Restaurant Review: The Paleo Café Brisbane

paleo-cafe

The Paleo Café is located on the corner of Market and Mary St, and has both indoor and outdoor seating. I have also been to the Paddington café where there is only indoor seating and no bookings allowed. They are both popular places so you’ll need to arrive early to get a seat.

The paleo diet encourages followers to eat like cavemen – consuming lots of meats, eggs, nuts, seeds and berries, while eliminating sugar, grains, legumes and dairy. So one great thing about this chain of cafes is that it is the perfect place to eat for people with celiac disease or food intolerances.

The first time we visited for breakfast, where I had eggs and avocado on toast. I was keen to try the grain free bread, which turned out to be the perfect addition. I also tried the bulletproof coffee, but it wasn’t for me. I like their regular cappuccino which you can have on coconut or almond milk.

For my birthday we went again to the Paleo Café and just about all of us ordered the lamb burger, which is a tender lamb patty on linseed focaccia with mint aioli, rocket, tomato, onion, avocado and gherkin topped with beetroot relish and served with sweet potato chips and more aioli. We all thoroughly enjoyed our meals and the chips were the highlight.

For work lunches I have regularly been having the Mediterranean Vegetable Salad, which is a generous mix of roasted eggplant, olives, onion and greens, topped with a moreish salad dressing. You have the option of adding some protein, with chicken, prawns, salmon or kangaroo, but I like to have it plain. Sometimes I treat myself to dessert, but these are really rich, so it’s best to share with a friend.

Highly recommended for a lunch date with friends or family.

Paleo Café
The Paleo Café chain has five cafes in Cairns, Paddington in Brisbane, Brisbane CBD, Bondi Junction in Sydney and the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria.

Paleo Cafe on Urbanspoon

Minestrone recipe

minestrone

We both thought that this recipe was delicious and that we’d cook it again. We used kale which came straight from our garden. Some minestrone recipes contain potato and pasta, but this one contains neither. It’s a winter version so it contains vegetables you’d harvest from your garden at this time of year. It’s quite a chunky dense soup so you may like to add more stock or water at the end to give you the right consistency. I liked it chunky and dense.

Winter minestrone soup recipe

Adapted from River Cafe’s winter minestrone soup recipe. 

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium carrot, roughly chopped
1 large red onion, coarsely chopped
2 storks of celery, coarsely chopped
1/2 head of garlic cloves, peeled
250g kale, chard or cavolo nero, coarsely chopped
a handful of parsley, finely chopped
400g can peeled cherry tomatoes, drained of most of their juices
425g can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
500ml homemade chicken or vegetable stock
sprig of thyme or sage, chopped
freshly grated Parmesan
extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and slowly fry the carrots, onion and celery until soft and dark. This will take approximately 20 minutes.
  2. Then add the garlic and the parsley. Stir in the tomatoes and cook for a further 10 minutes or until reduced. 
  3. Add half of the kale leaves (or chard or cavolo nero), beans and the boiling stock. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. Add the remaining kale leaves (or chard or cavolo nero) and blanch briefly so they remain green and crisp.
  5. Stir in the thyme or sage and serve hot with Parmesan and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
  6. Season with salt and pepper.

Serves 2.

Best recipe: Sirloin steak with Cafe de Paris sauce

sirloin steak

Cafe de Paris butter sauce was originally created way back in 1941 by Freddy Dumont for the restaurant of the same name, in Geneva. The original recipe remains a secret, so this is rumoured to be a close version. If you don’t have all the exact 25 ingredients, don’t worry just use what you have and the result will still be delicious. Although it is better to make the butter in large quantities, this recipe is cut down as much as possible. Use the butter on steak, baked potatoes, or under the skin of roast chicken.

The butter sauce will keep for about a week in the refrigerator or for several months in the freezer (wrapped in plastic).

Sirloin steak with Cafe de Paris sauce recipe

250g unsalted butter
3/4 Tbsp tomato sauce
1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp capers, well rinsed
30 g shallots, peeled and finely chopped
1 Tbsp of parsley, chopped
1 Tbsp of chives, chopped
3/4 tsp dried marjoram
3/4 tsp dried dill
1/2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
3 fresh tarragon leaves
a pinch of ground dried rosemary
1/2 to 1 small clove of garlic
2 anchovy fillets, rinsed
1 tsp good brandy
1 tsp Madeira
1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
a pinch of sweet paprika
a pinch of curry powder
a pinch of cayenne pepper
The zest of 1/8 a lemon
The zest of 1/8 orange
The juice of 1/4 lemon
Season with salt
1 sirloin steak per person 

