Monday, 7 October 2013

Lorne cafe: Bottle of Milk (and the old fashioned servo)

When we drove to Port Fairy in September, Sylvia decided she wanted to go to Lorne.  I decided it would be fun to drive down the Great Ocean Road for part of the trip.  Unfortunately all the recent roadworks down that way confused me on roads I know very well and we ended up in Winchelsea.  So we drove through the bush to Lorne instead.  At the beginning of Spring, Lorne was far more subdued than when we visited in the height of Summer last year.

 
Quieter means it is easy to find a table in a cafe.  We had lunch at the Bottle of Milk. The nonchalant retro vibe was more big city than seaside town.  Yet it works.  The name is reminiscent of an old style milk bar and the menu is simple.  Mostly burgers.  Fine burgers.  The buns are from La Madre sourdough bakery.  The menu claims that "all ingredients are farmed and sourced locally when possible, and organic.  The waitresses are young and hip.

Alas the creative naming of burgers seemed limited to the meat burgers: Mad Cow, Hell Yeah, Fire Engine, What a Pickle.  A chicken burger was even named What Everybody Gets.  The burger I chose was called Lentil Lentil.  I think this name might have been to distinguish it from the Hot Lentil.  My Lentil Lentil burger had a home made lentil patty, tasty cheese, carrot, lettuce, tomato, onion, house mayo and home made tomato relish.  Doesn't sound fancy.  Yet it was fantastic.  Lots of vegies, a satisfying patty and a great bread roll.

We also had chips on the side (E had a cheese burger and Sylvia just ate the chips).  The chips were really good.  Fresh, piping hot, salty and crispy.  What's not to like.  Actually I think E would have preferred the local fish and chip shop.  He took umbrage at the waitress dropping a little saucer of tomato sauce that accompanied the chips because the sauce splattered over his jeans.  And he spied a dead fly. 

Personally, as a vegetarian in a small town, I would much prefer to eat in a place with a dead fly and sauce on my trews and get a decent meal than just eat fried protatoes for lunch.  They even had a sign promising garibaldi biscuits.  I would have bought one but they had sold out.  I gather the Bottle of Milk is fairly busy in summer but you can always take your burger with you and eat it on the beach.

After lunch, we walked down the beach, stopping to watch some kookaburras and galahs.  The waves were fierce.  It was great fun watching the surfers ride the wave and then get dumped.  We didn't watch long.  The sun went as quickly as it come and the rain bucketed down.  It was that sort of weather.

Then we drove on to our holiday cottage in Port Fairy.  The landscape was just gorgeous.  I only stopped once for photos in Deans Marsh.  I just love these old style service stations. (Known colloquially as The Servo.)  They remind me of the ones we went to in my childhood where the garage man would fill up your car with petrol and clean your windscreen.  Nowadays we mostly go to brightly coloured petrol stations in the city where the idea of service seems quaint and rare.

Finally, I notice on the website of The Bottle of Milk, that they will be coming to Torquay.  This is a far easier destination for me.  Perhaps I will sample their burgers again sooner than I expected!

The Bottle of Milk
53 Mountjoy Parade
Lorne, Victoria 3232
Tel. (03) 52892005

15 comments:

  1. You've got me singing that song now..."Kookaburra sits in the old gum treeee merry merry king of the bushes heeee...laugh kookaburra laugh kookaburra..gay your life must be..!" I didn't know what they looked like before but they are very cute :)
    A lovely family weekend, and the burger and chips look delicious.

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    1. Thanks Emma - we used to be cheeky and sing "kookaburra sitting on the electric wire jumping up and down with his pants on fire" - kookaburras are not common but we see them occasionally - their laugh is wonderful

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  2. I also love the service at those old fashioned service stations. I was surprised to be offered a service where they pump your gas-ahh those were the times :)

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    1. Thanks Lorraine - I wish someone would fill up my tank these days but if they did there would probably be research to say we should be getting out of the car for exercise :-)

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  3. I'm with you - you can get fish and chips anywhere but varied and good burgers are harder to come by, especially when they offer veggie ones! I'm glad you enjoyed your lunch and you have also reminded me of my childhood memories of sitting in my Mum's car while she asked the petrol station attendant to "fill it up please". Those were the days indeed (and you didn't get dirty hands!).

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    1. Thanks Kari - I am sure when my dad made a play car for us kids in the backyard out of a huge tyre and some old car pedals that we often stopped at the servo and asked them to "fill her up" - had forgotten that phrase. And yes good veg burgers are special.

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  4. The veggie burger looks good, I wonder if there is egg in the patty. There don't seem to be many vegan food options down the Great Ocean Road at all which is such a shame as I love holidaying down that way.

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  5. Dead flies don't bother me either...I'd much rather have good veg options! Your lentil burger sounds awesome!

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    1. Thanks Joanne - I think E is less fussy about the food because being omnivore he doesn't find it so hard to find a decent meal but I am with you on good veg options being high on my priorities

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  6. What a fun day, Johanna! I felt like I was tagging along with you. I would have been delighted to have tried the Lentil Lentil "burger" too.

    Thanks so much for sharing, Johanna...

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    1. Thanks Louise - it was a good start to the holidays - I have a few more holiday posts to write with lots of photos! Would love to to tag along for the whole trip :-)

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  7. Like you, I too would prefer to eat in a place with a dead fly and sauce on my trousers and get a decent meal than just eat fried potatoes for lunch, which tends to be offerings for most touristy and beachy places for veggies these days.

    Liking the photographs from your fun day out, especially the one with the wooden carving of characters

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    1. Thanks Shaheen - Yeah there are too many fried potato options - especially when you have a small child in tow

      Glad you enjoyed the photos - the wooden carvings are from Deans Marsh just opposite where I photographed the service station. If I had had more time I would have photographed more of the artwork there but E and Sylvia were more keen to move along and get to our destination

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  8. Lovely photos! I am glad you got some decent vegetarian fare. I like a good burger myself.

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