The General Food Store – Emerald, Victoria – Friday 22 May 2015 – Lunch

Roots ‘n’ All - Honey roasted Dutch carrots, beetroots, shallots and butternut, farro, parsley, toasted almond, currants, lemon crème fraîche, olive oil

Roots ‘n’ All – Honey roasted Dutch carrots, beetroots, shallots and butternut, farro, parsley, toasted almond, currants, lemon crème fraîche, olive oil

This is not the first time we’ve been to The General Food Store and my first review was all about whether the trip was worth it. Being the fourth time we’d travelled all the way to Emerald for breakfast or lunch I’d say the trip is undoubtedly worth it.

Since then we’ve learned a few things. The staff might be young but they can serve. The cafe might be small and popular, but we normally get straight in as we get there at more unusual times (really early, or just coming up to midday is a good time). Lastly, but most importantly, the food is always beautiful.

Kentucky Derby - Toasted sesame bun, citrus slow cooked pork shoulder, red cabbage slaw, spinach, house made barbeque sauce, mayonnaise

Kentucky Derby – Toasted sesame bun, citrus slow cooked pork shoulder, red cabbage slaw, spinach, house made barbeque sauce, mayonnaise

Today we were here a bit later for lunch. Catherine was torn between the Kentucky Derby and the Roots ‘n’ All so naturally I offered to have half of the pulled pork, and half of the vegies. The Kentucky Derby is a generous sized pulled pork burger kept reasonably straightforward in terms of ingredients. The ingredients themselves are packed with flavour though, and while the barbeque sauce in particular is incredible, nothing can match the gorgeous pulled pork as the star. Catherine especially enjoyed the bun too.

The Roots ‘n’ All is certainly not just an accompanying dish. It stands on its own and the honey roasted carrots are delightful. Why it is not just a side is the addition of beautifully roasted and caramelised shallots, and texture from the almonds and farro, all brought together with the lemon creme fraiche and olive oil dressing. I could be quite happy having this as the main event.

Some nice coffee, and some beer and cider later, and it has been another successful trip to Emerald thanks to The General Food Store. If there was ever a destination cafe within an hour of Melbourne, this is my pick.

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