Tag Archives: pizza

Eggs Benedict Breakfast at Cape Cafe in Strand (2021-03-01) Food and Drink | Photo Gallery 01 MAY 2021

Absolutely dominating its stretch of the Strand Beach skyline, the big white beautiful apartment building that is Hibernian Towers is also home to a few small businesses hidden down on its ground floor, with one of those very worth knowing gems being the excellent Cape Cafe.

Although it is situated behind the glass doors of this behemoth of an apartment tower, the diminutive family-owned and operated Cape Cafe is still technically a beachfront cafe, fully licensed and with a penchant for serving great breakfasts and ground coffee, signature burgers and craft beer, and of course their exceptional hearthstone thin crust pizzas. Billing themselves as a South African Social Cafe, they say that they take pride in their Cape Culture with dishes such as Skilpadjies & Mash, Bobotie Pancakes and Boerewors on the menu. Now while I can’t really comment on those, I can say that their eggs benedict breakfast is most excellent, having been treated to one by Chantelle one weekday morning back in March.

It’s a small cozy space, with friendly people, great food, and importantly, well shielded from any of Strand’s notoriously blustery bouts of wind. In other words, a great little coffee shop/eatery to keep in the back of your mind should ever you find yourself in Strand in maybe not such perfect beach day weather.

Pizza at the Bluebird Cafe in Stellenbosch (2021-04-11) Food and Drink | Photo Gallery 30 APR 2021

Chantelle was eager for a spot of Sunday lunch out with me and the girls, and so we decided that what would really be nice would be to tuck into some delicious ribs while watching the small planes come and go outside at the Stellenbosch Flying Club. However, after arriving to a packed parking lot (never great sign in the time of Covid-19 anyway), we were turned away from the gate as the flying club was currently only serving members. Oh well, so new plan instead, we decided to give the seemingly diminutive but eye-catching Bluebird Cafe a little bit down and across the road a go instead.

I’m not entirely sure if the old (always seemingly slightly grotty) Mountain Breeze Farm Stall next to the Mountain Breeze Caravan Park is still operating, but regardless of this fact, the recently erected, double peaked, distinctive looking building that now hosts Bluebird Cafe has certainly taken over the space of the aforementioned farm stall, and despite its proximity to the busy R44 that endlessly shuttles cars between Somerset West and Stellenbosch, actually does make for a pretty nice space to enjoy an aromatic cup of coffee with a delicious baked treat in tow.

There are certainly a lot of interesting sounding dishes on Bluebird Cafe’s menu, but with the girls at our side we opted for the ever family friendly pizza option, settling down to a nice assortment of beer and milkshakes as the kids got down to the necessary scrambling about on the small jungle gym dominated kids play area.

Bright green lawn, farm fields and mountain views to the back, and great tasting food in front, the Bluebird Cafe certainly didn’t disappoint, and a nice and relaxing Sunday lunch outing was enjoyed by all.

Pizza Time at Rooibos Restaurant in Strand (2021-04-03) Food and Drink | Photo Gallery 19 APR 2021

With two young girls in the mix, we generally don’t go out at night, preferring to do all our activities during the daylight hours and leaving the dark for sleepy time. However, sometimes we do have to break this routine – case in point, earlier this month, on one Saturday evening after a long day of sending out The Helderberg Cake Company celebration cakes, Chantelle decided that she just couldn’t spend a minute longer in the kitchen, and with fridges bare, shops already closed, and not wanting to do takeaway food again (which is generally something that we do on a Friday night when she’s in the thick of it in terms of decorating cakes), we took the snap decision of popping out for a late supper somewhere local instead.

The unassuming Rooibos Restaurant sits off a corner along Main Street in Strand, and has been happily operating since around 2016. Although the original guys that put together this pizza slinging local eatery have long since left, the current owners have done a good job of keeping the restaurant going and continuing to attract hungry families from all over Strand. Based out of an old (but spacious) converted home, the operation is split into two main sections, the first being the ever popular bar area, and the second the more family orientated and much larger dining area, with most of the outside garden converted into extra seating opportunities as well.

The menu is pretty large in terms of item spread, including the selection of pizza varieties that they pump out from their custom built pizza oven. Lots of craft beer, massive milkshakes, and a warm welcoming atmosphere that matches the decor, Rooibos comes across as very cozy to me. As it turned out for this particular visit of ours, given the time of the evening that we stumbled through its doors, we were literally the only people in the dining area – pretty much putting in our orders just before the kitchen stopped taking any more. So we had the run of the dining room while everyone else partied in the bar next door, a perfect set up for us in these times of Covid-19, though I suspect not one much appreciated by the owners of the business, that’s for sure!

