Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Welcome to Spud Country

How awesome is this autumn weather (Cyclone Larry not withstanding)? Just back from the North-West, where the weather is a frad warmer and ...

I sat on the deck of, where else The Deck in Devonport. What a funny little place (with a lovely big view). The Deck is trying very hard to be a fine dining establishment, and good on them. The menu is a bit confused, ranging from Slow Roasted Goat to Sushi. The wine list tries hard to impress with more wines in the three figures than is really necessary. But, the service is very friendly, and the food is pretty good. Oysters were fresh, and those served with Champagne Jelly were lovely.

On the topic of oysters ... can we please get over our insecurity and just let Oysters Kilpatrick go? Please.

In a fit of excitement (how often do I get offered goat?), I ordered the Slow Roasted billy-goat gruff. Flavours weren't bad, but possibly not roasted quite slowly enough. Goat can be utterly fab when it falls apart in the mouth. Sri Lankan and South Indian curry chefs do this best. This dish was passable, but a disappointment.

Overall, The Deck is good for the food fans of Devonport. But the table of Grannies nearby spent the entire evening looking perplexed. I think I can see why.

On my way home from the upper reaches of the state I was spoilt for time and like the three little pigs rolled into one I cried "wee wee wee" as I stopped at foodie attractions all the way home. Not in order of appearance ...

Anvers Chocolates impressed with their pralines (especially the white ones), but honestly, I can't stand their "truffles" - not a truffles arse really - and their "fudge" - tasted better plastic. Coffee was a real disappointment.

Ashgrove Farm Cheeses - what a gorgeous bloke the cheese maker is. Made me laugh, didn't make me feel like a little glutton (even though I am) when my taste buds stopped working cos I'd tried too many cheese varieties. Walked away with some cloth-matured cheddar (the prize-winner) and some cloth-matured rubicon red (I love the taste of soil in this cheese - trust me, it's delightful).

Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm represents my excellent powers of restraint. Did I buy ice cream? No. Raspberry Sauce? No. I bought two 500g punnets of raspberries ($8 each) - and saved them til I got all the back to Hobart. Good on me. They're all gone now of course.

And best of all? I stopped off at the Big Spud (it's not that big) in Sassafrass. Sassafrass is that spot on the North-West route where the soil is rich chocolate. The grass seems greener and the sky bluer. It was late in the day and the sun seemed to fall in a golden haze. Like Jake and Elwood Blues, I felt that I was on a mission from God to buy spuds. So I did. I bought fresh corn on the cob, two varieties of freshly dug spuds still dusted with that gorgeous Sassafrass soil (bismarks and dutch creams), and fresh marties.

What a road trip!
GW ;-)


Zelda said...

Agree with ALL of that (except the Deck at Devonport, havent been there yet). You do what I tend to do when I have to go travelling, take a long meandering way back home with a shopping list! Love Ashgrove cheeses and Christmas Hills. Avners is an over rated piece of ****. Their truffles are plastic in a liquid form.

Anonymous said...

Get your own blog zelda

Georgie Weston said...

Now now.

Anonymous said...

I visited "the deck" just over 12 months ago. Very nice, run by a friend of a friend but was a little disappointed with my steak. Ordered Medium. So not! Had a great time in some Irish pub after though.
Talking of tender morsels though. I went to The Quarry last night, 22/3/06, and was delighted to try the venison braised in bitter chocolate. Absolutely beautiful, melt in your mouth, falling off the fork, tender! Very, very rich but served with lovely roasted pinkeyes to tone done the richness. PERFECT! Unlike the ladies toilet, 3 toilets, 2 with no seats, 1 with no paper. Guess which was which. Spoilt a great night out with the girls.

Stephen said...

Where's The Quarry?

Venison, yum

Chocolate, yum

Venison + Chocolate = heaven

Simone said...

Went to the Quarry the other day. Venison may has well being poached in water for all the flavour it had! Pinkeyes still had half of a South Arm field on them and I fail to see why they can brin meals and hot drinks to tables but you have to go to the bar to order a bottle of wine. Pity, the spot has potential.

Anonymous said...

Stephen, the Quarry is the old Cafe Zum at Salamanca. Halfway between Irish Murphy's and the newsagent. Worth checking out just for the mens toilet. Please go and let me know what you think. Christina

Zelda said...

Mens toilet? I shouldnt laugh but one of my best friends and I specifically went to a pub in chacery lane in london because of the funky loos.

Anonymous said...

Dear Zelda, don't laugh.
I first went to the Quarry specifically to check out the guys toilets I'd heard so much about. If you haven't been I don't want to ruin the surprise. My hubby and I sat there one afternoon and if we had a dollar for everyone that came in just to check out the mens loo we'd be rich. Great talking point. We've had heaps of fun.

Zelda said...

Stephen? We are SO going to the Quarry....and you are SO going to report on the Mens loos for me.

Scott said...

I agree the deck is not real good maybe you should try Glo Glo's in Latrobe it's the best restaurant in the area by miles