Best of the …. ribs

One of the aims of creating Socialeyes Brisbane was to help newcomers to the region discover the best parts of Brisbane. That includes the food!

So this is the start of the best of the best, reviewing what we have discovered so far, while exploring the great South East Queensland.

Coming originally from the Beef capital – Rockhampton, what better way for us to start our reviews than with a meaty touch. When there’s ribs on the menu we are sure to give them a go.

What makes for great-tasting ribs in our opinion? Tender and falling off the bone (without falling apart) is a good start. A delicious tasting sauce without being too overpowering is a must. A decent serve to get value for money helps too. Service with a smile gets bonus points.

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The Jerky Nuts Cafe and Bar

This cosy South African restaurant in Stafford Heights is our top pick so far when it comes to the best ribs in SEQ.

IMG_20180303_192936We ordered the Pork Ribs. Talk about a  large serving and delicious tasting! They were falling off the bone, but not falling apart – just like they should.

While you are there, I suggest you also check out the Herb & Cheese Pull Apart bread (I could have eaten the whole thing myself it was so good!)

If you still have room you can’t go past the Peppermint Tart for dessert. Just a tip – we’ve bought some of those as a take-away from their gourmet grocery store in Enoggera. Divine!

The staff are super friendly and enjoy a bit of banter around the room. They’ll be happy to have a chat and recommend some of their South African beverages too.

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The Defiant Duck

Another great ribs find for us was at an American style bar / restaurant in Newstead. The Defiant Duck is a popular drinking spot so we were surprised at how good the food was too.

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Apologies as there are no pics of this one. It was a large serving with plenty of sauce, and the large napkins can come in handy.

Special note needs to go to the desserts as well. Looked as good as they tasted! (And yes, we did take pics of this).

I do love my desserts and anything with a lemon flavour is high on my list, and this not only tasted amazing, it looked amazing too.

Certainly a step above the normal pub food that’s for sure.

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Burrito Bar (Everton Park)

Third favourite in our ribs ratings goes to a shopping centre eatery. We came across the place on our travels, stopping first to pick up a few groceries and then decided to grab a quick bite to eat. There were a few options at the centre so I was happy with the results of this choice.

The Burrito Bar is a Brisbane based franchise store that has opening in other parts of the country. We visited the Everton Park venue. The ribs certainly weren’t as tender as those mentioned above, but they were a generous serving with great taste. We’d highly recommended this for a dining option, especially with the funky Mexican themed setting.

We weren’t the only ones to enjoy the flavours, judging by the regular Uber eats collections while we were dining in for lunch. This would be a great night-time dining option too, with tequila based cocktails one of their specialties. We’ll have to try those next time.

Do you have a ribs recommendation? Share your favourites, and we’ll try to check them out!

Tough love

tough mudder

Why do people put themselves through difficult things on purpose?

Things like events that require you to dive into mud and frozen water, or get zapped by electrical pulses while wet and muddy. Not to mention paying for the privilege.

Things like taking part in events like Tough Mudder. Isn’t life tough enough?

Today was a day I had to get up at 5.30am to travel to the South East Queensland Tough Mudder event to support family members taking part. When we arrived at the Woodford destination it was around 10 degrees. A mite bit chilly for the hundreds who were walking around in only Lycra.

I couldn’t believe the numbers who had signed up for this event. We were there for the first wave of competitors but all throughout the day more and more were turning up. People of all shapes and sizes and all levels of fitness. Why, I couldn’t help but wonder? Do they know what they are getting themselves into?

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Armed with my camera I went off to capture some of the craziness of the obstacles. Obstacle 1 was a cargo net which didn’t look too bad, but further along the track there were sections where you had to crawl under barbed wire over mud, big ditches of water with mud banks to get over, ice baths and the crowd favorite, referred to as electroshock therapy.

It was while looking through my lens I noticed a few things I didn’t really expect.

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Among the facial expressions of exhaustion and pain were those of determination. There were muddy smiles as they passed one obstacle, ready to tackle the long run to the next one. The screams were mostly in good humour, even in the electroshock stage.

