I love a place that has so many different types of dishes on the menu where all appetites are tempted. From an initial google search and previous breakfast experiences a couple of years ago, I thought that Not Bread Alone would do just that. With an all day breakfast menu and an extensive lunch menu including five sections; no one should have had cause to complain that they couldn’t find anything that they felt like. On offer are three kinds of open (or normal) sandwiches, six salads, four burgers, four pastas and a plethora of mains which cover your Australian Classics like grilled fish of the day ($24.90), scotch fillet ($22.90) and veal schnitzel ($20.90).
A converted terrace house set back off the Pacific Highway, the kitchen is located inside where the front bedroom would once have been. A serving counter is next to the entrance, and seating has been set up on the enclosed outdoor balcony upstairs and on the pavement downstairs.
We were initially seated right next to the entrance in an awkward configuration for four. Given that we had made the effort to book, and there was another table available (also reserved but the group hadn’t yet arrived), I asked for us to be moved. The waiter, after a moments hesitation agreed stating “first come first serve.”
The staff all seem to wander around a bit in their own world, and the owner/manager isn’t overly pleasant. After waiting half an hour with our menus, our order was finally taken. A minute later, another waitress came to take our order again, unaware we had been helped moments earlier.
While we waited for our food, the weather turned cold and rainy. Luckily the outdoor area is equipped with heaters. I asked a passing waitress to please switch it on for us. She didn’t seem to hear me. I had to turn on the heater myself until the manager came to help, looking quite disgruntled that I had taken it upon myself to touch it in the first place. Once the heater was on though, we warmed up quick smart.
The food quality was also a disappointment. It seems to have gone downhill since my last visit, on which occasion I had the most gorgeous ricotta hotcakes that I still dream about. The veal schnitzel ($20.90) was greasy and under seasoned. The beer battered fish ($20.90) was also average and came with bonus human hair on the lemon. When mentioned to the waitress, she did remove it off the plate and brought a fresh one, but there was no apology. At least the chips that came with both dishes were home made and tasty.
The vegetarian big breakfast ($19.90) was a good dish, but the sourdough it came with looked supermarket bought and over toasted.
The only stand out was the veal ravioli ($20.90) with the provincial sauce which was well balanced, and each parcel of pasta contained a decent amount of meat.
The place is not all bad. The wine menu is nice and blankets are provided to guests sitting downstairs to ward off the chill in the cooler months. The desserts which passed us also looked fabulous, but we weren’t in the mood to try and get someone’s attention again in order to order one.
All in all the best thing about the lunch was the company. I’m not sure if there is new ownership, but things have definitely changed in the last couple of years. It’s a shame. This place used to be a winner, and with a little bit of effort could probably become a winner once again.
Where: Shop 2, 376 Pacific Highway Crows Nest NSW.
Why: Veal ravioli
When: 7 days, breakfast & lunch.
Good for kids: No
Take away: Yes