Sunday, November 30, 2008

Brunch - It's Not Quite Breakfast, Not Quite Lunch and Comes with a Slice of Melon at the End

I've been to brunch twice in two days.

Yesterday was planned, I met my lovely friend Jim at Ned's Cafe in Yeronga. It was so sticky and hot (that's one thing I do not "heart" about Brisbane!) that I grabbed a little table in the back near the refrigerators, which was a wise choice. Much cooler and more comfortable there than anywhere else.

I had the French toast and a skim latte (two in fact) and both were delicious. Jim had the gourmet eggs which I am determined to have next time I go there - scrambled eggs with various add ins like mushrooms and onion and stuff. We sat in our little corner of Neds and talked for a good few hours.

Today my friend Rosie called me up on the spur of the moment to ask me if I wanted to go to brunch with her at the Melbourne Hotel at West End. I hadn't been there since they have refurbed, and had heard they'd done a great job, and I love brunch, so of course I said yes.

I'm well impressed! It's funky without being too cheesy modern, very comfortable and the food and service are excellent, as are the prices. Being hot still, we sat inside in one of their amazing booth tables. It's kind of like sitting in a muffin tin. You're cupped into the booth and you can't really feel or hear any of the tables or anything around.

We both had the Melbourne Big Breakfast, of steak, chipolata sausage, bacon, eggs your style, toast, mushrooms, tomato and a tiny lamb cutlet for a bargain price of $9.90 and a huge coffee for about $4.50. It was delicious and plentiful and arrived promptly. I wouldn't mind trying a dinner there sometime.

If you have a favourite place for breakfast/brunch, leave me a comment and I'll add it to my list of places to try.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

David's Chinese Restaurant

Last week was my monthly book club meet up, and we go to dinner at a restaurant in the CBD on the third Wednesday of each month.

This month, we chose David's Chinese Restaurant in Elizabeth Street.

I've been there before and was impressed, so I was more than happy to go back. Last time we went we had one of their banquet meals, which was delicious, reasonably priced and plentiful.

This time, I had hot and sour soup as a starter, and it was really delicious, and had real prawns in it, which you don't often find in hot sour soup in Australia. For main course I had steamed whole flounder with shredded pork and Chinese mushrooms, and steamed rice. The flounder dish was HUGE. There was no way I could make my way through all of that. Really delicious too, and steamed to perfection.

Followed by the old traditional fried ice-cream for dessert (which isn't even Chinese really, but boy it's good!) and a coffee.

David's is a really good quality Chinese restaurant, with beautiful fresh food, excellent service and a lovely setting. It's not my favourite Chinese restaurant in Brisbane (I'll blog about that one another time), but it's up in the top 5.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Shop 'til You Literally Drop

Shopping rocks. I can shop for hours and hours and hours and not get bored. Even when I don't spend money, I can shop for a really long time.

If you're a die-hard shopper like me, I can highly recommend Direct Factory Outlets (DFO) out near Brisbane Airport. I defy anyone to go out there and not find at least one mega bargain. There's something for everyone. Men, women, kids, young and old, label-whores and discount divas. Clothes, shoes, houseware, bedlinen, furnishings, books, toys, accessories, you name it.

I went with a friend yesterday. She was on the hunt for a new wardrobe. We came away with 8 or 9 pieces, and I think the most expensive item was about $60. And we gave up after about 3/4 of the whole place because we were tired and hungry. If we'd have stopped for lunch in the middle, we'd have been able to keep going.

With Christmas on the horizon, and money tight for most people thanks to the economy, it's worth checking out. Just wear comfy walking shoes, take a water bottle and stop for breaks!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Doggie Dating?

I don't have a dog. I wish I did. If I had a fenced yard, I would have one. But because I work full time I need a smaller, quieter dog that can amuse itself during business hours (sleeping rather than chewing the furniture) and then I can spoil it rotten when I'm at home. But without a fenced yard, it would be cruel for me to have even a dog like that.

However, in my area, I have several dog parks. They're brilliant. I can go and sit in the park and watch other people's dogs. Sometimes, they even come up to me to say hello, roll over for a pat, maybe beg me to throw a stick or a ball. I like that.