I noticed the camaraderie too. While there were lots of groups all dressed up the same, competing together and helping each other along there were plenty of strangers too, doing the same thing. People helping each other through the obstacles. A hand out, a leg up, a pat on the back of a job well done. It was quite inspiring to see.

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Watching people cross the finish line was interesting too. While I would have though it would have simply been a relief to get to that part of the day where you know it was all over, that’s not what happened. Instead there were lots of big smiles and conversations about the various obstacles and recollections of how they got through.

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It actually made me understand the reason people do it.

It almost made me think it could be fun.

Almost.

Shelve it

I can understand why you should never judge a book by it’s cover. There’s so much to a book that you’ll never discover until you turn the page, or several.

What about a book shelf?

Do you ever look at someone’s bookshelf to get an insight into that person?

I love to have a look at what books are there. If I spot a copy of Anne of Green Gables, for example, I’ll know I have found a kindred spirit. If I spot a copy of a book I’ve been meaning to read I’ll ask about it. Talk about a great conversation starter.

But I might also judge the shelf. And the owner.

I love to see some of the dreamy bookshelves on Instagram. There’s a couple of bookish people I follow that always give me bookshelf envy. I’ve seen some pretty rainbow themed shelves or colour blocking that is so creative to look at.

While I admire their design techniques, I don’t go to such elaborate lengths. My own preference is first grouping authors, then arranging tallest to shortest, darkest to lightest. When it comes to individual authors I repeat the same process all together, tallest to shortest, darkest to lightest.

I just don’t know what to think, though, when confronted by something like this.

Where do I start? Haphazard placement. Not grouped together. Upside down, back to front.

It was in a rental accommodation, and while I always appreciate there being books this was no peaceful experience! I spent most of my time wanting to rearrange it all.

How do you arrange your bookshelf?

Diary dates

There is something about starting the new year with a brand new blank diary that makes me feel excited. All the possibilities. All those blank pages, ready to be filled with fun plans, holidays and adventures.

That’s the thing about the new year too. It is just like the diary, full of unused days ready to be filled with fun plans, holidays and adventures.

Despite my love of all things technology I still prefer to keep a paper diary. It’s a bit like writing a list and crossing off the jobs when they are done. Such satisfaction. That’s what the diary does for me. I can flip back a few pages and reminisce over days gone by. I can flip forward a few pages and see what sort of adventures I have coming up. There’s even the possibility of adding things I haven’t even thought of yet.

We are already a few days in to the new year so I already have content I can add to the blank pages.

Day 1. A walk in the park.

I know that doesn’t sound too exciting, but it was. After driving to a coffee shop and finding it was actually closed we had turned the car and headed home when I spotted a cute little bridge, and a car park beside it. I suggested we stop and check it out. We did stop, and found a lovely little playground on either side of the bridge that crossed over Enoggera Creek. We took a walk around, under the bridge and around the playground, smiling at a small child enjoying a swing with her dad, and laughing at ourselves as we tried out some of the play equipment too. We admired the wild flowers growing all and saw a water dragon take off into the bushes as we headed back to our car. We also stopped to look at an insect that looked just like a piece of bark, except it was crawling along the footpath. It was a little bit of fun on a day where we could have gone home and done nothing at all.

Day 2. Back to work.

I know that doesn’t sound exciting either, but it was. I’ve only been at this new job for a short period of time, but now I’ve learned the ropes (well, some of them anyway) I am keen to show what I have to offer. Again, a bit like that blank diary, waiting for some pages to be filled.

Looking forward, I have already made plans for this weekend and am sitting down now to make plans for the rest of the year. Catch-ups with family, friend, and holidays to be had. 

What are your plans? If you haven’t made any yet, get yourself a diary and start filling pages. 

 

 

 

How do the children play?

I have so many memories of times as a child spent on playgrounds.

