I’m not sure why as locals we tend to steer clear of the venues that are full of tourists.
Perhaps we feel like we are "too cool" for the obvious places. Buy why is being a tourist so bad?! Especially on the Gold Coast, CAN I GET A STAY-CATION?!!! (really though, hook me up!!)
I went to Hard Rock Cafe this week and I have to tell you, what I don't know is why I don't know go there more often? What I do know is why it’s been such a hit the last TWENTY years!
First of all, there is no where else on the Gold Coast boasting such an outstanding collection of musical memorabilia. You can feast your eyes on Elvis’ studded pants, Tina Turner’s gold dress, Led Zeppelin’s Gold Album, Clarence Clemons’ sax and that's just to name a FEW. Basically you walk through a musical museum before you even get to the restaurant. Whether you are a music fanatic or simply appreciate a good tune, there is no way you can walk through this collection and not be impressed.
To get to the restaurant you have to go past the gift shop, which I usually struggle to do. The cool thing about Hard Rock Cafe's gift shop is that a lot of what they are selling are collectors items. Here is a little something to sweeten the pot, pick up one of our Gold Coast Tourist Guide maps and you can get a coupon for a free gift when you spend $60 in the gift store! Or you can download the coupon online! BOOM!
Once you go up the stairs and get to the restaurant you will be pleasantly surprised by how much space this place has. It’s got a huge bar, plenty of seating areas and a really nice terrace overlooking Surfers. One side of the terrace opens up to the Surfers Paradise Boulevard and the other sits right above the tree tops over the famous Cavill Avenue. Outdoor drinking areas, not a new concept, but something that can be very hard to find on the Gold Coast (thank you council). The terrace offers amazing views of the surfers skyline and the opportunity to people watch the tourists below, none the wiser that there is an awesome bar above them.
The food at Hard Rock Cafe is as always, filling and American. I’ve heard people say that the price point is high for a chain, but being that it is an American chain, the portions are gargantuan, so you get your moneys worth! -Bring on the take away box, 2nd dinner is calling my name!
I tried the Rockin’ Wings first. They were coated with a dry rub and served alongside veggies and blue cheese dip. The wings, let's just say they know what they're doing. Spicy but could've gone hotter (there are options) and the blue cheese was the best I’ve had on the Gold Coast! Creamy, chunky blue love in my belly!
Next I tried the Java Lava burger. New on the menu, this burger was rubbed with espresso (a burger first in my book) and topped with lava sauce, crunchy onions, cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato and topped with a fried jalapeño. Completely drool worthy and massive on its own, but came with crunchy medium cut seasoned fries too! Double YUM!
To keep the good times rollin’, next was the Dry Aged Sirloin. Aged for 45 days and melt in your mouth buttery, this massive piece of meat took up half the plate! I would have to say this is the king of the menu! (The picture doesn't do it justice. It was BIG!)
Now if you've been counting, that's a lot of food for one person, I did not clear three meals, I shared, just so we're clear on that. I washed this American feast down with a Blue Hawaiian cocktail (if it's blue, I'll order it, simple things) and the house beer. The Blue Hawaiian which was made with Malibu, Blue Curacao and pineapple juice, tasted like summer, I'm still holding on. For $5 more you can have it come in a souvenir glass. And when you do that, you get extra alcohol and get to take the glass home! Yep, $5 = more booze and a take home souvenir. It's not even a question, just do it! You're right, you'll probably NEVER make a Blue Hawaiian at home, but you'll feel fancy having an apple juice in it.
Last but not least, we finished the lunch with my favourite part of the day. Dessert!
Brownie topped with ice cream, whipped cream and a cherry. I know, I know, it's a tough life I live.
Getting serious for a second, there are items on the menu, the brownie being one of them, that every time you buy one, Hard Rock Cafe donates to the Make a Wish foundation. So while I was helping myself to another spoonful, it's also helping someone else, I feel less sinful now.
That's pretty cool. Good on ya Hard Rock!
It’s a special time at Hard Rock this weekend, it’s their 20TH ANNIVERSARY!!!!
Every Friday, Hard Rock has live music but for their anniversary celebration they have events on all weekend!
Friday from 9pm they have live music and on Saturday trivia from 12pm with great prizes and again live music from 9pm.
So y’all, get over the tourist stigma and get over to Hard Rock Cafe in Surfers Paradise! You’ll like it, I promise!
By Marleigh Kelly
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