The Black Sheep Espresso Baa, Cooly… not just a bunch of random words

black sheep espresso baa
The Black Sheep Espresso Baa…

This place is a little hole-in-the-wall type set up, a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it little hobbit nook, sans Saruman, Lord of Isengard, which works for me as I am not eating breakfast in the company of that nasty prick, no thank you.

My kids in the shoe box
My kids in the shoe box

You walk into this little shoe box café expecting to see myriad of little elves working away, toiling over a hot grill to get you your meal, and some how negotiating their way around a coffee machine with some kind of little step ladder arrangement so they can reach the knobs and things so you may have some coffee, too. But then when you do actually wander up to the counter there are full sized, human type characters. There was actually 5 or 6 of them, all working away in a kitchen the size of a small garden shed, or possibly a large TV cabinet and I kid you not, they were all really happy about it too. Staff were singing and being nice and just showing many tell-tale signs of being really happy about their situation.

One of those happy people took our order and then another one of them made us some coffee and I’m pretty sure another one or two of them cooked our breakfast but I didn’t really notice, all the while I was sitting down and using every ounce of my energy trying not to obviously stare in absolute awe of how acceptable it seems to be to wear budgie smugglers into and around the Coolangattata café strip…

Tasty things
Tasty things

We ordered some more coffee. They were doing a good thing with their Toby’s Estate coffee so it seemed like the common sense thing to do.

The kids AKA the pack of ravenous lions, decided they would like to share the “Board for 2” ($39) which stated in its menu description that the staff cannot tell you what exactly is on it because they don’t have that sort of time to spare.

This is the menu pic
This is the menu pic

So the “Board for 2” came out carried only by one person which came as quite the surprise as I was expecting 4 large, scantily clad men in sandles… or a goat cart at the very least. Preconceptions can truly be a bitch, right? Anyway, this thing did have everything. It was like Christmas lunch at Gina Rinehart’s pad… minus the private doctors to keep an eye out for heart attack. It was off the fricking hook displayed in wooden board form; eggs, bacon, house made sausages, lamb bacon, spicy beefy beans, corn fritters, mushrooms, roast tomato, pumpkin and beetroot, condiments and toast. It was impressive… like, Andre the Giant impressive.
Sometimes when I look back on pics and try to think of a witty title my brain just reckons nom, nom, nom
Sometimes when I look back on pics and try to think of a witty title my brain just reckons nom, nom, nom

I had the “Sir-Tory” ($16.5) for myself. The quirky little name they had conjured up for this dish, as with most of the other quirky little monikers they had come up with for their menu items, meant absolutely nothing to me. But that was A-OK because I love it when peeps can have a bit of a chuckle at themselves and what they’re doing… AS LONG AS THEY CAN STILL COME THROUGH WITH THE PRODUCT… which these folks truly did. Slow cooked beef cheek in beer and tomato sauce mixed with grumble beans (once again, no idea what they were on about but I was more than happy to eat them) and then served with poached eggs and chilli jam.

“My kind of breakfast” should be enough information to some that one up. The addition of “very effing happy” should leave no doubt in the minds of the more simple folk amongst us.

By the time we were leaving the happy that was oozing from this place had well an truly infected us so off we went to skip with unicorns and smile at rainbows and shit.

You can find the Black Sheep Espresso Baa here.
black sheep espresso baa

Hangover breakfast… and lunch

hangover lunch
It’s been a bit touch and go for the old Grazza McFilthy Mouth today.

The precursor to this story if I may…

Yesterday I was paid a visit by an old friend and fellow chef who, for the purpose of this anecdote, shall be known as Toodles (mostly because that is his name). We proceeded to dive face first into a heap of beer, adding authenticity and conviction to the age old adage “chef’s really should not drink together”.