Not all of them are pleasant memories, such as burnt bums on metal slides and blisters from monkey bars, but memories nonetheless. I’m still one of the lucky ones not to have come out of one with broken bones. Plenty of bruises and blood loss though.

My family travelled a lot when I was primary school age, so we spent a lot of time cooped up in a car. Shade was created via a towel wedged in a window. Air-conditioning was acquired through opening those windows. Fights were had (she’s touching me, Mum, tell her to stop touching me) and a lot of eye spy was played.

But when we eye-spied a playground there was a back-seat call out to stop and let us loose for a while. I do recall driving past plenty, with wishful (wistful??) eyes watching as we drove past, but there were plenty we did stop and explore.

Pushing each other as high as we could on the swings, watching the frame sometimes leap wildly out of its concrete framing, all added to the fun. There was always something funny about making the person on the other end of the see-saw cling on for dear life as you tried to make them fly off into the air or plummet back to ground at a hurtling speed. Competing with the other kids over who was in charge of the playground was always another added part of the experience. Sometimes you would start as enemies and end up as best friends… for the day, anyway.

We saw some pretty cool playgrounds in our time. More than just your average rope swing and tyres painted different colours to look fancy. Dinosaurs with a slide down their back were some of the more memorable examples. But nothing can compare to the amazing playgrounds you find now.


We took our teenage boys to a local playground Frew Park last weekend to have a look around. It was a playground like I had never seen. Climbing walls, fireman’s pole, climbing nets and covered slides to prevent those burnt bum moments. While our kids hung about for a while pretending they were too old for the place it didn’t take long for them to join in with the dozens of other yelling screaming kids who were having a absolute blast. And yes, there were a few adults joining in too, on the pretence of looking after the kids. (It’s OK, we know who the big kids are).


My favourite piece of playground equipment back in the day was always those roundabout spinning rides. You could fit a dozen or so kids on, with one or two pushing from the side to make it go faster and faster. Sometimes you would fall off. Sometime it would make you feel deliciously ill. Sometimes the smaller kids cried and you had to stop and let them off, before they spewed all over you. Those rides were the best. You don’t often see them any more.

Workplace health and safety and all that. It’s a shame, really. Mind you, they still have those monkey bars, so there are still plenty of opportunities to spend the afternoon waiting at the emergency department of the local hospital.

 

 

Growing a love of nature

Among the many things that found its way through my thought processes when I found out we were moving to Brisbane was ‘what about our garden’.


I have never been much of a green thumb. I was lucky to water the grass. There was always something a bit OCD about me that I got easily annoyed at out of shape hedges, plants growing willy-nilly and leaves falling where they shouldn’t. It was easier to not get involved.

That is, until I discovered the world of succulents. I had them in my hair as I walked down the aisle not yet two years ago and also as decorations on the tables. Some of those succulents made it home with the guests and a few remained and were taken care of in our garden.

As our succulents grew, so did our love of them. They had babies, and we re-potted them and watched the next generation grow. Then we bought a couple more in different colours and varieties. Just a few here and there. And a few more. And they just grew and grew too. And so did our collection. You might say addiction, but the next thing you knew, we were regular little green thumbs spending weekends tending to our garden and creating a haven to relax in and enjoy.

Just when we had it looking the way we wanted we found out we were going to be moving. To Brisbane. Over 600 kilometres away. We were moving from country to inner-city.

When it came to looking for a place to live in Brisbane we looked at quite a few inner city apartments. Oooh, they were so tiny. For someone used to spreading out it was a bit of a culture shock to see what my new living conditions would be like. No gardens either, just a balcony space in most of them, so I had pretty much resigned myself to having to leave behind most of our new additions. Then we found a place that had all the inner-city elements we needed, with the bonus of a small garden space. I was bloomin excited, let me tell you.

So yes, our succulents came with us and have thrived in the Brisbane conditions. And we have thrived in the Brisbane conditions of so many nurseries. Because of course what did we do from the moment we arrived in Brisbane? We checked out all the local sights…. well, sights of a few nurseries anyway.

