Albert Lane is a clever rework of laneway space in Albert Street butting onto the the T&G Building. It's sort of opposite the goods entry to the Myer Centre carpark. Wander down the Albert Street mall between Queen and Elizabeth streets and you'll find it.
It's now home to an Australian first - Vapiano, part of a chain with 65 locations worldwide. There are another 100 stores in development in the US, Europe and the Middle East.
There are a few quirky things about Vapiano which makes it stand out from the average. The fit out includes a large olive tree and a herb garden which provides fresh herbs for each table - you can snip pieces of basil for your pasta - it's a noice touch.
Pasta and pizzas are made to order, right in front of you. The chef asks how much chilli, how much salt etc so you can adjust the seasonings to your taste. The pasta is made on premise, fresh, daily.
Most of the food is local, coming from within 150km. One exception is the range of cheeses including buffalo mozzarella which comes from Vannella Cheese in Milla Milla, Far North Queensland. The olive oil is pressed from frantoio olives grown in the South Burnett, the eggs come from the Darling Downs and the fruit and veg from Bowen, Bundaberg, Gatton and Logan.
Director Will Cooke says the menu is full of good old fashioned Italian recipes.
Another plus is the chip card system which allows customers to order what they want, when they want it and just pay for their own purchases on departure. No more arguments about splitting the bill.
Vapiano Albert Lane is open from 11am to 11pm seven days a week.
Oh, and don't forget to check out the artwork in the loos!