Wednesday, 4 January 2012

George St Bistro, East Fremantle

It was a cracker of a Saturday morning - as still as something really rather still, and the the river looked superb as Westy and I slid the boats in at Point Walter. The barest breath of wind from the south. It was unusually quiet on the water for a Saturday morning with the exception of a few rowers from East Fremantle.

M4P was off driving around country NSW on the Griswald family holiday and Travis had been deported back to the US of A to pluck banjos in upstate New York for Xmas, so it was just Westy and I on this great summer morning.

Santa had been good to me at Christmas and I had my new carbon fibre iPaddle, replacing my previous big, chunky metal-and-plastic Finn Wing paddle. I wasn't deluded enough to think that it would make all that much difference to a 40 year old bloke well-past the peak of fitness. I also had a new gadget - a Garmin Forerunner 405 GPS watch and heartrate monitor which Mrs Blue had lovingly gifted me.

As we started off from the spit, we made our way inshore past the rock faces at Bicton, before weaving through the yachts. So far so good.

Having been away with work for some time I was still building up my paddle fitness, and trying to catch up to Westy, who had been paddling consistently and constantly over the couple of months I had been gone. And I suppose the fact that my massive-tackle-busting (read:podgy) frame ensures that my Endorfinn has substantially less freeboard than Westy's.

But enough of the excuses.

We were both in the zone as we rounded the corner at the East Fremantle Yacht Club, and made our way past Zephyrs, a breakfast favorite of ours. The aroma of frying pig and coffee assaulted us and almost caused an immediate change of plans. Showing tremendous strength of character, we paddled as fast as we could to the other side of the river, where we couldn't be tempted and continued down to the Fremantle bridges.

Looking at the GPS, we had made our best time to the bridges, with 39 minutes being about 2 minutes better than the last effort, but the quarter-knot assisting current may have contributed. After a short breather we mad our way back past The Left Bank, and the Red Herring, sticking close to the bank to appreciate the good 'form' of the top sorts running along the track. We're always very appreciative of the effort that the ladies of Freo go to, to make sure we have a good paddle.

As we went back past Zephyrs a chap paddled past in a Epic V10 top-of-the-range. Not unusual you might say, but this chap had quite a bit less freeboard than I did, if you get my drift, and not the sort of athletic person you normally see in an Epic. Good on him!

The paddle made some difference, particularly with the Stellar grip that I got from Perth Canoe Works the previous day. I didn't feel like I was trying to cut down the enemy with my Claymore every time I took a stroke, and with a little adjustment seemed more efficient.

As we pulled the boats out in 1 hour 28min for the 12.02 km we decided to hit the George St Bistro in East Fremantle for breakfast. We'd been here with the good ladies for a degustation dinner a couple of weeks back, and for brekky after a paddle once before.

Oddly enough the George St Bistro is on ...err... George St in East Fremantle. It has all sorts of gourmet-type cheeses and foodstuffs to look at, and a very good selection of wine, but not even on New Year's Eve were we keen to crack a bottle at breakfast. That happened on Boxing Day and my body is still recovering.

As we arrived, there was a table on the footpath right out the front, affording a great view of this leafy neighborhood.

The menu for breakfast isn't too far out of the box, but when you are going out for brekky, you don't want it to be. I went out on a limb by ordering scrambled eggs and bacon on toast, causing some brief consternation by  asking for avocado mashed into the toast, and Westy asked for his standard Eggs Benedict - this one having an unusual Orange Hollandaise.

The prices are pretty good, particularly for the area. Westy's Eggs Benny was $17 - right up there on the Benny scale as being good value. My scrambled eggs and bacon was $16.

It didn't take long for our breakfast to arrive and mine was delicious with the scrambled eggs being creamy but not aerated and the bacon very tasty. The thick-cut toast was great - particularly with avocado on it. As much as I enjoyed it, I was suffering from breakfast envy as Westy wolfed down his Eggs Benny (with the eggs perfectly cooked) whilst waxing lyrically about the Orange Hollandaise. Bugger.

The coffee at George St is outstanding and required us to smash two of them down in quick succession. No, really. It's that good. But not as good as the polite, cheerful, friendly service throughout our meal. It was no problem to split the bill, and we'll definitely be going back.

The combination of quality of the brekky (including coffee), the value, the setting and the service gives George St Bistro 8.5/10. George Street Bistro & Merchants on Urbanspoon


  1. An impressive spiel - you have missed your true calling. I'll be impressed if you can regularly push out 913 words on a paddle and brunch!

    Does getting out of bed at 0530 and driving to a paddle and breaking down on the way count as an entry? I can post the repair bill for said "duff widget" but perhaps not in the spirit of your august column. (no Blue, not a euphemism....)

    PS: Not too many gorilla biscuit makers around these days.

  2. Westy, you are just baiting him. He will now post at least 913 words (the Canning River entry makes my point.

    I'm back on the 15th and hope to start paddling again that Tuesday (where would you be without the trusty 'beetle') IF my leg allows. Since neither of you were on FB at the time, I'll keep the story short - it's broken. Technically, a distal fracture of the left fibula, procured on Christmas Eve skiing in NY. Laugh it up now if you must. Only have a protective boot, should be able to go without it by then. (And if I never get it re-X-rayed, whose to know the difference.) We'll see. See you soon.

  3. Bugger! Never laugh at a fellow paddlers misfortune. Much...

    P'raps its time to try sitting on your arse whilst paddling rather than that standing up caper?

    Hope to see you out there soon.

  4. The concept of an exclusively Women’s fitness fremantle is to provide Ladies with an opportunity to concentrate on their own health, away from the glances of onlookers.

  5. Thank you, Roger Irrelevant.