Jess is Brisbane based word-wizard. She lives with one man-shaped companion and a small cat. Jess enjoys writing, travelling and collecting the memories of other people. Engage her services at contentable.com.au/
Published July 15th 2014
Take a bite out of Brisbane and come back for seconds
Food. We all need it. We all eat it. If throngs of bloggers are to be believed, the pride of our city revolves around our foodie flair; Brisbane is a city of appetites and a swirl of flavours to delight even the most selective palate. So where does one start? Where is a meal more than a meal but less than a Michelin star masterpiece?
I eat out a lot. I wine, dine and dazzle for a living (almost), so it stands to reason I have a short-list of places to go for a bite in a pinch when I really need to make an impact. Say hello to my Top 3 delicious places to eat in Brisbane.
Cowch Dessert and Cocktail Bar
What do I love about Cowch Dessert and Cocktail Bar? The décor. Milk bottles and glowing udders bedeck high timber roofs and a cozy fire takes the edge off a wintry night; Cowch combines traditional composition with sidewalk dining. It's the ultimate place to combine people watching with every IKEA fantasy you've ever had.
The food is delectable and disastrous for dieters. My personal favourite? The Crunchy S'mores pizza; silky milk chocolate, toasted marshmallows, corn flakes and loads of crumble balance on a sweetened pizza base. Not a pizza person? Try the churros, you can't go wrong with these baked choux pastry lengths coated with sugar and served with your choice of dark or milk dipping chocolate. Although cocktails are the name of the game here, mocktail lovers will be relieved to know the alcohol-free delights are equally compelling (if a bit small) – try the Strawberry Seduction (fresh strawberries, cream and cranberry juice) for a creamy zing.
Service is a bit so-so. Try to get either a couch or inside table – the stools are uncomfortable, especially for tall people; you're expected to line-up at the counter or bar and order your selections.
Address: 2/179 Grey Street, South Bank
Campos Flagship Store
I have a love/hate relationship with Campos – I love the food – love the food - but I can't afford it more than once a month. Coffee connoisseurs line up along the black brick wall as high-flyers, trend-setters and happening families soak up the laid back atmosphere.
The servings are stomach filling and memorable, ranging from simple classics like Eggs Benedict with ham or smoked salmon or a big English Fry Up, to imported favourites like American pancakes with butterscotch sauce and ice-cream. The menu rotates seasonally, so make sure you sink your teeth into your favourite more than once every three months – it might be gone the next time you're stalking the James St precinct.
Bean freaks will go nuts over the range of blends available, as cold drips abound and even a latte seems to have something a little extra – the Campos baristas are fast, friendly and knowledgeable. As a confessed coffee hater, I can't go past the strawberry thickshake – it's like a meal and your childhood poured into a frosted metal tumbler.
So Pink! Strawberry Thickshake (Author Supplied Image)
Table service can be a bit slow at times, as the small kitchen focuses on quality over pumped out food templates; you won't notice, as drinks arrive at opportune moments, creating a string of flavour events. The wait staff are very nice – if you have any allergies or preferences, don't be afraid to let them now as you issue your order. EFTPOS, Pay Wave and cash are all accepted.
Address: 11 Wandoo St. Fortitude Valley
The Bavarian Bier Café
Meat maniacs, this is your port of call. The Bavarian Bier Café is a petri dish of eugenics, as everybody, from the bar staff to the doormen, seems to be lifted from a magazine spread of shiny, beautiful people.
Diners are divided according to eating arrangements – drinkers and nibblers are posted on the bar stools and slab tables; couples and sit-down groups settle into intimate corners and dimly lit booths; and finally, balcony fans get the full alfresco experience under the lights of Eagle Street Pier – cold nights are made more tolerable by gas heaters, although protection from the elements is minimal should Brisbane decide to rain on your night out.
The food itself is thick and heady – think heavy flavours, whipped potatoes, thick sausages and crumbling schnitzels the size of your face. It's pleasure on a wide rimmed plate. But really, I go for the tongue striking butterscotch schnapps and expertly balanced cocktails. If you don't have a huge appetite, stick with the salads or pulled pork rolls, the Bavarian flavour hit will leave you salivating until next time.
Address: Level 1/45 Eagle St, Eagle St Pier Brisbane
Do you have a favourite missing from my Top 3? Let me know in the comments below and I will give it a try!