The footie. It’s as Australian as hand-crafted organic pale ale and biodynamic goat’s cheese roulade.
Or not. Fact is, Australia’s changed a lot, even in the time since I washed up in ’85. But one place you’ll find old-school Aussie tucker is the country footie, and the Spider Brown Memorial Oval is a bastion of Proper Australian Food. No lah-de-dah Adrian Zumbo macarons here.
Over the course of the home games this season I’ve worked my way through the canteen’s finest. At the peak of the food chain is the king of footie food: the steak sandwich. At Spider Brown you don’t get no ordinary steak sandwich: you can get a steak sandwich with gravy. Fuck yeah.
I’m not sure where the gravy comes from. I’m guessing there’s some secret artesian gravy bore out on the Three Mile Road, a place where thick, hot, gloopy gravy bubbles out of the ground like Texas tea in the Beverley Hillbillies. Who cares. It’s dark and rich and runs down your forearm so you have to lick it off in big I-don’t-care-who’s-watching slurps.
The sausage sandwich is a kind of not-food food. The time I had a snag sanger I had to go right back and get a steak sanger because, well, snag sanger’s just don’t cut it. Having said that, the Spider Brown snag sanger’s no bad thing: your standard sheet of wheat-based fluff with a paper rag posing as a serviette.
This “serviette” doesn’t have the oomph to soak up anything more than a droplet of fairy spit and, within seconds, it’s a sodden and scrunched up piece of tat stuck to the side of your bread so that it looks like Norman Gunston’s chin after a bad shave. But the snag was grand for what it was supposed to do. And the onions. I don’t care what Ivan Argustiera’s says about the great Australian sausage sizzle, onions ARE a food too.
Oh, and that gravy …
The food at Spider Brown is proper football food, Proper Australian Football Food. Geddit India.