Pasta Deli

Today on the Dining Diaries…

The team visit a place that’s not for the faint-hearted,
We have a pizza with a dough so light yet crispy that only nonna could have made it and
I’m still trying to figure out if I was at a family engagement or a cafe/restaurant

FullSizeRenderDiners today we were at Pasta Deli located on Glynburn Rd at Glynde.

I grew up in this area and yet I don’t know much about that old Fire Station building on Glynburn rd. I’ll have to look into that!

In any case, hubby and I were a little shocked to see and hear the amount of people, filling this cafe/restaurant/deli on a Wednesday, mid-afternoon

FullSizeRender[6]Their set up is quite unique. They have deli style meats available for purchase and lots of other packaged goodies. Pasta, every kind of taralli, and other Italian favourites are there on display. Cooked food to take away from soups and pastas to delicious icecream and desserts are also on offer.

You can also dine in.

Hubby and I walked in and I was immediately overwhelmed. The food looked amazing, and the aroma’s were just heavenly but my social anxiety was riding high. No one told us the set up or where to go to order. We just wandered in and were left to fend for ourselves.
Silly me looked for a menu. I don’t think there is one but I’m also not ruling it out.
I eventually asked a server and she told me to stand in a line and someone would tell me “how the place works” over there.

I think the line I got in was the ordering line but even so, I had no idea what or how I was ordering and I was calling out to hubby “Do you want to go somewhere else?”
Luckily, hubby took over. I told him I didn’t care what I ate, and to just choose something for us.
Turns out, it was the ordering line and you just order from the food that’s displayed in front of you, although there is another counter that has parmigiana’s, vegetables, focaccia’s and pizzas alongside that ordering counter.

I’m not sure what happened but hubby came back more excited than a kid about to do an Easter Egg Hunt.

He’d ordered a pizza, a meat ball, rigatoni ragu and a lasagna for us to share. The food we saw coming out looked really good and there were so many people enjoying it and each others company. They are definitely doing something right here!!
At times I didn’t know if I was in a restaurant or at a family function which often incites the same anxiety.
The only thing missing was wine. No wine list. Not even a house wine. I guess they’re not licensed but I was a bit disappointed I couldn’t have a glass of red with my pasta.

The food wasn’t brought out all at the same time which was a shame. The Rigatoni came out first. I didn’t want to start eating it until hubby had something to eat as well but we waited and waited and waited. It did seem like a very long time, especially when we were so hungry and everything smelt so good!

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This was not my favourite dish. The rigatoni were really heavy and the pasta very thick. It was not enjoyable to eat. The meat was ok. Mama’s is definitely’s more tender but it wasn’t bad. I loved the bits of parsley on top. I could taste the freshness and I can’t remember any other time parsley has added that much zing to a dish.

The next dish to come out was the meatball.

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I wish I had taken this picture with something else so you can get perspective of size. It was quite a large meatball and I personally thought the middle of it wasn’t cooked well however hubby loved it and said he thought it had a nice flavour. The sauce on the meatball was more of a fresh sauce than the ragu I was having with my pasta and I really loved it. It was sweet and I loved the flavour of the tomatoes.
Hubby said he could imagine having three of those meatballs in a roll and making a meatball sub.

Next we tried the Pasta Deli Lasagna.

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This dish was definitely the winner for me!!! The pasta was so light!!! There is nothing better than a simple lasagna. Good pasta, good sauce, a bit of bechamel and you’re in heaven if they’ve all been done well. I don’t like lasagna that has bits of ham and egg and god knows what else throughout. I think that’s going beyond what a lasagna is meant to be.
This pasta just melted in your mouth. It was just like my mum makes and I remember rolling out that pasta with her when I was young.

Lastly we tried one of their pizza’s.

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Again this just blew me away! The base was light yet firm and crispy. There was substance to it. The toppings were fresh and flavoursome. Although there wasn’t a lot of topping, it didn’t really need much more. At $6.90 this was definitely a bargain.

I’m sure I’ll be back to Pasta Deli. This time I’ll know what I’m in for!
I don’t know that I’d dine in but I definitely want to take away some of that pizza.

Have you been to Pasta Deli?
What did you think?
Let me know in the comments below!

Till next we chow…

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The Royal Hotel

Today on the Dining Diaries…

I can now say it’s a fact, Salad Bar + Carpet = Seniors
I’ve learnt a nice wine makes a meal taste better and
Sorry to harp on it, but when it comes to some local pubs, seniors rule the roost.

Diners after my last entry, I vowed not to eat in a place that was specifically geared towards seniors. I love seniors as much as the next person, but it’s very clear that when it comes to dining, we have different needs and expectations.

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Today we were at The Royal Hotel. Seeing as this hotel looked nice from the website, looks nice from the road, and is right on the edge of the CBD, I didn’t think it would be a seniors pub.

I was wrong.

The moment I walked into the dining area I smelt boiled vegetables. I should have turned and walked away but I didn’t.
Hubby saw the salad bar and gasped. We didn’t turn away.
The place was furnished with an old carpet. We didn’t turn away.
It’s completely our fault. We walked in and we sat down.

royal5Having said all that, the guy working the bar was really lovely and friendly, helped us find a seat and handed us a couple of menus. The prices were really good I have to say and yes, they did also have a seniors menu. I’m not sure why we were given one of those!

We ordered a couple of mains and checked out the salad bar. It was fairly average as far as salad bars go. There were three hot choices and a few more cold salads.
It wasn’t dreadful but it was on the mushy side. For example the potatoes were boiled with a bit of soft onion on them rather than crisply roasted. One tray I think was a veggie bake but it was just full of corn. I believe our last senior experience had an abundance of corn too. Not sure if there is a connection.

