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Country treasures


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Any interesting finds away from the major cities?  Doesn't have to be fancy, just good or different.

 

To start, country bakeries often aren't anything special and can be very similar (It seems most of them have been awarded Australia's best vanilla slice). But if I'm travelling through Heathcote, I try to stop here:

 

IMG_20141206_120159096 (640x480).jpg

 

For these:

 

IMG_20141206_120113399 (480x640).jpg

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It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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Parker pies in Rutheglen would be my number one pick for their meat pies. They have walls covered with awards and I have not been able to find a better pie in my travels.

http://parkerpies.com.au

Simon

 

I have only had their pies once, and can't remember which kind but it was very good.

 

The best meat pies in Bendigo are from Eaglehawk Bakery, IMO.  No where near the variety, and we only think of ourselves as 'country' when it suits our convenience.  :cool:

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I have only had their pies once, and can't remember which kind but it was very good.

 

The best meat pies in Bendigo are from Eaglehawk Bakery, IMO.  No where near the variety, and we only think of ourselves as 'country' when it suits our convenience.  :cool:

I remember eating pies in Bendigo a lot of years ago and cannot truthfully compare the two, but I can say that the Parker pies are really good. This type of judgement is extremely subjective but it is always good to know where to start when traveling around the outer reaches of our state. I only wish that there was a great bakery close to home.

Simon

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On the subject of fantastic places for food in the country, just over the border in Albury is a butcher that specializes in great varieties of meat. My favourite is their Mitta Valley wagyu beef, dry aged and fantastically marbled. They also sell Dorper lamb and great pork. Yalandra fine foods is the place and it is a few minutes from the Albury airport and they sell online.

Www.yalandra.com.au

Simon

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Timely thread... we'll be doing the Melbourne - Sydney return drive over the Christmas period and would welcome some new places to stop. Unfortunately I have to agree with Haresfur's observation that most country bakeries are a little unexciting. May squeeze in a trip to Bendigo too so will try to sample the pies.

It might be a bit obvious, but the Beechworth bakery is quite unexpected for a town of that size and worth the detour - it's a lovely town too.

 

Unfortunately I don't know the name of the bakery (which I realise makes this a bit useless) but I did have an exceptional pie in Berrima.  Google suggests it may have been the Gumnut Patisserie, but I can't be sure.

 

Would love some suggestions for the places we regularly stop at: Yass, Albury and Kyneton.

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Timely thread... we'll be doing the Melbourne - Sydney return drive over the Christmas period and would welcome some new places to stop. Unfortunately I have to agree with Haresfur's observation that most country bakeries are a little unexciting. May squeeze in a trip to Bendigo too so will try to sample the pies.

It might be a bit obvious, but the Beechworth bakery is quite unexpected for a town of that size and worth the detour - it's a lovely town too.

 

Unfortunately I don't know the name of the bakery (which I realise makes this a bit useless) but I did have an exceptional pie in Berrima.  Google suggests it may have been the Gumnut Patisserie, but I can't be sure.

 

Would love some suggestions for the places we regularly stop at: Yass, Albury and Kyneton.

 Kyneton is supposed to have a very good Indian restaurant but I'm not sure of the name and couldn't find it one time I tried to drive through. Google found two of them. Pizza Verde on Piper St. has pretty good wood fired pizza.

 

There is a Beechworth bakery shop in Bendigo but I wasn't impressed.  Haven't been to the original one.

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  • 3 weeks later...

So we've returned from our trip... lots of driving, lots of small towns, not much time.  The two most interesting finds were Grit in Goulburn, and The Proprietor in Albury.

 

Grit was a good find because it is right next to The Big Merino.  It might not be well known overseas, but it seems to be a peculiarly Australian thing to create a tourist attraction by building a big version of something.  We have the big prawn, the big pineapple and 150 other big things dotted around the country which are all giant crappy tourist traps.  Goulburn has the Big Merino - a 12 metre concrete sheep - and next to it is a giant bakery the size of a supermarket.  The bakery itself is pretty average but considering that it's really just a truck stop just off the main motorway, it's probably a better bakery than you'd expect.  But in a relatively small shed next door is a small cafe called Grit.  This has proper food, excellent coffee, and in comparison to the standard of food at your average roadside truck stop or service station, it's a real gem.  The Big Merino is in a great location - just off the freeway, easy exit and entry ramps, the right distance from Sydney for a stop, huge carparks etc etc.  With Grit hiding in the corner, there's no reason to settle for average food and poor coffee any more.  The freshly baked friands we had were great.

