Mexico – Ellerslie

My good mate Poger (Roger) from Vacuum Brands (www.vacuum.co.nz) and I often pop down to Mexico in Ellerslie for a couple of beers.  Every time we end up sampling some of the yummy treats that go by to other tables so you could definitely call it a fiesta of grand portions 🙂

PLUG – Poger has been running Vacuum Brands for about 19 years now at last count.  Almost 900 vacuums for every commercial and industrial sector situation that needs a solution that works!  If you need some advice, give Poger a call on 09 520 1115.  Tell him ‘the Bon’ sent you – this will sort of guarantee you a freebie addition on the deal.

Back to the food – if you want a great experience, then you’ve got to give Mexico a try, you really can’t fault it for atmosphere and the general foodie experience.

Overall score: 9/10 for Mexico, Ellerslie

Corner Ladies Mile & Main Highway – 09 281 2714

TIP – try and get there before 5pm as it fills up fast.

The Coffee Club – Penrose

My darling friend Miss Lai (bestie in the top three type of girl) and I have been visiting the Coffee Club for over a year now, normally about once a fortnight or when we get the urge in the gaps.  The Coffee Club in Penrose sort of grows on you, it’s definitely my favourite in the group thus far.  My only gripe is the coffee is a bit on the high side, price wise, but the food is good, really good, so it makes up for it.

Penrose has some nice staff and ones that recognise regulars so you sort of feel special – yeah customers like that, pity a lot of cafes really don’t get that.

The other day I got the call, “new menu Mr Bon, when are we going?”.  When one of your top three besties suggests lunch you got to respond quick smart and drop everything.

I had the vegetarian Balsamic Mushroom & Herb Cream Cheese Ciabatta (comes with complimentary fries) whilst the pretty girl had the Potato Rosti with Smashed Avo & Feta with smoked salmon – seriously good all round.

Overall score: 9/10 again – near the perfect 10 on occassion for sure.

ASB Building, 381-383 Great South Rd, Greenlane, Auckland – 09 525 6715

thecoffeeclub.co.nz/the-coffee-club-great-south-road-greenlane

The Orient – Penrose, Auckland

What a find this place is, it’s fantastic in fact.

Tucked in the grounds of One Tree Hill College, you head left in the car park to their designated spots and walk over about 50 metres under a couple of magnificent tress.

I’ve now been about three times and have had the best experience.  The coffee is great (free if you take it with a lunch deal).  It appears to be an Asian Fusion type cafe/restaurant.  Whatever you order it appeals – simple.

My typical lunch of late is the Sweet and Sour Chicken accompanied by the long black for only $15.  The portion size of the meal is BIG, I have thought of asking for it in a takeaway dish, to do just that, the leftovers that is.  It is a real struggle to get through this delicious and brilliantly presented meal.

Friendly staff and brilliant atmosphere to match – what more does anyone want.

Overall score: 10/10 – excellence at its finest – in fact I might call in today for lunch once again. The Orient is on Instagram, check them out to see some amazing food in its purest presentation form – bravo.

453 Great South Rd, Penrose, Auckland – 09 525 1536

Columbus Coffee at Mitre 10 MEGA Albany

They’ve shifted the cafe from up top of the building to adjacent in the garden area and it works a treat.

It was only a brief visit on this occasion with a darling friend who wants me venture into real estate with her (yeah, I almost puked too).  I declined that idea but took her up on these yummy treats and a long back.

They looked so delicious we had to split them to share.

Overall score: 9/10 – simply brilliant – coming back soon to Columbus Coffee at Mitre 10 MEGA Albany to sample the main menu.

260 Oteha Valley Road, Albany, Auckland09 448 2119

Meat Loaf Recipe – The Absolute Best Ever

People tend to make big claims about their meat loaf that simply turn out  disastrous results.  I remember being a young fella and dear Moti would serve up something that was portrayed as meatloaf but was not appealing at all.  Fortunately it was about the only failure that my Moti fed us kids – we all survived.

My dear friend Poger from Vacuum Brands (www.vacuum.co.nz) has a good woman by his side, Mrs Prentice who is in possession of some amazing handed down recipes – her meat loaf is one that she kindly shares and so I’ve put it below in a downloadable PDF for you to sample – enjoy.

DOWNLOAD: Meat Loaf Recipe by Sharon Prentice – cafeblog.co.nz

60 More Delicious Meatloaf Recipes!

Do you want to Impress your family or just impress yourself with how tasty your Meatloaf Is ?

