14 December 2012

(Just over) $10 lunch review: Sweet Bones

| poetix
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sandwich

Feeling a little hungover, I decided I needed something healthy for lunch, breakfast having been an impossibility. The new bakery and café Sweet Bones on the non-city end of Lonsdale Street has been beckoning for a while now; I kept trying to get in before they were open.

Now, from recent threads I know that some rioters are a tad anti-vegan. I am not vegan; just a wishy-washy vegetarian, although on most days my non-vegetarian intake is one white coffee and a sprinkle of cheese on tomato pasta.

Can vegan food be tasty?

On the basis of my tempeh focaccia today (I think it was $11.50, but I forgot to make a note) I would say most definitely yes. The bread was crunchy but soft on the inside. The vegan mayonnaise was delicious, and the whole thing had a smoky flavour that reminded me of various fish from my bad old days. The serving was generous and beautifully presented, as I tried to show in my photograph.

Importantly, the short black I had before the food was really strong and thick; enough to make me feel human again.

The cafe is in the über-cool arcade that contains a bike shop, various second hand and designer dress shops, and hairdressers and galleries and all the other essentials of modern living. (Yes, my irony levels are fine, thank you.)

It amused me, as I chomped my way through the delicious vegan lunch (nobly refusing vegan cupcakes as an afters) to see a stuffed antelope head looking down on us all from a second hand store, just above a super-sized Jesus with his arms open. I swear I saw the antelope’s head move once in a nod of approval. But I am a renowned liar.

I really recommend Sweet Bones. A large number of awesomely beautiful people were there, which made for pleasant viewing, from my daggy perspective. And the bread is really good. Give it a go and you may be pleasantly surprised.

You can, incidentally, have a real milk coffee, as well.

[ED – the arcade in question is Lonsdale Street Traders, across the road from Debacle where the tyre shop used to be]

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Yeah, just wanted to note ( not as a criticism) that it’s not at the cheap end for lunch! But good for Canberra to have a cool ( and vegan) cafe.

robinsnest said :

um, that roll is actually $13.00, and with an $8 green smoothie made a $42 lunch for two of us. Nice, but pretty expensive. Even without the smoothies, that’s nearly 30 bucks for two rolls.

Sssh, don’t tell Masquara, please…
I did say I didn’t make a note of the price. But that seems to be more than I paid.

Perhaps this fantastic review has had an economic effect….

robinsnest said :

um, that roll is actually $13.00, and with an $8 green smoothie made a $42 lunch for two of us. Nice, but pretty expensive. Even without the smoothies, that’s nearly 30 bucks for two rolls.

And I thought I was overpaying for my $7 foot long Subway vegie-delight (because this is the only sub that went UP in price when they introduced those $7 subs).

Could have got a basketfull of fresh fruit and veg and two loaves of fresh wholemeal bread for that.

We might hop on over and try it some time, so long as it’s not just sandwiches.

um, that roll is actually $13.00, and with an $8 green smoothie made a $42 lunch for two of us. Nice, but pretty expensive. Even without the smoothies, that’s nearly 30 bucks for two rolls.

poetix said :

rosscoact said :

Is Lonsdale Street becoming or already is the hippest street in Canberra?

is, in my humble op

According to this RA article Braddon is supposedly one of the hippiest suburbs around Stralia.

Personally I wouldn’t make love to any vegetarian food, no matter how much I’ve had to drink.

G.R.R said :

Who knew a sandwich could generate such chatter!

Mmm, if you want real chatter I suggest you search ‘Brodburger’. There you will see the effects of meaty love on the many-tongued, many-fingered monster called the Riot.

Who knew a sandwich could generate such chatter!

DrKoresh said :

poetix said :

In before the purists (the other ones). I know I just qualified unique, which is a tad controversial.

If by ‘controversial’ you mean WRONG! :p

Absolutely maybe.

poetix said :

In before the purists (the other ones). I know I just qualified unique, which is a tad controversial.

If by ‘controversial’ you mean WRONG! :p

Masquara said :

poetix said :

Many years ago, I was lucky enough to interview Stephanie Alexander for Australian Left Review (that is the quintessence of being a champagne socialist, I suppose). On the way to her restaurant, the taxi driver gave me a half an hour lecture on the price of ingredients, and how there was no justification for the prices she charged. I just nodded and smiled, but I think the skill, presentation and ambience are as important as any itemised account of the items making up the meal. (And of course she used the best ingredients available.)