 

Even better was The Proprietor in Albury.  Another cafe, kinda hipster.  Can't really describe what was so special about it except it was simply delicious.  I had possibly the best coffee I've ever had there.  In the Modernist Cuisine chapter on coffee, they talk about the "god shot".  At the Proprietor, I had the latte equivalent of a "god shot".  The coffee they use is hand roasted in Brunswick St, Melbourne, although that's only one part of the overall equation.  The poached pears with dried berries were divine.  It's just a great cafe.

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So we've returned from our trip... lots of driving, lots of small towns, not much time.  The two most interesting finds were Grit in Goulburn, and The Proprietor in Albury.

 

Grit was a good find because it is right next to The Big Merino.  It might not be well known overseas, but it seems to be a peculiarly Australian thing to create a tourist attraction by building a big version of something.  We have the big prawn, the big pineapple and 150 other big things dotted around the country which are all giant crappy tourist traps.  Goulburn has the Big Merino - a 12 metre concrete sheep - and next to it is a giant bakery the size of a supermarket.  The bakery itself is pretty average but considering that it's really just a truck stop just off the main motorway, it's probably a better bakery than you'd expect.  But in a relatively small shed next door is a small cafe called Grit.  This has proper food, excellent coffee, and in comparison to the standard of food at your average roadside truck stop or service station, it's a real gem.  The Big Merino is in a great location - just off the freeway, easy exit and entry ramps, the right distance from Sydney for a stop, huge carparks etc etc.  With Grit hiding in the corner, there's no reason to settle for average food and poor coffee any more.  The freshly baked friands we had were great.

 

What's a friand?

 

This reminds me, I have heard that there is edible (maybe not in the treasure category) Indian food at the Giant Koala in Dadswells Bridge. When I stopped there they had just been flooded out and I just grabbed a coke, expressed my sympathy and got out of their way.

 

72977760.oqSd756t.jpg

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What's a friand?

Like a muffin but lighter, made with almond meal. Incidentally, we all had a full breakfast at Grit, I just commented on the friands because they were fresh out of the oven and especially good.

As we drove past various small towns, we often looked them up on urban spoon and trip advisor to see what the eating was like. We were interested to see that in many small towns, the no 1 ranked restaurants were Indian. I don't really know why this is the case, but I found it interesting.

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  • 7 months later...

I'm crook (aka sick) today so I headed home after an appointment to sleep it off. But feeling sorry for myself, I stopped at Eaglehawk Bakery and bought a lamb and rosemary pie and a Canadian date slice. I don't know what is Canadian about it but if you just ask for a date slice, they say, "A Canadian date slice?" as if they have another kind. The pie came with a free sausage roll. The sausage rolls are pretty ordinary but it meant I didn't have to share my pie with Spock the Dalmatian.

 

IMG_20150805_121450233.jpg

 

The pie wasn't quite as good as the Mulga Bill pie, which is the same but with potato and, I think, mushroom. That one is named after a poem by Banjo Patterson and they pay homage to his bicycle in the bakery.

 

I'll save the slice for tea.

 

IMG_20130713_110739.jpg

 

 

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  • 5 years later...

If someone were to ask for a recommendation for nice dining in Bendigo, I would probably send them to Mason's of Bendigo. They specialise in mostly local food. Obviously it's a tough time for them and they have responded by offering "Masons at Home" meals. Some assembly required. You need to order in advance and there are a limited number of slots. It turned out to be a delicious meal and was very nice to set your own pace. The little bit of heating and plating gives you something to do between courses.

 

Here is a running commentary of this week's meal:

 

Showed up at 5:30 for our designated pick-up time. Was sternly warned to get the ice cream into the freezer first thing upon getting home. The meal came in two big (blurry) paper bags. The herbs were in the smaller one:

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The menu, like the ones at the restaurant is printed on the back of their signature place mats: 

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The loot. Shiso and Lemon Balm for garnish are in pots, upper left. Plenty left over for planting (I've had some success planting herbs from the same supplier):

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 Comes with instructions:

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The beef brisket bun course was the only one that needed actual cooking instead of just reheating:

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Next up was the pork scotch with delicious funky black vinegar noodles. The pork was a bit salty for my taste but the whole dish came together really well.

