Our waitperson confidently and politely added “I hope the drive was worth it” as we pulled up a bench at this cute Emerald jewel. We did too. It was a wet and cold Sunday morning and the main reason we were up was the World Cup match between Netherlands and Costa Rica which went through to a riveting penalty shoot out; won by the former.
To be fair, the drive is not really that far, and we had been wanting to try The General Food Store for more than a few months. Knowing it is tiny, seating about twenty inside and less than that out front and back, we left early and were straight in about 9.30am, but no one after us was! Offering a pork belly special, and the pork belly on its own as a side (for $4.50!) was a good sign.
The next tick was the coffee. Supplied by Coffee Supreme and beautifully made, my long black was of a quality you normally expect at speciality roasters or coffee focussed cafes. Catherine had done her research and was straight on to the waffles with coffee mascarpone and poached pear. I had a taste and the mascarpone in particular was superb with a pear that had that perfect texture – cooked through and tender but not too soft. When combined with the waffles it made for a delicious and indulgent breakfast.
My “Hells Yes!” Boston baked beans with ham hock, poached eggs, spinach and corn bread were equally indulgent on the savoury side of the spectrum. I couldn’t get through all the corn bread, but it was terrific, providing something unique to a dish I tend to try regularly. Everything else on the plate was quality, especially the generous amount of ham through the beans. On top was a further nice touch with thin onion rings adding some texture to the softness of the other ingredients. Both the presentation and taste of the overall dish was one of my breakfast highlights for the year.
It’s tiny so you expect the staff to get around and be handy when you need another coffee, a take away baguette, and/or a couple of takeaway lemon tarts and slices – and they were – so we ordered up! They were also quick to serve and the customers around us were being served their breakfast incredibly quickly for such a small kitchen.