At Soda Pony they go hard on the kind of comfort food enjoyed by the young and the drunk – we’re talking burritos and toasted sandwiches, and lots of ’em. The latest addition to Newtown’s South King Street is right at home wedged amongst antique and collectible stores.
The name of this cosy new haunt comes from the characters in SE Hinton’s 1967 coming-of-age novel, The Outsiders. But it’s not Soda Pop and Pony Boy Curtis who are occupying the jaunty yellow stools out the front. Instead, stylish brunch fanatics are likely to be your seating competition.
The thing is, there isn’t really a convenient space to wait for a table and they don’t have a list system, as yet. That can be a really big problem if you’re rocking up for a weekend brunch. It’s a case of lurking awkwardly in the centre of the room or skulking by the door when it’s busy. Still, once you’re seated there are treats aplenty to be had – perfect for the dented and hung-over.
No matter which way you slice it, few things beat a toasted cheese, tomato and ham sandwich. Their cheddar melt is a best seller – we see at least half a dozen pass out over the counter in quick succession – and the sweet scent of grilled cheese hangs in the air.
If you’re experiencing the kind of day when nothing touches the sides, it’s a day for a pulled-pork burrito. This hefty lump is all killer, no filler with soft strands of slow-cooked pork, jalapeños, stacks of guacamole, cheese and sour cream. It’s a bit of a mission to eat actually – we could use a little filler by the end. Make sure to order a chocolate/malt thick-shake. Soda Pony may stop short of full-blown brain freeze with these babies but they go all the way with your tastebuds.
Once the buzz dies down a little this homey café will probably chug along nicely, dishing up slow-cooked beans and Double Roasters coffee to South King Street shoppers. Stay golden, Soda Pony.