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The main was lamb shanks cooked perfectly, although I might have been tempted to reheat them sous vide rather than boiling (I think that's probably how they were originally cooked). I realise that when I've done them, I leave them in too long and they start to fall apart too much). Served with charred cauliflower salad, and roasted brassica (so much fancier than broccoli 😉) - both really good veg:

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bynfrv_qgqklpxtNkOp3aeGVGLv9ru_9tSj8xLklqaQhCzc_zIsEx4UmWmBe_13HospmKt5E6Kr5fejEpqAOLwh_SqA5NJP8RlzRY12LwLgzmjqxXSJsypNAlKF_EgTq84KYMrUGA8hPM_VLevYBOZAI9Yl2HYaTr_Cf-S30ZI2ErOonnePHnQ3PY8wkqEiQan9KLrUiDgWDEflE49E0XOud9m_e83-Q74lEzFDsPUOwEVE6F6yQT44m6oOvW9_g-4IAuDqWtm1JD10G1btYYrxb0PPdHc1RsQEto5qxs8Lptj29KBCmu_HPvVF0zjWBTg52AxjI7ABqq20kMTkKldktfKLmkgEW-odHS1BrIvlMbDrjbOsMNG02JnXzT44zTuYU1A07Wi4nrzGMODlO-EPyqqFxh8fyMprCeqqkQoVlLlP7GVseFcOqQQgQETL7XNC23SGhies59ny10RHA2NwCKUQ00nFDBMMr6SszJp1HCHD8Gtb1OgMXHG9sQ2-RABV7Q0yepWsItRyqgV7ERlYLOURScY9VrZd9Wmu0735mh0ueH9DCM8HmWluVzzatURhGwC25cV6FoqjEG7-jADxsbEJG9KmeLhQ9plnm1nFb-Z9cohSG21ZEu9zNFdneQsasWD7mQH-PQCaimwm3ci1xumKWlxgUA-8SysKS1KALia8SCsC5BPlw0yuQ=w1124-h843-no?authuser=0

 

And, of course, dessert, macaron sandwich with berries and ice cream garnished with fresh flowers:

3I-q-7Bf_tNbRJKvl2KfmN09xHS7nQAUFDukyHgft0FBLzgFAYkzoM8IPytSJN6b-IpMoUN_tzHs_yyruFO6EdTVVZCRHB1J0xslvk9SzdvYM1aTtdgPvBqIOonAJbiJsrilwbbHNaAofRubtp9vhlrxBfVbfWuAtVEDwK236YybS9p9swuelNviaescSWV5eBfwW1yFqEhiGfiFxIhgwM-7BmBrow8GJDPzjW4j1daR9XJmvV4AXIKjg4eHUSQo9G_TVhV2mEL51xZhjrfs7kHb_uWJ2jyleehqj_yObqepWMRs6K82H6Z0VpS9wkIDxX9B7crUaipn78Ilpj1Ht9j5AmKztLjIi4UtaeTsD_ytPsFhsC8vOdSc0XpBMavS3wZAcoT8EOeOCThFfuQS32p8KaJEJUecOUrZbcHVrEiIzq7wsHgiVzmq7ARx_skxakXABjlo8TQolBFcxJ9rDZwz_2Gvj5PKYvbyZAYICScDmP2K7umBGzmPfVpIcyW-_vksPto8pLSzbKC3J0nPranmSbHijpZkrTAKrGo_7RW7cMz5HCwrzaA_8lNGr1ZkSCu21Y9KRLsDgM3i8xOvWfY6xAe1YiZCqxpjpr4dCA4veUo_ICGlC05FXrBmn_BxYicpAT0S-50i5elLnEo4KxLQ62onUmRKYjM5eGzxzfNly31lAPX-svtHFwaX=s843-no?authuser=0

 

Nearly forgot, a local Heathcote Malbec from our own stash:

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Edited by haresfur
some images didn't come through (log)
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It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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@haresfur Wow - impressive meal with lots of creative taste variety.  I'd be on it. Thanks for sharing it! Agreed on the lamb - boil - no.  And your serving plates are works of art. Bit of a pottery nut here.(and glass, and many things)

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1 hour ago, heidih said:

@haresfur Wow - impressive meal with lots of creative taste variety.  I'd be on it. Thanks for sharing it! Agreed on the lamb - boil - no.  And your serving plates are works of art. Bit of a pottery nut here.(and glass, and many things)

 

Thank you about the serving plates. It was nice to get a few out - I'm a pottery nut, too, and have lots.

