For worthy eating and drinking experiences around Wellington, NZ (and the greater region) – you can also catch Heather out and about hosting Zest Food Tours around the city…

Bethel Woods Music Bar

Named in honour of the Bethel Woods Centre for the Arts on the site of the Bethel Woodstock music festival in 1969.  Fittingly with live music on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights (BBQ and Blues on Wednesdays).  And part of the Williams Pub Group who have the Gasworks at Miramar, and Co-op at Whitby, among others (ergo the decor).  Check out the drum kit above your head on entry.

Bethel drumsBethels have two imported meat smokers tucked on the rooftop and so not surprisingly the menu is fairly carnivorous. With a bit of bread.

The lunch I had was delicious. The pulled pork with fennel slaw and pickled apple sauce sandwich was sufficiently oozing and finger-licking good. Those who had salads were pretty impressed too.

The dinner a few weeks later was a different experience with two musicians cracking through a range of slightly bluesy classics from the 60’s and 70’s and a much more swilling crowd. The sound level was pretty high (music and the swillers) so conversation consisted of a fair chunk of sign language, and you needed to be happy to bump shoulders with others or share tables (they were pretty great at making up a temporary trestle table for six of us to start with though, which was impressive).

I didn’t mind the buzz.

Bethel dinsThe beef burger got the big thumbs up, and the smoked meat from the BBQ pit (a choice of six varieties – I decided a bit of lamb shoulder was the go) with two sides was pleasant enough, if not strongly flavoured of itself (the smoky BBQ sauce added at the table soon smartened that up). The broccoli with almonds was very tasty.

The sliders that someone had earlier looked like a winner too.  Three different meats in the three sliders and decent sizes. I think they might be my next dish to try.

And being Wednesday one could order any number of BBQ chicken wings (pretty large chickens) for $1 each or BBQ ribs (also dino sized) for $2 each.  Some of the others took this up and declared themselves full for $8 (very paleo-compliant that combo!).

Bethel lunchThey have Alan Scott wine on tap, a moderate range of wines and sodas by the glass and beers on tap or on the blackboard.

Check out this Stuff article if you fancy a bit more background on their views about beer or The Terrace as a location.

So in conclusion, you’d pretty much always have a good time here I think, and enjoy some fairly pleasant gastro-pub fare (much of which is handily finger-edible), but beware the noise and crowd factor if that’s not your thing.  Lunch is a little more sedate.  And I suspect brunch might be downright peaceful.

Monday to Friday 7am to midnight.  Saturday and Sunday 10am to 10pm.

73 The Terrace (the old Wine Loft premises).

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