Lunch from Vadas Smokehouse and Bakery at Spier in Stellenbosch (2021-03-20) Food and Drink | Photo Gallery 05 APR 2021

Having now spent a good long time exploring the grounds of the excellent Spier wine estate, taken in all the art installations of the Spier Light Art festival, and watched the birds of prey soar at Eagle Encounters, the girls decided that it was time for something to eat. So we sauntered back along the main path towards the beautifully restored Werf area, strolling across its rolling green lawns, clambering over the big granite boulders, and passing underneath the ancient oak trees, before coming to a stop in front of a patchwork of red and black table umbrellas standing out in front of a classic Cape Dutch style building with Vadas emblazoned on its side in unmissable bright red.

Both smokehouse and bakery, Vadas sources most of its ingredients from local producers (with the chicken, eggs and meats supplied by Spier’s Farmer Angus), making it a proper farm-to-plate business. Armed with the spectacular backdrop that is the manicured lawns, trees, architecture, and landscape that is Spier, Vadas pumps out all manner of elevated dishes that you would expect from a smokehouse, such as smoked beef brisket, juicy smoked pork with a bourbon BBQ sauce, and even smoked pork belly with apple ketchup. (And yes, there are plenty of other options available for all the kids and vegetarians out there).

Of course, the bakery component isn’t to be left out either, producing some incredible slow-fermented, fresh sourdough breads plus a treasure trove of sweet pies such as blueberry & nectarine pie, chocolate cream pie, pecan pie and lemon meringue pie. If none of that tickles your fancy though, Vadas is also pretty famous for their most excellent Pasteis de Nata – the increasingly popular Portuguese custard tart that seems to be popping up all around Cape Town at the moment!

Pizza, Dogs, and a Goat at JANKAN in Paarl (2021-03-13) Farm Stalls | Photo Gallery 01 APR 2021

After a day of clambering about the mountain and stroking the alpacas in Paarl, the girls were now rightfully a little more than just peckish, and so off I set in search of something nice and family friendly in order to satisfy their combined mewling. As it just so happens, the Picardie Guest Farm, situated right near the start of the old town, has the most wonderful of farm stall coffee shops inhabiting their grounds – the über family friendly JANKAN experience.

It’s not a lot to look at, sure, but the metal sheet building houses an incredible array of fresh produce and other knickknacks ready for purchase, as well as the all important bits of a small kitchen and of course pizza oven! Stepping through the tin shack, you enter a paved courtyard area that has a number of tables shaded by a large stretch tent, and sprawling beyond that, a grassy play area that is filled with jumping castles, jungle gyms, and just a ton of other things for small children to clamber about on. Even further to the back is a small paddock where kids can enjoy a horse ride or two (in fact, this is something that Jessica did many moons ago when we first visited this space), and of course, littered throughout is a huge assortment of small farm animals, from bunny rabbits to pigs, and even a free roaming goat.

And then of course there are the farm dogs walking around, Great Danes included! In other words, it is no wonder then that JANKAN is a firm favourite for local kids birthday party celebrations. As for our little visit, we found a small table, I ordered a beer and some pizza plus roosterkoek to share, and off the girls scuttled for some play time, appearing only now and then whenever food or drink arrived at our table!

USA 2019 – 12 Wiseguy Pizza in Chinatown, Washington DC (2019-10-26) Food and Drink | Photo Gallery 19 MAR 2021

After a very long day out on my feet, having walked through and taken in the Smithsonian National Zoo, the Union Station, the United States Capitol, and the beautiful Library of Congress, it was time to head back to the Hampton Inn on the edge of Chinatown and rustle up some supper before sitting down and resting my feet for the next day’s just as epic sightseeing adventures.

Similar to the previous evening where I had tucked into the simple but delicious oven fired fare of Fuel Pizza and Wings over at the Capitol One Arena area, I once again had am insatiable hankering for American style pizza. Unlike my experience of Japanese cities at night, I honestly didn’t feel particularly comfortable or safe walking around Washington D.C. by myself in the evenings, but having located Wiseguy Pizza just down the road from the hotel via Google Maps, I pushed aside these misgivings and ventured out on a dusky mission to get some grub into my stomach.

And just as well that I did. Old world, authentic New York style pizza fired in old school deck ovens at 287°C, featuring and incredibly varied array of toppings and of course that delightfully stringy cheese that the Americans use on their pies. Pizza and cheesecake aside, the little eatery has classic music accompanying the relatively vintage feeling decor, with everything working together to craft a very cozy and warm spot to visit.

Thin Crust Pizza at Woodpecker Pizzadeli in Swellendam (2021-01-13) Food and Drink | Photo Gallery 04 MAR 2021

Having already mentioned that we woke up birthday girl Emily with cupcakes and LEGO, darted about the Bontebok National Park in search of buck, and devoured a waffle with ice cream at Ikigai, it is also worth noting that after a bit of swim time back at the guest house, we again ventured out onto the quiet, shaded streets of Swellendam to snuffle out some supper in the form of pizza from the aptly named Woodpecker Pizzadeli.