Oh, we did indeed drink together. I even invited a few more fellow chefs to come and join us on the verandah as if that was going to douse the flames of our drunkenness a little. Alas it appeared they had not received that memo and indeed proceeded to attempt to quell the fire that was our drunkenness with what could’ve only be described as regular house hold diesel fuel AKA. Their own drunkenness.

That same inebriation made me smile at the time but I must confess today has been a bit of a struggle. I have not even been able to trust myself with what I would normally consider the more simple of my daily tasks. Holding a conversation, pulling together a coherent sentence, brushing my teeth and simple grade 2 mathematics were all just beyond my grasp today.

I got through it with the help of some food. A lot of food.

This is what I reckon…

The sardines in the bacon fat ruled
The sardines in the bacon fat ruled

There was heaps of other good shit too
There was heaps of other good shit too
So much of this went into my face
So much of this went into my face

Nom nom nom
Nom nom nom

Breakfast consisted of grilled bacon, sardines that had been marinated in rosemary, olive oil and a splash of vinegar and then grilled in the bacon fat, my nana Rose’s potato cakes, toad in the hole (out here that’s what we call the bread with the hole cut in it and then fried with an egg cracked in the hole), fresh tomato and herb salad and coffee. A heap of coffee…
Chips
Chips

Chips loaded with good things
Chips loaded with good things

Lunch was home made mixed potato chips covered with a layer of beef chilli that spent a couple of hours in the smoker last night, then some crumbled feta and a bit of grated honky dory fridge cheese (this is whatever gratable cheese you have in the fridge).
Out the the grill and into my belly
Out the the grill and into my belly

Under the grill (broiler) for a few minutes until golden brown and then anointed with jalapeño relish, natural yoghurt and sriracha hot sauce. Straight the heck into my face hole.
So damn good
So damn good

This really is the sort of food you can only truly appreciate like it deserves to be appreciated when you are feeling the wrath of the decisions your drunken self made the previous evening.

I make me good now.

Smoky Nom Noms Pork Loin for the Blogiversary

smoked pork loin
It came to passing that this week was foodisthebestshitever’s third year blogiversary or birthday or whatever you may like to call it.

What sort of celebration did we have, I hear you ask. A massive party with fire breathers and acrobats and a big bear with a little hat and waistcoat? A feast of epic proportions? A celebration of life and an alignment of our shakras by an ancient druid to enable clear vision and strength for the next year this little project will face?

That carrot and cucumber salad
That carrot and cucumber salad

No. no, no. None of the above.

This little blog was sent nary card nor well wishing from admiring fans or family. It was the orphaned child of the food blog world. Even I, as it’s adopted father, failed to realise it’s birthday had passed until a day or two after the event and then what? Did I try and make things better by turning up with gifts, a card with really nice words written in it that I had clearly paid someone else to write and arms full of adoration and love? Nope. No nominations for blog father of the year coming in today, quite possibly a few for non-sensible shite dribbler of the year, but none for blog father that’s for sure.

Get it together
Get it together

One thing I did do was drink a few beers, a little bit of wine and quite possibly even a vodka or two and then made myself a little smoked pork loin for din dins. It was smoky and sticky and delicious, and then the next day in a sandwich with egg and brown sauce and the dirty hangover that could’ve so easily edged it’s way into my day didn’t even get a look in. Suck shit dirty hangover.
Smoked pork, egg and brown sauce sandwich for breakfast. Oh dear good lord this was the business
Smoked pork, egg and brown sauce sandwich for breakfast. Oh dear good lord this was the business

Smoky pork loin goodness
Smoky pork loin goodness

SMOKY NOM NOMS PORK LOIN

1.5kg pork loin (mine came from Cromwell Farms)
¼ cup yellow mustard
2 tablespoons honey (straight from Cromwell Farms hives)
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

• Mix mustard, honey and vinegar together and rub that goodness all over the pork. Really give it some love. Set aside for an hour or two to get a little sexier
• Put in your webber/smoker/grill/oven on low-medium heat (160-170C) for an hour or so
• Rest for 15 minutes, slice and eat it in your face
• Smile and be proud that you did something really nice with a pile of stuff from a farm just up the road
• Tomorrow you can put the leftover pork in a sandwich with your own chooks eggs, Phil’s brown sauce and bread from Jordans Organic Bakery in Mullumbimby. Locavore belly filling satisfaction at it’s very finest!

