A worthy pit stop for the Canberra - Sydney leg of the race would the Grandma's little bakery.
Just make sure to look out for 'Federal Olive Grove' sign or risk making one-too-many accidental detours along the busy highway.
Here, it's like chancing upon a whole new world: the view of the sprawling olive oil plantations from elevated grounds, the zen-like rustling of the shrubs in the high speed winds and the care-less prancing of the farm-owned pets around the premises, all these make for a very light hearted dining experience.
Once settled in the warm enclaves of the dining room, we were quick to jump on the food offerings. Without much thinking, I decided on the Spicy Shakshuka ($17.50); knowing that the owners had an Israeli heritage, I couldn't stave away from the usual suspects. A menacing iron pan of bubbling spicy chilli with two eggs hits the table in the blink of an eye, specks of chilli flakes and chopped parsley lay against its malefic red innards. I smeared a chunk of warm bread liberally with the thick sauce, mopping up some of the brilliant sunny yolks in the midst - it was all good. The balance of sauce, spices and sweetness of the tomatoes combining to form unadulterated bliss on the palate.
The Grandma's Fedra Mousakka ($15.50) impressed as well. The eggplants perfectly salted and roasted, providing the perfect backdrop to the beef ragout. A crowning glory of creamy bechamel topped with more cheese gives off an intoxicating glow from it's brief moment under the grill. The salad served on the side had a profoundly middle-eastern vibe with a liberal sprinkling of dukkah spice and a dash of olive oil, straight from the farms. My only gripe would be the singular lone ranger of an olive that was found amidst the greenery. A larger degree of generosity would be very much appreciated here, after all, it's an olive farm.
That being said, Grandma's little bakery with it's simple menu of hearty kid-friendly dishes may prove to be a worthy spot for re-fuelling the tummy on your drive from Canberra to Sydney or vice versa. Stop over for a quick bite or pack away some yummy pastries, like the crisp bourekas or apple pies for the road.
Grandma's Little Bakery
5796 Federal Highway
t: 02 4848 0240
Daily: 9am - 4pm