It’s just too hot to cook!
All of the three cafes/restaurants share a few things in common while carving out their own identity. Smith Street Alimentari is more deli/produce/takeaway meal driven than the other two establishments. That means there is very little seating – and what there is either in the outside tables or perch-upright bar stools. And you need to order at the counter which can mean a little wait during the lunchtime rush.
The counter is where everything happens. It’s hard to select just one thing for lunch – for wintery weather there’s a roast of the day with hot or cold sides ($16.50), for summery heat there’s a selection of freshly-made salads full of healthful ingredients like chickpeas and roast veg. For those on the go there’s a whole raft of sandwich options, from doorstoppers on white bread to pressed paninis.
We decided to try the poached chicken and coleslaw sandwich – a hefty handful of soft white Baker D Chirico bread and filling which was pleasant but not terribly exciting. The robust flavours of the pork and veal meatball sandwich were much more satisfying.
Cafe staple ham and cheese croissants were light and flaky but for the filling I prefer the chunky ham which is used at other places.
From the takeaway meal section, you’ll still find excellent pork and fennel lasagne in foil containers (it’s a staple in my freezer), the pork meatballs (so you can make your own meatball sub) as well as a range of items to stock up your pantry – fancy grains, oils and cheeses – and fresh provisions including olives and fresh pasta.
The whole place makes me salivate on every visit and their ready made meals have been a godsend in this stupid heat that we’ve been experiencing lately.
For another cafe with delicious ready made meals try Ashkelon Food Store.