Glenorie Bakery, Cafe and Delicatessen was established in 1994 by the current owner's father after many years involved in the cafe industry. Now having been passed down to his son Rob Pirina, this family owned and family-friendly eatery continues to go from strength to strength. With awards to their name such as Best Sausage Roll and Best Pie in NSW, being voted Australia's Best Bakery 2012, as well as holding the record for Australia's longest sausage roll, it seems as though they must be doing something right, something very, very right. Aside from the food, Rob Pirina and his business couldn't be more involved in the community and fundraising for different charities. There's a big slab of wall dedicated purely to showcasing all the wonderful work he and his business have been involved in over the past few years.
It was my mission to see just how right they are getting it and after my experience at Glenorie Bakery, I must say, there are many great things to report so I best make sure I don't ramble too much.
This isn't your ordinary cafe or bakery, it has so much to offer on a variety of fronts. They provide catering with simple finger-food sized bites, pre-made meals to take home for dinner such as lasagne, pasta and family sized meat pies that are created in-house and last but not least, a wide range of gluten free options to make life easier and more enjoyable for the gluten intolerant.
When it comes to the food, it's a veritable feast. With two French pastry chefs in employ, working hard to create the most gorgeous sweet delicacies and savoury morsels, it's fair to say that they do their country and their profession proud. A vast selection of goodies line the shelves of the cool glass cabinets that stretch the length of the bakery. Traditional French fare features heavily, such as frangipane tarts, eclairs (both chocolate and strawberry), lemon meringue tarts, florentines and tarts of fresh fruit atop crème patissiere. You can also find slices, cake and a favourite of little kids and big kids alike, the cream-filled frogs, chickens and mice.
We tried the toffee coated profiterole and the lemon meringue tart, both of which were delicious. The creamy, custard filling of the profiterole was smooth and sweet, contrasting perfectly with crunchy toffee top. The meringue on the lemon tart was super marshmallowy and perfectly sweet, combining oh so well with the tangy lemon filling.
For the savoury, of course you can't go past the award winning sausage roll and meat pies. For the vegetarians or people like me who love their veg option as much as their meat, the spinach and cheese roll is a winner. We of course felt we should try all three, you know, to get a well rounded sampling. The pastry was crisp, crumbly and light, which must be attributed to the fact that the pastry is made fresh in-house from a special family recipe. The sausage roll filling was tasty, there was a nice amount of seasonings and I loved the nutmeg. I really enjoyed the spinach and cheese roll, it wasn't filled with that mush you often find in them, the spinach was evident and had it's true taste. The meat pie was yum, what more could I say. The gravy was thick and it tasted like a meat pie should.
Clockwise from left: sausage roll, spinach and cheese roll, beef pie
There's not just pastry related items to take your fancy. Fresh sandwiches and rolls, created with the abundance of fillings found in the deli section are available. You can also find all the things you need to make your own anti pasto platter at home, with marinated olives, cured meats and cheeses available.
A couple of other specialty items that are worth a look is the Outback Bean Coffee that is roasted in-house, with a little corner of the shop totally dedicated to Rob's love of coffee. The other is the product of a wonderfully Italian tradition of making tomato sauce. They included the public in their family tradition and called it Saucy Sauce Day. Many turned out to learn the in's and out's of washing, cutting, grinding and bottling of the Italian tomato sauce, which is available to buy and use in your own pasta, pizza, whatever.
There's a nice amount of space to sit indoors, out of the way of the understandably busy counter area. But why would you sit inside on a sunny day when you could sit in the lovely outdoor area laden with wooden tables and benches, shade-sails and some lush greenery.
Clearly the Glenorie Bakery, Cafe and Deli has a lot going on and a lot going for it, they are even challenging the world record for the longest sausage roll in July and using the event to raise money for children's charities.
It might be a little out of the way for some but the drive through the somewhat countryside is very pleasant and the trip is well worth it. It makes for a lovely day out. If it's a little too far, then you can always visit their other recently opened store found in Windsor, Australia's Outback Bakehouse Cafe.