Now onto the mains. Hubby was excited because the menu said “Lamb Shanks” and that “s” on the end means he’d be getting more than one! It looked semi impressive when it came out.

Now it wasn’t that it was bad. The meat was tender and fell off the bone. The jus was nice mixed with the mash. It was all as should be but about the lamb shanks, hubby said it felt like someone had just removed them from a boiling pot and set them on his plate. It didn’t have the flavour he was expecting. He didn’t hate it, it just wasn’t what he was after.

I had ordered a Cabernet Merlot and it was just divine! My mood certainly lifted with that.

I didn’t hate my menu choice either. I ordered the Vegetarian Lasagne. In fact, it was quite nice. The only thing I would have changed about it is removed the pumpkin and have more of the delicious capsicum. The capsicum was sweet and really lifted the dish. The cheese and tomato sauce on top were quite delicious too!! There was a nice flavour in that, just not enough of it.

The prices were really good so I guess we pretty much got what we paid for.

As for the hotel itself, aside from seniors there were a few business people in there too and there was even a meeting going on in a room adjacent to the dining room which some company must have booked out. I think if we hadn’t eaten here on the back of my last review, it may have been ok but we are pretty much over mushy veggies and carpet.
This is especially true after I visited all those exciting places on the Food Porn Tour.

This is not a bad place, but you need to know what you’re getting into before you decide to dine here.
As for the Spoon You Fork Me team, the next time we see carpet and a salad bar, we’re turning around and walking back out!

Have you eaten at The Royal Hotel?
What did you think?
Let me know in the comments below!

Till next we chow…

The Maid

Today on the Dining Diaries…

We learn that if Cleanliness is next to Godliness, this menu is downright hell on earth,
We find a place that dresses their side salads AND provides enough sauces for the wedges and,
We order a “lasagne” dish with such a generous portion of meat that we question whether it was lasagne.

 

Diners today we were at The Maid and although we got off to a shaky start, it was not so bad in the end!
batch1369975281_the_maid_and_magpie_hotel_1870The first thing that disappointed was that I couldn’t really find any information about this historic building. I found a little online but nothing in the pub itself.
Granted, I may not have looked hard enough but this building is just bursting with history and is such a landmark in this part of the city that I was surprised they wouldn’t be celebrating it.
I’ve always known this building as “The Maid and Magpie” but see their website, and everything else (apart from their building) refers to it as “The Maid”
It’s almost as if they want to distance themselves from the history.

Secondly, we arrived early and were sitting at table near the bistro entrance waiting patiently.The staff could see us. We have arrived early before and staff have still welcomed us and shown us through to a table. This time however, a few minutes before our booked time we stood at the entrance waiting to be seated and staff just continued doing their thing around us. What did they think we were standing there for?

Finally a very nice lady asked “Are you right?” and kindly pointed across the floor to our table. “We’ve got you sitting over there”. Just pick one, any one?

The dining room itself was smaller than I imagined. Pleasant. Candles giving romantic lighting and sixties soul music playing. I liked it.  There was a nice outdoor eating area and a few television screens so you don’t miss out on the game!

maid7The room was clean, unlike the menus that came a few minutes later…

I debated posting this picture as it doesn’t show them in a good light and mostly everything else was good, but honestly, is there any excuse for this? It made us feel a little ill to be honest.
We were the only ones in the dining room for the first forty five minutes (it filled quickly after that) so it’s not like they were running out of menus.
However that’s all small nit-picky stuff. Onto the food!

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We were boring and ordered wedges to share again.

What I want to draw your attention to is the amount of sweet chili and sour cream!

Lovely!

Enough to finish the whole bowl of wedges with. Thank you Maid!

And now another surprise. Hubby didn’t order a steak for main. I know! I was shocked too!! Not only that, he chose a pasta dish! Again, shocking!
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I don’t have a copy of the menu so I’m not sure exactly how it was presented on there except that it said “Lasagne with 11 Meats” or something like that.

Doesn’t that dish look divine? Being a pasta lover I had to reach over and try some.

The meat was soooooo tender, the pasta was lovely soft and melted in my mouth and that sauce!!!

maid2His dish also came with a side salad and it was dressed!
This was a gorgeous Winter warming dish!

Another tick for the Maid!

I thought I’d picked the winning dish tonight but hubby definitely got that honour. Eleven meats is a lot though isn’t it? I tried to think what they could be but decided it’s probably better not knowing and I probably shouldn’t bring that thought up with hubby while he’s eating it.

maid1
I chose a Pub favourite, Open Steak Sandwich.
I wasn’t successful in getting a good photo. It looked better on the plate than this picture allows for.

Being overwhelmed with the size of it, I tried one of the sweet potato wedges first and just loved it! Soooo creamy inside yet still had a little firmness and crunch to it. Best sweet potato wedges I’ve had in a while.
I gave hubby the egg and bacon – I really just like the meat and caramelised onion when it comes to steak sandwiches… oh, and the bread! The bread has to be right too and that’s another thing The Maid got right! I just love this continental bread and it was lightly toasted and just so nice to eat even on it’s own.
I was a little disappointed with mine. The steak looked pink enough inside but it was tough and chewy and because it had been sitting on tomato and lettuce leaves straight from the cooler, it was cold. Even the caramelised onions couldn’t make it better this time. I didn’t hate it, it just wasn’t what I was expecting.

By the time we left the place was filling fast.

It’s definitely a popular place and I’d encourage you to get down there and see what you think for yourselves.

Have you been to The Maid and Magpie?
What did you think?
Let me know in the comments below!

Till next we chow…