On Christmas Eve Eve Eve I was heading over to Marrickville to collect our free range Christmas Ham from ethical meat wholesaler, Urban Food Market.
I think Urban Food Market are a GREAT business, offering us an option
beyond the factory farmed meat that we seemed trapped into buying at so
many supermarkets and other meat retailers. Did you know that in
Australia the majority of our meat is raised in cages (poultry or pork)
or in concrete floored feed lots (grain-fed sheep and cattle) - because it's
"cheap" despite being inhumane. And let's not even get into the whole
caged egg business - just thinking about it makes me want to cry. Free-range meat and eggs may cost more, but at least we know we
are eating meat that has lead a happy free-range life as nature
intended, and has not been cooped up in tiny cages or in sheds with
horrible concrete floors. We paid $70 for a boned half-leg of Ham and
to me it was worth every penny and tasted better than anything we've
ever eaten from a supermarket. Just a little "food for thought" and
something I hope we can all start thinking about a little more when
deciding what to eat.
Anyway, as I was kind of in Neicy-Poo's neighbourhood, we decided we'd catch up for a quick lunch.
I'd ear-marked Petty Cash Cafe near Enmore Park to try, but alas they were already closed for the holidays. We then headed for our second choice, Belljar, in Newtown. Alas they had literally just served their last coffee for the day and were shutting up shop for the holidays. Man, can't a gal get a break here.
In the end we decided to head up to King Street and seek sustenance at Pastizzi, a little cafe serving Maltese food. Pastizzi has been a mainstay Newtown restaurant for longer than I care to remember and I was hoping like crazy that they would be open as I was getting more than a little...starving.
Lady luck was shining on us as not only were they open but they had row upon row of delicious looking Pastizzi for us to devour. But first we start with a refreshing drink.
Pastizzi, a popular Maltese dish, are a little diamond shaped pastry (either filo or puff pastry) filled with either a savoury filling, like Ricotta, or something sweet like cherry. And boy, are they gooooood!!!
We decide to stick with the savoury and I limit myself to just three seeing as they are not exactly a health food with all that flaky pastry. After drooling at the counter for about 5 minutes I ended up choosing Spinach and Ricotta, Pea, and Salmon Dill and Ricotta. My favourite would have to be the subtle flavour of the Spinach and Ricotta - a classic combination in my books.
I was really hoping Niecy-Poo would suggest a few sweet Pastizzi to finish the meal, but we end up with a salad. A pretty nice Caprese Salad though, so I'm not too unhappy. The salad is a fresh and simple mix of fresh basil, tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella - so simple that even I could make this one at home.
I have a confession to make though. After lunch I went to collect the ham and the wholesaler just happens to be right across the road from Bourke Street Bakery. I think it would be remiss of me to be so close and not indulge in a little something sweet...for the road.
Pastizzi Cafe can be found down the south end of King Street (the "nice end" as I like to think of it) at 523 King Street, Newtown.
Urban Food Market is at Unit 1, 68 Victoria Road, Marrickville. They are a wholesaler, but are open to the public on Saturdays between 9am - 1pm - at which time they also have various product tastings on offer. If Saturday's don't work for you then call them up and arrange another time to collect your product, like I did. And they are across the road from Bourke Street Bakery - what more incentive do you need to visit?