Frankies at Forde, a Review

It was an absolutely stinking hot day. But having done all the house chores with mum, and having nothing else to do, boredom chased me out of the house to go on a bit of an op shop adventure. Sadly I didn’t find anything worth bringing home this time around, however, I did end up so starving hungry on the trip back that I had to stop in and eat somewhere or else I wouldn’t have been able to make it home!

I drive past Frankies at Forde a lot, and sometimes nip into the chemist and supermarket close by to it. But I had never had the chance to eat there until today. My first impression as I walked in was a good one. I was greeted right away at the door and handed a menu, and told I could order at the bar whenever I was ready. So I sat down to peruse the lunch menu. I was immediately delighted to see a vast range of their items could be made gluten-free on request, including burgers and pizzas! It was a small extra charge of $2 for the gluten-free option on the burgers, but the fact still remained that for once I could get a gluten-free burger when I was in a gluten-free burger mood, and the burgers came with chips!

I absolutely couldn’t go past their pulled pork burger with an appleslaw and cider reduction for $19, not including the g/f extra charge. I have never had appleslaw, but I am a huge fan of pulled pork. So I picked that one and went up to the counter to order. I did a bit of back and forth with the man at the bar to decide what I wanted to drink. I’m horrible when it comes to drinks, either I pick orange juice, or if I don’t get orange juice I don’t know what to do with myself. But the man at the bar knew their range quite well, and he was really helpful in selecting a drink. This is the first place I’ve been to in a long time that serves ginger beer, let alone ginger beer with a bit of lime! I was delighted when he asked whether I wanted a bit of lime in mine, and I answered yes!

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It was very refreshing, exactly the sort of thing I needed given the intense heat. Not too long after that I received my pulled pork burger and chips! It looked delicious. I happen to be a fan of places that serve their food on boards. I don’t know why, but something about it appeals to me. I especially love the sight of pizza served on a wooden board. But I digress! The burger was spot on. Half the time when I get gluten-free burgers the bread isn’t toasted and so gets soggy before I can even get halfway through. However this bread was perfectly toasted, and I have to admit it had a much better texture than most of the gluten-free breads I’ve been served in cafes before. Yum! The applesaw was a lovely mix of tangy and sweet, and tasted very crisp and fresh, and it worked beautifully with the pulled pork.

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The burger wasn’t at all too small either. There was a whole lot of pork tucked in-between those two pieces of bread, and much to my dismay I ended up having to leave two bites of burger behind because I couldn’t cram it in!

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Overall I was really impressed by my first visit. The service was good, and not too slow at all, and the prices were pretty standard for cafes – but not too exorbitant given the quality of the food I tasted today! I’m rather curious to go back again and give some of their other gluten-free options a go, and I think I’d like to try their breakfast and dinner menus as well. Besides, any place that has a ping-pong table gets a big thumbs up in my book!

Frankies at Forde

Email: info@frankiesatforde.com.au

PH: 0429 781 704

Unit 1/26 Francis Forde Boulevard, Forde, ACT

Hours (From what I could see on the internet…)
Monday: CLOSED

Tuesday – Wednesday: 8:00am-10:00pm

Thursday :8:00am-11:00pm

Friday – Saturday: 8:00am-12:00pm, 8:00am-12:00am

Sunday: 8:00am-8:00pm

Choc-Banana Bread (g/f, d/f, optional vegan)

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I decided to de-clutter a little while back, and that included giving up some old cookbooks I wasn’t using or couldn’t use due to allergies in the house. But those will all go to good homes in the end, so I didn’t mind too much. After that I thought it might be awhile before I stumbled across a cookbook that would convince me to take it home.

I was wrong.

While out and about in Melbourne I stumbled across a large bookstore and couldn’t help ducking inside to take a peak. I was amazed at their range of gluten-free cookbooks, but flipping through a few promising candidates I was disappointed with their range and/or their use of hard to find or expensive ingredients. I had about given up, but I decided to give the fancier baking books a squiz. Nestled in amongst them was one book titled Vegan and Gluten-Free Baking: Over 80 delicious vegan and gluten-free recipes! It had the little Love Food stamp on it that I recognised from an old and useful cookbook I used to have a long time ago, and flipping through the book I was impressed.

Each recipe in this book has a photo. But it doesn’t stop at one. Each also has a few progress photos, and cook’s tips, etc. I don’t often see that sort of thing in cookbooks, so I was excited to be able to see what the batter should look like and to see what the author suggested as variations or flavour couplings in the little tips. Each recipe also uses either gluten-free plain flour or gluten-free baking powder, which makes cooking each recipe that much simpler and cheaper. Better still each recipe is also done in grams and mls and tbsp and tsp, etc, which makes measuring out the ingredients more precise, and makes replacing them even easier.

 

I decided to attempt to go through the book from start to finish, skipping in emergencies, as a couple of later posts will show, so that I could get a better feel of the book and see how it would turn out. I picked the second recipe in the book, this banana bread, as the first thing to do as I still had a whole heap of frozen bananas to use up. I was delighted at how well this banana bread rose, and how lovely a flavour it had! But be careful not to leave it in the tin for too long, as this bread can steam itself if stuck in it’s tin with no room to breathe and cool.

