When eating out in the country, my expectations of the food are lower. I am always delighted to be surprised by good food. As was our experience at The Farmer's Wife Harvest Cafe at Port Fairy. We got there after a day of travelling when I was ready for a decent meal. The salads beckoned.
We had originally intended to go to a pizza cafe. Only once we got there, the place was empty and the music was loud. E took umbrage at the prices but it was really the lack of atmosphere that got us. Instead we followed the sign on the main street and wandered down the little alley to the Farmers Wife Harvest Cafe.
As I look at the writing on the blackboard it occurs why it appeals to me. It reminds me a bit of Mollie Katzen's writing in the Enchanted Broccoli Forest, one of my first loves in vegetarian cookbooks. It is quirky, attractive and welcoming. Even more welcoming is the message "Vegetarian, dairy free, vegan or gluten free. Just ask. We can help."
I also love a cafe with some quirky items of interest. These shelves looked really interesting. Then we decided to eat our lunch outside in the sun and forgot to inspect more closely. E ordered a ham and cheese croissant. Sylvia had a cheese and vegemite sandwich. Seems that I was the only one missing vegies and needing salad!
I had one of each salad: kale, farro and broccoli. I was so happy with my meal. It was a big delicious bowl of goodness. Lots of crunch and sweet and savoury. I remember cranberries and nuts and feta cheese but I cannot tell you which salad they came from. In my limited experiments with kale salad at home, I haven't been impressed. But I loved this kale salad with the sweet and sharp dressing.
I'd promised Sylvia a smoothie after she ate her sandwich. She chose a banana smoothie with soy milk. It was really nice with a hint of cinnamon. The only problem was that it was so huge it took her ages. I could not resist one of the rich gooey brownies. And a pot of detox liquorice and hibiscus tea. (Was it irony or habit that they served the detox tea with a smartie!) Both were delicious. Though the brownie was so rich that it was probably just as well we all had some.
Sylvia and I took quite a while over our dessert so E decided it was time to do a bit of op shopping. While he was gone we played a game inspired by the Ramona books we have been reading. We had to take it in turns to draw three pictures and then the other person would circle which picture was the odd one out (usually based on the first letter). E got back and found us still playing our game.
When he returned he took Sylvia off to explore the laneway in which we were sitting. They discovered that the old stone wall had little toys in the crevices. It was great fun spotting the toys.
I really loved this cafe and was sad we never got to return. The menu wasn't extensive but the food they made was fresh and inspired. The prices were reasonable and we were able to find something to suit each of us. It had a friendly and welcoming ambiance. If you are in Port Fairy, look out for the blackboard on the main street (Sackville St) beckoning you down the alley (midway between the library and Dariwell Farm Shop).