You Will Learn The Following:

  • Introduction to Meatloafs
  • Beef Meatloaf Recipes
  • Turkey Meatloaf Recipes
  • Mixed Meat Meatloaf Recipes
  • Tips to Making the Best Meatloaf
  • And Much Much More!

Whether you want to learn more about Meatloaves or just want to make some new delicious Meatloaf recipes, this book is for you. So don’t delay it any longer.

Take this opportunity by ordering this meatloaf guide today! You will be shocked by how tasty your meatloaf can taste, impress your friends and family with how many new meatloaves you can make.

The Entrepreneur Café

If God was real, he’d ask Bon what’s missing on earth. Bon would reply – cafés that open at 5am and that don’t skimp on newspapers.

Trouble is God might suggest that Bon starts his own and I’d be inclined to agree, and it would be called ‘The Entrepreneur’, where there would be free super-fast WiFi with staff who understand this is a priority for the customer of today (so if it goes down, it’s back up again quickly), multiple newspapers and a long black world only cost $2.

We’d promote pay it forward meals and coffee for those less fortunate and there would be a big sign up – ‘Kids welcome, but only those that have discipline – if your kid is a brat take that monster elsewhere’. We’d have a VIP club that we wouldn’t renege on and customers would be referred to as Mr Customer, or Miss Customer etc.

One could see one’s food being prepared through glass walls to the kitchen as we’d be very transparent in all aspects of the operation. There would be more salad and vegan options than is currently the norm.

The staff would be happy, they’d be paid well, but the key ingredient would be the background checks on their temperament, as you’d only be employed at The Entrepreneur if you had a bright, happy persona, none of this happy today, sad tomorrow carry-on.

I write this dribble to fill in time, woe is me, only 41 minutes to go before Bon can get a coffee fix.

Risotto Recipe by Aleki Bon

I’ve got a few signature dishes as you do, and this is certainly my favourite.  One year I got flown over the ditch to cook it for some guests of a few who had sampled it previously.  Over the years only had one complaint, that knob said it was a bit to rich with too many variables – oh well can’t please everyone.

99% positive strike rate and if I must say so myself, it’s quite good.

DOWNLOAD: Risotto Recipe by Aleki Bon – cafeblog.co.nz

Do you like authentic Italian food? Try Risotto and Beyond: 100 Authentic Italian Rice Recipes for Antipasti, Soups, Salads, Risotti, One-Dish Meals, and Desserts by John Coletta.

A definitive guide to the Italian rice-cookery repertoire.

From acclaimed Chicago chef and restaurateur John Coletta comes a recipe collection focusing on a relatively unexplored area of Italian cuisine—rice cookery. Rice is a staple of northern Italy, where all Italian rice is produced. A rich and varied rice-based cookery has developed in this region. These 100 authentic dishes bring the full range of Italian rice cooking into the home kitchen, from familiar dishes—arancini, crochettes, risotti, and rice puddings—to more unusual offerings such as rice salads, soups, fritters, bracioli, and gelatos.

Coletta shares his expertise about Italian rice types and cooking methods, and provides foolproof instructions for making perfect rice every time. He also includes background about the rice varieties and where they can be purchased. Among the recipes are Rice Crostini with Ricotta and Oregano; Rice Soup with Shrimp and Leeks; Rice Salad with Bresaola and Parmigiano Reggiano; Risotta alla Carbonara; Artichokes Stuffed with Lemon and Thyme Risotto; Braised Turkey Rolls with Chestnut Risotto, Pancetta, and Sage; and Rice Crepes with Nutella.

This volume will appeal to lovers of Italian food who are looking for a cookbook that includes many of their favorite Italian ingredients all with rice as the new star.

Click here to read more about John’s book.

The Commons – Takapuna

Mmmmmh, not sure if this place is really my cup of tea, but it works for some and I haven’t really had a bad experience here at all, I guess perhaps the odd clientèle don’t do it for me – still deliberating on that one.

Anyway, Miss Lai wanted to hang out for the afternoon and then she wanted afternoon desserts – so off we went to Takapuna on the Sunday from memory.

I’ve got to say, if you want exceptional desserts then yeah, The Commons do them well.

A picture speaks a thousand words no less.

Overall score: 10/10 desserts, 07/10 everything else.

The Commons – 21 Hurstmere Road, Takapuna, Auckland – 09 929 2791