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Everything’s bigger in Pretoria: where to get massive meals

We all like getting bang for our buck, but finding a big enough bang these days isn’t as easy as it used to be, thanks to ever-increasing food prices. It’s even worse for those of us who have a healthy appetite but come face to face with mains the size of starters. But we’ve got you covered with this list of restaurants that boast portions as immense as the city’s love for rugby and white twin-cab bakkies.

African Beer Emporium (Pretoria Central)

The portions at this establishment are as colourful and generous as the chef who designed the menu. Khanya Mzongwana’s bright food punches with flavour and spirit. You could order one of the signature bright salads that vegetarians love, or get a plate piled high with grilled meat and pap. But the real hunger buster is the infamous hot breakfast, which comes topped with eggs, crispy bacon, harissa tomatoes, guacamole, pickled onions and grilled mushrooms (R80). Pair with a nice cool can of Maluti beer.

Baobab Café & Grill (Wonderboom)

As possibly the classiest chesa nyama spot in town, Baobab is where you go when you want to sate that meat craving but also need to impress someone. You’ll be seated at the nicely upholstered banquettes as you await plates that practically groan beneath the weight of all the meat. There’s something for everyone on the menu. Try something from the ‘Mzansi’s Favourites’ section, where half chickens are paired with short ribs and boerewors (R166) or with a beef sosatie and prawns (R169). They all also come with a side of starch, veg or salad.

Casbah Roadhouse (Alberton)

We all need a take-away indulgence every now and again, and the legendary corner- Casbah Roadhouse hits all the right notes. Choose from roadside toasties and foot-long hotdogs to triple-patty burgers and an oxtail Sunday lunch special with a complimentary glass of wine. Definitely go for the double Dagwood and wash it down with a milkshake. (The bubblegum flavour is one of the best old-school milkshakes in town.)

Crawdaddy’s (Brooklyn)

Crawdaddy’s is a Pretoria landmark that boasts the best of the grill and the sea. Its portions are as generous as the menu, which features a whopping 18 pages. And that’s to say nothing of the specials board. Have any of the sole, kingklip or hake dishes Thermidor-style, meaning it’ll come smothered in a creamy shrimp, cheese and white wine sauce for just R25 extra.

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Eisbein & Co (Menlo Park)

Go hungry and ready for hefty portions of pickled meat. Jutta and Ronald’s authentic German spot is well known for its generous portions – they even offer smaller portions for the faint of heart. Dig into all the schnitzels, sauerkraut, spätzle (German dumplings) and knödels you could possibly want, and then some. Else go for the Hungarian goulash (R69.90).

Harrie’s Pancakes (Arcadia)

Why would you want anything else when you can have a thick pancake filled fat with your choice of 14 sweet or 17 different savoury fillings? Joy comes in the form of a Peppermint Crisp crumble pancake with a jug of caramel sauce for R55. Else opt for one filled with bobotie and topped with a chutney vinagrette for R83. And yes, there’s even a gluten-free option available. But if you’re still looking for a little more, there’s the four-egg Dullstroom trout scramble on toast, or the massive tuna salad with boiled eggs, green beans, potato, olives and capers.

Helga’s Home (Silverton)

Pretoria is known for its fondness for a bit of rugby down at the Dros. Helga’s is somewhat of a factory store for Dros, where you can stock up your fridge and pantry with bargains galore like pork leg chops for just R45 per kilogram. Better yet, you can sit down in its tiny on-site restaurant where they cook up meat in any size you want, just the way you like it. But wait, there’s more: they have a massive farmhouse breakfast with free coffee for R60 and a ‘Man-Sized Beef’ special for R65 that comes with chips.

Monument Restaurant (Groenkloof)

What’s not to love about a Sunday buffet? Nestled in the bottom of the city’s striking square, Monument is a ‘boerekos’ favourite. It serves up lashings of farm-style food for reasonable prices in portions that your gran would approve of. But what the venue is most famous for (other than its kerrie and rys) is its family-friendly infamous buffet lunch (R160 for adults and R80 for children). Bonus points if you can wrangle a table at one of the monument’s amazing antique fair days.

Mustang Sally’s Pub & Diner (Hatfield)

As the name suggests, Mustang Sally holds the fine American philosophy that more is more – plus a pickle and deep-fried onion ring on a stick through the top of it, just to be sure. The portions at this diner-style establishment sometimes put Mugg & Bean to shame. There are giant burgers and impressively elaborate milkshakes – some of which even sport several doughnuts or a unicorn – and cocktails the size of your head. You’re spoilt for choice with options of classic American dishes, full grill and veg options, and even a beef jerky (biltong) salad for R89.90.

Toni’s Fully Furnished Pizza Company (Rietfontein)

There are no giant American-sized pizzas in Pretoria, but if you want a large pizza with incredibly generous toppings then this long-time legend is the place to be. Though its sister restaurants have come and gone, the original Toni’s Pizza is still baking up a storm of cheese- and tomato-based Italian flatbreads – and a few dessert pizzas too. There are also mega salads available, like the pancetta e noci with lettuce, avocado, cherry tomatoes, toasted walnuts, bacon, caramelised onions, fresh apple and goat’s milk cheese.

Did we miss your favourite Pretoria restaurant serving up the biggest plates in the land? Let us know in the comments below and review your experience using our app. (Register and review in July and you could win a Le Creuset casserole!)

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