[dropcap style=”font-size: 60px; color: #A02F2F;”] O [/dropcap]ne of the many great things about the wonderfully named Pickled Pelican in Portland is that you can try it at any time of the day.
With opening hours from 8am to 10pm (Tues-Sun), it is a great spot for breakfast, morning coffee, lunch, afternoon tea or a casual dinner, and it seems to draw a steady crowd for each one.
Its location helps, as it is the first, most interesting café you come to when driving into Portland from the east. The double-storeyed, whitewashed, restored old building is a great example of the city’s heritage architecture which is so vastly under-rated compared to Port Fairy.
Last week was my second visit to the Pickled Pelican. The first was for coffee and cake and both were fantastic. A sign of how seriously a café takes its coffee is how much it invests in a coffee machine and the Pickled Pelican has gone for a top of the range Ruggero that is so sexy, it is worthy of its own Facebook photos: and why not?
[dropcap style=”font-size: 60px; color: #A02F2F;”] T [/dropcap]here is an excellent selection of cakes and biscuits, including a delicious lemon curd tart ($6) and the tempting chocolate pistachio Vienna biscuit ($3.50) that was proving a hit with the 11am coffee crowd.
Four-legged patrons are also not forgotten, with the Pickled Pelican offering a puppycino – yes – for dogs that is made up of puppy milk, liver slivers and a dog biscuit. (You never told me about those! – Barney, the bluestonemagazine cocker spaniel).
For lunch last week I tried the vegetarian toasted Turkish bread sandwich ($13.90) because it promised field mushrooms, which I love. It was soft, moist and very filling. My fellow diners were keen on the soup of the day which was a creamed mushroom with a generous serving of toast ($14) that looked equally as delicious.
[dropcap style=”font-size: 60px; color: #A02F2F;”] C [/dropcap]hef and manager Katy Sullivan has worked hard to create something classy and different for Portland and if the diverse clientele is anything to go by, she has succeeded. Local public servants appear to favour it as a place for a working lunch, with nooks and crannies both upstairs and downstairs for a quiet meeting.
The breakfast bar at the front of the café, meanwhile, draws backpackers, older couples and people just popping in for a quick coffee … but the morning sun pouring in through the tall windows makes it hard to leave.
[dropcap style=”font-size: 60px; color: #A02F2F;”] K[/dropcap]aty has also introduced themed dinner nights that have proven really popular among those hankering to try different cuisines such as French, Moroccan, Thai, Mexican and Indian. Other nights there is tappas and live music.
Next time, I hope to be able to get across to Portland one evening to try the Pickled Pelican after dark because I have a sense it would be jumping.
All our reviews are independent: we pay for what we try.
[box] Pickled Pelican, 137 Percy St, Portland. Ph: (03) 5521 1641.[/box]
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