Lettuce B. Frank Wholefoods Cafe - Wollongong NSW
|Breakfast laced with Dukkah flavours with roast tomatoes, poached egg and sourdough.|
Perhaps this is the Sydney Cornersmith of the Illawarra, or leading to this? Many of the varied cafes, delis and wholesale providers in this region are on a journey, some half way, others in an eclectic mix between the casual, popular and seriously organic. Several stand out in their creations put on the table for retail customers, others have niches in baking and more.
Let us be frank - the location of their Wollongong city centre cafe is strategic but can be a bit inconvenient for those driving from the suburbs, southern Sydney or passing through to the South Coast of New South Wales. Once you manage to get there, it can be a lovely experience, with a casual home feel, many youngsters lounging around, produce and products lovingly displayed and even a view at the verandah to the railway tracks below. You are then further drawn inside the cafe by no artificiality, no manufactured processing, less gluten, no added sugars and al naturale.
Salads can be much a personalised matter, but it is in the combinations. You can have your Nashi pear, walnuts, basil, rocket, snow pea sprouts and sun dried tomatoes sitting on your kitchen counter - but how does one ensure the right bite, flavours and health combos? There is a kind of Mediterranean influence in the LBF salad options, with Kalamatta olives thrown in good measure or with tomato Bocconcini and basil.
An Aussie adopted favourite is the Lasagne, here totally vegetarian or beef - and the other is the butter chicken with rice. There is also a traditional Greek salad (the Horiatiki with key ingredients like Feta, onions, tomato and olives) in addition to seasonal gourmet salad offerings.
What I personally find outstanding are:
The coconut with Quinoa and pumpkin scones. The outcomes transcend cultures and are an interesting twist on the Aussie journey to being more multi-cultural and cosmopolitan.
Friands and Paleo banana loaves with fruit bits.
Miniature Brioche and artisan bread with classic Australian fillings like ham, lettuce, egg and BLT.
Choice is definitely a feature at LBF for those who are more careful about their food, but with less variety than Cornersmith in Marrickville, inner Sydney, which is rather a leader in organic pickling and preserve making as well.
Lettuce B. Frank is located at 337 Princess Highway beside the road bridge over the tracks of the Wollongong main rail station, at the southern end of Wollongong city centre near its main hospital.
Opening hours are from from 6am to 4pm every weekday and from 7am to 2pm on weekends.
Contact +61 2 4228 5288
Vehicle parking can be a challenge on busy days and it may be best to take the train or the free Gong Shuttle which does drop by a nearby bus stop. Do choose the correct route taken by this shuttle as there are two loops, one to the south (which takes you to Lettuce B. Frank) and another side of Wollongong CBD.
At time of writing, LBF Wholefoods is being planned for schools, universities and canteens.