I’m always amazed when people say that the only option when taking a road trip is to stop at those well known franchise outlets which appear too often along the highways. Sure they’re well advertised with great big roadside billboards, but luckily for us there are still plenty of thriving towns, with good old fashion country cooking, just a hop skip and a jump from the main road.
This week driving from Sydney to Melbourne, my first stop was for a late lunch, breakfast, brunch or whatever you want to call it – after 1pm. I hadn’t eaten before I left home, and refused to stop at a golden arches or any of those similar style of places. Luckily I found a gem. Just two kilometres from the Hume Highway is the small town of Gunning which provided my nourishment and leg stretch on my drive to my overnight stop of Beechworth, Victoria.
The food was delicious. Being in the heart of sheep country I just had to try the famous Merino lamb burger. Not a regular burger eater (or not the chain store variety at least) this was serendipity. A moist and tasty lamb patty, with mint sauce and dollops of yoghurt, stacked high in a white sesame (and very lightly toasted and warmed) bun. All day breakfasts had an extra local menu item: Local organic lamb chop for an extra $4. There were plenty of beef burgers too like the Aussie Beef or the Truckers Burger (which had the extras of pineapple, fried egg and bacon) – both of these burgers came with house made tomato jam.
And, I couldn’t help eyeing off all the Aussie institutions – Passionfruit Slice, Lemon Coconut Slice, Caramel Slice, Fresh Raspberry Meringue Slice and Apple Rhubarb Meringue Slice – all only $4.50 and all house made (on the premises).
So next time you’re on the road, take a bit of time, help support small business and support your taste buds in the process. Everybody wins!
Merino Cafe & Catering Co.
62 Yass Street, Gunning NSW 2581 Australia
+ 61 2 4845 1250