A1 Bakery (Brunswick)
A1 bakery exemplifies what Brunswick does best – cheap and genuine Lebanese food. After watching Anthony Bourdain (swoon) visit A1 with a peculiarly fair-dinkum Matt Preston (shudder), we scooped some loose change into our wallets and strolled down Sydney Rd in search of carb-delights.
Outside of A1 there are always locals sipping their thick coffees, usually with a cigarette in the other hand and some delicious pastries laid about on the table for sharing. Inside, the décor (or lack thereof) adds the kind of charm you come to expect from decent cheap eateries around Melbourne. One thing I’ve learnt is that generally the more dowdy the interior the more delightful the food.
There’s not too much on the menu and everything is gentle to the hip pocket, however, we stood around for eons deliberating on what to get. This isn’t uncommon – we both are very indecisive folk so most of our restaurant/café time is spent perusing the menu and having arguments with our internal monologues. We opted for takeaway just so we could graze and share the 3 unpredictably colossal pastries – seriously, these things are huge and one alone would be enough for lunch.
The cheese pie which receives raves from fellow foodies was hard to go past. The lightly floured pastry encased melty, squeaky haloumi cheese. The cheese was perfect with a hint of saltiness. The indulgent, soft, supple dough was easy to gnaw through to reveal the abundant cheese. One thing I didn’t expect was how large the cheese pie would be. It’s perfect to share with a friend…or not.
The spinach pie was possibly my favorite. The marriage that is spinach and cheese in A1’s Spinach Pie is the kind that surpasses even the greatest of love stories. The salty spinach and the generous cheese sheathed in floury pastry are heavenly.
The meat pizza had subtle spices throughout and despite it being my least favourite of our A1 haul it was still very palatable. As with the rest of the pies, the meat pizza had a flawless base which was thin, soft and faintly chewy. I’ve always been adamant that a pizza is only as good as its base and A1 continually churns out impressive pizza bases and pastries.