A monthly round-up exploring local cafes, restaurants and watering holes
Coffee, pizza, pubs and more
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Even with an extra day, February seemed to pass by in a blur this year! Not that I’m complaining, but it did cramp my style when it comes to exploring the cafes, restaurants and watering holes of the Northern Rivers!
There’s always news and views to be shared though – I’m never shy of an opinion on good places to try or to revisit. Let’s get into the monthly round-up of where we’ve been and where we’re going next.
Let’s start with a coffee. I’ll be hard-pressed to drag myself away from Zentveld’s because I really want to try their coffee blossom honey and their 30 mile blend. You can read all about both here. But I’ve also been revisiting a cafe in Brunswick Heads that is serves me a perfect coffee each time I go. Footbridge Cafe is opposite the water on The Terrace and has a really lovely atmosphere. If you’re picky about your coffee like I am, give them a try.
While we’re in Bruns, I’ve heard reports of good things about Sainte Marie, a new pizza and wine bar. Seriously, you had me at pizza and wine bar! But a quick glance at their menu, where caramelised garlic features on a few pizzas is an indication of awesomeness so definitely keen to give that a try.
Now let’s head to Eltham, or specifically to Eltham Hotel. With new publicans, Luke and Matt, taking over in late 2019, the pub has a new lease of life. They’ve already revamped the outdoor spaces and the menu has had an overhaul too. Most importantly, the local crowds are back and the pub feels like the best country pub for miles. The food is solid pub grub, and while I haven’t had it yet, the crowd pick seems to be the burger. Big thumbs up and I’m not just biased given it is the closest pub to me!
Another local venue that has came back onto my radar is One Green Acreat the Bangalow Bowlo. Heah Chef and owner, Sacha Meier, was part of a panel discussion I MC’ed at a recent industry event for Northern Rivers Food and he was fabulous. Cheeky, funny and most importantly, very genuine in his commitment to fresh, local ingredients. He spoke very openly about the challenges for restaurateurs in juggling the competing demands of quality over quantity. We haven’t been to the Bowlo for a while, but hearing him speak gave me the nudge I needed so we’ll be heading back very soon. He is exactly the kind of chef I want to support.
The other place we’ll be revisiting this month, is home. Obviously! But what I mean is that we’re going to do another one of our kooky FDNs. What’s that? Well, we shared the story of our Family Degustation Nights over on Facebook recently and the Greek Gods theme from the last one was fun. The idea is simple. We pick a concept and then each of us has to make one or two small dishes to suit. It is challenging but fun, and I think the taramasalata was the popular choice this time around. We’ve already decided on the next theme too. Flowers. It’s pretty open ended, and I’ve drawn the short straw on dessert this time around. That’s not my strong suit so I might have to crowd-source inspiration again!
Maybe you should give it a go too!
Wherever you go, or whatever you cook when you’re next visiting the region, make sure you’re enjoying real food, from real people at real places!