Debacle lives up to its name

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DEBACLE describes itself as a place to enjoy “wines, ales and fine eats”.

The wine list is impressive. The ale list is impressive. As for the “fine eats” bit? Well, for us, dining at Debacle was just that – a debacle.

It’s a busy, noisy, noisy establishment, especially when a major sports event is playing on the big screen TV – not just because of the crowd size or the roars when someone scores, but because the design of the place hasn’t incorporated anything that can absorb sound.

Perched front and centre on Lonsdale Street, Braddon, Debacle has been around for some years now. There’s a specials board and snack sized dishes to share such as spicy Spanish chorizo ($10.90) and Spanish potato croquettes, with potato, thyme, smokey paprika and more ($10.90).

Many flock to Debacle for the pizzas and it was the pizza I was after. Sixteen different styles feature on the menu averaging at $13.50 for small, $20.50 for medium and up to $31.50 for large – all served on thicker crust, unless thin crust is what tickles your fancy. And I like the offer of gluten-free bases (medium only, and $2 extra) and pizza modification ($1.50 to $4 extra).

You order at the counter, located at the back of the establishment, grab a number and select a seat, either individual tables or communal tables. Lots of outdoor seating, too.

On my last visit some years ago, the pizza was excellent. Can’t say the same for this experience; I’ve enjoyed many tastier pizzas in town.

My El Pollo, which as its name suggests featured chicken, came dry, the cashews were soft and uninviting, there was a bit of feta and semi-dried tomatoes, the only ingredient with any taste. Not a great start.

We had better hopes for the Specialata, created with pepperoni, ham, roast veggies, tomato, mushroom, onion and olives. The onions were practically raw and at least two of us just picked them off. And the poor tomatoes looked like they may have been harvested before they’d had any chance to ripen.

It’s a shame, since pizzas are works of wonder when the ingredients are up there with the best. As I say, it was a debacle.

Debacle is laid back by design and it’s a great location, so I can see why it has a strong local following, but pizzas can be found all over Canberra and, for these prices, it’s easy to get one that is delizioso.

Debacle, 30 Lonsdale Street, Braddon, open daily for breakfast, lunch, dinner. Call 6247 1314.

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