Some places to eat tasty food between Tweed Heads and the Goldcoast

Breakfast at Paddock was awesome. Anywhere that put's a little thought into it (and these folks certainly have) gets my vote every time
Breakfast at Paddock was awesome. Anywhere that put’s a little thought into it (and these folks certainly have) gets my vote every time

Last trip I made to Tweed Heads I pulled into the hospital and left the following day sans tonsils, appetite and with not so much as a good-bye peck on the cheek…

Bitch hospital and it’s quackish, prudish medicine men.

This trip was reserved for venturing up and down the coast between the Goldy (Goldcoast) and Tweed Heads with the sole purpose of eating all of the food with my diary totally clear of visits to the witch doctor and nary a throat sawing quack in sight.

Although a very beautiful piece of coastline it is (getting my Yoda on here) someone back in the day made a pretty big fuck up when they decided that they would slap the NSW/Queensland boarder smack bang in the middle of the place. Like Tweed Heads is here (literally here) and Coolangatta is there (once again literally). That is how far the two cities are apart. Yes it is a city and state boarder.
“That shouldn’t be an issue Graz”, I hear you say. “You’re really starting to get a bit whingy as you get older, mate.”
“Yeah and a little smellier, too.”
“Yeah and I don’t think he’s got much of a grip anymore.”
“I’ll tell you what he does have a good grip on though, his fricking c… o…”

Back to that pretty big fuck up; NSW and Queensland are on two different time zones for the 6 months of the year that daylight savings is in effect. Starting to get my gist yet? Picking up what I’m putting down, homeboy? In Tweed it’s 4:19pm and two steps away in Coolangatta it’s 3:19pm… it’s a fricking head-fuck I call tell you… trying to work out which state you’re in… I have enough trouble just trying to stay sober.

Now, we do have a few favourites up this way but this trip we made a conscious effort to stay far from our comfort zone, remove ourselves from the warm bosom of our mothers and basically just get the fuck into someone else’s place for a change of scene. The Byron-esque nature of the come-and-go restaurant scene and the ever-ready construction teams of city expansion and glorification up here truly lend themselves to a fresh experience and the customer having the opportunity to sample something new on a regular basis.

Dick yes. This was our jam!

But, first up it was time for a haircut and a beard trim – my first for the year… or maybe a year. Normally my shaggy dog looking head is something I really care very little about (FYI, one doesn’t win three “best in show ribbons” in the shaggy dog division by trimming ones shaggy dog look) but all of the hair dressers in this place, I swear to god, and they were moving in on our hotel under the cover of darkness. It was a pincer movement and a damn fine pincer movement at that. I was starting to feel more than just a little self-conscious.

In scenes not dis-similar to the shaving of Brendan Frazer in “Encino Man” or Tom Hanks in “Castaway”, or any other wookie-gets-shaved type scene from an outdated movie, suddenly I was cleansed… I was one of them… I would be pulled close to the bare, lactating breast of society once again… and fuck me I would breast-feed in public!

*How is it that, through the wonder that is the interweb super highway, I could tell millions of people about how we could make the world a better place, or share a beautiful poem or send random messages of kindness and love but instead I’m here telling fourteen people and a small dachshund about the day I got a haircut. Dear good lord*

Our regular couple o’ favourites are (in no particular order except JRs Smokehouse Barbecue is at the top because it’s my favourite);
JRs Smokehouse Barbecue
Lester and Earl
The Blacksheep Esspresso Baa
And we’ll always try in vain for a decent meal a few of the cut -from-the-same-mould, predictably shit-can restaurants from the Shit Restaurant Co. (producers of many quality dodgy restaurant strips and concepts in many popular tourist destinations. I think you would have come across their work some where on your travels)

But, as I mentioned earlier, we were on the search for something new and more importantly, quality. Here’s what we found/were pointed in the direction of by local intel;

Getting my a.m. coffee on at Larder
Getting my a.m. coffee on at Larder
A damn tasty pulled beef sandwich and cracking coffee at Griffith Street Larder
A damn tasty pulled beef sandwich and cracking coffee at Griffith Street Larder

