Bacon on Bree: Bacon for people who eat carbs

Bacon on Bree

The Plus One getting an eyeful of Salma Hayek

I gave my Plus One a side eye worthy of Michelle Obama as he nibbled on Salma Hayek. But I was being unreasonable as I was taking hearty bites out of Harvey Specter. This wasn’t one of those couple celebrity free passes, Bacon on Bree keeps an already interesting menu spicy by naming their sandwiches after movie stars, TV characters and movies.

After being up North for a week I was hungry for a classic Cape Town breakfast. I could taste the Jason Bakery doughssant already. But Jason Bakery had other plans for the long weekend that didn’t include my pastry needs and was boarded up.

Bacon on Bree

Top left: The Harvey Specter on the pig shaped plate. Top right: In the shaddow of a church, it was Easter weekend after all. Bottom right: Not on the menu (yet), the baconccino. Bottom right: Foto credit – Bacon on Bree/Facebook

Just up the street there’s a row of establishments squished together, each quirkier than the rest. Mother’s Ruin are amongst these with excellent gin cocktails. Its neighbour has a signature ingredient with a slightly wider appeal, bacon.

The service was extremely friendly and helpful, yet we had to ask twice for my Bacon Mary and three times for the Plus One’s second flat white. They did indulge us with 2 rashes of bacon with the coffee so the Plus One could create world’s first baconccino (patent pending).

Crispy and thin, we both wiggled a rasher of bacon out of our respective sandwiches to taste it by itself first. I was reminded of a Parks and Recreation episode where Ron Swanson asks a waitress to bring him all the bacon and eggs in the place. He calls her back – and to paraphrase – says that he doesn’t mean that he wants a lot of bacon, he wants ALL the bacon.

I’m willing to ask three times, I want all the bacon (and ciabatta) at Bacon on Bree.

Bacon on Bree
217 Bree Street, Cape Town
Tel: +27 21 422 2798
Also read:
Cheese & Whine: Bacon On Bree for Brunch

Jason Bakery: The early hipster gets the doughssant

I’m a chronically early riser. It’s been a curse on my weekends until I discovered the Jason Bakery doughssant (cronut). Every Saturday they bake a limited number of absurdly imaginative doughssants that lures Capetonians out of bed through any kind of weather and/or hangover.

Over the Easter long weekend I had my first, a Hot Cross Doughssant with maple syrup cream cheese icing. Incredibly rich and oh so good. Jason Bakery Cronut

Standing in the takeaway queue after heeding the siren’s call that is @’s post of the day’s doughssant, it is crucial to have the will of steel. At eye level wonderful teats such croissants topped with maple syrup and bacon and bite sized savoury tartlets leer at you behind glass like ladies in a red light district. This time around I stood strong only adding the fresh juice of the day (sweet melon, pear and carrot – as fresh as advertised and refreshing) and a flat white to my bill.

The Plus One captures my classy side.  (Bottom Left) The Hot Cross Doughssant

The Plus One captures my classy side.
(Bottom Left) The Hot Cross Doughssant

This Saturday’s offering was Fruit Loops with vanilla milk crème. This one was much lighter than the Hot Cross variety. The filling tasted like creamy custard while the crunchy topping reminded me of a simpler time when Fruit Loops was a treat only reserved for the school holidays.

We made our way through the swarm of healthy people jogging/hiking/cycling on Table Mountain for one of the best views in Cape Town to enjoy a breakfast that sneers in the face of diets and everything you thought you knew about pastries.Jason Bakery Doughssant

Jason Bakery
Tel: 021 424 5644
Address: 185 Bree Street, Cape Town, 8001
Business hours:
Tuesday – Friday: 7am-3:30pm
Saturday: 8am-2pm

Another Jason Bakery convert:

Odd’s Garden Bistro & Pub: It’s always Yummy in Philadelphia

The 20 minute drive to Philadelphia from Cape Town is not the prettiest this time of the year, maybe because it reminded me so much of my native Free State, marked by kilometres of brown fields with the occasional row of tall trees to block the wind. Not that it doesn’t have a certain charm.

