Little Pantry, New Farm

Just far enough away from the mad rush of the shopping end of James Street, Little Pantry is a locals' oasis.

It's full of the good things in life - organic milk and bread - with a blackboard menu that offers much to ponder.

There's no printed menu but you are free to pick and choose from the blackboard or from the display cabinet.  There were some fresh, interesting salads on display when I arrived for lunch at 12.30 on a Thursday but unfortunately they were somewhat depleted by the time my dining companion arrived at 1pm and there were no refills available.

Despite the lack of choice, my lunch of quiche and salad was delicious and my friends risotto was equally well liked.  There was a real home made flavour about the food, no tricked up flavour enhancers hiding amongst the sauces or lurking in the salads.  Just real food. And the portions were generous for the price.

I also enjoyed the casual atmosphere and seating, although I scored the antique couch for lunch which made it all feel a bit special. There's also bar seating overlooking the street for people watchers and footpath tables which seemed to suit the mothers-with-prams crowd.

The coffee is one of the better Di Bella blends and I found it smooth and rich with no bitterness. Most enjoyable.

Bottom line: relaxed, casual eating with good food.
Best tip:  great alternative to the hectic end of James Street.

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