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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Feathers Hotel

Today on The Dining Diaries,

When nothing else is standing out, Sliders give an unexpected and welcome kick,
Overhead fans leave us shivering on an already cold night.
We ponder what the opposite of cosy and warm is….

FullSizeRender (62)Diners today we were at the Feathers Hotel. I didn’t know a lot about this place and I tried to get some information from their website but unfortunately it’s still under construction.

Their facebook page claims that Feathers is a fresh and exciting eatery.

It’s definitely fresh!

It was a bitterly cold day in Adelaide when we visited and we could see a fireplace inside the restaurant. Sadly, there were no empty tables near the fireplace so we sat ourselves a few tables down and hoped to catch a bit of escaping warmth.
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On first impression the dining room looked clean, fresh and modern. Geometric tiles on the floor and well thought out seating to maximise but not squash in the number of customers.

Music was playing and a TV screen was on to distract – At just a little past five, this place was filling up fast. There were already a few tables full when we arrived and a few more people came with young children while we sat.

Our server was lovely but she seemed quite anxious to have our order. I ended up choosing the  Papardelle Ragu – KI braised lamb shoulder in a red wine, roast tomato & vegetable sugo w/ herbs & pecorino
Hubby went for a few entree’s instead. He chose Pork Sliders – Slow roasted pork shoulder, house slaw, chipotle mayo in a sweet bun and  Arancini Balls – Semi dried tomato & basil w/ marinara sauce & vegan parmesan

I have to say, I was surprised at how busy it was at this time of night. It’s obviously a well loved place but for me there was something missing and I couldn’t quite put my finger on it.
Overhead fans were on – probably to push warm air down but there was no warm air and we hoped the food would be able to warm us up when it came.

FullSizeRender (61)The food didn’t take too long to come out.

Hubby was pleasantly surprised by his Sliders.

They were a good size so his eyes were pleased immediately.  They didn’t skimp on the pork – It was tender and smothered in what they described as a tangy sauce, but it really gave a good kick!  Hubby said it reminded him of BBQ Ribs sauce.
The coleslaw gave your mouth a bit of relief but it was really a well balanced taste.

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The Arancini Balls were equally good.

Moist and full of flavour, yet crunchy on the outside. The texture was perfect.

We’d had these elsewhere a few times before and thought they were stodgy but the ones we were served at The Feathers were really lovely and not stodgy at all.

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My Lamb Ragu looked good when it came to the table.  I did think it looked a little small or perhaps lost in the plate that it was served in.
I was also a bit disappointed that I couldn’t smell that tomato and basil sauce. There were basil leaves on top but I think they’d just been thrown on there at the last minute. I couldn’t taste basil and I certainly couldn’t smell it.
The pasta was cooked al dente, and there was a generous amount of tender lamb throughout.
This was not a bad dish, it just wasn’t memorable. It was okay.
I think what made this experience not so great for me were those overhead fans because my dish cooled down almost immediately and was cold by the time I was finishing.
FullSizeRender (58)No pizzazz, no style, no aroma, not enough cheese and became cold almost immediately.

We also ordered a side of fries which were neither here nor there but the garlic aioli was kind of nice.

Efficient staff were by to pick up empty plates the moment you put your fork down.

Even though there was nothing too wrong with this place, I don’t think there was a lot right either. There was just something missing.
Perhaps it’s in the name? The Feathers. You think of something warm and soft – cosy – comforting.
While there is nothing wrong with this place, it’s not cosy. It’s the opposite of comforting and cosy. It was a little impersonal and I hesitate to say that as our server was a lovely young girl and these comments are definitely not a reflection on her.

I would probably go here again but next time order something different and see if that changes my mind about the food – and perhaps I won’t go until Summer time unless I can reserve a spot by the fireplace!

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

Till next we chow…

Cafe Salsa

Today on The Dining Diaries,

We encounter a waitress who makes it her mission to make sure we are kept at a perfect temperature,
We are served pasta that is so full of love, it refuses to let go of each other and clumps together on the plate and
We discover a restaurant that seems to be suffering from a multiple personality disorder.
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Cafe Salsa is an interesting place at West Beach. In fact, I would say that most Adelaidiens are familiar with the iconic building on West Beach Road.

Walking in, I really didn’t know what to expect. I mean, the place is called “Salsa”. That makes you think Mexican doesn’t it? Latin American? I know that it’s also an Italian word however most people would immediately make a Latin American connection. The music that was playing was definitely of the Latin variety and if I hadn’t already seen the menu online, I would have been definitely expecting a Mexican or Spanish menu.

Upon entering the restaurant, I found my senses needing to adjust once again. We had just walked into a place with a retro sixties look.

Old movie posters on the walls, linoleum tiles on the floor and an inactive jukebox behind the waiters station.

Having said that, our waitress was lovely and friendly and as mentioned, was very concerned that we were not too hot or not too cold and kept coming back to check that our area was temperature comfortable.

The menu we were given showed this restaurant was decidedly Italian. I LOVE pasta so I was happy about that but it didn’t feel like we were in an Italian restaurant.

We started off with Scacchiata Paesana – Freshly baked pizza bread topped with prosciutto, fresh rocket and shaved parmesan

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                                                                    Scacchiata Paesana

This was a wonderful surprise when we came. Hubby and I had expected to receive a pizza base with a drizzle of oil and perhaps a few slices of prosciutto. What we got was so much more!
The base was light and crispy crunchy. The prosciutto was salty and flavoursome and the rocket was the balancer in between.
It really was much bigger than we expected and thankfully there weren’t too many people in the restaurant at that time as we devoured that thing!

For our mains, we chose the Papardelle Ragu – Pasta ribbons pan tossed in a rich beef ragu and the Scotch Fillet with spinach and sweet potato mash

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                                                                  Papardelle Ragu
Now one of the most exciting things about this menu to me, was that the pasta was all home made so I was really looking forward to this dish.
I LOVE pasta and can eat it almost anyway but this was not exactly what I was expecting. I thought the pasta hadn’t been cooked well. A lot of pieces were clumped together making it hard and stodgy. The pieces that were free were actually very pleasant to eat but there were far too many clumps in there and if I had served that to someone, I’d be terribly embarrassed.  The ragu part was done very well though. The meat was soooo tender and fell away effortlessly. In fact I thought there was a generous amount of meat in that ragu. The sauce was rich in flavour and they topped it all with my favourite herb, basil. I was wanting a piece of bread to mop up the rest of the sauce when I was done!
Because I love pasta, I still enjoyed this dish but it really could have been so much better

 

Hubby had a similar experience with his Scotch Fillet. This dish was well seasoned, colourful and very inviting.

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Scotch Fillet

He ate the first few pieces with his eyes closed, savouring every bite however when he got to the middle, he found gristle upon gristle and that was a little disappointing for him. The steak had a lovely flavour though and even the Sweet Potato Mash had a peppery taste.

So while hubby didn’t hate his dish, the gristle was a huge let down.

I wouldn’t say we had a bad time here, in fact I think this place has a lot of potential but I think it really needs to find itself. Decide what it wants to be and go for that, instead of trying to incorporate too many cultures.
The food was good but not great however with a bit more care, I think it could be exceptional. They’re really not that far off the mark.

 

Have you been to Cafe Salsa?
What did you think?

Let me know in the comments below!

Till next we chow…