Saturday, 1 August 2015

The Stores, West End

Do you like to know where your produce comes from or prefer to buy local? Check out The Stores at West End, it's a one-stop shop for the best bounty from the Lockyer Valley and beyond.

Here you'll find cheese from Kingaroy, pork from Millmerran, beef from Goondiwindi, wine from Stanthorpe and a huge variety of small goods from Schulte's, the most popular stop on the Warrego Highway between Brisbane and Toowoomba.

Places to explore in the Lockyer Valley

It's a new venture from the Schulte's who have been bringing their hand-selected processed meat and small goods to market for four generations. 

They call themselves suppliers of real food. Ask Peter Schulte about any of the many cuts of meat on display for sale and he will be able to give you the back story.

Peter Schulte

The Shultes have been dealing with the same suppliers for years and know exactly how and where the animals are raised and also how they are killed, the part that many people don't want to know about.  It's a good life for these animals with just one bad day in the end.

Local and imported cheese has its own special temperature controlled room at The Stores.  Expect to find Stanthorpe Cheese (formerly Granite Belt Dairy)  and Swiss cheese made from raw milk.

There's a walk in cool room to ensure fruit and vegetables are kept at premium condition for purchase and plenty on display throughout the store.  When I visited in the opening week the fruit and vegetables were from the market but there are plans to change this and build a network of suppliers for The Stores from the Lockyer Valley.  Expect to see some of the Bauer's fine organic produce on the shelves soon.

There's also a good range of specialty items from South East Queensland including  Scenic Rim Milk, Seatonfire chilli chocolate, LiraH balsamic vinegars and Coolana olives.

A must try are the roast chickens which are cooked in a rotisserie, not in a steam oven as is common in supermarkets now, and the pies which are made on premise twice daily.

What you can't get in Schulte's, you'll probably pick up in The Source Bulk Goods, where you can purchase an extensive range of gluten-free, paleo and organic products and gourmet grain-free bircher muesli. There's also oils, condiments, honey and syrups, as well as household items like shampoo, conditioner and dishwashing liquid, all in bulk quantities which you can purchase to fill your own containers.

The Stores

Best tip: Combine a visit to The Stores with lunch or a weekend breakfast at London Fields which is also part of the complex.

Disclaimer:  Ed+bK is simply sharing food love.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Asana by Pete Evans, Brisbane CBD

Food that tastes good but is also good for you is what you’ll find at Asana by Pete Evans.

This is the first venture from well-known chef and paleo ambassador Pete Evans into Brisbane in his role as consultant chef and chief menu designer for a Capri by Fraser in Albert Street, Brisbane.

The restaurant is every bit as bright and shiny as Pete Evan’s smile and has a mix of comfortable bench seating and not-so-comfortable bright yellow metal chairs.  Whoever designed these chairs should be made to sit in them for an extended period, and then some.

The theme is fresh, nutritious and delicious all-day dining, showcasing the best Queensland produce and reflecting Pete’s great love of food.

As befits a restaurant where the food is actually good for you, there’s a subtle inclusion of fermented vegetables in various forms throughout the menu.  There’s also healing broths - chicken with ginger, lemon, native greens and soft egg or turmeric, cumin and lemon.

I settled on a starter of lemongrass wild prawn skewers with sesame, organic salad and nuoc cham which was light, appetising and wonderfully full of flavour although they did tend to fall apart a bit.
The ginger braised short rib with Asian greens that followed was a real success with tender beef infused with strong flavours.

K2 was taken by the Cape Grim beef special, but although both dishes lived up to expectations it was the carrot side dish that I ended up going back to again and again, making sure I got my half.

I had to try the Paleo tiramisu and found it wasn’t really all that much different from other tiramisu variations I’ve tried over the years.  It certainly didn’t lack flavour or a creamy texture. K2 was happy with his choice of lemon pound cake.

Congratulations to the staff here too who were well versed in the menu and offered excellent wine matches by the glass.

Since I was enjoying a staycation at Capri by Fraser, I also sampled the breakfast menu which gets top marks for innovation and presentation.  I’ve seen a lot of breakfast buffets and this one looked especially appetising and it tasted as good as it looked. I particularly liked the unusual presentation of the devilled eggs and the smoked salmon.  There were also plenty of healthy alternatives that didn’t feel like a sad choice.

Capri by Fraser

Ed+bK rating:  3.7

Recommended for:  This is the only paleo restaurant in the CBD, but the food stands alone as well prepared and flavoursome with plenty of interesting twists.  Go there for a food that tastes good and is good for you.

Bottom line: Small plates (entrees) $9 - $24, Large plates (mains) $24 - $26, and treats (dessert) $12 – 14.

Best tip: Don't be put off by the paelo label, the food tastes just fine.

Disclaimer: Ed+bK dined as a guest of Fraser Suites.

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