team eats at Pierneef, La Colombe, up and down the Winelands... and which restaurant did they set aside for me? Saul’s Saloon and Grill in Wynberg.
‘But you live near there,” said Chef Caro, soothingly. (So does she.)
“And the boys will love it!” said Restaurant Ed Cath, making notes on her trip to the Twankey Bar and The Taj.
“Hey! They also love sushi! And risotto! And crayfish!” I sniped, before agreeing to review the Wynberg outpost of this much-loved Sea Point late night eatery.
I felt even more truculent when I walked into the restaurant with my small sons and got hit by a wall of cigarette smoke.
And then, dear readers, it was all up from there.
The regional manager, Anthony, very quickly drew the glass doors separating the smoky bar from the James Dean/Marilyn decorated eating area, and opened up a door to the outside play area (complete with swings)... so the smoke wasn’t a problem after 5 minutes.
And this is a restaurant next to the Wynberg Court and Police Station. They’re aiming for a clientele of defence attorneys, families of accused folk and possibly the accused folk themselves, so for me to start getting too up my own arse about the decor, or buzzing gaming machines would have been pretty pathetically precious.
But on to the food. Interestingly, although I am not claiming to never have been trollied in Sea Point, I’ve never had a Saul’s burger before. I know! Incredible, isn’t it? When I mentioned my Saul’s trip on Twitter, no one could remember exactly which burgers they had ordered in the wee hours but at least 7 people told me they were “AWESOME.”
As we weren’t feeling strong enough to try for the “Beat the Burger” challenge (you can get goodies and your name up on a special board if you can get their 3-patty corker down in 15 minutes) or a “Bronto Burger” (700g pf patty folks!)... we opted for more traditional fare: a kiddies cheese burger, a regular mushroom burger, a Hawaiian and a Dagwoody. (No faffing with the hot dogs or salads for us.) Then we ordered a big plate of chips to share, as they weren’t included.
It took my incredibly picky 9-year-old, Benj, about 4 minutes to eat his entire, and fairly large, burger. I don’t know who was more surprised, him or us.
“Mom,” he said, with a little burp. “That was the best cheeseburger I have ever eaten in my whole, entire life.”
I fixed him with a glare and a pause.
“I mean, other than your homemade one,” he amended quickly. (My sons know which side their burger buns are buttered.)
While Benj scarfed up more than his fair share of our chips, the rest of us found ourselves agreeing.
There’s a reason that Saul’s burgers are legendary. They are terribly, terribly delicious. As were the ‘only-eat-with-a-spoon’ double thick milkshakes and chocolate brownies.
All in all? I was severely chastened by this experience. There’s room for more in life than swanky spots, and it was really nice to add Saul’s Wynberg spot to our family repertoire of places we can chat and eat happily, while receiving great service and even better burgers.
Indeed, we’ve already been back. And I urge you to try ‘em out too.
Saul's Saloon & Grill was reviewed by Sam Wilson, follow her on Twitter.