Snapped is a companion piece to the hugely successful, "I turned away and she was gone"
Hidden Gem: The Bistro at Blaauwberg Meat Specialties
Packed away in the furthest corner of Ottery Industria, we find this weeks Hidden Gem.
If you were to take a quick left off Ottery bridge in the Southern Suburbs, you’d find yourself right in the middle of the Ottery industrial area, a very unassuming place for a hidden gem. Located amidst large industrial factories whose harsh exteriors looks colder than the middle of June, Blaauwberg Meat Specialities offers a warm family-orientated environment where you could pick up the finest cuts of imported meat and also have a hearty meal at the resident bistro.
Run by Sarel and Mario Oberholzer, Blaauwberg Meat Specialities specialises in meat and is an extension of the Blaauwberg Meat Group. The family-orientated and run business is something of an institution to locals. Having grown up in Ottery myself, I can vouch for this. Blaauwberg Meat Specialities is constantly abuzz with regulars and newbies alike; all moments away from a sensory euphoria. Not only are the fine cuts of meat on display, and their counter of imported treats almost irresistible, but the aroma from the inhouse cooked speciality dishes practically greets you at the door. With a single glance across the store, one thing that stands out is the same contemplative expression on every customer's face - a result of being spoilt for choice.
With this hidden gem being truly hidden deep within the plethora of factory shops that is Ottery industria, the clientele base resembles that of a family. Regulars are greeted by name when they enter the store only reiterating the warm and receptive environment that The Bistro has created, and something that many bigger franchise stores lack. Patrons are welcome to read the daily paper while sipping coffee and indulging in one of the variety of popular breakfast fry-ups, or catch up on sport highlights on the aptly placed television. It really is an enjoyable environment for all.
But let's get to the good stuff. The menu at The Bistro is nothing near those artsy dishes at your upscale diners. This little gem puts out hearty and wholesome homestyle dishes ranging from breakfast fry ups, sandwiches and pies, to a full lunch menu that looks and tastes like home. Word around The Bistro is that their most popular item on the menu is the Glazed Eisbein. The traditional german dish of ham hock is a firm favourite with people coming in from all over the Cape to get their fix. Sold at R80 per kilogram, the eisbein will be the star of the show for a long time coming. Another wonder of The Bistro are the imported treats sold near the counter. These are not your usual chocolates and cookies found at the local grocer. It’s those treats you’ve seen on television and only imagined tasted good. Our favourite has got to be the stroopwafels. Waffles made of two layers of baked dough filled with a caramel-like syrup center - these stroopwafels are little disks sent from the confectionary heaven. We also especially love the Bacon and Egg Pie. This marvelous creation is a burst of all the right flavours in your mouth. Imagine this: a puff pastry pie shell filled to the brim with bacon bits and an egg, baked in the oven till golden brown and served to you hot. Sold at R29 this pie is a hit for us and I'm sure would be for you too.
The Bistro at Blaauwberg Meat Specialities is one of the convenient all-in-one little treasures that life allows. Where else could you go and select premium quality cuts of meat, imported treats and still get a hearty meal within the same four walls? Blaauwberg Meat Specialities has most certainly struck gold with their butcher and bistro and the proof may not be in the pudding, but we have a feeling you’ll find it somewhere on the menu.
By Kirsten Adams
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