a request to my unborn children

One thing you should know about me is that I love birthdays. I love birthdays! I do! I’m not scared about getting older for that reason. With each birthday comes change and new adventures that I welcome with open arms and a two story vanilla cake. As long as I feel like I’m living my life the way I want to then bring on the wrinkles, and the canes, and the gray hair, and the hearing problems.

I do have one request though; a request mostly aimed directly at my unborn children and my years-away-from-being-born grandchildren: When I’m older and you’ve set time aside to spend a quality afternoon with your favorite grandmapants, for the love of buffets, please refrain from taking me hostage and treating me to Sweet Tomatoes.

I know I’m old(er), I can’t really understand what you’re saying, and probably chew my food a bit awkward, but I hope you understand that I’m still a human being and want to have new experiences. I would rather feel completely out of place at a youthful restaurant than a room full of my energetic peers. If at least for that one day, I want to go somewhere you’d eat if your grandma (I) wasn’t there, somewhere I would never go on my own.

That’s not to say I don’t enjoy a fresh and self-made salad from Sweet Tomatoes. I mean, how could you not enjoy unlimited pizza, cornbread and mac & cheese? But I’ll save those outings for my super hip friends in the nursing home, not my sweet, thoughtful, and clever family.

If my memory starts to fail me and I say I’m okay with going to Sweet Tomatoes, (like my great grandmother does with us) kick my cane from under me and show a printed version of this request. I will believe you.

Yes, I know I’m getting way too ahead of myself. You’re probably right.

Sunday’s at The Florist

Summer is coming to an end. I’m not having such a hard time with this fact because I do love myself a good beanie, and also because I’m going back to Australia October 24th to withstand yet another summer (the torture!).

What I am having a hard time with is being far apart from The Florist Arms in East London. I owe guaranteed fun Sundays this past summer to the one and only, The Florist Arms (nicknamed The Florist).

A group of us, or sometimes just Jack and I, or sometimes just me, would find ourselves in the conveniently centered bar, order a pint of any draft beer and scope out the situation. Getting a spot on one of their comfortable couches, or their wooden tables in the front was key for front row seats to the lovely sound coming from the jazz bands. We always tried sitting near the open windows lining the two front walls of the restaurant, but it gets packed and in the summer, that’s the preferred seating!

The best thing about The Florist is that even though the pizza is absolutely delectable, they offer many incredible deals. The one I loved was: Half Price Evenings Sundays and Mondays from 6pm.

I left London weeks ago and I still feel lucky to have been around to completely devour this deal over Summer. As you can see from the picture above, peperoni pizza was the favorite for everyone. And that wasn’t just that one given Sunday, that was almost every Sunday for 3 months.

So if you visit The Florist Arms order the hot salami, peperoni pizza. It’s thin and crispy, giving you a crackling sounds that resonates in your head. My additional suggestion would be to search for the clear bottle with olive oil and red jalapeños placed on the piano, probably, and dip your slice before biting into it.

For fear of getting hungry and sad, I will stop typing now.

Breakfast Thieves

Breakfast Thieves is one of my top two favorite breakfast places in Melbourne. I thought I would just come right out and say it because I don’t you want you to mistake it for anything else.

You’ll find Breakfast Thieves in the bottom floor of a renovated warehouse on the corner of Gore Street in Fitzroy. It’s the one with the top to botton windows. I feel in love with the detail and simplicity of the decor straight away. They use a combination of wooden and white walls. Purple flowers in a silver vas and a loosely tied paper with the story behind the building adorn each table. Water and the menu were giving to me as I sat down. This is important because the water came in a very expensive looking old whiskey bottle, which I have put on Pinterest to replicate one day.

I ordered a strong cappuccino which came out almost immediately. It was the first time in Melbourne the coffee mug was not a standard brown, or black; it was bright blue. It’s the little things that do it for me. The coffee was so good I had to ask where it was from; the Social Roasting Company. I asked for a second.

I was craving french toast so I ordered the Pain Perdu. This is one of those plates you have to take a picture of because you will be showing it off to friends and they will ask for a visual: Thick, soft brioche topped with slow cooked caramelized apples, fresh strawberries and mascarpone cream and some pistachio nuts scattered throughout. There were colors, accented flavors and different textures, everything I think a french toast and pancakes should be.

It took me at least two bites to realize the mascarpone cream was not ice cream. It’s a cream made from cheese. I have never been as pleasantly surprised by a case of mistaken identity.

The Pain Perdu from Breakfast Thieves will be the the first meal  I have upon my arrival in Melbourne come November.

Breakfast Thieves420 Gore Street Fitzroy, Melbourne, Australia