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Best of Canberra Taste Off – Toasted sandwiches

By Bec Cuzzillo - 13 April 2015 14

Autumn in Canberra has now well and truly set in and last week’s cooler weather was perfect for eating toasted sandwiches. After a short holiday away, I was keen to get back into this week’s Taste Off and warm up with some of Canberra’s best toasties. Big thanks to Alexandra for taking over while I was away!

This week’s call out for the best toasted sandwich in Canberra saw a three-way tie between three of Canberra’s cafes – The Cupping Room, Tupelo Coffee Co and Gus’ Cafe. After a little investigating however I discovered that The Cupping Room isn’t serving up any toasted sandwiches on its current menu, which made the Taste Off contenders a little more clear: Tupelo Coffee Co vs. Gus’ Cafe.

My partner-in-crime for this week’s Taste Off was my younger brother and, as a fellow toasted sandwich lover, he was pretty keen to help me decide between new-kid-on-the-block Tupelo Coffee Co and old Canberra favourite Gus’ Cafe.

First up was Tupelo Coffee Co on Alinga Street in the City. Tupelo only opened in January this year, but is already well established as one of the best in the Canberra coffee scene. When it comes to food, jaffles are their main game. For the Taste Off, I ordered the “Red Right Hand” with tomato, basil, capsicum relish and a healthy serving of mozzarella, while my little bro tried the “You Bastard, Reuben” with beef brisket, sauerkraut, mustard relish, swiss cheese, Russian dressing and served with a pickle on the side.

They were absolutely delicious – I don’t know what it is about the sealed edges of a jaffle, but they take toasted sandwiches to a whole new level. My brother reported that it was the best toastie he’s ever had and I was particularly taken with the oozing mozzarella in mine.

Tupelo

We then tried Gus’ Cafe on Bunda Street in the City. Opening their doors in 1967, Gus’ is a true Canberra institution and is well known for being Canberra’s first outdoor cafe. More importantly they also make a mean toasted sandwich. Gus’ toasties are a little more on the traditional side, made with thick slices of white bread and a generous slathering of butter on the outside. My brother tried the smoked ham, cheese, tomato salsa, lettuce, mustard and mayo sandwich and I had the avocado, cheese, roquette, sun-dried tomato spread and mayo combo. They were pretty darn good toasties – the cheese was melted just the right amount and to top it all off, Gus’ serve all their sandwiches with chips or salad – bonus!

Gus

With two very distinct takes on the toasted sandwich, deciding between Tupelo Coffee Co and Gus’  Cafe wasn’t easy. While I do rate the toasties from Gus’, this week I am awarding Canberra’s best toasted sandwich to Tupelo Coffee Co for its unique filling choices and oozing mozzarella.

What’s Your opinion?


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14 Responses to
Best of Canberra Taste Off – Toasted sandwiches
rubaiyat 5:11 pm 16 Apr 15

crabb said :

Late to the party, and not IN Canberra, but the toasties at Thyme to Taste in Yass are fantastic, as is the coffee. (And there’s a cute bluetongue lizard in the courtyard). Take a country drive, folks, it’s worth it!

Maybe he’d like to come over and play with my Bluetongues. 😀

crabb 2:32 pm 16 Apr 15

Late to the party, and not IN Canberra, but the toasties at Thyme to Taste in Yass are fantastic, as is the coffee. (And there’s a cute bluetongue lizard in the courtyard). Take a country drive, folks, it’s worth it!

rosscoact 5:13 pm 15 Apr 15

rubaiyat said :

rosscoact said :

rubaiyat said :

dungfungus said :

Evilomlap said :

Those sandwiches look delicious but seriously, restaurants need to stop serving food on chopping boards. I’m a complete klutz so serving me anything on an implement that doesn’t have edges is a recipe for disaster!

It is also a health hazard, especially if raw chicken has been chopped on it previously.
I had a meal served on a piece of slate recently. Looked like the food had fallen on a floor and I lost my appetite.
What is the thinking behind these new ways of serving food?

Hipster Kopy-Kat Kool.

Same with milk crate seats and drinking from jars. Not original, not new and not really a good idea even if you were doing it on a low budget, instead of buying all the stuff (they sell the jars in catering warehouses now) instead of the original idea of just making do.

Mason jars are completely naff, I saw them in BigW a few months ago. Nothing creams on-trend like being available in BigW.

Milk crates, the seating of choice at the back of the restaurant for obvious reasons but the front? The idea of milk crates out the front probably came from Bar Coluzzi in Darlinhurst which was the first I remember doing it back in the day, simply because patrons took matters into their own hands as they didn’t have a street license. But that was in the early 80s and I think it had been happening for a couple of decades before that.

Is BigW selling the milk crate seats so you can complete the dining out experience at home? 😀

That would be fantastic. Buy the imitation mason jars, imitation milk crates, imitation timber chopping boards and pieces of slate all at the one place. Serve dinner on the footpath and relax in the warm glow.

rubaiyat 1:27 pm 15 Apr 15

rosscoact said :

rubaiyat said :

dungfungus said :

Evilomlap said :

Those sandwiches look delicious but seriously, restaurants need to stop serving food on chopping boards. I’m a complete klutz so serving me anything on an implement that doesn’t have edges is a recipe for disaster!

