Last week with my partner in crime and ‘Chief Pizza Eater’ in tow I headed out to Martinelli Pizza Bar at Trinity Beach. Clearly the two of us don’t get out there often enough as we tend to hang out mostly in the city (Swamp Donkey’s was what my old Chief Engineer used to call us) but I am attempting to branch out a little more.
Martinelli’s has only been open for a few months and we were both keen to test out the only Roman style slab pizzas (that I know of) in town. We arrived just behind a couple of bare-footed bogans whom I overheard asking the chef and owner Peter if they also sold ’round’ pizzas. Some people really do astound me. As ignorant as they were, not to mention stupid, surely they realise that pizzas tend to taste the same no matter what shape they are. Nevertheless Peter convinced them to try one of his popular Roman style pizzas and they took a seat.
Initially MS and I were only going to get takeaway because I wanted to watch The Bachelorette (don’t judge me) but after a bit of careful consideration we decided to stay. First up we ordered the Garlic and Herb Focaccia with Garlic Oil, Herb Butter and Rosemary Salt and I tell you what we were in for a treat. Does anyone remember the old Donnini’s when it was on the first floor at the Pier – back in around say 1990? Still to this day they had the best focaccia that I have ever eaten and a hell of a lot better than the focaccia they have on offer at the new Donnini’s (now Ciao Italia at the Hilton), which is actually really crap. I have to say that this focaccia at Martinelli’s is on par with that amazing focaccia from the old Donnini’s. Crispy on the outside and soft and chewy on the side… It’s bloody superb and must try when you go there!
Martinelli’s are currently running with a Spanish theme this month and I couldn’t go past the Smoked Reef Fish Escabeche, South Australian Mussels, Chorizo, Olive Tapenade, Romesco Sauce and Basil, served with Charred Lemon. Pretty much what dreams are made of.
Despite me trying my best to convince MS to order the Melaleuca Smoked Beef Brisket, Housemade BBQ Sauce, Slaw and Mozzarella pizza – he went for the Potato and Sausage with White Reduction, Shaved Potato, Italian Sausage, Mozzarella and Provolone Dolce. We ordered and waited at our table with baited breath for our pizza to arrive.
Next to us, the bogans that had originally asked for round pizza were pretty much making love to their brisket pizza. They were certainly enjoying themselves and it was pretty much like that scene in Where Harry Met Sally where Meg Ryan fakes an orgasm, except they weren’t faking. It was clear to both MS and I that these two were now converted and they would never look at a round pizza the same again. After they finished they thanked the chef profusely, vowed to return again and happily left just as our pizza’s arrived. Not since the NRL Grand Final have I seen such a turnaround – not that I watch football.
A lovely older man with a thick Italian accent whom I can only assume was the chef’s father showed me how to squeeze the lemon over the top of my Spanish style pizza for full flavour effect. We dug in. The Romesco Sauce and the fresh Basil leaves on top of my pizza gave it the perfect sweet kick. It was just divine and I don’t know what the hell the chef does to those pizza bases but wow. MS loved his Potato and Sausage pizza but we both agreed that mine was the pick of the litter.
To top it all off we had a couple of pieces of freshly made Chocolate Cannoli to satisfy our sweet tooth before we pretty much rolled out of the store. We were full as a goog. The cannoli’s were not too little but not too big and the perfect was to top of our meal. Without getting into the nitty gritty of the delicate flavours, textures of the meal because that’s just not how I roll I can highly recommend Martinelli Pizza Bar. It’s seriously some of best pizza I have ever eaten and that Focaccia bread, well you will just have to see for yourself (just don’t forget that the Spanish theme runs until the end of October). The pizza’s here take a little longer to cook and aren’t entirely cheap but if you want a round Domino’s pizza thrown together on a production line with absolutely no love then knock yourself out. Martinelli Pizza Bar is where it’s at.
