Cowbell 808

It’s Spring and the big windows beside me are wide open.  I am meeting Lorraine and Celia for lunch because I think they feel sorry for me dining alone so often . I arrive early….and I  every one says hello . A coffee arrives quickly followed by a long neck  of water and a quick chat with the owner.  The smell of baking brownies is irresistable and I consider having one before the others arrive……………………….. Its a week day and there are no crowds and the pace is slow . Until recently this airy room was a small cornershop. It has been cleverly opened out with bi -fold windows and the walls stripped back. Old church hall chairs cosy up to a mixture of the new and old . Cowbell 808 is an unusual name, but once you know what it means a whole lot of things fall into place. The owners are music lovers and there is not much in this cafe that doesn’t relate back to music. The TR808 was the first really convincing drum machine. It was a new revolutionary affordable way to produce music particularly hiphop and 8o’s pop.  Its characteristic 80’s sounds of handclaps, deep base kick and cowbells became 80’s cult classic sounds. There is vinyl at the front counter ( thats records ), flip through and choose a classic 8o’s album and they’ll play it for you. The bathroom is papered with 80’s record covers There are old cassette players, music related graffiti and even the Cowbell 808 sign has incorporated a CD/ record. Yes I know what’s the food like.? Well the first menu is coming to an end , they have been open a month and by far the most popular item is the Hotcakes $14 ( above). The menu is a clever combination of hot and cold, breakfast and lunch with all the gluten free options listed with the prices. There is a specials banner , making the most of being able to use ingredients as they come to hand.  There’s a corn and potato fritata with black beans and avocado $14, Smoked Trout with beets and rye bread, $16 baked eggs $17 and  rice porridge $10 This is Banana with coconut yoghurt ( Bananacolada), made with a yoghurt base with added coconut cream.   Its tart as unsweetened yoghurt and very rich. I loved it apart from the addition of lime juice $7.00 The boneless chicken pieces are coated in a besan crust with a cauliflower slaw ( celery, red onion, sesame seeds and aioli)and sit on smear of roasted capsicum harissa , with just enough spice for a little kick $16 The burger is made entirely in house. Crunchy onion rings with a beef patty , lettuce , cheese , pickles and onion on a sesame seed bun ( sic). $18 A rich and fudgey chocolate brownie (gluten free) comes out warm and we give the Rabbit Hole Teas a bit of a run and each order a zingy flavour in a cute little pot. I love that they have taken as much care with their tea at Cowbell 808 as they have with the coffee and other drinks. Where is the last place you had lunch?

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