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Published November 4th 2014
Customer service and value for money has no equal
There are some good eating houses in South Australia, and then there are some better ones. After my recent trip to Emily's Bistro, I have found one of the better ones. Once known as Fosters Great Northern Emporium (closed in mid 2004), the Emporium was purchased by Emily and family, and re-opened as Emily's Bistro. In recent years, Emily's younger sister, Sally has become involved in the Bistro and has orchestrated some of the recent changes and restoration work.
Emily's Bistro is a part bistro and part treasure trove that embraces full quality country hospitality. The restoration of the bistro provides visitors with an insight in to days gone by. In the front half of the Bistro, shelves of groceries on one side and haberdashery displays on the other side are dwarfed by the large and busy dining area in the centre of the Bistro. Overhead, and possibly one of the last in Australia, the original flying fox cash register is regularly set in motion, much to the joy of young adults, and the admiration of older adults.
Sally is most often found behind the coffee machine, and coffees are ordered. Now I must confess that I have sampled coffee in lots of places in South Australia, and typically once you get beyond 100km radius away from Adelaide, the standard falls quickly. There are often excuses about the water, or the milk, or the flaky power supply. However Sally provides the exception to these excuses. Delivered in an amusing mug, the coffee is as warm, friendly and inviting as is Sally's general mannerisms..
Before ordering from the menu, I observe other servings being delivered. After seeing the size of some of these servings, I chose the classic breakfast thinking that it may be about the right size. I was about to head to the gorgeous Warren Gorge and the Dutchmans Stern Conservation Park, so I needed the most appropriate amount of food intake to match my expected calorie burn.
When it arrived, I was taken aback by the incredulous size of the serving. Two scrambled eggs, rashers of bacon, hash brown, roasted tomato and sour cream on toast never looked so big before. And not only was the quantity served, the quality of the serving was perfect with some melt-in-the-mouth scrambled eggs.
The rear half of the Bistro has a display of collectables from previous Emporium stock, including old tins and boxes, as well as numerous items that we used to either use (depending how old we are) or used to see in Grandma's shed. Who remembers the old colored tin beakers, or perhaps the original mixmaster, or maybe even the metal thermos. The pale blue picnic set looks practical, but being seen with this nowadays would certainly raise plenty of eyebrows.
Emily's Bistro is located at 45 First Street, Quorn and is open from 8am to 7pm daily. The Bistro gets exceptionally busy when the Pichi Richi Train Service is running, but with customer service and quality like I received, it is little wonder. Further details are available from their facebook page.
And while I wasn't back in town in time to make a booking for the Sunday Roast, the smell from the Bistro while it was cooking made me awfully jealous. This regular feature, plus also the showing of movies within the Bistro each month are regular highlights on the calendars of the locals.
And I must pass on a recommendation to Sally : to only charge $25 for 2 breakfasts, 2 coffees and great country hospitality is way too cheap by anyone's standards.