As it turns out, the Woodpecker Pizzadeli is actually the on-site restaurant attached to the Early Bird Guesthouse, serving a variety of meals (including vegetarian options) and, when not in Covid-19 lockdown mode, offering a wide selection of wines and craft beers too. That said, with the word ‘pizza’ so delightfully highlighted by being stuffed in the restaurant’s very own name, we were pretty much there for one thing and one thing only!

Pleasingly (for us, obviously not so much for the restaurant), the eatery was extremely quiet, giving us the space and confidence to take our time in sitting down to tuck in and enjoy their delightfully thin crust pizza combinations. Plus, as a completely unexpected nifty little bonus, the guys even showed up with some ice cream and a balloon for the birthday girl following our mains.

Exploring all the way to Chapter 4 Eatery outside Stellenbosch (2020-08-29) Food and Drink | Photo Gallery 13 DEC 2020

The Western Cape experienced some truly cold weather this winter, enough to spark snowfall on most of our higher peaks, which of course then meant lots of chasing about to view this wonderful and relatively rare occurrence for a territory not exactly used to receiving snow. As it stood, even our lowly peaks of the surrounding Helderberg mountains managed to get a bit of icing sugar on the top of their heads and so into the car Chantelle, the girls and I clambered to see if we could get a slightly better Helderberg view.

This particular sightseeing trip saw us first head out to Sir Lowry’s Pass Village and up to Knorhoek Estate, taking the steep road right up to Da Capo Vineyards and the beautiful Idiom Winery and Restaurant on the slopes of the Helderberg range. (The view of course was stunning, and if we didn’t have the girls with us in the car, we probably would have indulged in some wine tasting at their majestic tasting centre.)

Oh well. Down the mountain we came and back in Somerset West, we pulled over on Reservoir Road to take in the stunning view of the white frosted peaks. And also the mom who was diligently taking photos of her daughter doing ballet photos with the mountains as a backdrop. Clearly we are not ‘influencer’ enough!

From there I sought out a new place that I had caught wind of via Google Maps, a small green cluster in the heart of Somerset West referred to as Silver Tree Gorge (or Silwerboomkloof). As it turns out, Silver Tree Gorge is a small protected valley that is home to a forest of rare Silvertree, the silver-coloured tree member of the Protea family that is actually indigenous to the eastern slopes of Table Mountain. This clump, far removed from its normal habitat is somewhat of an anomaly, so it was kind of cool to stumble upon.

By this stage the girls were moaning about being hungry, so after a nice drive around the idyllic Spanish Farm suburb of Somerset West, I set course to the Cape Garden centre outside Stellenbosch, more specifically to a small little eatery called Chapter 4 Eatery – opened by the former owner of our once beloved Mondeor Garden Kitchen.

This little jaunt to the nursery for pizza and milkshakes was actually our very first restaurant visit following the big Covid-19 lockdown, but it was exactly what we needed. Super quiet, lots of space, and a little bit of outdoor fun equipment for Jessica and Emily to stretch their limbs out on. Nice.

USA 2019 – 07 Fuel Pizza and Wings at 600 F St NW in Washington DC (2019-10-25) Food and Drink | Photo Gallery 10 DEC 2020

So after a very successful day of on foot architecture, memorials and sculptures sightseeing for my first day in Washington DC, my now very tired feet were urging me to pick my way back to the hotel, but more importantly before that, find something to eat considering the fact that I hadn’t eaten the entire day – and for my first night in Washington DC I knew very much exactly what I wanted: America-style pizza!

So I slowly worked my way up along 6th St NW and just before I reached the Capitol One Arena (which was a hive of bustling, hay-fuelled horsey activity thanks to the grand Washington International Horse Show about to kick off – which unfortunately I wasn’t able to secure tickets for), I bumped into something looking particularly promising tucked away on the bottom floor of a very interesting looking building marked as the former Oriental Building Association headquarters – Fuel.

Fuel Pizza & Wings as it turns out is a small franchise that started up in 1998 by a couple of New Yorkers who found themselves living in Charlotte but in need of some really good New York-style pizza. They eventually found the perfect location to start in an old funky 1930’s gas station and fast forward 20 years, the team now have four locations scattered around Charlotte and two in Washington DC – one of which I had now perchance stumbled upon.

This particular Fuel eatery is themed around the 1930’s racing circuit and goes for a relatively industrial, minimalistic feel to it. Aesthetics, bar, and wings offerings aside, pizza is what I was there for and thankfully Fuel delivered exactly what I wanted. By the slice, cheese dripping, crispy thin based pizza heaven. It sounds stupid of course because we have plenty of good pizza options back home in South Africa, but admittedly there is something a little different about how the American ingredients influence the final product.