Little Deer Tracks

Something happened after I clicked ‘publish post’ on the last review I posted here: I had no more drafts waiting to be finished in my drafts folder. This has happened precisely once before in the entire history of this blog, and as a result I might have panicked slightly, putting a frantic call out on Twitter for suggestions as to where I should eat next.

Much to my delight, Catherine from the fabulous Cates Cates blog stepped up with not just a suggestion but an invitation to join her for brunch at Little Deer Tracks, a vegetarian cafe in Coburg that has long been on my “must try!” list. How lovely!

Tucked away in a backstreet where you definitely wouldn’t expect to find a cafe, Little Deer Tracks was bustling happily away, filled with families and brunching couples. It’s homey, but in a very cute, neat way, with local artists’ art on the walls, nice wooden furniture, and friendly waiters who are very proud of the food that they serve up.

I always flip out a little when faced with an entirely vegetarian menu, in that my natural indecision is ramped up to obscene levels and I spend a lot of time dithering. While I was tempted by the marinated tofu salad written up on the specials board, I ultimately decided that that was not a brunchy enough dish and instead settled on the zucchini, tomato, onion and goats cheese scrambled eggs with basil served with a slice of crunchy sourdough toast.

This was the correct choice to make! The zucchini was tender and slightly charred like it had been cleverly pan-fried before being combined with the other ingredients. The scrambled eggs were ever so creamy and had deeper savoury notes to them that must have been lent to them by the charred zucchini and salty goats cheese. It was a very filling dish and it is a sensible decision to only give one piece of oil-drizzled sourdough toast to go along with it otherwise you may burst.

Catherine had the hueveros ranchos, which was this beautifully sloppy slick of beans and veggies book-ended by two taco shells. Apparently the old chef used to use tortilla strips as the carby sauce-soaker element, but the new chef is all about taco shells. It certainly looked jaunty! Definitely the sort of dish that I would love to try on another visit.

As we were paying I also got a good look at the desserts cabinet, which was filled with the likes of a freshly baked cherry tart, chocolate cheesecake, vegan lemon biscuits, it was a drool-worthy sight to behold. I will definitely be making room for sweets next time (I am clearly very keen on there being a next time!).

Little Deer Tracks was highly impressive. The menu was interesting and varied, and Catherine assures me that the chef mixes it up every few months with the introduction of new dishes, meaning that one’s interest there is unlikely to grow stale. It certainly made me wish that I lived a heck of a lot closer to Coburg, and am very jealous that Catherine gets to have it as one of her locals. Lucky!

Little Deer Tracks

44 O’Hea Street, Coburg

Ph: 9354 3449

Little Deer Tracks on Facebook

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The Post Office Hotel

It had been FAR too long since I had last caught up with Emma and Phoebe – I mean, Phoebe had had time to go to JAPAN and back, that’s how long it had been – so after Brother Alec and Women of Letters, I scuttled myself over to The Post Office Hotel for a long overdue chat ‘n’ chips dinner (warning: there were an AVALANCHE of chips involved).

I’d been keen to get to The Post Office Hotel for ages how, as both my sisters had made several visits in the past and had made me drool with their descriptions of the food. And I was heartened to discover that the menu on their website must be rather out of date, as I had been expecting minimal vegetarian options but was instead greeted with about five or six dishes to choose from. Excellent!

There’s a more formal dining room around the side of the venue where you can have a more restauranty experience, but we decided to sit in the front bar, because really, this is the kind of atmosphere one wants when pub dining. While waiting for Phoebe to arrive, Emma and I started on some chips – long thin shoestrings, crispy and golden, and served with a chunky tomato relish. They certainly got the hunger pumping!

After much rumination, I decided that the best way to ascertain the quality of a pub’s grub is through it’s burger offerings, so I went with the field mushroom burger with gruyere, cos lettuce, tomato slices, ketchup and mayo. Having liked the opening salvo of chips I also ordered another cup of chips, but HORRORS! (or potato paradise, take your pick) the burger came with additional chips, so I was submerged in them. And, dear reader, she ate them all.

The burger itself… well, I might have to re-organise my own internal best burgers around town list, because this baby was HELLA AMAZING. The mushroom had been perfectly grilled with the gruyere melted on top, the sauces popped with tang, the cos was crisp, and the bun, despite being of a brioche-type bent, didn’t overwhelm with sweetness as too many brioche burgers are want to do, and instead properly contributed to balancing the flavours into a tipping point of THIS IS STUPIDLY YUM BRING ME FIVE MORE.

Phoebe had the Sunday roast, a round of lamb prettied up with delicately cut, uniform squares of carrot and peas spread across the meat like a blanket. Loving her meat as she does, and requiring a hearty meal to soak up a wedding party hangover, the roast was reduced to a gravy smear in no time.

Emma had the prawn pizza, which she reported as being very good. It certainly looked great, with plump prawns scattered across a crusty desert plain spotted with occasional outcrops of leafy greenery.

This visit made me kick myself that it had taken me so long to schlep out to Coburg and experience the PO. Particularly for a Sunday evening it had this lovely relaxing and cruisey vibe that I really appreciate, and of course food this good can only help an outing’s success. I will have to make sure that my next visit is more prompt, and that my stomach is prepared for Avalanche of Chips II: The Potatoning.

The Post Office Hotel

231 Sydney Road, Coburg

Ph: 9386 5300

www.thepostofficehotel.com.au