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It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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That's a delightful post! I'm with Heidi and Kay - love looking at people's pottery and glassware. I have a large salad bowl and some tumblers that match your wine pitcher/decanter. The meals all look delicious, too. 

 

The term "pork scotch" threw me for a loop. It looks like what we Yanks would call medallions. Is that right? Are they cut from the loin?

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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On 8/24/2020 at 10:35 PM, Smithy said:

That's a delightful post! I'm with Heidi and Kay - love looking at people's pottery and glassware. I have a large salad bowl and some tumblers that match your wine pitcher/decanter. The meals all look delicious, too. 

 

The term "pork scotch" threw me for a loop. It looks like what we Yanks would call medallions. Is that right? Are they cut from the loin?

 

According to the all-knowing internet, it is from the shoulder

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It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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On 8/24/2020 at 8:35 PM, Smithy said:

That's a delightful post! I'm with Heidi and Kay - love looking at people's pottery and glassware. I have a large salad bowl and some tumblers that match your wine pitcher/decanter. The meals all look delicious, too. 

 

The term "pork scotch" threw me for a loop. It looks like what we Yanks would call medallions. Is that right? Are they cut from the loin?

 

Scotch in this context just means "cut". Not very helpful.

it's the same meaning as "to scotch a rumor", i.e. refute it (cut it).

"Medallion" isn't American. It's French and used most places.

Edited by liuzhou
© The pedantic linguist. (log)

...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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32 minutes ago, liuzhou said:

 

Scotch in this context just means "cut". Not very helpful.

it's the same meaning as "to scotch a rumor", i.e. refute it (cut it).

"Medallion" isn't American. It's French and used most places.

 

 

Here's another source for the Australian terminology. Sorry you don't find it helpful.

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It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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2 minutes ago, haresfur said:

 

Here's another source for the Australian terminology. Sorry you don't find it helpful.

 

What makes you think I don't find it helpful?

 

Anyway, Scotch fillet still means "cut of fillet" unless there is another explanation.

...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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Love that this thread exists.  Takes me back to the small towns we visited many years ago, the nicest people in the world and many many pies sampled from traditional steak and onion to curry lamb. Thank you!

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That wasn't chicken

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  • 6 months later...

Castlemaine is getting pretty twee, which is not a bad thing. We had the Dalmatians and it was raining(!) so sitting under the covered verandah out front of Saffs Cafe worked well.

 

The coffee was excellent, the burger bun very good, the burgers themselves ok, but the "ruben" was pretty ordinary - made with something like grocery store corned-silverside.

It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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  • 6 months later...

I have no photos, so gather around the radio and let your imagination fill in the blanks.

 

We have a hotel called The British and American in a particularly dodgy neighbourhood I drive past on the way into town. They always had a sign out front advertising "The British and American - Chinese and Australian food". Didn't look like the kind of place you would be eager to check out.

 

A few months ago they changed to an Indian restaurant, Daawat, and I eventually looked up the website since I've been pretty disappointed with Indian food I've had in town. It looked promising enough to try for the entertainment value, if nothing else.

 

Ordered takeaway after picking up my car from the mechanic and swung into the gravel parking lot that hadn't been graded in decades. Thought I heard frogs but it turned out to be the croaking of the restaurant's exhaust fan. Walked in through the bar (turns out the restaurant has an entrance around the back, by the dumpster. The bartender pulled up her mask upon seeing mine and directed me through. The bar patrons were exactly what I would have expected. Mostly older tradies with long grey beards dressed in Hi-Vis, looking like they had been sitting in the same spots for most of their lives.

 

The restaurant area had some crappy tables and chairs that had probably been there since the 1970s. A few Indian decorations on the wall and a big screen TV for when dine in is open or for the cooks when there is no business, I guess. There was a pass through to the kitchen and you could see the cook working the tandoor. I was about 15 minutes early for my food and saw one other person picking up an order.

 

The food was really good. So often I find Indian Restaurant dishes all taste very similar but they were clearly doing each sauce separately. We had dahl makhani, kadhai paneer, and methi chicken along with roti and onion kulcha. The Kadhai paneer was the highlight. Portions big.

 

Next time maybe I'll grab a pot of Carlton Draught at the bar.

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