Monday, 15 September 2014

Breakfast Series - WickEd Cafe

All day breakfast.....  It kind of has a luxurious feel about it.  It's a bold statement saying 'you don't need to rush, you can just take your time'.  I don't know about you, but I am a big fan of the all day breakfast, I love bacon and eggs on toast for lunch. It had been some time since I'd taken the time out to do breakfast at lunch, but it was something that I used to do quite often.

I'd been heading back to work after visiting my surgeon for a post shoulder operation check up and happened to be walking down Wickham Terrace on the Spring Hill / CBD border when I spied a sign announcing 'all day breakfast'.  I'd actually walked past WickEd in Spring Hill heaps of times and had wondered what the little cafe at the bottom of Observatory Tower was like.  It wasn't until I had walked completely past WickEd that it registered that the all day breakfast included chorizo, but once it did register, I found myself on auto pilot walking back up the street and into the cafe.

While I had never set foot in WickEd before, the name has always been a source of amusement for me, it's a pretty cool name, if not a little over used, but given the cafe is on the corner of Wickham Terrance and Edward Street, it kind of works.  I was surprised by how little the cafe was inside, there was room for a counter and kitchen, as well as a few seats with most of the seating outside, under a huge sun umbrella.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Cheap Eats - La Rotisserie at the Gasworks

We were wandering around the Valley and its surrounds looking at furniture a couple of weekends ago, which can be really quite draining. We're moving apartments really soon and want to have a fresh new look in our fresh new apartment!  After a couple of hours of getting in and out of chairs, measuring spaces in our heads and slowly going insane with the options and possibilities, we decided to give it up for the day and head to the Standard Markets to grab some groceries before going home to chill out. Normally, we'd head over to the Valley Standard but since we were closer to the Gasworks, we checked out the Standard there instead.

I digress, this post isn't about our shopping habits or the Standard.  We were feeling quite hungry from our furniture shopping and wanted something to eat and with a heap of options at the Gasworks, we were spoilt for choice.  We stood in a central spot and turned full circle trying to decide where to grab a bite to eat, with a flash of red catching my eye and a fragment of a memory coming to the fore. Ahhh, that was right, La Rotisserie was at the Gasworks and a sudden desire for chicken and chips struck me.

I'd known that La Rotisserie had opened at Gasworks and had previously resolved to check it out, so it seemed like the perfect opportunity.  As we walked through the front door of the very Parisian looking little restaurant, I was reminded of some of the best chicken that we'd eaten on our trip to Paris a few years prior.  Chicken is something that the French take great pride in doing well and even at little market stalls, the rotisserie chicken is a cut above what we'd experienced in Brisbane.  You only need to think about perhaps the most famous of all French chickens, the Bresse, to know how serious the French are about their fowl.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Breakfast Series - The Shady Palms Cafe

Back in the day, there was a powerhouse precinct that had it all, discount shops, cafes and quite a happening scene.  It was a place where on Saturday mornings, there was a vibe, it felt real and just a little bit edgy.  That place was Stones Corner and for a while, it was almost everyone's go-to spot for cheap clothing and a good feed. Then, one day, it wasn't.

For years, Stones Corner languished as a forgotten location, there seemed to be more 'to let' signs in the windows of the shops than shops themselves.  At times, it felt a little bit like a ghost town.  I'm not gonna say that it was the introduction of the discount outlet store DFO, but it was around it's opening that things started to go awry.  Coincidence, perhaps.....

Languish as it might, Stones Corner was not forgotten and over time it has started to transform again, away from its bargain basement factory outlet days into more of a mature setting with cafes and bars.  It might be said that that transformation, while not complete, was kicked along by an enterprising young couple who'd turned to reality TV to help speed up their dream of being in the food industry and opening their own restaurant.  Bec Saul and Mal Gill took to season two of My Kitchen Rules, and while they didn't take out the prize, the exposure was enough for them to open up their very first restaurant.

It might have seemed like a strange choice to open their first restaurant at Stones Corner, which at the time was at perhaps it's lowest ebb, Bec and Mal must have seen something that others didn't. Lady Marmalade was their first restaurant, which quickly became an oasis in an otherwise desolate location.  Success often leads to more success, and after a few short years, it was time to crack on with another cafe/restaurant and since they'd been so insightful with their first cafe, stuck with Stones Corner for their second.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Cheap Eats - Chur Burger

I've not kept it a secret but I've been on a mad burger hunt ever since I spent a month in New York City last year, which has to be the burger capital of the world (see post here). Just so we're clear, there are over nine hundred burger joints in the Big Apple, so there is no doubt that it's the burger mecca.  I've always loved burgers, I mean, who doesn't like a burger?  It's just that spending time in NYC allowed me to experience a wide range of burgers and really open my eyes to what's possible with some humble ingredients.

I've been chasing those burger highs ever since I returned from the US and over the last twelve months, it seems as if the whole city has gone burger crazy!  There has been burger joint after burger joint open, all trying to win the Brisbane diner's burger heart.  I guess it's not just burgers, but the whole American cuisine that's really taken off, but the quintessential and most favoured of American foods is the burger. 

My quest is quite well known and it's not unusual for a FoodMeUpScotty follower to tweet or Instagram me the moment a new burger place has opened.  This happened recently with the opening of Chur Burger.  I'd been vaguely aware that the Sydney institution was opening up a Brisbane outlet sometime this year, but it wasn't until internet buddy DigellaBakes sent me a tweet that I became fully conscious of the opening of a new burger joint (Thanks DC!).  From that moment it was clear that we'd be hitting up Chur Burger pretty quickly.

It ended up being two days post my tweet from Digella that we found our way to Chur Burger.  We knew it was in the Valley and we knew it was in Constance Street, but it wasn't until we pulled up out the front that we realised that it was underneath hip new Valley hotel Tryp by Wyndham.  It was a moment of revelation once we realised that the Tryp was in one of the old buildings that up until a year ago was just a shell, cool.  We'd always wondered who would take on 20 Constance Street and now we knew.


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