Griffith Street Larder
• Great coffee, check
• Perfectly poached eggs, check
• Kickass sandwiches and salad bowls available at breakfast, check

Shaggy watching over the hot sauces
Shaggy watching over the hot sauces
Jamin' a bit of everything from Jamroc into our faces
Jamin’ a bit of everything from Jamroc into our faces
Kick-ass goat curry with red bean rice... just like I imagined it would taste
Kick-ass goat curry with red bean rice… just like I imagined it would taste

Jamroc
• Boondocks shopping center car park setting, check
• Moist and delicious grilled chicken and goat curry, check
• Heaps of hot sauce for the table, check
• Feed the family for a 50 bag of the finest Jamaican “green backs”, check

Breakfast at Poboy Cajun and Creole. The farmers breakfast (right) with oven roasted chicken breast, tomatoes, bacon and mornay sauce had me looking for a suitable park bench to nap on
Breakfast at Poboy Cajun and Creole. The farmers breakfast (right) with oven roasted chicken breast, tomatoes, bacon and mornay sauce had me looking for a suitable park bench to nap on
Dinner at Poboy was gumbo, jambalaya, poboy and more of the generous serves and affordable prices
Dinner at Poboy was gumbo, jambalaya, poboy and more of the generous serves and affordable prices

Poboy Cajun and Creole
• Cheap Creole and Cajun cooking, check
• Massive serves, check
• And insight as to why America is on the obesity-diabetic radar, check

Good burgers, crisp onion rings and fries, tasty dipping sauces and quick service is a winning recipe at Betty's Burgers
Good burgers, crisp onion rings and fries, tasty dipping sauces and quick service is a winning recipe at Betty’s Burgers
Simple and delicious
Simple and delicious

Betty’s Burgers
• Tasty burgers and sides that don’t cost your left arm, check
• Fast service, check
• A recipe that many other gourmet burger bars could learn a thing or two from, check

A pretty little sign and shit
A pretty little sign and shit
The fricking Philly cheese steak roll with onions, capsicum, mushrooms and jalapeños was off the hook
The fricking Philly cheese steak roll with onions, capsicum, mushrooms and jalapeños was off the hook
This pork, pistachio and apple sausage rolls was one of the best
This pork, pistachio and apple sausage rolls was one of the best

Paddock Bakery
• Massive wood fired oven and baking area enclosed with glass so it kinda like Seaworld and you can watch all of the orcas err, bakers and chefs at play… or work, check
• Great breads, pastries and breakfast in general, check
• Awesome little mythical country setting that quite probably actually has a waterfall that flows sweet, sweet lemonade, one street back from Goldcoast Highway, check

Burgster
• Closed Monday, check
• Sad face, check
• I will be back, check (Burgster was very high on my list, so you can imagine if you dare my disappointment when I was sussing their Facey page only to realise it had those dreaded words “closed today’. I almost had a tear but held it back enough for me to put it down to a high pollen count and me being a weak breed in general. It’s Monday – I know heaps of places do it (heck, I own a restaurant and even that bad boy is closed Monday), I do not hold that against anyone I was just real keen to give it a bash… next time for sure.)

• Weird checking of ones self, check

Go to these places and let your face enjoy the good times!

Bavarian Bier Cafe, Eagle Street Pier – a wunderbar eating experience

*This is a shitty photo alert*
*This is a shitty photo alert*

The first thing I noticed was the heat. It was going to be a warm one today. It was already being a warm one today and I was kind of a little unhappy with the 24hr air conditioning at Queenies house (Jennee’s brother and our host for the weekend) that was fooling my brain into thinking the celsius was actually hovering somewhere at or under the 20C mark… Silly, silly brain. That brain o’ mine really needs to be a little more on point than that, I mean, if it’s going to make all of the important decisions around here.

So it was hot, I dealt with that.

Secondly, the whole of the Brisbane CBD 20-to-30-something-old male office crew seemed to be divided as to whether it was the light baby blue shirt or more of a pastel salmon pink shirt that was to be decreed office uniform for 2016.

I was rooting for the pastel salmon pink myself.

