Monday, 8 December 2008

On track at Tracks

A few weeks back, I reported that Clare Falconer is now at Tracks Café (ex-Express Café) in New Town, and that I had been told it was THE place to go.

Today proved all those rumours totally correct, in fact understated. Rita lunched at Tracks today and was absolutely over the moon to find that
a) Clare was there
b) It was totally full up with customers, so doing a roaring trade
c) My lunch was fabulous

To elaborate, a last minute invitation to lunch with birthday girl Jan, and Adrienne, at Tracks proved to be the opportunity for Rita to get along there, at last, and eat some of this mythical food which I’d heard was so extraordinary!

I selected the Chicken and Leek Pie and salad ($12) which proved to be a magnificent choice. It had the right amount of both chicken and leek; was the right temperature and was accompanied by a tasty little dollop of chutney which was bewdiful. The salad was good too.

I also ordered my usual drink - a Vanilla Milkshake ($4.80), which has become my litmus test for cafes. I asked if they made their milkshakes with ice cream in it, and was told by lovely Lisa that as so many people had requested they NOT have ice cream in their milkshakes that they now serve them standard with none, except on request, for additional charge. I didn’t check the bill so don’t know what the additional charge was, sorry. The milkshake was nearly up there with Sip’s, and made by mega-competent Paul.

(My question to the world – who the hell would want a milkshake without ice cream? What kind of human wants a luke warm milk shake? Yuk! I suppose I must put it down to this wonderful world of ours full of a huge diversity of tastes and people, all with totally different wants and needs and desires!)

Anyway, back on track to Tracks. Jan had the Frittata, which presented beautifully when it came out of the kitchen. She said it was as gorgeous as it looked. From memory it was priced at $12, but it might have been $14. She also had a cappa, which she instructed me to say was great, and way better than other places. (I find it hard to resist calling it a Warwick, as that’s what Greg, one of the regulars at our cafe, used to come in and humourously request EVERY time he visited, which averaged twice per day, every day! “Mug of Warwick please” he’d say, then laugh hilariously at his own joke! For those who perchance might not get it, his reference was to Warwick Kapper, the footballer). I miss you Greg!

Adrienne had a Savoury Muffin, which I think was round the $5 mark. It was Pesto and Zucchini, and she had it with aioli. She, like me, agreed that hers was brilliant.

It is a great venue, with an adequate lunch time menu. I absolutely loved it there and will definitely return. I recommend all those who spat it when Express closed down, to give Tracks a try. Principles are good, but don’t deprive yourselves of some great tucker. You’re dead a long time.
Clare – well done. Anyone who doubts Clare’s cheffing competency and ability should get along there, try it, then make your judgement call. I was told she made all the produce there today. Anyone who maintains that standard should be canonized.

(Oh, and absolutely nothing to do with Tracks - it is the anniversary of the death of one of my heroes, John Lennon, today. This world is a lot paler without you in it, John. 28 years has flashed by way too fast.)
Posted on by Rita


Anonymous said...

28 years ago. Imagine.


Rita said...

Well said Cartouche! That song is guaranteed to make me cry every time I hear it, in fact it is there in my Memorial Service instructions for the kids, to be played as all the mourners come silently and reverently (and sobbing), into wherever the service will be held (not a church!!).

Anonymous said...

I intend to go up to the final grand Flambe of myself to the theme tune from Benny Hill. When its over I want the theme from the loony tunes cartoons. Would some me up.

Thats all folks


Anonymous said...

I still have a bad taste in my mouth re Steve and Bec's shafting @ Express.
It'll take more than a reasonable lunch to lure me back to that venue.

Rita said...

Anon 6.58 - I totally empathise with what you're saying, while not knowing specifics. It was indeed a bad situation, from all accounts. However, as with all things in life, it doesn't do any good, either for yourself or anyone else to hold on to negative feelings. Have your say at the time. Speak directly and honestly (but respectfully) to the person or people concerned, then move on with the rest of your life.
Clare had nothing to do with that schemozzle. She is producing great food. That's it. End of story.

Anonymous said...

I found a sanctuary when this cafe re-opened as Tracks.
There are always two sides to any story and personally I was delighted to receive, since the re-opening:
*Friendly but respectful service
*Welcoming from the lovely Lisa, Clare and Izzy who always remember our likes and special needs
*The now positive and happy atmosphere with staff who obviously enjoy working together
*Superb wait staff, especially Ben and Lisa
*Delicious food with fresh seasonal ingredients
*Gluten free food on the menu which is delicious, unlike a lot of gluten free food
*A daily changing specials board
*The most stunning home made cake with exceptional ingredients, including many gluten free
*The orange and cardamon cup cakes with orange cream cheese icing are to die for & are gluten free
*Breakfast in the garden surrounded by the perfume of plants and the flavours of beautifully prepared meals
*The care with the presentation of meals
How wonderful that Tracks Cafe values me as a customer and is a great place to take friends and visitors. Congratulations must go to Lisa who makes such good choices with staffing and has chosen Clare and the wonderful waiting staff. The past is the past and let's face it, only one side of the story has been shouted from the roof tops so I just embrace the present and LOVE it

sir grumpy said...

Shit, I don't even know the story.
Didn't make my rooftops.

Tassiegal said...

The other half is on me to try it, and I suspect I will eventually - though after this week I suspect I will have no social life for the next year...

Anonymous said...

Going back to AWARDS - have just come home from seeing Australia - if we had listened to the critics we wouldn't have bothered to go -like restaurants really - last week we couldn't get a ticket to the movie - there were only four of us tonight. The people we have spoken to have all enjoyed it - who should have we listened to? The critics, or the people on the street? Who does know best? What do you think Gobbler? You seem to to know best.