Sunday, 11 May 2008

Boonah Trip

Recently we drove out to Boonah for a long weekend of relaxing, bush-walking and general exploring. We did our bit to support the local cafes, pubs and restaurants, and here's my wrap of where we ate...

We went to Cafe 17 a couple of times, once for lunch and the second time for coffee. It was absolutely packed at lunchtime, both with locals, bike riders and day trippers. The menu at Cafe 17 covers sandwiches, salads and a few hot options.

I had the Mediterranean salad for lunch ($13) and it was really tasty. I don't usually find loads of gluten-free options in country towns, so it was good to find a decent salad selection here. My salad was made up of warm chorizo, rocket, lettuce, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, capsicum, feta and artichokes. It was a good serving for the price. We also had a salad sandwich ($5.50), which was groaning with salad fillings. There is also an organic food store which adjoins Cafe 17, where you can pick up all kinds of supplies.

On the Friday night, we had dinner at the Dugandan Hotel, along with plenty of the locals (who apparently know it just as the Duggie). The pub was so busy it was hard to find a seat anywhere, and people were standing around waiting for tables to clear. The Dugandan Hotel serves up fairly traditional pub food, including steaks, roasts, fish & chips and calamari, together with other options like quiche and a selection of salads.

I thought the best option here would be to go with one of the steaks, and ordered one of the large T-bones ($20). The steak was so big it even came with its own oversized plate. Although the steak was not spectacular, if you do order a steak, you also get to serve yourself from the vegetable and salad buffet. I've had some pretty memorable roast vegies at country bowls and RSL clubs, and was hoping that the Dugandan Hotel would be in the same boat. It didn't disappoint. Although the hot vegies were sitting in a bain marie type arrangement, the volume of people ordering food meant that hardly anything was there for more than a few minutes. The mashed pumpkin, green beans, carrot and potato salad were particularly good. This is what vegies should taste like. They were just cooked simply, but had us both scraping every last bit off our plates.

At one stage one of the local kids tried to head back for a second serve of the vegie/salad bar, only to be warned off by one of the staff. The thought had definitely crossed my mind, but if the local kid didn't get away with it, I sure wasn't going to. We had to be content with what we could load onto our plates the first time round. Luckily with my oversized T-bone plate, there was plenty of room for vegies.

The steak aside, it was a great country pub dinner. There are plenty of tables inside, where there was a fire going. We found inside a bit too warm, so sat outside under the covered deck. The Dugandan Hotel is definitely worth a visit, if only to remind yourself what good vegetables should taste like.

We also had breakfast one morning at Flavours Cafe. Again, this seemed to be a spot favoured by the locals. You can sit inside or out, and there's even a pool table if you're not in a hurry once you've finished your meal.

I went for the full breakfast ($12.95), which was a generous serve of bacon, eggs, tomato, 2 hash browns and toast. Flavours Cafe uses local bacon and sausages in their breakfasts, which is always good to see. We also ordered a serve of their fruit toast ($4.75) which was sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. They serve Monte coffee, and both our coffees were well made.

Flavours Cafe is a busy spot, with a relaxed, friendly feel, open for breakfast and lunch. It's a good place to fill up on a big breakfast before heading off for a walk in one of the nearby national parks.

We stayed at the Boonah Valley Motel, which was great. The motel also has a restaurant, with a fairly adventurous menu. I'll put up a separate post about our dinner at the motel.

Cafe 17
17 High Street
Boonah 4310
P - 07 5463 2671

Dugandan Hotel
Boonah - Rathdowney Road
Boonah 4310
P - 07 5463 1048

Flavours Cafe
8 Railway Street
Boonah 4310
P - 07 5463 2699

Boonah Valley Motel
3908 Boonah-Ipswich Road
Boonah 4310
P - 07 5463 4738
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