Jan 12, 2010


Partly inspired by the adventures of others, and partly by the need to escape from the house, we had an expedition up the West Coast. Expedition is a big word, as Pooh might say. "Weekend away" is the term favoured by those with jobs and responsibilities and limited imagination. It wasn't far, but was new - it was a proper Expotition. With an X. And provisions: wine, lettuce, a bit of bread, garlic and a lemon from the farm. The plan was to go north, never straying far from the coast. Almost like the seafarers of long ago used to do, but with more eating involved.

We stopped at Blouberg. We believe in going slowly, doing things in small increments. This was a different ocean, which is reason enough to splash about for a bit. The obligatory photos were taken.

Then the R27 past the power station. A wide, peaceful road. People give way easily, wave when they past. There is no hurry, even though it is a few days before Christmas. This is platteland, the way you imagine it. I later learned the road was built to get the boys to the border if the communists should ever invade. Now we only had rolling hills with the sea occasionally visible on the left, and mountains following us far to the right.

Langebaan a yuppie place. It feels like the quiet parts of Klerksdorp, if you find the right spots, but near the lagoon the spending of money has polished it to a kitsch shininess. Holiday units, 4x4s, GP number plates, jet skis. This is exactly what the West Coast is not, so we stopped for lunch.

Black Velvet Café was chosen, because it wasn't too full, it wasn't too empty, and it didn't want us to to buy prawns. The menu led to much perusing, some confusion and a bit of giggling. Names such as Ocean Breeze and Beach Sunrise were used not for cocktails, but for sandwiches. And these are sandwiches that do not feature the slightest hint of sea-iness. Gourmet means fancy name.

Upon enquiry, our waitress explained that their tramezzini were sized and shaped like normal pitas, filled and toasted. Aah, I said. The South African interpretation of the elegant tea sandwich. Their pita breads were so groot soos 'n bord, then also filled and toasted. Aaaah, I said. Arcadia ordered a safe cheese sandwich, while I was so intrigued by the promised platter of bread, that I simply couldn't say no. She called Arcadia Mevrou.

So here's how to make a sweet chilli chicken pita, Langebaan style. Take the largest bun you can find - you want something like a hamburger bun, a bap, but it needs to be the size of a dinner plate. Literally. Fill it with a mix of precooked chicken breast and a hint of feta. Then take your bottle of Wellington's Sweet Chilli sauce, and discharge half the contents onto the chicken, toast briefly. Pry open, slide in some lettuce, cut and arrange on the plate. Op 'n kunstige wyse natuurlik, met droë kruie oorgestrooi. And don't forget the flaccid tomato.

What's it like? Well, if you imagine a large bun with very sweet, vaguely chilli sauce, you'll be pretty close. I'm glad they also had beer.


Marie said...

Waaakakakakakakaka, ag...the South African sandwich on the road. It's a classic. I become all nostalgic.

Langebaan is a bit creepy. The reserve on its edge is beautiful.

Rats. I wish I'd told you about/blogged about the plaas stal near the Darling turn off on the R27. Just toasted cheese, etc, but exceptional bread.

Ha, just google dit Vyge Valley Farmstall. Scroll down this link.


We ate lunch there after our traumatic night at Kersefontein, and I think Vince was still babbelas from too much kreef at Paternoster, skilpadjies and pofadder at Muisbos and then that last, large dose of racism and rudeness.

The integrity of the cheese sandwich and coke fixed him.

That part of that road freezes my blood, though. So many accidents. You had a better time of it.

Marisa said...

Hahahahahah! Ai shame, that poor tramezzini looks very sad.

I also had a very unsatisfying food experience in Dec - nogal at one of our big (and upmarket) restaurant chains. I ordered the exact same meal I'd ordered about 2 weeks before in the Somerset West branch (which was delicious), but oy vey, the version I got there was so below par, it would be unfair to call it the same meal. VERY disappointing. Especially from said restaurant.

Jeanne said...

Dis uiters histeries - veral die halwe bottel sous en die gedroogde kruie - en natuurlik die Grootste Pitas in Afrika... nee, die suidelike halfrond!. Ja nee, gourmet beteken fancy naam en baie goed wat op die bord aangaan - hoofsaaklik lewendige blomme en dooie kruie, by the looks of it...!