The Little Bird Café in Northbridge sports an in-vogue menu of gluten free, dairy free, and paleo friendly menu items. It's situated on a serene part of Lake street, away from the chaotic centre of Northbridge. The café sports indoor and outdoor seating, and on a fine
Spring Winter Sunday the atmosphere was perfect.
When confronted with the choice, I tend to opt for the added-gluten, extra-cruelty and doubly-processed option -- more concerned with the pragmatism and flavour of food than its politics. I'm forced to admit that the lack of nefarious glutens and pernicious dairy products did not in any way impinge on my enjoyment of the food at The Little Bird.
My smoothie was one of the best I've ever had; I didn't even regret the $8 price tag. The Peanut Butter and Chocolate smoothie was touted as dairy free, with almond milk, dates, raw cacao and banana. If you've ever had that fancy peanut butter - you know the kind - nothing but peanuts and oil (no added sugar), you'll recognise the taste. It wasn't salty, oily or overly saccharine, like a home-made Kraft peanut butter milk shake tends to be. The balance of ingredients and interplay of sweetness with the savoury peanut flavour was just right. It was suitably thick, too.
Buckwheat Pancakes with Cashew Cream, Banana and Mint.
They lied to me! I only got one (large) pancake! The buckwheat pancake was large and fluffy, but it was let down by a raw flour taste, as though the starchy flavour had not been adequately cooked out. When the pancake was combined with the moist Banana, the slightly sweet and nutty cream, Maple syrup, and the Bacon I borrowed from C, the floury taste was shrouded from prominence and the dish became more enjoyable. This isn't a raging endorsement, as I think Cream, Bacon and Maple syrup added to just about anything will bring a smile to my face. The Mint was a clever touch flavour-wise and helped cut the sweetness. The decorative flowers were cute, however I'm not sure if they were edible. I didn't eat them.
This didn't quite resemble the hashes of breakfast past, but the flavours were spot on. The Pear contributed a subtle note of tartness to the oily sweetness of fried Sweet Potato and the saltiness of the Pancetta. I enjoyed the whole grain mustard too, and who doesn't like a poached egg?