Thursday, July 30, 2009
Eating and drinking in Sydney
One of the vendors at last Saturday's farmers market, after asking where I was from, said he considered NSW a "European California." The Europe is in the ubiquitous espresso spots; I couldn't begin to count the number of coffee shops I've seen so far, but I've only spotted two Starbucks. (Gloria Jeans is the only widespread coffee chain I've noticed.)
The California (at least Northern California, which is of course the most important part) is in the climate and the local produce, including my favorite vegetable, pumpkin. I don't know if pumpkin is widely served year-round, but I've had the pleasure of consuming a lot of it during our taste of Sydney winter so far; just today I had pumpkin soup while I was out and about in the CBD at lunch (see pic above) and a pumpkin-spinach salad with the boys' schnitzel take-away plate at dinner.
This weekend we're going to the Blue Mountains, which Linda compares to the coastal range in our backyard at home (and Adam scoffs at as being mere hills, since he's from Oregon and" it's only a mountain if it has snow on it or blows its top occasionally").
Unrelated to California is the price of beer and wine. The vino is cheaper, by and large, then in the states, but beer appears to be outrageously expensive. Tonight Nathan bought a six-pack of Stella Artois for $18 AUD! And he thinks I'm bad. At that price I'll drink wine for the rest of the trip.