Philadelphia, South Africa

Two of the pretty buildings in Philadelphia

The winding road is a favourite with long boarders. It also features one of the few single lane bridges in the Western Cape where a popular beer advert was shot. Remember the one with the mini bus of soccer fans and the bakkie filled with rugby supporters trying to persuade the other to cross the bridge first? That’s the one.

The streets of South Africa’s Philadelphia are lined with houses with wrap around porches while mansions act as first defence on its outskirts overlooking Swartland vineyards. At the entrance of town large signs pointed us towards 3 of the restaurants: Pepper Tree Art Stable and Coffee Shop, Odd’s Garden Bistro & Pub and De Malle Meul. The tannie at Helena se Hoekwinkel recommended them in this order, cautioning that we should have made a reservation. I had flashbacks of Barrydale that fooled us with its one horse town status and bamboozled with booked tables.

Odds

Odd’s Garden Bistro & Pub

The leafy Pepper Tree was not only fully booked, it had a 2 hour waiting list. It is very possible for even the most unfit to walk a few laps around the town to kill those 120 minutes.

We rather took a leisurely 2 minute stroll around the corner to Odd’s Garden Bistro & Pub. Here we had our pick of tables, inside and garden, which of course made us very suspicious but the hunger pangs drowned this out. It might be the service. Despite having only 3 other tables and 2 waitresses it took about 15 minutes to place an order. The waitress sent us down to the “Pub” outside to buy a bottle of wine were the bartender – and suspected owner – was busy braai’ng steaks and drinking a Castle. He was very unimpressed that that waitress sent us there, clearly we got the trainee. He sent us on our way with a fruity bottle of Havana Hills sauvignon blanc, a local wine for R80.

The other waitress who took our order was much better, advising on which dishes would take longer and made great recommendations. The Plus One was the big winner with the day’s special, a mini feast of lamb shank that slid off the bone served with mash, butternut and green salad (R110). I bartered as much of my bacon and feta quiche (R65) to get a few bites of his dish. The kids ate every crumb of their venison pies (R70) after picking out the peach slices from their salads.20150301_140014The decor is beautiful if somewhat clichéd with its exposed beams and shabby chic furniture. However there are well thought out details such as laced trimmed white napkins that distinguish Odd’s to some extent.

Just going on the pastry of the pies, I would love to try the high tea at R75(ish) with freshly baked goods. It shouldn’t be the case, but I can handle mediocre service (most likely only on a Sunday) for beautiful plated comfort food and a restful atmosphere.

Odd’s Garden Bistro & Pub
Meul Street, Philadelphia, South Africa
Tel: 021 972 1023

Bliki Tin Shak, jaffles and the best watermelon in the Garden Route

The quirky rusted decor style, the illegitimate half-sister of shabby chic, might be full of holes but it’s still standing strong. Bliki Tin Shak, a textbook example of this style, popped op just outside Great Brak River on the Garden Route a few months ago. Bliki Tin Shak With the addition of few succulents, inviting chairs and bright fraying bunting, an old barn on the side of the road was transformed into Bliki Tin Shak. The menu is simple: jaffle with salad or pie with salad, both R30. For the sweet tooth there’s a cake of the day which was carrot cake on our visit, we opted for a few apricot sweets. Bliki Tin Shak jaffle Even though I’m off bread I didn’t fight the temptation to order the jaffle, it felt like the kinda place to have traditional South African fast food. When asked about the filling the Tannie was very adamant about the quality of the meat. It’s not P&P or Checkers meat she insisted, she’s ‘allergic’ to fat and the butcher made it front of her. The quality was as good as the Tannie promised. Taste wise it was fair, I would have preferred slightly stronger flavouring. The side salad was excellent and it was a kick seeing it “harvested” minutes before gracing our plates. If you’re very brave and happen to be fond of ginger beer, Bliki Tin Shak’s homemade variety (R15) is worth a try. It is quite potent, not too sweet and very refreshing. But best don’t drink it on the road as they are known to POP! due to the fermentation. Bliki Tin Shak Sitting on the porch, one can hardly see or hear the busy main road that is a few meters away and there is more than enough space for children to safely run around. A few meters down on the opposite site of the road you will find the humble “Padstal”. Open throughout the season including public holidays, the hardworking couple at this farm stall vends the best (in price* and taste) watermelons in the area. For padkos try one of their Hertzoggies at R3 a tartlet.

