Monday, November 1, 2010
Melbourne, Australia has a reputation.
A reputation for great food.
As our trip to this Southern Pacific food mecca approached, I started to day dream of tastiness that awaited us. We ended up spending a week in Melbourne hanging out with old friends and eating our way through town. I had to share some culinary high points with you. Follow me...
Cafe culture is strong here. In Melbourne, there must be more coffee shops per capita then anywhere on earth. I thought we loved our coffee in the Bay Area, but we are wimps compared to Melbournites. Wow. I found myself unable to resist the "flat whites" (dreamily perfect Australian lattes) that tempted me at every corner cafe. I could barely sleep my first few nights here because I was so overcaffeinated!
My friend Alex and I had one of our best meals in Melbourne at Sondito! a charming little restaurant run by a family of beautiful young Columbian hipsters.
P, the kids, and I had a fun lunch at Journal Canteen tucked away on the second floor above the city library. The challenge of finding this hidden gem added to the appeal.
A note of gratitude to Melbourne..... Not all of you out there have dietary restrictions and for the most part I like to downplay my own. I am a food lover first, and a gluten-free eater by necessity. Eating at home, this restriction is not a problem - we eat damned well. But, I have to say going out to eat in most parts of the world while having dietary limitations really puts a crimp in my omnivorous desires.
Melbourne is a gluten-free dream! Every cafe/restaurant/bistro/pizzeria/deli has copious gluten free options. I am not sure if this town is full of folks that are gluten-intolerant or if it is a food craze, but I LOVED having such ease eating anywhere we pleased.
We even got to go for a high tea at Hopetoun Tea Room an old Melbourne institution dating back to 1892 tucked into the Victorian-era Block Arcade. Gluten-free high tea? Who knew.
Tomorrow we head for Tasmania - a place I have always dreamed of visiting. The food is supposed to be amazing... fresh seafood, local produce, artisanal cheeses and wines. I'll let you know what we find.