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Paleo Cafes Arrive

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by Nadine Cresswell-Myatt (subscribe)
Freelance writer exploring Melbourne and beyond. If you enjoy the following article click on the Like button, Facebook it to your friends or subscribe. I'll update you with yummy and often free events. Like my photos? I instagram @redbagwilltravel
Published January 12th 2014
Forget cavemen this food rocks
Image Paleo Cafe Facebook

I have only visited one of the new Paleo Cafes, but as they are a growing franchise which stocks the same goods and has the same menus, then what I write holds true for all.

I took up paleo eating about six months ago on a doctor's recommendation that it would help with certain health issues.

The changes in diet came gradually and mostly because we are surrounded by such "bad" food choices everywhere we go especially when eating out.

Many people have jumped on the paleo bandwagon and it is a growing movement. Basically it is about eating a more natural diet including grass fed meat, fish, eggs, fruit and vegetables and seeds and berries.

palepao cafe
Some things I bought at the Paleo Cafe which can otherwise be hard to find

There are so many recipes out there that it has also become quite a gourmet way of eating. There is no sense of going without.

The benefits include weight loss, more energy, reduced allergies, stable blood sugar and anti- inflammatory properties. Possibly one of the reasons that the movement has been so widespread is the recognition that something had to give. While people live longer, there is also a lot more ill-health in terms of lifestyle diseases and our kids seem to suffer from a rising tide of allergies.

Paleo Cafe Facebook

In the restaurant world there have been quite a few moves towards this type of eating, with increasing emphasis placed on gluten free dishes and even organic produce.

But until now, at least to my knowledge, there haven't been any strictly paleo places to eat.

The founders of the Paleo Cafe, Jai and Marlies Hobbs, found out about paleo after their four month old baby had severe acid reflux, which was later diagnosed as a dairy intolerance. When they changed his formula away from dairy, he went from screaming infant terrible to placid babe and it made them realise the affects of food on our bodies.

Image Paleo Cafe Facebook

They started their business last year in Cairns, but due to its incredible popularity and a flood of requests they started franchising their business only six months after opening.

Already there are paleo cafes in Sydney, Brisbane and one just opened a few weeks ago on the Mornington Peninsula.

I travelled down to the Mornington to see what all the fuss was about.

I arrived at about 1.30pm (which is slightly late for lunch) expecting to walk straight in and get a seat.

I was lucky to get one about 20 minutes later as people were clearly enjoying their food and were in no rush to move away. While I waited about ten other people came in and when they saw they wouldn't be able to get a seat, they bought wholesome take-aways.

paleo cafe
Paleo Cafe Facebook - this was Paddington but Mornington was also this crowded

Thankfully the cafe had a pantry of goods and paleo cookbooks I could look at while I was waiting.

Some of the items in stocks. Might be a good time to buy shares in a coconut company!

I had kind of hoped they would do an all day breakfast as some of the dishes sounded amazing, such as breakfast parfait (layers of coconut yoghurt, house made granola and mixed berries), bircher muesli (ground seeds softened with fresh fruit, juice and coconut yoghurt), banana pancakes with berry complete and whipped coconut cream and zucchini and kale fritters with crispy bacon strips and sweet chilli onion jam.

People had beautiful coloured drinks in front of them in all kinds of shades of yellow and green. For example, there was a green detox (celery, cucumber, kale, kiwi and lime) and a smoothie of tropical fruit salad blended with ice and and coconut milk.

When I did get a seat I found I did need to order from the lunch menu. I had a mango avocado and macadamia salad with salmon and a chilli lime dressing ($19). I also made the mistake of having a BulletProof Coffee. It tasted fantastic but was incredibly filling.

For what this amazing coffee entails click here. It is a coffee that keeps you going for hours and should not really be had with a meal.

My lunch.

There were so many gorgeous desserts including Anzac biscuits, mousses and cakes that I would have loved one but the BulletProof coffee had put an end to that. (There are all kinds of natural sweeteners you can use on the paleo way of eating including Rapadura sugar).