Pretty carrots...
Pretty carrots…

HEIRLOOM CARROT & CUCUMBER SALAD

A cucumber, a handful of carrots and a little parsley and mint all from the back garden, sliced thinly on the diagonal
A splash white wine vinegar
A splash of olive oil
Seasoning
• Get it all together and check seasoning
• Let it sit for 5-10 minutes for flavours to mingle and really get to know each other
• Feel free to beam with pride that everything for this salad came from your own garden
• In hindsight, this really was a great celebration of simple home-grown goodness that this blog seems to be all about… I think…

Reiberdatschi… My Nana Rose’s Potato Hashbrown/Rosti/Pancake

SAMSUNG CSC
Whenever I use a recipe of my Nan’s on a menu or these here Blogland pages I allocate credit due. I would happily tell every one I met about the food my Nan would make for us because the way that lady cooks is a crazy, intermingling, goat cart driven journey of hearty, soul warming comfort food and childhood memories and nostalgia fixes. And well it should be, she is my Nana after all. The funny thing is though, when I tell her about the credit I’ve given her for those recipes, she kinda doesn’t believe me. She humbly chuckles and, in her still cracking after being here for sixty something years German accent, she says “Oh, Graeme”, and then chuckles a little more, not quite grasping that I would seriously put her name on a menu or why people would love the war torn, poverty born dishes that she has been cooking for all of those years. She chuckles some more when I thank her for the umpteenth time for all of the inspiration her cooking and love for the love of food has given me. I pull my phone out and show her a picture of a menu or specials board where I have credited her for a dish as, although I never make a point of trying to beat my Nan in an argument (well, I would never argue with her regardless but if I did I certainly wouldn’t be winning), this is a story she is going to have to believe. I think she is still dubious, which is fine with me now, but I really do hope she knows how much her cooking means to me…

My Nan has been getting some mad props on these pages recently, and here is another favourite of ours as children, and now a favourite of my children, that she may or may not believe I have told the world about.

My mum would put onion and bacon in hers but Nan stays the purist, stating that back in the old country (not that she would say it like that, I just think it gives the statement more of an authentic, post world war two type feel) the reiberdatschi would often be eaten with sauerkraut, but some times they would be garnished with sweet stewed apples – so the onion and bacon just didn’t go. Another vote for the sweet camp came from my Grandad, Jo, who ate his simply sprinkled with castor sugar. I seam to recall us eating fat piles of these things flavoured quite simply with the all-purpose seasoning of my youth – tomato sauce (ketchup), and lots of it! You can make your own grown-up decision on how you’d like yours to come.

However they came, our bellies always cheerfully received these reiberdatschi. Whether for breakfast, lunch or dinner, these things are the shit!

Fry those suckers up. Do not listen to their screams as they will feel no pain soon
Fry those suckers up. Do not listen to their screams as they will feel no pain soon

Stack them up on a plate, you'll be needing a few each, and dress with your favourite sides
Stack them up on a plate, you’ll be needing a few each, and dress with your favourite sides
Yep. On a plate
Yep. On a plate

BREAKFAST REIBERDATSCHI (for 4)

1 kg potatoes (sebagoes work well but at the end of the day, I’ve used most common varieties with pretty similar results), grated
and squeezed of excess moisture in a colander
1 onion, small dice
2 rashers bacon, chopped

1 egg


2 – 3 tablespoons flour
A good pinch of salt and pepper
Oil for frying
Eggs (cooked would probably be best), bacon, tomato relish, cherry tomato salad (the boys want cherry tomatoes with everything at the moment) and parsley to serve

