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

The Sunday roast… the final instalment

Dear good lord
Dear good lord

The Sunday roast… or not…

So you still can’t do a decent Sunday roast? You just don’t have enough time… your kids are so hungry they’re starting to eat each other… and you’ve already lost three. Lucky your white trash genes decreed that you shalt have eleven children. Even if you do have to sacrifice the odd one or two to the cause.

Actually I (in all of my infinite wisdom as decreed by the crazy guy who mumbles to himself at the entrance to the local garden store) have decided you don’t deserve to eat Sunday roast. You should stay away from the Sunday roast. Jesus should make you allergic to the Sunday roast. It’s an institution for god’s sake. Go to the carvery in the food court of the local shopping centre. And if you don’t have a local shopping center NO ROAST FOR YOU. Come back one year… Everyone has seen the soup nazi episode of Seinfeld, right?

You’ve got me quite worked up now.

So worked up, in fact, that I may need to pour myself a second cup of tea.

Aaah. That’s better.

So now I have decided that I shall not be giving you another recipe for a kick-ass roast. Instead I shall point my proverbial finger at you and mock you like I would mock the three-armed carnie. “Ha, ha, ha. You’ve got three arms. You look really funny.” (That would certainly have been more effective if you could have seen me sitting at the computer singing it to myself)

No. Instead I think I will give you a recipe for what I shall call GFC. No, no, no I am certainly not referring to any kind of crisis in which many people across town lost a bit of cash. No, I’m talking about “Grazza’s Fried Chicken” because let’s face it, if you can’t roast it surely you can fry it yes? Yes! A million drunken bogans across the country can’t be wrong!

This chook wanna be loved
This chook wanna be loved
portion that bird up. And get it marinating too
portion that bird up. And get it marinating too
This is probably similar to what great fried chicken looks like before it gets fried
This is probably similar to what great fried chicken looks like before it gets fried
Apple 'slaw. Add some home made mayo and this shit is ready to go
Apple ‘slaw. Add some home made mayo and this shit is ready to go
Fry my pretties...
Fry my pretties…
For an authentic GFC gravy, I always use Campells real chicken consomme...
For an authentic GFC gravy, I always use Campells real chicken consomme…
This was really good
This was really good
These chips were off the freaking hook
These chips were off the freaking hook
Aaaah the memories. Seriously, I must sound like a fat guy right now
Aaaah the memories. Seriously, I must sound like a fat guy right now

For the chicken                

1 whole free-range bird, one that beckons to you that it wants to be touched… loved… eaten. If you have the skills joint this bird into 10 pieces. If you don’t have the skills please ask your butcher very politely if he/she (Yeah, I’ve never seen one either but I’m sure the mythical “girl butcher” does exist. And I dare say she would live in a land filled with pink unicorns and waterfalls made of lemonade… no, seriously, I am fully trying to keep this shite PC) will do it.

2 cups of buttermilk

1 egg (Probably didn’t need it but I put it in there anyways)

2 cups plain flour

1 tablespoon each dried oregano or thyme and paprika

1 teaspoon each ground coriander, white pepper, tumeric, sage and baking powder

oil to deep or shallow fry

  • Marinate the chicken in the buttermilk for an hour or two. This should be enough time for you to mix up the flour with all of the herbs and spices, and if you are quick you will be able to sneak in a beer or two or three. I will not pretend to know how quickly or slowly you drink.
  • Add the egg to the chicken and buttermilk number and mix it all about
  • Roll the chicken through the secret herbs and spices flour and then repeat process. For anyone who doesn’t understand what that means I shall explain. It simply means you put the chicken through the buttermilk and then the flour once again. Twice all up. Double coated. All good?
  • Heat your oil to 180C give or take a degree or two
  • Now fry the chicken in batches (Use your common sense here people. You don’t want to have chicken triple layered and getting all stuck together in your fryer now do you? Four or five pieces at a time are probably good), keeping each batch warm in a low oven until they’re all done.
  • Once the chicken is done it’s time to cook your chips. If you are not knowledgeable in the art of chip cooking (You better not be smiling right now snotty. It is a very serious art…) let me know and someone from foodisthebestshitever will be there to help!

To serve

Apple ‘slaw (For a bit of kinda-healthy to make you sleep a little better at night), mashed potatoes and gravy*, chips and dinner rolls

Gourmet white trash y’all! Now there’s an oxymoron if ever I saw one!

That’s all.

*One tip for the bangin’ GFC gravy; Campbell’s pure chicken consommé. I don’t want to sound like the poster boy for the new Campbell’s advertising campaign, but cook out one tablespoon of plain flour in one tablespoon of butter and then whisk in 1.5 cups Campbell’s chicken consommé and cook that bad boy until thickened, stirring occasionally. Season and pour into a deep hole in the middle of your mashed potato.