The Sydney Opera House is awesome. But that's not why the country is awesome.
Some short reasons before I launch into the main one: it's beautiful, Sydney is a great city, the birds are amazing, eucalypts are also beautiful, the country is small (population wise) and national news is more like the neighborhood report, Aussies are super friendly and chill, there's not a lot of pretension.
But the number one reason Australia rules is the food. No, seriously. I think this is the first trip (of my now seven trips) that I've thought this. Growing up it was always bland biscuits, tasteless tea, meat with two or three veg, instant coffee. I mean, I love me some pavlova and butternut squash, but you can only eat so much of that. I never need to eat another meat pie, sausage roll, or lamb chop again. In general, food in the country is still all of those things.
However #1, food in the city and in other pockets, such as Daylesford, rivals food in the East Bay and is more reasonably priced and less pretentious. Oh yeah. I ate at two particularly incredible places - The Farmers Arms
and Glebe Point Diner
. The last one wins big time points for being THE BEST at dealing with a baby. It was the 105 degree day and they immediately made an iced neckerchief for B, brought him a toy and a crust of bread to chew on and then two slices of cucumber and tomato (but by then B has fallen asleep in my arms). Plus, all of the servers at Glebe Point were crazy fabulous and one of them was gorgeous
, a man's man (gay or straight) and turns out he had gone to UCBerkeley.
Also, all restaurant workers are paid a living wage. This means that prices were steep - even for some one from the Bay Area. Just going to the corner cafe can run you over $10 dollars. But you don't have to tip. As someone said, I don't remember who, Australia doesn't have Mexicans. I'll gladly pay more knowing that everyone is being paid fairly.
However #2, the food in Australia is of higher quality in general. Cage free eggs are abundant and clearly labeled. Even the caged eggs are of a quality that I only recognize from the CSA eggs we got for awhile. Bright orange yolks. Delicious. The dairy is crazy good. If I could import Ski brand's passionfruit yoghurt I would do so by the barrel. None of the meat or dairy are raised with hormones. All of the meat is grass fed. Some of the cattle get grain fed at the end, but the vast majority is just grass fed. All of that is amazing. The piece de resistance? High fructose corn syrup doesn't exist.
Fer real. We couldn't find any. Cheap crackers? Nope. In cereal? No. What about soda? No sir.
I salute you, Australia, for your tastiness!