• In a large bowl, mix all ingredients thoroughly to combine
• Heat a good splash of oil in a pan over medium-low heat
• Form medium handfuls of mix into balls and press gently into pan with a spatula until 1cm thickness. An average pan is good for 3-4 reiberdatschi per go
• Fry until golden brown on the first side, should be 4-5 minutes, flip and fry until the other side is also golden and crisp. Drain on absorbent paper. Keep in a warm spot
• Continue frying the reiberdatschi in batches until they are all done
• Season with a little more salt, garnish and get it in your belly

Liz McGuiness at the Greenhouse

Image 7

Our roving reviewer, Liz McGuiness, visits Greenhouse, Perth.

This morning I’m joining the hip young things of Perth for breakfast. Our eatery of choice is Greenhouse. I was pleasantly surprised by the view through the window as I approached and even more surprised by a keg of free compost and a sign inviting customers to take some home for their garden! Inside, my inner hipster rejoiced, for there was repurposed goodness galore!! Light bulbs hung suspended from the bare wood ceiling, embraced by rolls of square holed fencing wire – silent sentinels watching over us as we reviewed our breakfast choices. The menu for both food and drink lay bare the café’s values and the organic theme lay waste to any thoughts of chemical infested fake hollandaise sauce.

I ordered an organic cappuccino – there is no fat free or skim milk option here – just wholesome hipster goodness.

Image 8

As I truly believe the test of a good breakfast kitchen is the quality of it’s poached eggs, I ordered eggs (organic of course) poached at 62 degrees on organic sourdough toast.

Image 5

Now call me an everyday Australian, but I’ve never partaken of 62 degree poached eggs before, I was intrigued. Before I describe what came out, let me take you dear reader, on a little wander down Lizzie lane. Until I met my husband 19 years ago, I could not stand having runny eggs and when one was delivered to my plate, it would fill me with such dread that I found it distressing to eat. Unless it was on toast, then I could mop up the mess with the last of my soggy bread. So I would order my eggs to be harder than a gunner’s guitar riff. Fortunately, the ghost of Barney past introduced me to the pleasures of runny eggs and the enjoyment that could be had from eating them. So, you’ll appreciate that had it been 19 years ago, I would never had even attempted to eat the delight that came out on my plate this morning.

Image 6

Perched upon a delicious looking piece of sourdough, were two divinely poached eggs. Kudos to the chef because he had managed to contain the very essence of the egg yolk, suspended in translucent white. The taste was exquisite silk on silk and surprisingly, despite it’s seemingly frail appearance, the entire egg white held its integrity while I devoured it. The coffee was so sublime, I had another cup before I plunged outside to join the other lemmings as we trudged our way to work. But secretly, I was smiling inside, for I had escaped the rat race for just a moment, and savoured a real culinary breakfast treat.

Wooli part 3… ridiculous stuffed croissant for breakfast

Image 1

Pastry chef goes a little crazy when he hears the news of the immanent closure of our place of employment.

Pastry chef bakes unusually large croissant… not for the purpose of any kind of freakish Friday night, keys in the hat type party, but for human consumption.

SAMSUNG CSC

I bring said croissant on holiday to visit the beach, see the pretty birds and to become the foundation of a mental breakfast.

The pastry chef would be proud of how his product ended its time as the epitome of it’s bronzed, crescent shaped lesser siblings, the embodiment of everything holy about meticulously layered and folded flour and butter, beautifully presented as a ridiculously large golden buttery slug.

SAMSUNG CSC

It was filled with beef sausage, smoked sausage, bacon, fried eggs, cheese and tomato sauce, seasoned and allowed to bake on a low heat for 15 minutes to suffice it’s throbbing mass.

SAMSUNG CSC

The croissant was consumed, crumbs and final morsels were picked from plates and everyone was in awe of what had been accomplished.

Image 2

The end.