Sunday, June 24, 2012

My Adelaide - A Look At "The Deli"

One of the past times I enjoy the most is eating out and it doesn't matter what time of day it is. I've long been a huge fan of breakfast and consider this to be one of the best meals to dine out for. I often take my young family out for breakfast. The children, especially enjoy it and it's an outing that we don't often appreciate for its quality. We don't have a specific routine or tradition in which we consciously make the effort to go out for breakfast. But we discussed the joy of the experience - particularly recently - and have resolved to make it a regular fortnightly thing. A little treat to ourselves.

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 fa├žades 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.

Bookings can be made in advance and indeed, take-away orders are also welcome. Phone The Deli on 08 8354 0808. 

If you're in Adelaide for a time, The Deli is a rustic and relaxed corner of town that you would do well to visit. 


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Taking Time Out With Molly Hacker.

For the first time in a long time, I have been able to partake in the rare opportunity to sit down and read rather than write. I'd forgotten how joyous that actually is. And rather than delve into titles that I would normally lap up, I've taken a different route and have sat down with some really different, yet no less satisfying fare. This week, I am pleased to feature a plucky young woman who has leaped off the page and made an indelible impression on me.

At thirty-two, newspaper reporter Molly Hacker vows to never attend another wedding until she has had her own. And that’s a problem because Molly’s younger sister, Hannah, is going to be married in one year. Armed with snark, wit, and fabulous good looks, “Picky Molly” embarks on a quest to find Mr. Right in her hometown.

Things get complicated fast. In no time at all, Molly has four “men of interest” and the memories of a lost love to send her overanalytic, befuddled mind into serious overdrive. Determined not to let her “helpful” girlfriends help her right out of another relationship, Molly tries to keep mum on the state of her love life. Her BFF male coworker, Randy, becomes her closest confidant as he stumbles over romantic issues with his new Mr. Right, Kyle. Meanwhile, Molly’s BFF gal pals aren’t too happy about being left out of the loop. 

Tweaking Molly’s last nerve is the town’s most visible socialite, Naomi Hall-Benchley, who, for self-serving reasons, is hell-bent on setting up “Picky Molly Hacker” and she doesn’t care who she has to manipulate or hurt to do it. Just how far will she go?

“Molly Hacker Is Too Picky!” takes the reader on a yearlong romp through Molly’s mind and a joyride through her life. Her dating life, town secrets, a group of quirky, crazy characters, and Naomi’s machinations collide head-on at a holiday gala that will change the social landscape of Swansea forever. As the New Year rolls in, Molly gets earth-shattering news. Can she go on? Will life ever return to abnormal again?

I came to Lisette Brodey's "Molly Hacker Is Too Picky" as a sort of stranger in a strange land. After all, I am a man and I feared that the chick-lit-iness of the tome would be beyond me.

I need not have worried. Molly Hacker is an accessible heroine that speaks across genders, laying bare the foibles, the fancies and the philosophy of the human condition when it comes to love.

Molly is an endearing character, full of contradiction. She is smart, sassy and sexy but she's also vulnerable, self reflective, searching for love - even though she might deny it.

Lisette's writing style is immediately accessible. It is smart, cracking with comedy and irony and, through her pen, Lisette paints a vivid picture. Her characters are well drawn and appealing and none are wasted in a taut and attractive story.

I thoroughly enjoyed Molly's trials and tribulations and I have to admit, I'm now hooked on chick-lit just that little bit more (did I say that out loud???).

Molly Hacker Is Too Picky is a feel good must read.

Author Lisette Brodey has an enviable online presence that has been built around her talent as an author but also her nous in social networking. A ardent supporter of emerging talent both in the literary and musical spheres, Lisette - via her Molly Hacker persona - regularly features artists of both persuasions at her official site. Under the banner of the Swansea Herald, Lisette - or should I say - Molly, 'sits down' for one on one chats, showcasing talented individuals, as well as featuring individuals with unique and often, quite courageous stories.

From her bio we find that Lisette was born and raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia. After high school, she moved to New York City where she attended Pace University and studied drama. After ten years in New York, several of them working in the radio industry, she moved to Los Angeles, where she held various positions at Paramount Studios in Hollywood and CBS Studio Center in Studio City, CA.

Back in Philadelphia, she worked for many years as a freelance writer, specializing in PR and the entertainment industry. But her heart, it seems has been lost to the West Coast and happily for her, she has returned permanently to the Los Angeles area.

As an author, Lisette's talent and skill is undeniable and her growing list of published titles are as impressive and varied in their subject matter than most authors I have come across. Lisette is not afraid to tackle different genres, complex characters and rich plot lines that walk a different path. Squalor, New Mexico and Crooked Moon stand alongside Molly Hacker Is Too Picky as absorbing titles worthy of addition to your Kindle library.

As a supporter of emerging artists, writers and individuals - Lisette Brodey is a diamond. One of a kind and selfless in her pursuit of helping others gain an audience of their own.

Spend some time with Mo...I mean Lisette - and Molly Hacker. I think you'll agree - they are a pair.