Thirdly, I was really, really hungry as I had skipped a proper and complete breakfast in favour of an extra coffee in preparation for the sausage fest that would be ensuing this midday (not that kind of sausage fest – I would have needed at least a complete and proper breakfast to get my energy levels and longevity up if I was going to be rocking that kind of sausage fest), so it came to pass that I should move away from the street corner and stop with my pointless observations so we may go and fill our bellies with a big fat pile of steamy German sausage (once again, not that type of sausage) and, to a lesser degree, some kind of soured cabbage product and a hopsy, malty type beverage or two.

I'm pretty sure this is compulsory for your first time on a pretzel
I’m pretty sure this is compulsory for your first time on a pretzel

We were keen. The waitress came to get our drinks order and we hit her with the lot.

NB It is also worthy of note right here that our waitress was quite a pretty young German lass, no piggy tails or ridiculously over-ample bossom, but German none-the-less, and if this is the type of effort these Bavarian Bier Café folks are willing to put in, searching the globe for the right candidate etc, then I was certainly going to allow myself to be very impressed and even compliment them on their attention to detail.

Really tasty home made preztels
Really tasty home made preztels

The pretzels ($4.5ea) hit the table, neck and neck with our first round beers. Pretzels are good, and so is beer. Fact.

Next up the waitress arrived with our meals – a pretty good idea on her behalf because the beer on an empty stomach thing was doing nothing to subdue my pangs of hunger.

Our table quickly filled up with pig and pig products, cabbage-y things, potatoes and more beer – everything would expect from a Bavarian Bier Café. I was certainly stereotyping the heck out of these people by now, but they are my people so I felt it was OK.

GIVE ME SAUSAGE!
GIVE ME SAUSAGE!

The Sausage Tasting ($28) was so full of sausages it looked like Ian “Huey” Hewitson, or possibly the fat German kid from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, was still holding my plate. All the while I could not decide weather I was thinking more about the fat guy (I know it’s not PC but it certainly is the truth) sausage fingers or the scene from “Freddy got Fingered” when Tom Green makes the sausage mobile. “Daddy would you like some saus-sage. Daddy would you like some saus-sage-ges?”

Needless to say I gobbled the shit out of a heap of sausages this day and I loved every goddam second of it. All of that sausage gobbling did not even bring back one single bad memory of waking up on the wharf with a pocket full of fivers and hair gel all through my beard… There were a couple of sausages that were my favourites but at the end of the day I kinda got caught up in the heat of the moment and before I knew it there was a flurry not dissimilar to that of Cookie Monster on Sesame Street, some gnashing of teeth and the sausages and sauerkraut and mashed potato with beer sauce and mustard were all gone.

Definitely one of the tastiest knuckles I've been hit with in a long time
Definitely one of the tastiest knuckles I’ve been hit with in a long time

So then we moved onto the pork knuckle.

Along with the Volkswagon, this half pork knuckle ($27) was another true triumph of German ingenuity; crispy on the outside, moist and tender in the middle, and served with some more tasty potato and cabbage products, and apple compote. Tasty shit.

We had no space for dessert so we were out of there to wander a-little-bit-pissily through the streets of Brisbane.

All in all a great job by the Bavarian Bier Café. Wunderbar!

Three Blue Ducks at The Farm, Byron Bay

breakfast at the there blue ducks at the farm byron bay First, The Farm. The Farm is indeed a farm, albeit a farm that has done deportment classes and then returned in a brand new power suit that says without an inkling of wonder “I am here to make a fucking mark on this place”, and maybe just a little “touch me, you know you want to touch me”.

A sign so you don't get lost
A sign so you don’t get lost

There was and still is a lot of hype surrounding The Farm. I’m talking a serious amount of hype. Like, restaurants in this area open and close all of the time and there is a fucking shit load to choose from but never, and I mean never, have I seen this sort of hype for a restaurant… CSG get’s this sort of hype, yes, but a farm-slash-restaurant, no.

