There's a few places I've frequented over the years that have served up a gorgeous plate of bacon and eggs with all the trimmings and a good cup of coffee. But I was to discover, this past weekend, a small place that is, quite literally, a stone's throw from my house that has quickly risen to the top of the tree.
"The Deli" in George Street, Thebarton, South Australia stands in a row of shops that have occupied the space there for decades. I'm guessing they date back to the 20's or 30's, from their tiled façades and characteristic widows and doors. There is a guitar maker on one side of The Deli and a retro-thrift shop on the other.
The Deli popped to my attention when it opened - I think it must have been a little over 2 years ago - as it's right across the street from The Wheatsheaf Hotel (another favourite establishment of mine that I must talk about in the future). For ages, it seems, I wondered about this little cafe, with it's rustic outwardly appearance and it's steady stream of regular customers and I increasingly heard favourable chatter about it from the denizens in the front bar of "The Wheaty". Not only were they serving up decent fare inside, they have been known to set a up small stall out front from which they have sold flowers and plants and kitchen herbs and the like. Also, they were hosting live music on a regular basis and often, I'd hear the acoustic sounds drifting across from there as I left the Pub to walk home.
So on Sunday morning, my serioso and I, enjoying a rare Sunday morning at home together with no plans (because she is usually working every second Sunday and/or we have something on our plate), decide that it is the perfect time to go for a walk and finally try out a breakfast at The Deli.
And upon arriving there, we had a sense, right away that it was going to be a pleasant experience. The Deli is fitted out with a lot of retro furnishings in a cosy and warm atmosphere that is immediately welcoming. As you move further into the cafe, you find the walls adorned with an eclectic collection of oil paintings by local artists, which can be purchased. There are also posters of live music acts - an almost dizzying variety to see and it tells much about the growth of The Deli as a live music venue of considerable pedigree. Past the kitchen and the bar areas, the cafe opens out onto a rear court yard garden that is leafy and tranquil. Mismatched chairs surround generous tables and one can sit back and relax and detach from the outside world.
In it's centre is an open fire place that customers can gather around whenever live music is playing (usually on Friday and Sunday nights) and despite the compact space, it doesn't feel at all claustrophobic.
But it is to the food that really captured my imagination and my stomach.
I was in the mood for a hearty plate of breakfast and The Deli did not disappoint. It's signature - The Deli Breakfast - features organic, free range eggs, cooked to your liking (I went with poached) on top of crusty toasted rye bread. Two rashers of middle bacon, an Italian sausage, creamy field mushrooms that just melted in my mouth, lightly sweated spinach and a small bowl of baked beans - but these were not the canned variety. Made on the premises, they were a mixture of beans in a light tomato sauce and they were just divine. The most delightful part of the breakfast were their home made hash browns which were a combination of regular and sweet potato. They were light, fluffy and creamy all at the same time and had slight peppery kick which was just lovely. Our children enjoyed a plate of bacon and eggs each and they left little behind on their plates which is testament to the cooking at The Deli. My children are notoriously fussy eaters.
Overall, the breakfast was just perfect and, unlike a lot of breakfasts I've had, it didn't leave me feeling gassy or bloated. It wasn't at all greasy and I came away feeling satisfied without feeling full. Combined with a cup of coffee, my breakfast experience at The Deli was just about perfect and I can't wait to visit there again in a couple of weeks.
The Deli is located at 54A George Street, Thebarton. It's opening hours are as follows: Wednesday to Friday 11.00AM - 2.00PM, evenings from 6.00PM until late. They are open all day Saturday and Sunday from 9.00AM until late.