Bliki Tin Shak Address: R102, Voorbrug, Great Brak River (-34.03406703579071, 22.266339763982614)
Tel: 083 733 1761
Open 09:00 – 18:00 weather permitting

Photos by the Plus One

*Update 24 December: When we retuned to the Padstal yesterday we were sad to see that the price of watermelons went up drastically.

Petits Fours: A nibble of France in Bloubergstrand

Petits Fours was one of our favourite breakfast haunts. French shabby chic with the most adorable blue and pink cast iron tables on its porch, we spent many a happy Sunday eating single serving quiche with broccoli salad drinking imported flavoured tea from delicate glass cups.

This happy memory was smashed one Saturday when said tea was served in a cup that must have been stolen from Spur. Everything else was also off, the once attentive friendly waitress was gone and the quiche was dry. Coupled with a new manager who was snarky when we mentioned this, we resolved to find a new favourite. Petits Fours Bloubergstrand

A rumour of new management weakened our resolve and we once again found ourselves there, this time for lunch, and it was lovely. I decided not to tempt the universe by asking for tea. Petits Fours Bloubergstrand-SpecialtySalad

My order, the Petits Fours specialty salad, is the salad that other salad moms warn their salad children about. Totally badass and delicious. The healthy bed of lettuce and baby tomatoes is desecrated by stuffed chicken wrapped in bacon topped with onion rings and served with a sweet dressing on the side. Like an Arab at a US airport the onions are well padded down, not leaving a trace of oil on the healthier real salad stuff below. The chicken that’s cut in wheels looked a bit dull, a bit like sweet potato, but was wonderfully soft and juicy.

Dessert was a mini dark chocolate cake topped with rich dark icing and a strawberry.Petits Fours Bloubergstrand-ChocolateCake

Petits Fours is a prime example how a restaurant can have all the elements in place, prime location, view of Table Mountain, and still fold under the wrong management. Luckily this was turned around. Even though white and mint picnic tables have replaced the quirky blue and pink cast iron round tables that drew us initially, Petits Fours still has a quirky charm. A charm once again backed up with fantastic service and really special food.

Petits Fours
20 Stadler Road, Bloubergstrand, Cape Town
021 554 4462

Cape Town’s sushi factory

“Fortune is about to smile on you” professed the R5 fortune cookie. I expected another Irish lottery win but got something even better, 20 beautifully rolled pieces of fresh sushi in 13 minutes. As we were warned of a 45 minute wait when placing the order this was quite fortunate indeed. Soundlessly the Plus One picked up our order while someone who ordered before us still waited for his. NuriSushi

Nuri Sushi is a “sushi factory” just around the corner from the Eastern Food Bazaar in Cape Town’s CBD. The sushi is so good not even the lack of a liquor licence can deter the crowds. The high ceilinged restaurant has one long communal counter with high chairs running down the middle with smaller tables scattered on either side. The atmosphere is friendly but not exactly a place where one would kuier for hours.

We shared the salmon platter at R159 that consisted of sashimi, roses, California rolls and bamboo rolls. I wasn’t too crazy about the bamboo rolls, which was basically a Cali roll wrapped in cucumber, but the Plus One did which is what makes sharing a platter so great.

The rock shrimp that floated above our heads to the next table looked amazing and will definitely be on my order next time along with the steamed Edamame Beans (I stole one from the stranger/friend-I-haven’t-met-yet sitting across me on the counter, yes I’m that person).

I still believe that Willoughby’s makes the best overall sushi in Cape Town, but Nuri is a close second with bonus points for reasonable prices.

