Imagine my surprise as I was perusing the internet I discovered that there were eleven pubs in Gawler. Actually, that is not all that surprising since it is a really old town. However this was the first pub that I visited and as it turns out it is one of the ALH chain. As such it has everything you would expect from one of those pubs cheap beer, cheap food, pokies, and a sports bar. The pub itself is quite old, and they still have the stables out the back (in the carpark, of course), though the interior is nothing all that fancy, and the beer garden is not all that impressive either. It not basically a place for smokers to congregate in between horse races, or when they are having a break from the pokies. In the end there are a lot better pubs in Gawler to visit if you want a drink, but then again it does have cheap beer.
I have been to this hotel twice in the last 12 months and have been anything but impressed. The lure of daily specials does not compensate for the very average food served in a manner you wouldn't expect. Schnitzels that are basted in breadcrumb so thick that you have to question if their is actually any meat there at all. Take my advice, better an expensive meal thats tastes great than a discount disaster.
The Willaston Hotel has certainly improved lately. The bistro menu is extensive, innovative and well priced. They have a good range of schnitzel toppings and sauces and have some other menu items you just don't find at many pubs these days (like the divine King Henry Pork Cutlets). They have a great salad and hot vege bar which varies, and a soft serve ice-cream machine which is a hit with kids and adults alike.
It is advisable to book because it can get quite busy on any day of the week, but believe me, you wont be disappointed.