Now obviously, this cafe/bakery is a totally different creature from Stephanie’s of hallowed memory, but it is serving pleasant, interesting food in a location that is, in Canberra terms, quite unique. I am well prepared to pay more for sitting inside that arcade than grabbing something from Subway’s, for example.

Thank you Masquara, for reminding me of that trip to Stephanie’s.

Stephanie’s on Richmond Hill for brekkie? Indeed – and for marginally more than a Tilleys breakfast, artisan marmalade, damask tablecloths and silverware, followed by a trip to the cheese counter for later … sigh!

No, it was dinner. At the old restaurant. In Hawthorn, if memory serves me right.

poetix said :

?..

Now obviously, this cafe/bakery is a totally different creature from Stephanie’s of hallowed memory, but it is serving pleasant, interesting food in a location that is, in Canberra terms, quite unique. …

In before the purists (the other ones). I know I just qualified unique, which is a tad controversial.

poetix said :

Many years ago, I was lucky enough to interview Stephanie Alexander for Australian Left Review (that is the quintessence of being a champagne socialist, I suppose). On the way to her restaurant, the taxi driver gave me a half an hour lecture on the price of ingredients, and how there was no justification for the prices she charged. I just nodded and smiled, but I think the skill, presentation and ambience are as important as any itemised account of the items making up the meal. (And of course she used the best ingredients available.)

Now obviously, this cafe/bakery is a totally different creature from Stephanie’s of hallowed memory, but it is serving pleasant, interesting food in a location that is, in Canberra terms, quite unique. I am well prepared to pay more for sitting inside that arcade than grabbing something from Subway’s, for example.

Thank you Masquara, for reminding me of that trip to Stephanie’s.

Stephanie’s on Richmond Hill for brekkie? Indeed – and for marginally more than a Tilleys breakfast, artisan marmalade, damask tablecloths and silverware, followed by a trip to the cheese counter for later … sigh!

Ben_Dover said :

Masquara said :

poetix said :

I don’t really sit and calculate the value of the ingredients when I eat, being spoilt beyond belief.

If the Bones place doesn’t offer amazing ambience, a view, or another element to pay a premium for, then anyone who pays 12 bucks for a sandwich there is a mug!

We paid $1200 for a meal for three in January of this year. (Included 6 glasses of wine, plus tip.)

I hope that was a big birthday! Was that the meal when you went back on fish?

Many years ago, I was lucky enough to interview Stephanie Alexander for Australian Left Review (that is the quintessence of being a champagne socialist, I suppose). On the way to her restaurant, the taxi driver gave me a half an hour lecture on the price of ingredients, and how there was no justification for the prices she charged. I just nodded and smiled, but I think the skill, presentation and ambience are as important as any itemised account of the items making up the meal. (And of course she used the best ingredients available.)

Now obviously, this cafe/bakery is a totally different creature from Stephanie’s of hallowed memory, but it is serving pleasant, interesting food in a location that is, in Canberra terms, quite unique. I am well prepared to pay more for sitting inside that arcade than grabbing something from Subway’s, for example.

Thank you Masquara, for reminding me of that trip to Stephanie’s.

Woody Mann-Caruso1:09 pm 16 Dec 12

Or has a different set of values to you.

You’re going to have to explain that ‘v’ word, JB. Libs have trouble with them – for example, ‘Victoria has a vagina and is a vegetarian, yet is allowed to vote’.

Masquara said :

poetix said :

I don’t really sit and calculate the value of the ingredients when I eat, being spoilt beyond belief.

If the Bones place doesn’t offer amazing ambience, a view, or another element to pay a premium for, then anyone who pays 12 bucks for a sandwich there is a mug!

We paid $1200 for a meal for three in January of this year. (Included 6 glasses of wine, plus tip.)

Masquara said :

You may be spoilt but you aren’t rich poetix (based on previous posts) so it’s pretty important to the middle-income hip pocket not to be taken too far in by nonsense and overpricing. If the Bones place doesn’t offer amazing ambience, a view, or another element to pay a premium for, then anyone who pays 12 bucks for a sandwich there is a mug!

Or has a different set of values to you.

Lighten up.

poetix said :

I don’t really sit and calculate the value of the ingredients when I eat, being spoilt beyond belief.

You may be spoilt but you aren’t rich poetix (based on previous posts) so it’s pretty important to the middle-income hip pocket not to be taken too far in by nonsense and overpricing. If the Bones place doesn’t offer amazing ambience, a view, or another element to pay a premium for, then anyone who pays 12 bucks for a sandwich there is a mug!