Nuri Sushi
8 Parliament Street, Cape Town CBD
021 461 8719

Beefcakes: Where bingo is bitchy and the boys are pretty

All good intentions to be, well good, were tossed out the window when a drag queen named Champagne Le Roux labelled our table the “book club”. Soon “Dean” was the table centre piece with caramel vodka in his belly-button. It was Beefcakes’ Bitchy Bingo and the anniversary of B’s 21st after all, not the time to crack open the Jane Austen. Beefcakes Bitchy Bingo

Beefcakes isn’t a Girl’s Night hotspot for the superb entertainment, dangerous cocktails or the onion rings. It is all about the pretty boys. The gay establishment knows just how to hire these lovely creatures as waiters, barmen and bingo ball boys. That evening they all seemed to be the same height with similar sandy blond dos, someone obviously has a type. Our waiter had a slight resemblance to Supernatural’s Dean (Jensen Ackles), who just happens to be the lady of the evening’s type.

Our hostess for the evening, Champagne Le Roux, is my kind of drag queen; with a rockabilly vibe proudly showing off her cleavage of chest hair. Her personalised rendition of Blurred Lines was way more scandalous than Robin Thicke’s attempt. Champagne Le Roux  Beefcakes Bitchy Bingo

Bitchy Bingo is fun to play but only the brave and extremely competitive have any desire to win the bragging rights and a hamper made up of craft beer and sparkly paraphernalia. Winning means going up on stage with Lady Le Roux and only she leaves that stage looking cool.

The perfect companions for Bitchy Bingo is a table full of non-bitchy ladies, one I was lucky to be part of. Amongst them a body shot didn’t seem quite as sleazy. Oh who am I kidding it still was, but it was twice as funny. Especially when B got value for money when the shot glass fell over and she had to chase after the caramel vodka running down Dean’s 6 pack. After all, it’s no use crying over a spilled body shot.

* All images stolen off the Beefcakes Facebook page

* Bitchy Bingo takes place every Tuesday night at Beefcakes.
Cost: R50 (this will be automatically added to your bill)
Address: Sovereign Quay, 34 Somerset Road, Greenpoint
Book: 021 425 9019/capetown@beefcakes.co.za

Diesel & Crème and the Lady in Red on Route 62

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Diesel & Crème Photo credit: D&C Facebook page

A shiny Harley Davidson stands guard on the stoep, keeping watch over the unmatched tables and chairs seating a clientele who seems even more mismatched; bikers and tannies enroute to Oudtshoorn for the KKNK.20140331_154143

We stopped by the newly opened Diesel & Crème last week on our way down Route 62. In December we got a quick tour of the earlier stages of the project on our first visit to Barrydale. Though not as open and airy as we thought it would be (a kitchen was added on since we were last there), it’s a quirky stopover to stretch one’s legs. On second thought quirky is not an adequate word to describe the over the top vintage bomb that exploded in Diesel & Crème. Anyone even mildly interested in vintage signs, coke memorabilia and petroliana will be foam at the mouth at proprietor Arthur’s extensive collection.Diesel & Creme

There is something childishly decadent about Diesel & Crème’s Lady in Red milkshake. I like milkshake, I love red velvet cake, why not mix ‘em together?! The effect is a wonderfully creamy shake with chunks of red velvet cake that won’t dare to get soggy. Quite pricey at R32 but totally worth it for anyone who scoffs at the thought of a plain strawberry milk any old Wimpy could make. 20140402_164437[1]And now for a confession, this is a sponsored post. Well, kind of… and anyone is interested my going rate is a packet of chips, 4 sweets and a lollipop. (I settled the bill myself). Before I start sounding like a fancy pants blogger (ha, all they get is designer sunglasses), let me explain. D&C rewards their customers who post pics of their experience on Twitter or Facebook with a lucky packet filled with the goodies mentioned above. Who said taking food pics was a waste of time?