From little things big things grow. Our garden is a classic example.

 

New Year musings (amusings)

With a New Year comes the opportunity for new beginnings. That’s why we all make resolutions, after all. To be better. To do things different. To live a more (insert inspiring word here) life.


So when we fail that challenge (to be honest, you were really never going to give up all forms of chocolate were you darling?) should we feel bad about ourselves?

Maybe there is too much pressure of the whole New Year’s resolution thing.

For the past five or so years I have made only one resolution I have stuck to. That is because it is a resolution I would always want to have. It is to read a certain number of books in the year. Thanks to Goodreads I can easily set the challenge and keep track of where I am at. And yes, sometimes I’ve had a huge number to read in December but I have always got there.

While I have been pretty vocal about that resolution (my one for 2017 is already pasted on my Facebook wall to prove it), there are plenty more that have filtered through my brain that I dared not say out loud in case someone held me to them, or reminded me every time a vanilla slice headed towards my lips.


Those horrible resolutions like getting fit, losing weight, de-cluttering the house and living a low impact life. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think those ambitions are horrible at all. In fact, if you have achieved those things all hail to you. I mean to say I believe they are horrible choices for a New Year’s resolution. Why? Because any major life choice made on a tipsy whim just before the stroke of midnight is bound to be a struggle.

These are the sorts to things that take planning, deep thought and perseverance. They take talking to the family and friends to let them know your plans and that you need their co-operation. They also need your own acceptance and will power.

So don’t take on those challenges on a New Year whim. Do it on a new you whim, and that can start any time. If you have tried and already failed, then forget they were ever a resolution meant to start on  January 1. Think of it as a lifestyle choice and you haven’t failed. You can just try again tomorrow.

“Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?”
L.M. Montgomery

To market

On our first weekend in Brisbane we came across a market not far from home. Northey Street City Farm organic farmers market, held every Sunday morning, has a great variety of fruit and veg but also lots of spices and fresh nuts etc.


I was surprised to see the number of dogs there. And not just any old dog. There were so many ‘it’ dogs; you know, the current social media stars such as french bulldogs and pugs. They were almost as common as the canvas carry bags people were using to carry their organic purchases.


As we were walking out I overheard a conversation between two blokes joking about how they needed to hire a cute dog to take to the markets to be able to pick up women. They were joking, but it could very well be true.

It wasn’t just at this market either. As we continued to explore Brisbane we found more dogs in more locations. Nurseries, parks, more markets.

Here we were, exploring Brisbane to buy items to fit into our new home, and instead I am thinking we should have been looking to buy an item to fit into Brisbane life… woof woof

We’ve arrived

Not only have I arrived in Brisbane, today marks two weeks since I watched the removalists load the truck then I headed off down the Bruce Highway to this new life.

And what a two weeks it has been.

In the beginning it felt like a simple holiday.

After all, I was living out of a suitcase and sleeping on a blow up mattress. But over the last 14 days things have happened, furniture has arrived, and our new house is shaping up to be a home.

I have had an interesting introduction to city living, I must say.

My first 24 hours included seeing Coldplay perform at Suncorp Stadium. What a welcome to town that was. Not only was it an outstanding concert, I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to get there, and even better, to get home. Public transport in Brisbane, you were fabulous.

 

The announcement

My husband got the job he wanted! Yay. I was so happy for him, as it was an important step up in his career. It meant big things for our family too, as it was a relocation from the town I have lived in for over 30 years, Rockhampton, the beef capital of Australia, to Brisbane, the capital of Queensland. Yes that too is very exciting. So I quit my job as a senior journalist from the local paper and I’m now looking to see what the big smoke will have in store for me. In the meantime the unexciting stuff. Packing the house. Getting rid of most of our belongings as they don’t fit in our new apartment. And now waiting for the move. This is my journey as I start to explore what Brisbane has to offer to a 40 something who doesn’t drink much, doesn’t party much and has a teenage family. Let the fun begin. Once I unpack the house.