Breakfast at a Cafe named Pablo, Newfarm, Brisbane

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This is definitely about Pablo, but first we have a short detour a grab ourselves a coffee at Death Before Decaf – a little 24hr take away coffee joint just down the road. This place is defo worth a look on your way to breakfast… a little bit soup nazi from Seinfeld and a little bit punk rockabilly and a lot caffeinated.

I'd go there for the name and graphic alone...
I’d go there for the name and graphic alone…

…and then it was onto Pablo.

Pablo is normally a Hollywood name for a stereotypical Mexican guy with a moustache and a big hat, but today it is also the name of a restaurant in Brisbane’s Newfarm. Mad.

This place was fully pumping. Just like the pump station at a sewerage treatment plant in Mumbai – seriously effing pumping. People are flowing from its doors out onto the street. It seems that long ago the gentle stream turned into a raging river but, as if they are in cohorts with the man above (or possibly below) they do not seem worried, they do not faulter, it doesn’t seem to make a difference to the service times at all.

This is the back door. You will probably go in the front door
This is the back door. You will probably go in the front door

After a short wait we are taken to a table right next to “the pass” (the bench/shelf that bridges the worlds between front and back of house, and is where the food gets passed from the kitchen to the server), which is coincidentally one of my favourite seats in a restaurant… front row… where the action is at.

We order coffee and it arrives before I have even had a chance to thank the waitress for taking my order. I don’t know what the fuck black magic was in play here – some kind of Rick Moranis in Ghostbusters other world shit for sure – but I was grateful for my morning caffeinated beverage so I questioned not how it cometh, but instead ordered another… and a fresh juice to really check their styles. When the juice hit the table quicker than the coffee I knew something was amiss… there was surely a warlock afoot and we would need to keep our wits about us today that is for sure…

Too many options for me here
Too many options for me here

Sometimes I get a little afraid when I see a menu that has many options that I would be happy to try to break my nightly fast. But, as I am not a cow and I have only one stomach, I need to choose only one item that I will eat. This causes issues that I am sure to eventually over-come, but this day I was experiencing said too-much-good-shit-to-choose-from menu and also said decision making issues that came with it…

I finally decided on the beef and bean chilli (pulled slow cooked beef cheek, bacon, chorizo, speck and black beans with a fried egg, house made corn bread, guacamole and tomato salad, $18) but only because Seba (#1 oldest son) had agreed that he would get the roasted lamb special (slow roasted lamb, pumpkin, beetroot puree, labne, herb salad, fried egg and damper, $18) so we may share. Jen and Obi ordered some stuff but as they were sitting on the opposite side of the table they may as well have been characters living in a magical world in a J.K. Rowling novel because I really cared not for what they may be eating for breakfast and there was no way on god’s green Earth they would be getting a go on mine.

Beef and beans, Genovese coffee and great service made me very happy
Beef and beans, Genovese coffee and great service made me very happy

Our food was delivered in spectacular time, considering (or even not considering) the still unabated flood waters that are the crowds that a good, solid performer in the restaurant industry will command… these guys were the muther fucking Charlie Chaplin of the restaurant scene right now.

We ate, we drank and we were very happy.

The beef and beans number was fantastic; a lot of shredded meat with a few beans, a tasty tasty sauce, great guac and salsa, a perfect fried egg, all the goods. One thing though, the beans were completely covering the corn bread, smothering it’s creativity and not letting it really shine like it could’ve. This is one occasion where a few inches really could’ve made a huge difference – just getting that corn bread a little to the side of the plate and letting it be loved would’ve done it for me.

Oh so good
Oh so good

The lamb was another cracker although, if I’m totally honest, I didn’t really get too much of it into my belly as I was a little pre-occupied with the bean number and Seba appeared to be enjoying plenty fine by himself so that was OK with me.

This was a truly cracking breakfast. If I was wearing knickers I would’ve be happy to throw them to the chef in a display of gratitude, but alas I was not, so it was our verbal thanks that would need to gratify him and her today.

Nice job Pablo.

Pablo, 893 Brunswick St, Newfarm

A Tex-Mex feast starring my old friends, the Chicken Mole and Slow Cooked Briskett

The guys... hanging out... warming up for the party
The guys… hanging out… warming up for the party

It’s has been said that there are two things that are certain in this life we live;
1. Death
2. Taxes
3. A Tex-Mex feast of large proportions if you stay at our house for more than a day or two
4. And my lack of appropriate shills needed to do math

My Uncle Rob and Aunty Lizzie were fortunate enough to stay with us recently and, as they hit the “few day stay” bracket, a Tex-Mex feast did indeed eventuate.

We got our finest crockery out, and by finest crockery I mean it may have been vogue in 1978 but we’re still using it now because we think it makes us look pretty cool and shit. Whether there is any truth in the concept that old plates may us look cool I know not. But we were cooking a Tex-Mex feast, no doubt about it.

That’s really nice, isn’t it? We’re nice people, you know…

With out further adieu, and with no beating around the proverbial bush – a task I feel is best left up to Ron Jeremy and his band of merry 80’s porn stars, here is a recipe for my shredded chicken Mole, a must for any table that is supporting a Tex-Mex feast…

That brisket spent quite a number of hours hanging out with little wisps of smoke from the coals of the old hardwood that burns beneath
That brisket spent quite a number of hours hanging out with little wisps of smoke from the coals of the old hardwood that burns beneath

It is safe to say I am well and truly addicted to cooking on this puppy
It is safe to say I am well and truly addicted to cooking on this puppy
Some friends for the chicken, brisket and beans
Some friends for the chicken, brisket and beans
Everyone getting amongst it
Everyone getting amongst it
Time to get in my belly
Time to get in my belly

CHICKEN MOLE POBLANO (for 10-12 as part of a banquette)

2kg chicken breast
4 cloves
2 cinnamon quills
80g Mexican chocolate (if you can’t get hold of it use 1 tablespoon cocoa powder)
2x 400g tin diced tomatoes
1 cup chicken stock or water

the almond paste

2 corn tortillas, grilled or roasted with a little oil until brown
80g raisins or sultanas
80g almonds, roasted
¼ cup pepitas, roasted
2 tablespoons sesame seeds, roasted
1 tablespoon coriander seed, roasted and ground
4 cloves garlic
4 dried long red chillis, soaked in hot water for 20 minutes
1 cup water

• Blitz ingredients for almond paste until it nice and pasty like your chefs’ tan
• Fry paste off in a little oil until you are starting to detect delicious aromas with your nose. Yep. I’m afraid your nose is in charge of this one
• Add all other ingredients, except chicken, and chuck some salt and pepper in there too. Simmer over low heat, stirring often, for 30 minutes
• While sauce is cooking roast chicken breast in 180C oven for 15 or so minutes, until just cooked. Once cooked, shred chicken apart using two forks
• Add chicken to the sauce and check seasoning
• Serve it up with a heap of other shit such as slow cooked brisket, chilli beans, pickled jalapeno slaw, brown rice salad, guacamole, feta, charred salsa picante, jalapeno relish, natural yoghurt or sour cream and home made or shop bought tortillas