I think the idea of treats works just as well for pets as it does people. Do something good or work hard, a treat is deserved. Definitely some psychological conditioning there, as happens every time I walk into a Bourke Street Bakery. A feeling of goodness washes over me - whether I've done something good, or soon intend to. The smell of pastries and bread, with the petite tarts smiling teasingly through their glass cases, is enough to turn anyone do-gooder.
The Alexandria outpost of Bourke Street Bakery is downright cavernous compared to the original Surry Hills store, with ample indoor seating - which maintains the look and feel of the original - making it the perfect weekend breakfast/brunch treat destination.
I have a weakness for pies in general, and while I won't have service station or convenience store varieties, I'll happily give almost every other pie a go. There's no going wrong at Bourke Street Bakery - ever. The flakey crisply-shattering of the pastry all over the utilitarian metal tray just feels so right. And when the filling is a hearty combination of the tenderest chunks of beef flank stewed in red wine, tomato sauce doesn't rate a thought.
Sausage rolls on the other hand rather require a saucey partner - along with frankfurts, they are one of the few foods that absolutely need tomato sauce in my books. The even flakier pastry of the roll delights the aural senses as well as the palate, which is happily concentrated on the complex flavours of the pork mince and fennel seed filling.
The varying chicken pies are usually hit and bigger hit; rather than any misses. My favourite so far has been a Thai curry version, but this rich and creamy chicken and leek (I think) wasn't too far behind. The cheesiness was a little much for breakfast I think, but nothing a good strong cappuccino or an old fashioned lemonade can't handle.
Despite the fantastic pies, sandwiches and breads at Bourke Street Bakery, I always go with an ulterior motive and leave lots of room for the amazing, stunning array of tarts. Inner debates always arise as to which particular tart to choose, as two seems simply over-indulgent for breakfast (no probs in the afternoon, though). The sour lemon curd tart is a classic favourite - the thick, cool and creamy lemon curd bristles with tartness in the crunchy pastry casing; making it appropriate for slow, relishing consumption, bite by bite.
Jostling to be my other favourite is the chocolate and raspberry tart. Mousse-y light chocolate filling fills the pastry case, topped with what I'd call a chocolate dirt crumble of sorts, an additional textural delight. But the best part is discovering the raspberry centre; all sticky, sweet, syrupy and contrastingly tart in its chocolate surrounds. Oh, to be the raspberry.
Treated to an inch away from evil, the sugar and carb high alone is enough energy to do good - for the morning at least. And the sooner a good deed is done, the sooner I can have another Bourke Street treat.