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haresfur

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:

 

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For these:

 

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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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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.

 

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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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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.

 

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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.

 

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