It's easy to see why Wide Open Road was voted 'Best New Café 2011' by the Age Good Café Guide. The roof is festooned by dozens of exposed lighting fixtures, the hanging cables add an arty decorative touch to the other more streamlined furnishings, the result being a perfect marriage of funky and elegant.
A waitress immediately took our drink orders as we sat down and gave us menus to look over. Another self roasting café, I was eager to see what these guys had to offer. Wide Open Road roast their coffee on site. The house blend is called Bathysphere and is blend of Kenyan, Brazilian, Costa Rican and Ethiopian beans.
After scouring the menu for what seemed like forever, and feeling like something different to my occasionally 'safe' orders, I finally decided on smashed peas with crispy pancetta and goat's cheese on toast.
My husband on the other hand was feeling entirely un-experimental and was hankering after something a little more traditional. He ordered the pancakes, although these are pancakes with a twist. The menu description reads: Pancakes - apple, cinnamon and walnut pancakes with cream and cointreau – citris infused honey - salivating yet?
They arrived dressed in caramelised apples and sugared walnuts, thick, fluffy and swimming in the flavour infused honey. Needless to say my adoring husband didn't even leave me a bite, but I couldn't begrudge him seeing as I had other things to tend to.
Now, I love peas, but smashed peas are not usually something one regularly has on toast. However, I was not let down by my leap into the unknown. The smashed peas tasted garden fresh and the flavour took me back to when I used to sit in my grandma's garden and thieve the young pea pods off the vines, greedily popping in as many fresh peas as my mouth could hold. The goat's fetta and pancetta served as a perfect flavour and texture component to compliment the dish. All these ingredients were piled onto two slices of fresh white bread, soft, dense and delicious.
The serving dishes were those old white, tin, camping-style dishes with the blue rim - the kind you will find lingering in every home in some storage cupboard in the attic. It gave a rather rustic feel to the dining experience.