Eating My Way Through Canberra

A couple of weekends ago, a few of my friends and I made the five hour or so road trip down to Canberra to catch up with a few of my friends who recently moved down there for work. Unfortunately it was a bit of a dreary weekend, with the rain constantly being undecided on whether it wanted to fall or not, so we spent a lot of our time inside, at cafes.... eating. So I figured why not share some of the places we went and the food I got so if you ever find yourself in Canberra, or are thinking of making a trip down there, which I would honestly recommend, you can have some suggestions on places to grab some quality coffee and foods.

We'd arrived at Canberra at around 11.30 on Friday night, and after long hours of driving through torrential rain and Sydney traffic, a bed and a shower after our hellos was all we could muster.

The next morning the weather was looking less than impressive, so our planned hikes weren't looking to promising. Obviously we all needed to eat, so we figured the easiest thing to do first to see how the weather went before deciding on something to do, was to head out for breakfast/brunch. There were about eight of us trying to all have showers with only one bathroom available, so we didn't make it out until around 10.

We headed to a place that our friends who lived there had been hearing about called Lonsdale Street Roasters. It was bloody packed, so when we saw a table of older women slowly starting to pack up, we made a beeline for it and unashamedly hung around it like a desperate flock of seagulls, but it was the only way we were going to find a space for us all to sit. I ordered myself a Latte and the smashed avocado without the egg. I always tend to try the smashed avocado at places when I go there for breakfast for the first time, unless something else catches my eye, because I tend to think if they can do a good smashed avocado then the rest of their dishes should be pretty good. Sounds silly because surely it isn't that hard to make some smashed avocado and chuck it on some bread, but I've had both some pretty bad and pretty good ones in my basic bitch time so far, so if you can impress me with some avo on bread you've got me sold (I'm open to any offers from cafes for free smashed avocado in exchange for a review FYI).

Overall the response to the place wasn't that great. I didn't find the latte half bad, however my friends, who are much bigger coffee drinkers and experts than I will ever be, said they were pretty disappointed with theirs. When it came to the food, for the price we paid, while it tasted nice, there was barely anything on the plate, in fact some of us were hungry again by the time we were ready to leave (maybe it's their tactic to get you to buy more food, I'm not sure), but the price certainly didn't reflect the overall quality. The smashed avocado was one piece of sourdough with a small slathering, nothing like the usual two pieces with mountains of avocado to satisfy for your days that I find most places give you. It had a super cool and quirky interior with a cool vibe, but I don't think I'd really recommend heading there for anything major to eat.

At some point in the day we got to talking about freakshakes, and so of course we eventually headed to a place that had some because some of us (including myself) had never ordered one from anywhere before. It was about lunch time when we got to Patissez, aptly named 'The Home of the Freak Shake'. I ordered myself one called 'Mint Condition' while my other friends got the 'Fruity Freak' and another that was peanut butter flavour - I can't seem to find the name of it anywhere, including in my brain. They were bloody filling and while I certainly enjoyed mine, it's something that, now I've had one, I don't think I really ever be ordering again. I loved the mint flavoured milkshake that was in mine, and would happily order that again on it's own. The mint whipped cream on top was a nice touch, and while the ice cream sandwich on top, with mint ice cream in between, would be wonderful on it's own at any other time, combined with everything else, it was a bit overwhelming and a bit much for my stomach. 

My friend devoured the 'Fruity Freak' so it must have been pretty good, and she's obviously a boss when it comes to eating. My friend said the peanut butter one was good, but there was a hell of a lot of peanut butter flavour going on, so I think she only got about half way through hers, so you better bloody LOVE peanut butter if you find yourself with that creation in front of you. Overall though the shakes certainly delivered what the pictures promised and they were a pretty reasonable price for everything that was going on. I certainly recommend Patissez if you're keen to devour a freakshake and never feel hungry again.

Though I was convinced I wouldn't need to eat for a week after weakly tackling the freakshake from Patissez, somehow we ended up ordering some takeaway dinner from Brodburger after an afternoon of cider, cheese and biscuits and boardgames. I knew there was no way I was getting through a whole burger by myself, so a friend and I split the Veg burger and we also ordered a heap of fries to go around. The burger was honestly delicious, and I had high expectations going into this meal after my friends raved about how good they were. Safe to say I was impressed, though I'm not sure I took it in and enjoyed it as much as I should have because I was already so full and pretty much eating simply because I felt the need to try something after hearing about how good it was.

The place itself was also only walking distance from my friend's apartment, so we got to take a beautiful night time stroll along the foreshore and past all the buzzing restaurants and bars.

Our very last food stop before we left was Urban Pantry. We headed there for breakfast on the Sunday, and considering there was such a large group of us we were so lucky to rock up just as another group where finishing, it was packed! So if you're really keen on eating there on a Sunday morning I might just suggest making a booking. I have to say, considering just how busy it was, we all were served quite quick. As usual we all started with various coffees and drinks, and if you happened to catch my Instagram post yesterday, you would have already seen what I picked for myself. I got the Berry Coco smoothie, with contains mixed berries, banana, coconut cream, muesli and almond milk, and it tasted amazing! My friend also got one and added a scoop of vanilla protein as well, which added quite a nice vanilla taste to the drink, which could make the perfect post-morning workout treat. The muesli is also nicely blended into the mix so you don't get any big chunks stuck in your straw. 

For food, and this will come as no surprise, I got the Urban Avocado without the poached egg, which yes is basically smashed avocado - I'm a basic bitch at heart and I don't care. After such a disappointing smashed avo at Lonsdale Street Roasters, I was hoping to actually get a meal size that would sustain me for some of the hours of the car trip home; and this time they delivered. It tasted on point and I got exactly what you should always expect when ordering such a dish, two pieces of bread piled up with green goodness.

The only downfall for this place came when it was time to pay. With such a big group of us, it's always handy if a place can split bills, and as a few of us started to pay they said they were happy to do so. However, after a handful of us had gone up to the register and paid, they eventually turned around and said they could no longer split the bill. I'm not sure whether they just didn't normally split bills and there had been some miscommunication, but as far as I'm concerned, especially when there is such a big group of us and so many things on the bill, if you start off by letting us pay one way, it feels odd and unacceptable to turn around about halfway through and choose to change the payment system. It also isn't the cheapest place around to go for food; it's certainly great quality and I don't think you'd ever been disappointed in the food itself, but after such a weird fiasco with paying, I don't think I'll be rushing back there should I ever been in Canberra again; plus there's just so many other places to try!

What's your opinion?

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