Diesel & Crème
Address: Route 62 Barrydale
Contact: 028 572 1008

Kaai 4: A bite of Namaqualand with an ocean view

One of the first clues that Kaai 4 is not your typical seaside restaurant is the fact that their menu is limited to 2 seafood dishes. With its 180 degree view of the ocean it does not need to conform to anything. Like having waiters. Kaai4

Kaai 4 serves South African ‘braai cuisine’ in a down to earth fashion. All orders need to be placed at the bar and the menu ranges from R15 for roosterkoek and jam to R85 for the lamb braai pack with salad and bread. It’s comfort food and there’s lots of it, the portions are exceptionally generous. All the food is made outside on an open fire.

We discovered the ‘braai restaurant’ December last year when we tried to hit up the popular Sea Gypsy in Mossel Bay for a bite of calamari. Their parking lot was packed and the presence of a large tour bus had us driving as fast as the dusty road would allow us.  Kaai4

Last weekend we were back with a birthday boy we took hostage a few hours earlier. I went slightly off menu asking for 3 things: roosterkoek, jam and bacon. With a small substitution of biltong for the bacon I got my perfect sweet salt combo washed down with white wine in a blik beker. The Plus One once again ordered the lamb pot which lived up to its promise when he had it in December. The birthday boy had roosterkoek with a dry chicken sosatie, the only lacking item on our table. 1908269_10152318248833970_1208628539_n

On our first visit Kaai 4’s proprietor, a gritty Namaqualand oomie, was greatly bemused my hipster tendency of taking pics of everything including my food (I took them all for you dear reader). He moved between the wooden picnic-tables, regaling the clientele with funny stories and dirty jokes. Believe me, any old story is a million times more entertaining told by someone with a hard-core Namaqualand accent.

Contact: 079 980 3981
Address: Quay 4, Mossel Bay Harbour

So you get Valentine’s Day and I’ll get lunch?

Last week I realised that I don’t actually hate Valentine’s Day, quite controversial I know. These days it’s all about the hate for V-day, whether you’re single or not. My own beloved Plus One got a few likes on Facebook for the following status: “Valentine’s day is for people that do not know how to love every day of the year.”

Just to clarify, I do not like the red roses in tacky cellophane, soppy cards, red and white colour scheme side of Valentine’s day. I love Love. I love the love that I’ve been showered with the past few years, so why can’t I celebrate it slightly more intensely on 14 February?

I started my campaign of bringing Valentine’s Day to a reluctant recipient with breakfast in bed in the form of his favourite pastry from vida e. It was way too early to eat but he did take it to work in Tupperware. unnamed

My picnic idea was scrapped after the scortching trip to buy ingredients, at 30 degrees+, I had to concede that it was just way too hot for a picnic. Plan B: Eat@Altydgedacht in the Durbanville wine route.

With a blocked phone (with love from MTN) I couldn’t make a reservation so I picked up The Plus One from work armed with ice-cream and a cold juice in case my half assed plan went south and we ended up driving from one wine farm to the next trying in search of a table.

We lucked out with our pick of Eat@Altydgedacht’s shady spots. The special for the day was “My favourite things platter for 2” at R115, not necessarily my favourite things but I do love platters/tapas. Why should I make decisions on full portions when I can have everything in smaller bites? The platter might look small in the photo (there was also a few slices of bread not pictured) but it was satisfyingly filling. unnamed2

The Plus One was very taken with the Angelfish pate and my taste buds made the mini chicken quiche in phyllo pastry its valentine.

The atmosphere is friendly and seductive in its tranquil surroundings. It felt like one of our weekend excursions an hour or so out of Cape Town (read more about that here and here), not even the odd truck heard from the main road a few meters away could convince us otherwise. Eat@Altydgedacht has a slow-food philosophy so best take small sips while waiting for your meal.

I can rate the success of my Valentine’s mission with the following statement the Plus One made: “So you get Valentine’s Day and I’ll get lunch?” Somewhere between a subtle heart-shaped wedges dish and a tiny bottle of Sauvignon Blanc, we found our V-day middle ground at Eat@Altydgedacht.

Eat@Altydgedacht
Contact: 021 975 7815
Address: Altydgedacht, Tygerberg Valley Road, Durbanville