  1. Leave the butter out so that it is at room temperature.
  2. Mix all of the ingredients together in a small bowl, pressing them together with the back of a fork or beat on low with an electric mixer. 
  3. Transfer the butter to a sheet of grease proof paper and roll into a sausage shape.
  4. Refrigerate and cut into discs as required.
  5. Preheat a frying pan or grill to high.
  6. Season steaks with salt and pepper. Spray with oil.
  7. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes each side for medium-rare or until cooked to your liking.
  8. Transfer to a serving plate. Cover with foil and set aside for 2 minutes to rest.
  9. Slice butter and place a disc on top of each steak.

Many servings.

 

Coffee Ground to Ground

“I have been collecting used coffee grounds since about November 2010. I haven’t used a huge amount, probably 30 Kilos (at one stage I hauled a 10kg bag home). But even this has been enough to see the results in the garden! No more ants- they had been eating out the root systems from many of my plants and when I added coffee grounds to the garden they stopped immediately. I have also found plants have shot up and are full of colour.”

“I have found that pests like ants, snails and slugs stay away as well as my cat! The cat seems to think my garden is her personal litter box and kept digging up plants as well. Since putting the used coffee grounds on the garden I haven’t found anything disturbed.”

Did you know that coffee grounds are a fantastic compost material that are free to collect and use?

The Ground to Ground website caters for this opportunity, by delivering news, views, research, and general information on the reuse of coffee grounds for compost and gardening. Of the tonnes of used coffee grounds that are discarded each day, only a small amount is collected for reuse – which is a real pity considering the good that can come from a group effort.

Recycling coffee grounds would have to be one of the easiest ways to make a difference, and for anyone interested in gardening, composting, vermiculture, or just environmental awareness, the Ground to Ground website can show you how to get involved for all our benefit.
Please help spread the word about this great initiative and tell your barista about it at your local coffee bar or cafe.

The Ground To Ground Map – Find Used Coffee Grounds

20 Ways to resuse coffee grounds and tea leaves – Treehugger

I ♥ Brisbane Food Bloggers

i-heart-bne-lge

Here are some of the Brisbane based food bloggers:

Sorry no more updates to the list. You are more than welcome to leave a comment with your details.

Atomica Eat Drink cafe review, West End

‘Atomica Eat Drink’ is located in the middle of the main shopping area of West End. It’s a staple in the area and well known for its breakfasts.

The menu is reasonably priced and the cafe offers all day breakfasts, fancy rolls and several specials. I had the vegetarian breakfast with poached eggs. I don’t like mushrooms and fortunately I was allowed to replaced them with some bacon (otherwise my plate might have been a bit bare!) My meal had fantastic bread and sweet potato hash, and a side of spinach and a watery tomato. Big M had a fancy sandwich with roast pumpkin, mushroom, feta,

I ordered the vegetarian breakfast with poached eggs. I don’t like mushrooms and fortunately I was allowed to replaced them with some bacon (otherwise my plate might have been a bit bare!) My meal had fantastic bread and sweet potato hash, and a side of spinach and a watery tomato.

George had a fancy sandwich with roast pumpkin, mushroom, feta, babganoush and rocket on Turkish bread, which was too light with only one slice of bread.t

The service was slow and the décor is shabby chic, with the emphasis on shabby. Needless to say, the place needs a little pepping up.

Atomica Eat Drink
173 Boundary Street, West End
4101 Brisbane

3 stars

Cafe Conti cafe review, Wilston

Cafe Conti

Cafe Conti has been named “Brisbane’s Best Breakfast”. Holy, that’s something we couldn’t pass up.

We were one of the first people to arrive at the Wilston corner cafe last Sunday. I ordered one ‘Conti’ (2 poached eggs, doorstop toast, bacon, roast tomato for $10.50) and George ordered the generously served plate of 2 Beef sausages, bacon, 3 poached eggs, roast tomato, toast all for only $14.00.

We both polished off our meals and after licking our lips agreed on 4.5 stars for the meal. With very reasonable prices – it was easy to see why the breakfast was a finalist.

Highly recommended.
4 stars

P.S. If you are lucky you’ll catch Graham in the same shirt (like we did!)…. and the photo of the breakfast is pretty accurate too!

Cafe Conti
Shop 1, 102 Kedron Brook Road
Wilson, Queensland 4051
Brisbane, Australia

(Photo and article above from Brisbane Style Magazine)