Posts Tagged ‘bacon’

Joe’s Garage – Queenstown Coffee Rescue

Funky music, art and comfortable surrounds are the order of the day at Joe’s Garage. Being one of the bigger cafes in Queenstown it doesn’t have the compact, claustrophobic feel that other coffee shops around here give off. The dining area is quite sparse with a few tables and a full length breakfast-style bar which over looks the food preparation area. There are few things better in my opinion than an open kitchen, being able to see the staff preparing your coffee and meals is something that more places should do. The only problem is it can be hard to grab someone’s attention to order another coffee or food as the staff are busy with their back to you, a small price to pay for the great atmosphere.

The coffee is great at Joe’s (as it is in most places around here), this particular blend/roast is a richer flavour than I am used to but it definitely is not overdone. The quality of the end product is, like most things in this cafe, exceptional. I have seen the dread-locked barista singlehandedly pumping out a ridiculous number of cups high quality coffee in short succession and personally have not tasted a bad cup. No burnt coffee, bitter coffee and the presentation is always top notch.

My only complaint is a distinct lack of raw sugar, I always take a little bit of sugar in my coffee and personally think that white sugar is a waste of time. It does not provide any flavour while raw sugar adds just the slightest hint of caramel. I think a lot of coffee drinkers are in the same boat as I and there really is no reason why sachet’s of both can’t be on the tables.

For food, I think Joe’s is certainly one of the best places in Queenstown for a queezy stomach or an aching head. It has a good range of salads, cereal and hot breakfast on the menu, rounded out with a couple of bratwurst rolls. My personal favourite meal is “The Joker”, it is a toasted roll, bratwurst, bacon and egg. This is certainly full of flavour and meat and certainly won’t dissapoint with it’s size. All in all the meals at Joe’s are superb, they aren’t necessarily the cheapest but they are definitely worth every cent.

Joes Garage Coffee Machine

Joes Garage Coffee Machine

Probably my biggest complaint about Joe’s Garage is the clientele, often the feel given off from the other customers is one where they think you should get out of their coffee shop and town. People have mentioned this to me about other places in Queenstown, but I have only ever noticed it at Joes. I think it is magnified by people sitting in the dining area with their dogs under the table and not caring if anyone else has a problem with this – that is what the outdoor eating area is for!

Overall I love the place and regularly recommend people to drop in for a coffee and breakfast.

Bacon in Queenstown, New Zealand

I’ve eaten a lot of bacon in my time, and IHEARTBACON is the first website I visit every morning (that might actually be a lie), regardless, I couldn’t think of anything better at 2pm in the morning (hangover or not) than bacon and eggs and maybe a little bit of toast. This could actually have been the breakfast and that Moses cooked before he led his people from Egypt, well he would have apart from the fact that Judaism prevents the touching of the flesh of pigs. Maybe I should steer clear of religion.

Don’t get me wrong, bacon isn’t just for breakfast, the BLT is a great meal, especially at lunch and the fat and flavour of bacon is extremely complimentary to a number of other meats, chicken the most notable.

Having sampled quite a bit of bacon in my time, I was very disappointed when I first not only purchased but prepared some here in Queenstown. First let me say that I’m not sure if this is endemic across the nation, but the situation here in Central Otago is dire. There is a few problems with it, first of all bacon here is ridiculously expensive (I wonder how it weighs in on the Bacon and Eggs Index). The cheapest (and worst quality) comes in at about $10 a kg, that is for some dodgy extra fatty, extra salty shoulder bacon, as you improve the “quality” the price increases to around $20 a kg. This is usually American streaky bacon – I don’t really know what that is supposed to mean, but it certainly doesn’t mean meaty. They are long rashers, with not a great deal of anything on them, what sets them apart is the saltiness and this meat does at least taste good, but it doesn’t go very far for a hungry man.

Compare these prices and quality to the 9.99kg Woolworths bacon in Australia and it makes this bacon lover want to cry.

The Good Old Fashioned Fry-Up

It is a commonly held belief that greasy food is the be all and end all of hangover cures however I have don’t believe it is the grease in the food that is the cure. Now, don’t get me wrong a greasy bucket of KFC shared between hanging mates or a quick trip down to the local fish and chip store for a steak sammy certainly put the right (or correct) foot forward in getting back on the wagon but it is my belief that it is actually the nutrients and energy in what you are eating that is the solution to the night before’s problem.

All that being said, the Good, Old-Fashioned fry up is possibly the greates, possibly the 3rd greatest or perhaps just a good hangover cure. There are a couple of key factors to make it the success that it should be. First of all, there are a few ingredients that have to be there if you plan to cure even the slightest of hangover. This is by no means an upper limit, but at the very least: meat, bready stuff, and something else.

Let me explain, there is no substitute for meat. I don’t care if it’s pig, cow, sheep or sausage (I’ve not tried fish in a fry-up, but I’ll keep an open mind), but what ever it is it has to be there. I’m not saying this to rile up the vegetarians, (though I’ve been guilty of having a crack before) the high level of protein and iron these particular ingredients carry is imperative and whats more, tofu tastes like nothing and doesn’t compare to a steak no matter who you talk to. The bread, this doesn’t have to be bread, toast is fine, so is potato, pasta isn’t traditionally fried but would suffice and rice is a bit boring, but who am I to talk you can use your imagination – mashed potato from the night before also works (can anyone say bubble and squeak). The key part of this is the carbohydrates, slow burn energy is what you are going to need in 2 hours time so you don’t regress from feeling like having a shot at the title.

I just want to put this out there, I’m not a nutritionist so all of this jibber-jabber about nutrients isn’t worth a dime.

Finally, something else is important, ideally this isn’t just going to be 1 thing but a selection of goodies. My particular favourite is egg, scrambled or (preferably) fried, it doesn’t matter as long as it has a sprinkling of salt and some cracked pepper. There is a plethora of other options, mushrooms are great, tomatoes are tasty, not to mention onions and capsicum – fried together are amazing. What is important is that the extra flavours work with your 2 aforementioned staples. What’s more noone just wants a piece of bacon on toast, it has to have flavour.

Now what hasn’t been mentioned is preparation. If you can help it, you don’t want to be zipping down to the supermarket to grab supplies. Even if it is a 15 minute round trip, the chances are you are not going to be fit for public consumption let alone capable of making the important decisions. Ideally you have the ingredients in the fridge/freezer, it doesn’t matter if you can’t get 12 different ingredients on the plate the aforementioned guidelines need to be followed but if the choice is between frying 4 day old mushrooms and braving the supermarket take the option of the mushrooms.

Your head will appreciate it.