Monthly Archives: September 2012

GROTTO PIZZA TECA

61B Edward Street, Norwood

This is the first in (probably) a series of posts delineating pizza parlours par excellence located around Adelaide. I’m calling it (most likely) “Pizza as culinary Twitter” (seems almost everyone’s doing it, but perhaps not everyone should – and too often you regret it in the morning).

To kick things off, and set the pizza toss of expectation “high” it’s Grotto Pizza Teca.

Set back slightly from Norwood Parade – and a world apart from numerous would-be-rival eateries along the strip – is a modest brick cube that since 2003, has offered-up some of the best za going around in this town.

grottos1

Inside it’s basic – you sit and you eat, or you sit and you wait to eat someplace else. The pick-up experience is made all the more agreeable by the reading selection; which is current, varied and offering great insight into the iconic history of the cigar. The dining décor is befitting of the venue’s name and emblematic of the business ethos; “functional simplicity”. It’s open, casual and welcoming. You really get the feeling these guys just do what they do best – they make pizza.

Whether you opt for the Caesar-inspired signature, or something that may perhaps look more at home on a Gouger St bill of fare (BBQ pork? And corn? On a pizza? For serious?), or even the smack-mouthedly unsubtle “The Bomb”, each option is well considered, and prepared to order. There are more straight-up and familiar options too, as well as few salads. Oh, you also must try the Swiss brown mushroom and basil pesto hot breads (and tell me if they’re any good). Pizza toppings are ever fresh, well-placed (read: no dead spots) and the bases – crispy Frisbees of deliciousness. There’s also a special something in Grotto’s sauce that compels you to go in for that one last slice, and not regret it.

Grotto is licensed too. A modest array of beers and wines are served (all in humble tumblers) and coffee by fellow Adelaide institution Rio Coffee is available to follow your feast.

At around $20-$30 a head, Grotto’s aren’t exactly ‘cheap eats’ by takeout standards, but when it comes to pizza, most often you get what you pay for. At one end there’s “I may as well just eat the box” bland – perfect for rent week and refuelling in between dancing around the living room at 2am, and waking up to a salami facial having faceplanted into the box. “Three types of cheese / herbs from a shaker” gourmet (payday style) sits somewhere in the middle, and “matsutake, wagu and truffle trio” balls-our deluxe (three months to live) tops the list. The looser your purse strings, the less regret you’re forcing yourself to endure the morning after*. For my money, Grotto sits very high on the curve, and deservedly so.

FACT #1: There are enough pizzas made in Norwood every year to eradicate world hunger 3 times over.
FACT #2: Grotto rules for a square mile.
FACT #3: Bookings are limited to 10 people, max.
FACT #4: You can get a 10% discount coupon if you visit their website and pay with cash money.

Dine in recommended; their delivery coverage is a little splotchy, and it tastes better straight off the stone.

 Thanks for stopping by. Be well, TV.

*notably, I learned recently that this scale is almost an exact inversion of the one used when strategizing for a mate’s stag night.

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Cafe Troppo

42 Whitmore Square, Adelaide

A few months back and seemingly out of nowhere, the tiny Café Troppo apperated into the base of a newly completed apartment block on the corner of Sturt St and Whitmore Square. I’d spoken about it with guys from a local design studio – the location, the operators, the cubbyhouse / lean-to aesthetic – but no one seemed to know quote what the deal was…

Turns out Troppo is an architecture firm who, in 2005 won a competition – the Adelaide Affordable Ecohousing Competition – to “design a medium density development on a corner of one of Adelaide’s 5 squares”. The building which resulted – apart from being one of the city’s most intriguing new erections – includes “Well insulated walls and winter sun-catching glass… balanced across the floor plate for best thermal performance” and aims to “flirt with the public and private interface.”* At the base of the complex and clearly tied into this eco-aware mindset, nestles Café Troppo.

cafe troppo

Ours was a Sunday visit, and the chalkboard boasted “all day breakfast and Sunday roast from 12:30”. CAN YOU IMAGINE?? We seriously considered cancelling our plans for the remainder of the day (which included a friend’s wedding) and just camping out in a warm corner.

The breakfast / brunch menu is brief but varied (eggs, pancakes, French toast, muffins, smoothies, waffles, juice…) and their cakes and pastries were enticingly lopsided and homey. During the week their eats list is carefully selected to offer seasonal produce and changes accordingly. Expect to find a combination of pastas, pizzas, pies, salads, soups and baked things – or, none of these. Apparently late night wine / tapas / live music happens on Thursdays and Fridays too. Frankly, that sounds just about great. Oh, and did I mention Sunday roast?!

cafe troppo

Troppo Coffee (courtesy of Magil roasters De Groot) is presented in handcrafted ceramic (a welcome deviation from industry staples) and in keeping with the business’ dominant ethos, takeaways are served in Biocups. The resident espresso-maker was certainly doing them proud, serving a heavy, dark brew typical of De Groot. A friend, having asked after gluten free bread, returned to our table wide-eyed at the response she received; “we’ve just baked a fresh batch”. It seems Troppo produce most things in-house, and prefer local or boutique producers for those they cannot (a tiny ‘barter board’ offers customers the chance to trade homegrown ingredients for food and service).cafe troppo

Timber furniture, the open kitchen and friendly, casual service all add to the experience of great, simple food served well. Brunches are bustling – so if you’re headed down on the weekend don’t expect to get a table straight away, but have patience. The atmosphere is unique and effortlessly welcoming – not an easy vibe to pull off.  Kudos Troppo.

Thanks for stopping by. Be well, TV.

 *quotes in this paragraph are lifted from this website

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Urgh, text

Yeah – sorry about that. I’m working on getting some photos to pretty the place up a bit…

See this one – this one has pictures.

Thanks for your patience. Be well, TV.