Martinelli Pizza Bar – Shop 2 11-13 Rabaul St, Trinity Beach QLD 4879 Ph: (07) 40575895. Open Wed – Sun 12pm – 10pm.
On my last morning in Cairns before I was due to fly out for work MS and I decided (upon advice from a foodvixen reader) to venture out to Lime Tree at Trinity Beach for breakfast. Now silly me for just assuming that it would be open on a Thursday morning. I really should have rung up and checked first before driving that far (from the city). Anyway so we drove out there and much to our dismay Lime Tree was closed for a function. And even more annoying across the road the Blue Moon Grill is not open for breakfast between Monday and Thursday. We drove down the road to Fratelli’s and alas, Fratelli’s was also closed. What is the world coming to when three out of three places are closed for breakfast? I don’t know if the Trinity Beach Tavern serves breakfast nor do I care because I have had one too many sh*thouse meals there and I will never return.
MS and I were left wondering just where the hell to go for breakfast out at the northern beaches. MS suggested Coolums at Holloways Beach. Coolums has been closed for about a year now. How he did not know that is beyond me, since he has been a resident of Holloways Beach for six years until we ‘officially’ moved in together in April. I took a stroll into Strait On The Beach, also at Holloways Beach a couple of months ago to grab something for lunch when I was helping MS pack up all his crap (*ahem* I mean belongings) and was so unimpressed by the menu and the sheer price of it all that I promptly left and went to the takeaway shop down the road. We didn’t want to drive north to Palm Cove purely for the fact that I had a flight to catch in a few hours and had already lost valuable time. One of the boys at Rehab on Lake Street told us a couple of weeks ago that apparently one of his customers told him that the ‘Best Eggs Benedict’ was at a Cafe in Smithfield but I would be darned if I knew where, since he had no idea either.
Having grown up on the Southside of Cairns (Southside for life!) I am a little out of my depth when it comes to knowing my way around the Northern Beaches area. A little disappointed with our failure to find anywhere to have breakfast out that way we ended up back in Edge Hill at the Botanical Gardens Restaurant and Cafe. They even let us ring ahead and order a Bacon Eggs Benedict (for MS) and a Salmon Eggs Benedict (for me), without any hesitation or problems. We arrived and only waited about two minutes and our Eggs Benedict’s were ready. I have already said in the past and I will say it again… The Botanical Gardens Restaurant and Cafe in Edge Hill still serves the Best Eggs Benedict in Cairns. Upon paying I asked the owner why their Eggs Bennie is just so damn good and she claims that it is because they make the sauce themselves, whereas a lot of other places don’t. Works for me. Now I am straying a little off my usual path with this post because I would really some opinions on just where people think the Best Eggs Benedict in Cairns really is (or if they agree with my claim on the Botanical Gardens) and where the hell can I get a good breakfast at the Northern Beaches? And not just on the weekends. I am intent on trying the breakfast at Lime Tree but I guess I will just have to get there another time when they’re not closed for a function. Suggestions people… Pretty please?
Yesterday I was unlucky enough to have the worst Salt and Pepper Squid I have ever tasted at the Trinity Beach Tavern. The menu described it as ‘Salt and Pepper Squid with Pickled Cucumber Salad and Dipping Sauce’. Sounds pretty damn good but it tasted like it came straight from a frozen packet, which I suspect it did. I have eaten a lot of Salt and Pepper Squid in my time and I know my sh*t when it comes to seafood. I would even go as far to say that my parents actually make the BEST Salt and Pepper Squid I have EVER tasted (NO KIDDING) but this was absolutely foul and even dousing it in the dipping sauce made no improvement. Sorry I didn’t get a picture but it really didn’t warrant one, just thinking about it makes me feel sick. I ate two pieces and left the rest. There is NO EXCUSE for serving crappy, imported seafood! That is my second and last disappointing meal at the Trinity Beach Tavern. Yeah, ok, the atmosphere is good, but I ain’t coming back for a third and most likely disappointing round!