Next months breakfast... cute, but just not cute enough to avoid the plate
Next months breakfast… cute, but just not cute enough to avoid the plate

The short version of what I’ve heard goes something like this; Some one with some money they got from selling hand-bags bought a derelict old farm on the road into Byron Bay and turned said farm into a living breathing eco-mass of crops, chooks for egg production, pigs and cows for eating, cheese production, a restaurant that would not be serving bacon on it’s breakfast menu, a bakery, a florist and farm shop, permaculture things and some other stuff.

Walking in the country air is good for your health
Walking in the country air is good for your health

Hype or no hype, do what you will with the rumors and the stories and the unconfirmed sighting of the half goat half man who lives amongst the ginger crops, we went out to this place for breakfast, to eat the food and either confirm or deny the allegations that there was in fact no bacon to be sighted on the breakfast menu…

The breakfast menu. No bacon to be seen
The breakfast menu. No bacon to be seen

And then we went to breakfast at Three Blue Ducks @ The Farm.

We went in this door
We went in this door

The Three Blue Ducks are not actual blue ducks, they are in fact skin coloured people. These skin coloured people have packed their bags and headed up from their mother Sydney to bring their good, wholesome eating recipe to the chefs-dream setting of The Farm in Byron Bay and indeed brought with them a slick-assed restaurant operation and more enamel tableware then one could possibly poke even three sticks at.

The pork roll with 'slaw, hot sauce and fried egg on possibly the best burger bun I have ever tasted from The Bread Social ($16)
The pork roll with ‘slaw, hot sauce and fried egg on possibly the best burger bun I have ever tasted from The Bread Social ($16)

It felt very classy. This-can’t-be-what-a-real-farm-looks-like type classy, city styles classy, hip-happening-now type classy but still laid back and tranquil type classy… it’s hard to explain. The atmosphere and the feeling that the guy/gal who sold the handbags didn’t spare a cost when creating this dream of a spot where the sum of its parts definitely made it all a very worthy experience and, if the atmosphere and the dream was the entrée, then the food from The Three Blue Ducks was both the literal and metaphorical main course and by golly it did not disappoint.

The blood cake with apples, beets, lemon, herbs, fermented cabbage salad, fried egg and toast ($23)
The blood cake with apples, beets, lemon, herbs, fermented cabbage salad, fried egg and toast ($23)

Upon viewing the breakfast menu we did indeed discover it was sans bacon. We queried this as all of us present at the table this fine morning seemed to be born from that same stock of generations of bacon lovers, and by damn if we didn’t get a satisfactory explanation sharpish I could almost guarantee a riot… or at least some harsh words… ok, we’d just choose something else. We’re not that damn hard to please.

This congee was the dish of the day. Kimchi, kale, miso eggplant, sesame, yarrow, burnt shallot, seaweed and a boiled egg ($21). Everything we expected plus more. Damn tasty stuff
This congee was the dish of the day. Kimchi, kale, miso eggplant, sesame, yarrow, burnt shallot, seaweed and a boiled egg ($21). Everything we expected plus more. Damn tasty stuff

With nary time for a breath, the waiter quickly told us how they were more interested in sustainable farming practices (some what of a catch-cry) and using the whole pigs from the farm so, to avoid the surplus meat they would have if they served bacon at breakfast, our smoky cured porky friend took the bench and they subbed in a pulled pork fritter type thing. A really tasty pulled pork fritter type thing…

The Bread Social is another business operating out of The Farm, and another cracking operator to boot. Some of the best bread in the region for sure
The Bread Social is another business operating out of The Farm, and another cracking operator to boot. Some of the best bread in the region for sure

We had a great morning full of great friends enjoying a great setting, great coffee and a great breakfast, albeit a slightly exy one, with no bacon to be seen. Even though there may be a few glitches in the service and speed of delivery, it is their first week of operation and they are kicking goals all over place, so someone who likes to imagine things would imagine it could only get better and better. Also, they have defo missed the mark with a few of the price points, but if 24 bucks for 1 sausage, 1 egg, beans and one piece of toast is a little exy for your pocket, you can still go and enjoy a coffee and some damn nice scenery… and try a loaf of that cracking Bread Social bread!

It’s a try it for yourself, see it to believe it type scenario that you should get onto right now.