So now it’s been three weeks since I first set foot in Launceston, and here I am still trying to get through writing about everything I want to write about my visit… Life has been busy, but perhaps it’s also a good reflection on my holiday if I’m still in the process of drifting down from it.
One of the things I was weirdly excited about when I returned home was being able to eat Weet-Bix for breakfast again. I mean, I could have eaten Weet-Bix during my holiday – it would’ve been as simple as walking to a shop and buying some – but there was so much other food; and even when I was just staying at my uncle and aunty’s place, they always had toast for brekkie, so I went along with that to save them the inconvenience of keeping cereal they don’t eat.
That was actually a bit of an unexpected/unplanned tangent. Maybe that was coz of the conversation I had with my assistant/student on Saturday about how she was looking forward to eating Weet-Bix the next morning after finishing the 40-Hour Famine… Well, either way, I can’t remember what I was going to write originally, except that it was supposed to lead into this post about food I ate on my holiday… I guess that’ll do.
Of course, if I wanted to write about every place I ate/drank, this would end up as a very long post, or I’d have to spread it over several posts, and I don’t have time for that. Let’s just get straight into it (four paragraphs of preamble is getting a bit much, even for me – or is it?) Here are the most memorable places I visited in Launceston, food/drink-wise, and where I’d probably go back to when I return to Launceston:
If Ferg Burger was my favourite thing in Queenstown, Perfect Potatoes Plus should probably win the title in Launceston, based on the same judging criteria. It’s essentially something simple, done incredibly well. Not sure if maybe I just need to get out more, but this also seemed like a very original idea; I’ve never come across it before. They sell baked potato (sweet potato available on Mondays and Wednesdays), which they top with sour cream, coleslaw, grated cheese, and whatever extras you want. It’s like getting Subway, but you get customised baked potato instead of a sub. Also, it’s perfect comfort food in the middle of winter!
I spotted this bar on my first day in town (it’s just a few doors down from the Milkbar Cafe – see below), and I knew I needed to stop by for a drink …but later because I found it early on a Tuesday afternoon. To be honest, I almost didn’t include them on this list because when I went, they only had one Tasmanian beer on tap, and it was a sour beer (and I don’t tend to like sour beers). It was a bit disappointing. But since the barman was nice, and the beer selection was good, I thought it was worth including (he said they usually have at least a couple of Tassie beers on tap).
I don’t really drink ciders much any more, but I was pretty excited to find this place because I’d been talking to friends about why there are craft beer bars popping up everywhere, but there are no cider houses or bars specialising in “craft cider”. Red Brick Road make their own cider, and I sampled a few of them: their pear cider was pretty good as far as pear ciders go, and the Rosé one was rather interesting, but my favourite was definitely the original. Well, I think it was the original one. It was a really dry cider, almost like beer.
I walked past Stillwater on my way to Cataract Gorge. Intrigued, I went there for breakfast the next day, and it was on that morning, sitting in their wine bar (I think that’s what they called it, but it was essentially like a sunroom separate from the main restaurant) that I got that whole “You don’t have to travel far to feel like you’ve travelled far” thing. I ordered the rye waffles (served with smoked salmon, a pair of perfectly poached eggs, mustard crème fraiche, and thin slices of cucumber), and enjoyed every mouthful.
Rossilli (sadly could not find a website for these guys, but they are on George Street!)
This is actually the only place on this list that I had deliberately searched for (as opposed to stumbling upon it, or being led there). A kind stranger I chatted to after my breakfast at Stillwater had recommended this cafe (I did go to another one she recommended, but I like this one better). I was pretty sure she’d said it was on Charles Street, so I walked up and down Charles Street looking for it. It probably didn’t help that I’d half-forgotten what the name of the place was, and was relying on recognising it when I saw it (and relying on them having signage). It was much later that same day that I found it on George Street. I saw the sign, looked in, and just knew this was place she had described. I went back the next day for brekkie and coffee. The stromboli was delicious, as was the coffee.
I’m going to end this post at the beginning. Milkbar Cafe is where my friend took me for lunch and coffee on that first day in Launceston, when I showed up unannounced and unexpected at her workplace. Me being me, it would almost be enough for this just to be on this list as a sentimental favourite, but it is a really lovely cafe, the staff are friendly, and the food and coffee are both really good. I vaguely remember my friend telling me that their coffees are really strong, but I’m not sure if it was that or just a general buzzed feeling from being there that gave me so much trouble falling asleep that night.