I’m well aware that there are bigger issues out there, but please can Melbourne Café owners change it up a little.
There is something about warmer weather and the spring air that gets me excited about the up coming seasonal fruits. I know its not summer, but for some reason the warm air makes me want to cook with fresh produce and fruits such as berries, apricots and peaches.
Lighter lunches seem to be my preferred choice in the warmer months and the café I went to for lunch today only had the usual chicken wraps, pies, salad’s, sandwiches and soups on offer, none stood out for me.
As I couldn’t find the food I wanted I picked up the ABC’s Delicious food magazine to get some inspiration of my own.
While enjoying my bacon, egg and cheese English muffin and drinking a lovely pot of English breakfast tea (white with half a sugar if your wondering…or if you feel like making me one) I was excited to see all the recipes with figs, tamarillos and peaches in them.
Now why can’t we have light meals like fig and prosciutto salad and herbed lemon chicken with green beans or a simple garlic, olive oil and parsley pasta, in smaller cafes? I know the big expensive restaurants do this type of menu, but it would be nice to get this at cafes.
Italians are known for their fresh produce and range of enticing antipasto’s and afternoon delights. I know we aren’t Europe, but come on, Australia have some of the most amazing produce in the world. Our meat and poultry are world class, just ask Sam Kekovich, our wines and cheeses are consumed all over the world and our Master Chef contestants have beaten celebrity chefs at cooking their own meals.
I just think that with the amazing spread of produce available to us, we should never feel a lack of variety when we eat out.
I know that cost and availability is to be considered, but I would like to see more creative and even simple classics such as the New York Waldorf salad in Melbourne cafes.
I know I can go home and make this myself, but when I go out for a meal I prefer to purchase something I can’t make or can’t be bothered making at home. It’s not that I’m lazy, its just that some of these meals have many smaller components to them and they would take a hungry, tiered person (me after work and the gym) an hour to make.
I can make a quick spaghetti, throw a quiche into the oven or make a quick Greek salad. The point is I don’t want these things for lunch when I know I’m likely to have something similar for dinner.
One café that I’m particularly impressed with is Puck Specialty Coffee on Palmerston Crescent in South Melbourne. My favourite lunch item to order is their meatball salad. It comes with 2 generously sized meetballs, a salad with greens, cucumber, tomato and fetta as well as a slice of toasted and buttered Turkish bread, delish.
The great thing about this café, is that if you can’t find what you want, they will make something up for you. Now that’s what i’m talking about. I went in one afternoon and felt like a warm pasta, they didn’t have one on the menu, a group of work friends and I suggested one that we like, penne with sundried tomatoes pesto and chicken. The next time we went in, we ordered it for lunch.
Now that’s what I call creative and simple.
What menu items would you like to see at your local café?