It is also a health hazard, especially if raw chicken has been chopped on it previously.
I had a meal served on a piece of slate recently. Looked like the food had fallen on a floor and I lost my appetite.
What is the thinking behind these new ways of serving food?

Hipster Kopy-Kat Kool.

Same with milk crate seats and drinking from jars. Not original, not new and not really a good idea even if you were doing it on a low budget, instead of buying all the stuff (they sell the jars in catering warehouses now) instead of the original idea of just making do.

Mason jars are completely naff, I saw them in BigW a few months ago. Nothing creams on-trend like being available in BigW.

Milk crates, the seating of choice at the back of the restaurant for obvious reasons but the front? The idea of milk crates out the front probably came from Bar Coluzzi in Darlinhurst which was the first I remember doing it back in the day, simply because patrons took matters into their own hands as they didn’t have a street license. But that was in the early 80s and I think it had been happening for a couple of decades before that.

Is BigW selling the milk crate seats so you can complete the dining out experience at home? 😀

rosscoact 11:46 am 15 Apr 15

rubaiyat said :

dungfungus said :

Evilomlap said :

Those sandwiches look delicious but seriously, restaurants need to stop serving food on chopping boards. I’m a complete klutz so serving me anything on an implement that doesn’t have edges is a recipe for disaster!

It is also a health hazard, especially if raw chicken has been chopped on it previously.
I had a meal served on a piece of slate recently. Looked like the food had fallen on a floor and I lost my appetite.
What is the thinking behind these new ways of serving food?

Hipster Kopy-Kat Kool.

Same with milk crate seats and drinking from jars. Not original, not new and not really a good idea even if you were doing it on a low budget, instead of buying all the stuff (they sell the jars in catering warehouses now) instead of the original idea of just making do.

Mason jars are completely naff, I saw them in BigW a few months ago. Nothing creams on-trend like being available in BigW.

Milk crates, the seating of choice at the back of the restaurant for obvious reasons but the front? The idea of milk crates out the front probably came from Bar Coluzzi in Darlinhurst which was the first I remember doing it back in the day, simply because patrons took matters into their own hands as they didn’t have a street license. But that was in the early 80s and I think it had been happening for a couple of decades before that.

rubaiyat 10:12 pm 14 Apr 15

Just had a brilliantly Kool Kanberra Katering idea that judging by the enthusiastic reception such things seem to get, should go gang busters:

Greasy Cheese Cup Cakes put through a sandwich press and given a good shake of ketchup and mayo, served with a garnish of cardboard, for a shade under twenty bucks by hipster bearded waiters tripping over their long black aprons.

…may franchise that one! 😀

rubaiyat 10:04 pm 14 Apr 15

dungfungus said :

Evilomlap said :

Those sandwiches look delicious but seriously, restaurants need to stop serving food on chopping boards. I’m a complete klutz so serving me anything on an implement that doesn’t have edges is a recipe for disaster!

It is also a health hazard, especially if raw chicken has been chopped on it previously.
I had a meal served on a piece of slate recently. Looked like the food had fallen on a floor and I lost my appetite.
What is the thinking behind these new ways of serving food?

Hipster Kopy-Kat Kool.

Same with milk crate seats and drinking from jars. Not original, not new and not really a good idea even if you were doing it on a low budget, instead of buying all the stuff (they sell the jars in catering warehouses now) instead of the original idea of just making do.

dungfungus 7:01 pm 14 Apr 15

Evilomlap said :

Those sandwiches look delicious but seriously, restaurants need to stop serving food on chopping boards. I’m a complete klutz so serving me anything on an implement that doesn’t have edges is a recipe for disaster!

It is also a health hazard, especially if raw chicken has been chopped on it previously.
I had a meal served on a piece of slate recently. Looked like the food had fallen on a floor and I lost my appetite.
What is the thinking behind these new ways of serving food?

Evilomlap 4:54 pm 14 Apr 15

Those sandwiches look delicious but seriously, restaurants need to stop serving food on chopping boards. I’m a complete klutz so serving me anything on an implement that doesn’t have edges is a recipe for disaster!

rubaiyat 12:42 pm 14 Apr 15

The Wife’s Roasted veggies, tomato, baby spinach with pesto on sourdough.

That’s official! 😀

Bec Cuzzillo 9:17 pm 13 Apr 15

Madam Cholet said :

I had a toasted sandwich from The Cupping Room just last week – they are from the take away window. I had a Cubano. Delicious.

Ah that makes more sense now! I will definitely have to give their takeaway menu a try.

zllauh 6:23 pm 13 Apr 15

+1 for the cupping room.
they have amazing toasted sandwiches + quick service

Milly Withers 9:01 am 13 Apr 15

The You Bastard, Reuben toasted sandwich from Tupelo is amazing. If I’m going to buy a toasted sandwich from a cafe instead of making it at home, I want it to have fancy ingredients that I don’t already have in the fridge. I haven’t tried Gus’ though, so I might be won over yet…

Madam Cholet 9:01 am 13 Apr 15

I had a toasted sandwich from The Cupping Room just last week – they are from the take away window. I had a Cubano. Delicious.

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