- Establishment: El Gordo LUNCH
- Address: Chancery Lane, Bendigo
- Hours: Mon – Fri 8am -4.30pm
- Also open 9am – 2pm the second Saturday of every month to support the Bendigo Community Farmers’ Market
- Contact: Oliver Budack, Megan Spencer 0413 447 518
- Visit date: 28th Sept, 1pm-ish
Back in the late 90’s, when we were in high school, we used to take short cuts through this laneway and I’ll admit it was a little scary…but my oh my, has this place changed! It’s now more inviting with boutique dress stores, fancy bar/restaurant, beauty parlour and now with its own stencil art covering the laneway walls. It’s like the sun is shining here more often!
I cannot tell how much I am in love with this place! I hope my gushing aren’t too sickly schweet but dear Reader, I would like you to understand that coming from The Big Smoke where I’m spoilt rotten for choice to a town where Variety + Deliciousness + Gluten & sugar free is VERY limited. I’m fortunate to have found all 3 concentrated into this small humble establishment.
Today I had Quinoa salad with dried apricots, decent capsicum chunks, hazelnuts, olives, firm creamy fetta, tuna and Spanish onion. I was impressed that I actually cleaned up the whole plate because I’m not a fan of raw onions. I am that annoying person who will painstakingly pick out every tiny bit of raw onion from a dish. I’ve never had quinoa before and thankfully my friend Emmy told me the correct way to pronounce it: Kin-wah. I was saying: Kwin-o-ha (LOL). This was a lovely introduction to this gluten free staple (though I read that some aren’t gluten free due to cross contamination during the process…wtf?). So anyhoo, I will be having this again in the future. I really like the combination of everything in that salad because it worked so well, even with the raw onion!
To finish it off, I had a Cafe Cortado which is 1 shot of coffee with 1 shot of milk. That cute little shot glass that it came in made it seem so innocent but then BAM! My eyes nearly fell out ha ha ha ha, but I loved every minute of it! Quick, quick …stuff that Date ball into my mouth…ahhhhh schweeeeeet! The Date ball was gluten and sugar free and now I have a hankering for one. They looked like chocolate truffles because they were dusted in cocao powder but were milder which is good because I had a very rich strong coffee. I think it would of been too much if I had a chocolate truffle.
Bonus points for the long communal table (Salon Comedor) which we were sitting at. Sometimes when you share tables with strangers, it feels like we’re intruding on each other but today, it wasn’t. And the parsley in the flower vases are my kinda flower arrangements. Also, being assured that even though our food was a little late…it was still coming. Some places don’t even tell you!!! We didn’t even mind because we spent most of it talking and catching up. I know the kitchen pressure when there are only 2 on staff and a bunch of hungry mouths need to be fed in a certain time frame. Huzzah for Oliver!
Food: $10.50 Quinoa salad (can omit tuna). It’s sweet, salty, savoury, 2 kinds of crunchy and very filling. To be honest, it’s more like a meal than a salad.
Coffee: $3.50 cafe cortado. One word: BAM! (no sugar/stevia was added).
4 out of 5
Sweetie treatie: $1.50 Date ball, ping-pong ball sized naturally sweetened from dates with lemon zest? Dunno…but it sure tasted good. I want another one.
Chance of returning: High…just try and stop me (see I visited this place twice today!) When I’m home in Bendigo, you’d find me here.
Back in July I wrote a little poem about this place:
Today we feasted on Moroccan Curry and rice,
While others had red soup which was just as nice.
Merrily chatting with my peeps of Bendigo,
In the warm Salon Comedor of El Gordo!
Thankyou so much! I’ll be sending the folks from Melbourne your way…ha hey!