Wodonga! Can anything good come from there? Well, it’s my home town. Sometimes I love it and at other times, I’m glad to leave it behind in the rear view mirror. Nevertheless, I have spent a great deal of my time and money indulging in Saturday breakfasts in Albury-Wodonga cafes over the past decade or so. My favourite places for breakfast used to be the Wodonga Plant Farm and Cafe Grove, but these cafes change ownership regularly so I’ve been a bit reticent to go back on recent visits.
Being keen to try somewhere new, one of my Facebook friends recently posted a beautiful photo of a pancake stack and I mentally noted that I needed to go and try it out when I was next in Wodonga. Hideout Cafe is located in Waratah Way and used to be a milk bar and takeaway store when I was in high school.
It felt really odd to return to the store after some twenty years or more. The facade has changed from mission brown to white, and the store has had a modern makeover to transform it into a cafe. However it still has that cloying smell of vegetable oil in the air and the usual corner store items are still for sale to the neighbouring residents.
At the counter, I quickly looked at the breakfast menu, which was divided into two pancake offerings, a French toast section, artisan bread for toast with condiments, corn fritters and then an array of individual items to create your own individual cooked, savoury breakfast. Enjoying the sunshine outside, the windows were emblazoned with self-printed signs proclaiming the “Border’s best breakfast”. Can’t wait!
My breakfast dish was personally delivered by a chef in whites. Extremely posh for West Wodonga but appreciated. The chef noted that I didn’t have water on my table and arranged for a bottle to be brought out to me. Two thumbs up.
The presentation was impeccable, however the yoghurt looked a little on the lumpy side and the obligatory sprinkling of icing sugar was about to declare war on my lovely orange pants. The bread was soft and light and perfect with the moist poached pears, which suprisingly still had skin on. I love toasted flaked almonds and they were a great accompaniment. The sliced dried Turkish figs were a bit tough to chew but added a sweet flavour.
When I tasted the yoghurt, I hate to admit it but it had a distinct taste of garlic. After another taste, I came to the conclusion that it didn’t need to be on my plate or near my toast for that matter. With all the dry elements on the toast, the dish needed some moisture and the syrup was not too sweet and was delicious with the figs, pears and almonds.
So in conclusion, a delicious and filling breakfast but I wasn’t overwhelmingly convinced that it was the best breakfast I’ve had in Albury-Wodonga.
A planned power outage on early Sunday morning made it necessary to leave home and go in search of breakfast and coffee. Last weekend, my wonderful Dad (who enthusiastically supports my food and wine adventures) cut out a comment from the letters to the editor in the local newspaper about a new cafe in Wodonga’s Cube complex and asking whether people knew about it. Well I do now.
The cafe space at The Cube is clean, spacious, modern with an outdoor dining area and much appreciated air-conditioning to escape the summer heat.
From the sweet to the savoury, the sound of the Potato Boxtie (sic), which is a traditional Irish potato pancake, with house smoked salmon and sour cream piqued my interest.
My breakfast exceeded all expectations. Four fluffy thin savoury pancakes with a delicious creamy sauce of dill, finely diced red onion and sour cream, topped with thick, warm pieces of salmon fillet. Totally divine, delicious, yummy and filling. Perfect sustenance for getting me through another long train trip back to Melbourne.
As for the Border’s best breakfast, that honour will always go to my Mum and Dad!