Friday, August 29, 2008

Mmm, Toasty

Have you ever resorted to emergency rations?

So, for those of you who don't know, I've been off work, a bit under the weather, this week (I have no voice!!! Noooooo!!!!) And because of this, I've mostly lived off toast for the past 6 days.

Now this isn't quite as bad as it sounds, on the surface. I have (had?) three types of bread in my freezer, (1) a Bakers Delight wholemeal, (2) a rather nice wholemeal vienna-style loaf, and (3) a loaf of
Irrewarra Sourdough spicy fruit n nut. I say "had" as the Irrewarra is all gone now. It's a fantastic way to start the day, though, and it was thoroughly enjoyed.

On the others I enjoyed a variety of toppings... vegemite, honey, peanut butter, jam, peanut butter and jam, peanut butter and honey, peanut butter and banana, tinned spaghetti, creamed corn... But I would like to state, for the record, that I am thoroughly sick of toast. I haven't eaten this much wheat in YEARS and I hope I don't again for a while.

But you know how it is when you're sick - you just can. not. be. bothered. Here's hoping a weekend off market work means that by Monday I'll be well again and ready to start the new job.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Great news!

This news just in - I'm gonna be an aunty! And I don't mean that yet another friend is pregnant - this time it's my brother and his girlfriend who are expecting XD

Fingers crossed that, come April/May next year, we're welcoming another generation into my family. With my brother as the father, and his girlfriend as the mum, this baby is going to be amazing. Let's face it - he or she is coming from damn good stock!

Even the fact that my throat is killing me, and I have no voice to yell and cheer and laugh, can't really detract from how happy I was to get the news. *sigh* words fail me.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Eating Out: Central Cafe

111 Monaro Street
Queanbeyan NSW 2620
Ph: 02 6297 1335

When I say I "lived" in Canberra, I spent at least half of that time actually living in Queanbeyan. Now, many will scoff, but Queanbe-hole does have its advantages - and the Central Cafe is definitely one of them. It was my place of choice for breakfasts (and also my brother's choice, when he visited), did a good lunch, and also put on a great dinner. They have a "light eater" menu, but also cater to those with a more bottomless stomach with "king size" meals - and they really are huge. But the breakfasts at this place are what I love.

Once upon a time I would happily tuck into the "small" bacon, eggs, and sausage breakfast. It was a big plate, with rashers of bacon, several sausages, eggs however you wanted them, tomato, mushrooms, hash browns on request... erg, so much food, but sooo good. And, once upon a time, I could polish off that whole plate - or have a damn good try at it. Sadly, that much pig-meat and grease would now leave me quite ill. But there's a whole range of fry-up brekkies, or omelettes, or other breakfast-type foods. A few months before I moved to Melbourne I'd started in on their omelette range, and ended up sticking to that almost exclusively.

But I digress - N and I rocked up one morning just after opening so I could have my first CC breakfast in a little over 3 years.

I was so worried that it wouldn't live up to my memories. Silly me.

N was craving something a little lighter, so ordered one of their open sandwiches, with fillings customised for her - ham, avocado, tomato, and cheese, served up with chunky fries (a staple at CC). Her verdict - yum.

I gave in to hankering for a ham and cheese omelette. Despite the kitchen having some small morning-reading problems (what first came out was ham and cheese toasted sandwich), I was quickly given my (correct) breakfast. Oooooohhhhh... so full of ham-y cheese-y goodness. I spied a fry-up plate go past our table, and it looks like that hasn't changed either. I had a quick look at the rest of the menu too - looks like little has changed since I was last there. But when you've got an extensive menu, and can do everything on it well, why change it?

Central Cafe isn't the type of place you go for fine dining, and it doesn't try to be. But for a good honest meal between 8am and 9.30pm, any day of the week, at a decent price, can you really ask for anything more?

Friday, August 01, 2008

Eating Out: Delissio Restaurant & Bar

83 Theodore Street
Curtin ACT 2605
Ph: 02 6282 0755

While I was up in Canberra N and I decided that we really wanted to try a place near her home that we'd always meant to, but never gotten around to. And considering her rather advanced state of pregnancy - that is, a bit more than a week overdue - we figured there was no time like the present. It being a Saturday, we figured we should probably book, as we'd noticed that it often looked busy.

A table for two? No problem. So we rock up, a couple of minutes before our meal time, enter the funky premises and wait near a podium to be seated. And wait. And wait. Despite numerous staff brushing past us, or chatting amongst themselves near the bar, no-one seemed keen to show us to our table. We were just starting to discuss leaving when a girl deigned to serve us. She furnished us with a couple of menus, took our drinks order, and left us. N made the comment that she'd looked at us "as though we'd slept with her boyfriend" - very accurate assessment. About 15 minutes later our drinks arrived. What were they, you ask - fancy? No, merely soft drinks. We gave our orders for mains (neither of us wanting to tempt fate with anything more), and settled in to sip our refreshments and chat away.

We've never had a problem having a conversation (hell, we lived together for a while and used to talk the day away out on the balcony with copious amounts of either coffee or wine and cigarettes), but we were really starting to struggle for topics as the minutes ticked by. Finally, a total of 50 minutes after we'd first been seated, our food arrived. And, despite the bad experience so far, it was nearly (NEARLY but not quite) worth the wait.

N ordered the salmon tortellini in a creamy sauce. I had a taste, and it really was fantastic. Maybe a little rich for a main (or a mains-worth of food), but wow. The plate wasn't piled high, but there was ample of this filling pasta dish to appease N's appetite.

I ordered gnocchi in a creamy tomato sauce with pesto. Again, this was just lovely. I couldn't quite finish the dish - as with N's, it was quite filling. I would rather have a good serving of really good food that fills me up and have a little left on the plate, than get a huge amount of adequate food and end up leaving half of it behind.

In contrast to the wait for our meals (hell, forget the meal, what about the wait to be seated, or for our drinks), our plates were cleared and the bill presented within minutes (I mean, like, 2 minutes) of us putting our cutlery down.

Despite the quality of the food, there is no way I would go back here. On a Saturday night, when there are empty tables, I don't expect to be forgotten the way we were. I found, during the years I lived in Canberra, some of the best dining was often out in the suburbs, hidden away behind local shops, or side roads. Unfortunately, this isn't one of those times.

There is also a Delissio in Braddon - Delissio Brasserie (Elouera Street). I'm quite willing to give that a go next time I'm in town. Maybe for after-work drinks followed by a meal. If I can find a date.