You Need To Try This is a running archive of all the awesome drinks and delicious dishes we’ve come across over the course of our professional and private lives.
Due to a sudden craving last night I cancelled family dinner plans to eat buttermilk pancakes at the recently relocated Hastings-Sunrise mainstay, The Red Wagon. After being glued to my television and various other news feeds for the previous 24 hours to behold further teetering of Western Civilisation, I think I needed the comfort and familiarity of flapjacks with a syrup-soaked side of bacon made better by sips of barman Rob Scope’s superb take on a Whisky Sour. The rest of the table ordered things like pan-seared steelhead with perfect gnocchi and chanterelles, confit duck thigh on three cheese mac ‘n cheese, and the smoked roe-topped trout dip started pictured above, which we scooped up and demolished with crispy housemade dill pickle potato chips. Though they did their job, the pancakes couldn’t be the star with the restaurant so deftly blending the French bistro and North American diner concepts together at night. You won’t see this in the day, when the place is jammed and there’s a line-up out the door for Eggs Benedict, Trucker Breakfasts and hot coffee. But if you want to see this slightly more sophisticated side of The Red Wagon – with the same easygoing service, great prices, reliably well-made food, and now with some damn good drinks – do yourself a favour and check it out at night before the rest of the city figures out that it’s a thing. (I even wonder if the immediate neighbourhood has fully clued in to the fact that they’re now open in the evenings.) It’s been weird times and we’ve all been preoccupied. Take advantage and enjoy.