If you have a dog, do you utilise the dog parks in Brisbane? There's a really good list of them here. It's a really good way for you to take your dog out, let him socialise with other people and dogs and even meet other people yourself. You may even make regular play dates with other dogs. Or maybe even make a date yourself, wink wink! I'm a single woman, and hey, if I meet a nice bloke who loves dogs when I'm enjoying some outdoor time at the local dog park, sweet!

Be aware though, you need to be responsible for your dog and anything your dog does. Please pick up it's poo! And don't expect that other people in the park are going to "parent" your dog for you.

When I do get myself a dog, down the track when I'm in a suitable situation, I'll definitely be using the dog parks in my area. They're free!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Art that Lasts Forever

A little over three months ago, I got two new tattoos (I only had one before). I did a bit of research into who I wanted to do the art work, and my decision was All Star Tattoo at Taringa. I'd seen some of their work around, done a few Google searches for images done by the team there, and been really happy with what I found.

I had Tenielle, who was really amazing. She created unique artwork that captured exactly what I wanted to do, and then when she did the actual work, they're gorgeous. She's a talented young artist. Plus I was really impressed by the professionalism of the place.

What I like most about All Star Tattoo is that they don't do any "off the wall" or catalogue work, so your tattoo is individual to you, you're not going to see anyone else wandering around with the same work.

If you're looking for a fantastic tattoo artist for that lifetime piece of skin art, definitely check them out.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Something Is Lacking

I know that this is a blog about things I LOVE about Brisbane, but there is one little niggly thing that I have to bring to folks attention, in the hope someone out there can remedy it.

Fairly frequently, I have to go to State Library for functions and events. Recently when I went there for an all day event, I got there a little early, planning to have a cup of coffee there in that lovely open space in the entrance way before the event started. Unfortunately, I discovered that there at the Cultural Centre, around State Library, the Queensland Museum, the Queensland Art Gallery and GOMA, there is not a coffee to be had before 9am!!

None of the cafes open until 9am, not even just to sell coffees. That's an absolute crime. All those people who work in that area, all the folks sitting around using the free wireless access, people walking, cycling, jogging, pet-walking through the area, and of course anyone visiting those wonderful cultural resources first up in the morning, has to go down to South Bank or beyond to South Brisbane somewhere for a coffee.

That's just fundamentally wrong!

An apparently, they all shut bang on 5pm. So no coffee as you leave work or a venue either.

So I urge you, if you are reading this and you have influence over the cafes in the Cultural Centre, please, get them to open before 9am and after 5pm. Everywhere else opens at 8am at the very latest (most places 7am!) Alternatively, if you're someone who has one of those coffee cart businesses, or wants to go into business with one, there's your location. Even if you just have your cart there before the other places open and after they close for an hour each time, I reckon you'll make a motza.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Goodbye Dendy

I was so sad to find out a couple of weeks ago that the Dendy Cinema in George Street is closing down. It's been an institution in Brisbane for over a hundred years, first as a theatre I believe, and then for the past 80 years as a cinema.

I've seen a lot of wonderful films at the Dendy over the years. It was there that I saw "Look Both Ways" starring William McInnes and written by his wife Sarah Watt and then went to the after party that both William and Sarah attended. I've seen dozens of foreign films there that I may not have seen at all had it not been for the Dendy.

I wonder what is going to happen to independant films in the CBD now. Is there going to be any venue in the city that shows independant and foreign films? I know you can see them at the Palace Centro at Fortitude Valley or Dendy Portside at Hamilton, but what about in the CBD? I used to love wandering down to the Dendy after work and seeing an independant film. Somehow I doubt that the Regent (which is what, Greater Union these days?) is going to offer the range that the Dendy George Street has offered.

I wonder what will happen to the building? I see that there is a "For Lease" sign on it. I would think that it would be heritage listed (it's beautiful inside still) so they wouldn't be able to just destroy it or gut it.

It's sad that these older, independant venues are going under. They've been the last place that we could see some real variety in films actually in the cinema. So often now we're going to be reliant on DVD, and it's just not the same as seeing a movie in the cinema.