I wonder if Ragnar comes back from the dead?” asked my wife as we drove to Inglewood.
She’s become hooked on Vikings over the festive break – binge-watching the first three seasons in as many days.
I’ve done my bit to jump on the pagan bandwagon – trading in my Holden Astra for a longboat, eating turkey leftovers with my bare hands, and routinely pillaging Old Bert’s lemon tree next door.
It was time for some civilisation, so we set sail for General Public Food Co on Beaufort Street.
I was expecting cafes and restaurants to be pretty dead on a Tuesday night in January, but General Public Food Co was doing a roaring trade and almost full with hungry punters.
Situated on the corner of Beaufort Street and Ninth Avenue, it felt slightly removed from the hustle-and-bustle with a nice alfresco that stretched around to the quieter suburban side.
The eatery had a very friendly, casual vibe and there was a mix of young couples, families, and middle-aged blokes catching up over a beer.
The staff were super friendly too with a young waitress greeting us with a big smile as we walked inside and looked for a table.
With its natural wood benches, seats and subtle paintwork, the interior was modern and uncluttered. The sense of space was enhanced by the large glass doors letting in a refreshing evening breeze.
General’s menu was clear and to the point – they specialised in sourdough pizzas and also did sides, salads, desserts and sourdough folds (basically a fancy sourdough toasted sanger).
It was like something you would get at a casual beachside hotel.
My young kids, Bamm-Bamm and Pebbles, decided to share an adult Margherita pizza (sans basil $19) and a side of loaded fries ($15).
The pizza had that trademark mottled edge, wafer thin base and gooey mozzarella on top.
They wolfed it down in no time. I had a sneaky taste and can confirm it was delicious with a rich tomato sauce and a hint of Fior Di Latte cheese, which is made exclusively from cow’s milk as a opposed to Mozzarella which is traditionally made from buffalo milk. I’m not normally a fan of loaded fries; they seem like the epitome of crass, over-indulgent American cuisine – let’s take something already quite unhealthy and chuck in some more unhealthy stuff. But these made me rethink the concept – crisp, non-greasy fries topped with quality chunks of thick smoky bacon, cheese, sour cream and fresh spring onion.
Top notch and the first time I’ve had loaded fries and felt vaguely human afterwards.
Across the table, my wife “Special K” was devouring her beef brisket pizza ($26) like some middle-class Viking enjoying their last meal before entering the hallowed Halls of IKEA.
“I’m loving the sweet caramelised onion, jalapenos and drizzle of sour cream on top,” she said.
“The brisket is good but very thinly cut and I would have preferred it a bit more chunky or pulled. Apart from that, it’s executed perfectly and has a nice smoky BBQ sauce.”
Rounding things off were some delightful cheesy haloumi croquettes ($12). They had the perfect combination of crispy exterior and moreish gooey centre.
A lovely touch was the creamy, slightly mustardy dip, which had wholegrains punctuating the sauce. A great side dish.
General Public Food Co is perfect for a casual meal and I can see why it was so busy in early January.
I’m sure it would even appease the viking Gods, who would no doubt enjoy a midi of Swan lager and some pepperoni pizza.
General Public Food Co
882 Beaufort Street, Inglewood
by STEPHEN POLLOCK