The problem with that meal is way too much daily bread(forgive me) and not enough filling,jeesuz!

Masquara said :

So (afterthought) poetix you paid about five bucks to have to undo two pieces of string! (A “trussed sandwich” chicken reference in a vegan cafe is cute but should not be charged for!)

Of course I shall make something from the string…(-: Cuteness is next to godliness. But both come after taste. (The string did keep the ingredients from falling out, by the way.)

I don’t really sit and calculate the value of the ingredients when I eat, being spoilt beyond belief. That’s what I’ll use the string for! I’ll tie it around my fingers as a reminder to work out the cost of the ingredients of the next meal I review, so that Masquara will be happy.

So (afterthought) poetix you paid about five bucks to have to undo two pieces of string! (A “trussed sandwich” chicken reference in a vegan cafe is cute but should not be charged for!)

Solidarity said :

To be honest, for $11.50, it’d better be the best most amazing sandwich ever.

That looks indeed like a high quality bread roll with about a dollar’s worth (wholesale) of ingredients inside. Most of the “focaccia” is bread by the look of it – hardly spilling with filling. I wouldn’t pay more than $7 for that!

Awful name for a vegan place. Or any place for that matter. Still, I hope they do really well – independant and unusual eateries should be encouraged.

So is the place only vegan or do they serve food as well?

DrKoresh said :

on most days my non-vegetarian intake is one white coffee and a sprinkle of cheese on tomato pasta.
You do realise that there is nothing anti-vegetarian in eating cheese or milk right? Did you mean to say vegan?

Indeed! Se #8 for my correction. Sorry for the careless brain and/or fingers.

At least people are reading the review!

devils_advocate3:58 pm 14 Dec 12

Solidarity said :

To be honest, for $11.50, it’d better be the best most amazing sandwich ever.

I know – time was, you could get a burger from a red van for about that much, and it was the standard by which all burgers – nay, by which all food – could be measured. The vast majority of which would fall far short.

So if someone else comes wandering around offering a sandwich for $11.50 within a 100 kilometre radius, it’s hard to see how it would be up to scratch.

on most days my non-vegetarian intake is one white coffee and a sprinkle of cheese on tomato pasta.
You do realise that there is nothing anti-vegetarian in eating cheese or milk right? Did you mean to say vegan?

Thumper said :

poetix said :

Vodka is God’s health drink. You can’t beat the French or the Germans without it.

So if we’re ever invaded by the French or the Germans, expect stiff resistance from O’Connor.

Three words.

Gin and Tonic.

Don’t. We may get another lecture about the British as the world’s toughies.

But I also like my quinine! With lime and a punkawallah.

To be honest, for $11.50, it’d better be the best most amazing sandwich ever.

poetix said :

Vodka is God’s health drink. You can’t beat the French or the Germans without it.

So if we’re ever invaded by the French or the Germans, expect stiff resistance from O’Connor.

Three words.

Gin and Tonic.

rosscoact said :

Is Lonsdale Street becoming or already is the hippest street in Canberra?

is, in my humble op

And I just noticed a mistake in my review! Sentence should read ‘although on most days my non-vegan intake is one white coffee and a sprinkle of cheese on tomato pasta.’ Not non-vegetarian.

I obviously need vodka to write proper.

dpm said :

poetix said :

Vodka is God’s health drink…..

So no bench pressing at the Gym today then? 😉

Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow
Lifts on that heavy bench from day to day

johnboy said :

Wait until The Elk and Pea is going at full steam and debacle’s moved down the road.

At that point you’ll be at hipster overload.

I was down at the Lonsdale Street Roasters getting my double shot Johnny Cash macchiato and contemplating parking the fixie in front of Elk and Pea to have a smashed pea and streaky bacon brioche before going shopping to buy a new knit cap and I thought, gee there’s a lot of hipsters around here.

poetix said :

Vodka is God’s health drink…..

So no bench pressing at the Gym today then? 😉

Is Lonsdale Street becoming or already is the hippest street in Canberra?

Wait until The Elk and Pea is going at full steam and debacle’s moved down the road.

At that point you’ll be at hipster overload.

Vodka is God’s health drink. You can’t beat the French or the Germans without it.

So if we’re ever invaded by the French or the Germans, expect stiff resistance from O’Connor.

‘bones’ in the name of a vegan joint? how off-putting that must be for the prospective clientele!

and why were you hungover, poetix? you always seem such a clean living kind of poster!

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