Other people were tucking into plates of grass sirloin steak, pistachio and coconut crusted ocean fish and pork belly with a sage balsamic glaze served with roasted root vegetable and baked apples (mains ranged from $13 to $21 dollars.)

Kids were well catered for with items such as paleo bolognaise (using sweet potato noodles) and coconut crumbed fish with a more natural form of tomato sauce.

Despite the crowds the service was pleasant and efficient. I spoke to the owner who could hardly quell her rapture as the cafe has been such a resounding success even though it has only just opened and logically should have been slowly drumming up trade rather than flourishing.

One of the things about eating paleo is that you often have to go to lots of different foodstores to source your foodstuffs. For example, I go to a butcher a couple of suburbs away to buy grass fed meat, a health food shop for coconut flour, a farmer's market for fruit and vegetable and so on.

The Paleo Cafe stocks heaps of grocery items in their store. Something I grabbed to take home was paleo bread (bread without grains). They also had a sensational granola (recipe here) with nuts and seeds and paleo mayonnaise. Stuff you just can't get elsewhere.

Some granola I bought. Image Paleo Cafe Facebook

They also had quite a few reasonably priced take home meals such as soups and coconut curries.

So the message is that this chain of paleo cafes are thriving. They make for an interesting change in terms of culinary cuisine, as well as being good for you! It might however be worth checking what the quietest time is to visit one.

Mornington Peninsula      
Location: 89 Main Street, Mornington. Mornington Peninsula
Phone: (03) 59768371
Open Hours: Monday to Sunday, 7am to 3pm 

Location: Shop 15, 62 Grafton Street, Cairns (opposite Rusty's market)
Phone: 07 4041 3885
Open Hours: 7am to 3pm Monday to Saturday
Brisbane - Paddington  
Location: Shop 2 & 3, 257 Given Tce, Paddington
Phone: (07) 3162 2469
Open Hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 7am to 3pm
Brisbane - CBD
Location: Shop 3, 10 Market Street, Brisbane (cnr Market & Mary St)
Phone: (07) 3221 3453
Open Hours: Monday to Friday, 6.30 to 3.30pm
Location: 310-330 Oxford St, Bondi Junction
Phone: (02) 93860163
Open Hours: Monday to Friday 7am to 3pm, Saturday & Sunday 8am to 4pm

There are three other Paleo Cafes opening up early in 2014. These include:

Albury - New South Wales
451 Dean Street, Albury

Townsville - City
City Lane, Townsville
Email: TBC

Newcastle - Hamilton

If you are interested in some of these newer paleo cafes in your region keep an eye on the Paleo Cafe website.

These cafes finally solve the problem of where to stalk a paleo lunch.
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Why? Eating well just got easier
When: For breakfast and lunch
Cost: Meals from $9 to $21
Your Comment
Yum - I must try the Brisbane CBD one. Everything sounds delicious.
by Therese B (score: 2|289) 2837 days ago
What a brilliant idea. I've been eating a slightly modified paleo version and have often wondered why we never had a paleo cafe in Sydney or anywhere else in Australia before. I find it difficult to eat out generally. Great article, I'll be checking them out very soon.
by cocog (score: 1|17) 2839 days ago
This the first time I've heard of a paleo diet; the food this restaurant makes sounds excellent, and very innovative (sweet potato noodles for bolognese).
by Bastion Harrison (score: 4|12626) 2841 days ago
I walked past the Mornington Cafe a few weeks ago, must try it out next time, thanks for the write up!
by EricaL (score: 3|1684) 2837 days ago
Awesome, never knew about Paleo till I read your article. Can't wait to try it out as we head out to Mornington beaches in the upcoming hot days. Thanks.
by Happy Mom (score: 2|548) 2841 days ago
why is this article appearing in the KIDS section of the Sydney weekend notes?
someone made a mistake.
by ozkis (score: 1|32) 2841 days ago
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Paleo Cafe (article)
by Bonnie McBride on 11/04/2014
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