The Birdsville sits at the edge of Australia’s Simpson Desert, home to fat-tailed marsupial mice, sand dunes, and little else. (Aussies say it’s located “out in bloody woop-woop.”) The pub within—your standard dive hung with outback hats and beer posters—dates from 1884 and over time has become the stuff of legend. Visitors are mostly horse-race enthusiasts who puddle-jump in for the Birdsville Races in September (an airstrip is conveniently located just outside the hotel) and slightly demented off-roaders attempting to traverse the whole of the Birdsville Track, a onetime camel trail that stretches some 320 miles.
What to Order: A pint of Queensland’s own XXXX (“fourex”) beer. Cheers, mate.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.