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Shakshuka (g/f, optional d/f)

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It’s true that I don’t often post about main dishes. I tend to have more time around work and house chores and things to post about end of week bakes and sweet treats. But this doesn’t mean that I never cook mains. Although I will admit that I like baking more! So I thought that since this time I did manage to snap a somewhat decent picture of a weeknight main before it got eaten and packed up for work I thought that I would post about it here for FF!

Shakshuka is an Tunisian dish I was first introduced to at a good friend’s house a while ago now. It’s a spiced tomato sauce with cooked eggs that is – as I understand it, meant to be served with pita bread. But I have now also had it served with gluten free pasta and believe me it is delicious!

It’s not plain at all and it can be both filling and addictive. It was perfect for both dinner and work lunch the next day. Even though I slipped up and made it a little bit spicier than I intended to it was still absolutely delicious and I would recommend it to anyone looking for something cheap, quick and flavoursome for dinner or lunch!

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Chocolate Olive Oil Bundt Cake (g/f, d/f)

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So. Last week for FF I posted about a mocha cake I made for a friend. As I mentioned in that post I made a second cake, as I wasn’t so sure whether the coffee flavoured cream wold suit the tastebuds of the other dinner guests. So I hunted around and I stumbled across this recipe for a Chocolate Olive Oil Bundt Cake. All of the photos for which looked superb, and the recipe for which would give me a chance to test out using brown rice flour some more, to see what all the fuss around brown rice flour is all about.

I found this recipe simple to put together, but I added a few extra tablespoons of almond meal because the mix was too thin for me. You could use less, or add nothing extra at all. It’s all up to what people prefer their mixes to be in terms of texture. Besides, I suspect a part of the moisture excess might have been due to the inconsistent sizes of our eggs, which we bought from a friend, and the fact that the original author wasn’t specific about what size to use. We tend to have larger than average sized eggs at our house.

I also tossed in some leftover df chocolate chips, in sore need of using, and popped it all into the oven! It cooked beautifully, and was delicious when dusted with a bit of icing sugar. The chocolate flavour was rather strong, and I could imagine this one going well with some df whipped cream! A lovely recipe for FF!

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Spiced Powdered Donuts (g/f, d/f) and Chocolate Donuts (g/f, d/f)

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Donuts, donuts, donuts! It’s been a little while since I last did a post about donuts, which are fast becoming a rather simple and delicious treat I can whip up to take out to places at the last minute. I decided to make a batch of the Spiced Powdered Donuts for an after dinner treat at a gathering with friends last week, but the Chocolate Donuts, which I didn’t manage to snap a photo of, have also been rather popular at gatherings in the past. So I thought for this FF it might be nice to post up both of these recipes, as a baked donut, without the dairy or the gluten, can be a real treat!

One thing I will mention is that it’s best not to overfill the pans when making the spiced powered donuts, as those have some incredible rise to them! The first batch, as the photo well shows, kind of overflowed their holes while baking. The second time around I spread the mix much thinner, and even then I almost had a few overflowing. So I would recommend not overfilling each hole, as you really don’t need to!

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Mocha Cake (g/f)

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This is a pre-planned post as I am currently on holiday.

I’ll admit that at the stage where I am baking two rather different cakes on a working night right towards the end of the week, despite the fact that I should be resting for going up to Melbourne, etc, I might be a little addicted to baking. But I have all sorts of excuses for attempting two cakes, the second of which I will be posting about next week for FF!

For one thing, a good friend of mine was having it a bit rough as it was crunch time at his uni, etc, and I thought I might cheer him up with a cake that has a flavour I hoped he would like! Mr. A is one of the oldest friends I have, after all, so I knew I wanted to give him something sweet and cheering! And that was what led me to pick this Mocha Cake.

I know he’s a coffee drinker, and I know he’s not opposed to chocolate cake either. But I do know he isn’t a fan of traditional icing or buttercream. Give him regular cream and he’s satisfied. So I hunted around for an alternative to the icing listed in the original recipe, as I had – like a dope, left the dairy-free whipping cream at Mr. P’s place and so couldn’t use it to make this a dairy-free recipe! I soon stumbled across a recipe for espresso whipped cream and did a big ole batch of that instead.

It had a rather strong flavour, which I hoped Mr. A would like, but which I suspected some of the teens and kids at the gathering I was taking it to might not. Also it seems too hilarious that I chose to put the cream on this cake  and attempt to photograph it when it was a stinking hot afternoon, like when the original author tried to photograph theirs! Within moments the cream had started to escape out the sides of the cake because of the intense heat, and it was straight back to the fridge with it!

But despite the escaping cream and the dire heat we all had a great night. I had a lot of laughs with Mr. A and I’m glad I got to hang out with him, and perhaps cheer him up a little bit! But that’s what friends are for!

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