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Monday, December 17, 2012

Step-A-Side Diner, Cabramatta

train carriage diner at step-a-side diner cabramatta
All aboard the ex-Melbourne train carriage

Food trucks might be honking their way all over the city but you’ll have to hustle out west to find Sydney’s only diner in a train carriage.

It’s a dream come true for father and daughter team George and Francesca Papas, who converted the decommissioned train carriage into an American-style diner. A Melbourne train car was chosen over a Sydney one because of its longer length and single-decker set-up. It took a heavy-duty crane to position the carriage, now permanently parked on the corner of the Hume Highway and Cabramatta Road.

train carriage seats at step-a-side diner cabramatta
Original seats and hanging straps inside the converted train carriage

Most of the carriage's fittings are original, from the leather straps hanging overhead to the seats (re-upholstered) along the edges.

jukebox at step-a-side diner cabramatta
The jukebox 

Old movie posters and vinyl records plaster the carriage walls and there’s a vintage jukebox ($1 a play) with classics from Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly and Elvis. You can even sit in the driver’s seat at the front and play with all the controls. Go on. You know you want to.

train drivers seat at step-a-side diner cabramatta
The train drivers seat

Service is all smiles – George mans the grill and Francesca is a cheerful sight on the floor. The crowd is mostly young adults, families or curious locals. You won’t need a train ticket but you will need to wear loose pants – the servings are yabba-dabba-doo American-sized.

george papas at step-a-side diner cabramatta
Owner George Papas on the grill

burgers and po boys at step-a-side diner cabramatta
Burgers and po' boys on the pass

The menu is mostly drawn from burger territory, spanning the standard hamburger to the monster-sized Step-A-Side Burger groaning with two hefty 180-gram patties. You can mix things up with a veggie burger, barramundi burger or the wagyu steak burger, but it’s the roo burger that’s been a surprise hit with locals. Beetroot is an option with everything – anything less would be un-Australian.

wagyu steak burger at step-a-side diner cabramatta
Wagyu steak burger $17

cheeseburger with bacon at step-a-side diner cabramatta
Cheeseburger 120g $11.50 with bacon $1

prawn po' boy at step-a-side diner cabramatta
Prawn po' boy $14

The po’ boys are big enough for two, served on a nine-inch baguette that either comes with chorizo or prawn, a cheeky mix of fresh prawns with frozen school prawns. The hot dogs ($5) are also massive.

creaming soda spider and milkshakes at step-a-side diner cabramatta
Creaming soda spider $6.50 and vanilla and chocolate milkshakes $5

A creaming soda spider will take you straight back to childhood, or share a chocolate milkshake just like in the movies.

burgers, buns and hot dog rolls on the grill at step-a-side diner cabramatta
Burgers, buns and hotdog rolls on the grill

lunch dockets at step-a-side diner cabramatta
Lunch dockets

waffle and banana split desserts at step-a-side diner cabramatta
Desserts and shakes

Finish on a sweet note with fluffy, golden, freshly made waffles, a peach Melba or the perennial crowd favourite, the banana split. It’s covered with sprinkles, slivered almonds, chocolate syrup and a cherry on top, of course.

banana split at step-a-side diner cabramatta
Banana split $9.50 

waffle with maple syrup and ice cream at step-a-side diner cabramatta
Waffle with maple syrup and ice cream $9.50 

train carriage dining at step-a-side diner cabramatta


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Step-A-Side Diner on Urbanspoon

Step-A-Side Diner
40 Roebuck Street, Cabramatta, Sydney
(corner of Hume Highway and Cabramatta Road)
Tel: +61 (0)423 333 675

Opening hours:
Sunday to Thursday 11am-10pm
Friday to Saturday 11am-12 midnight

This article appears in the December 2012 issue of Time Out Sydney in my monthly Food & Drink column Eat This! [Read online

Read more Time Out Sydney reviews

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posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 12/17/2012 01:44:00 am


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