Dec 11: Ham and Pickle Roll; Roast Chicken and Vegetables


In what is rapidly becoming habit, the Foodies had a white roll with ham and home-made pickles.

Lunch was again supplied by the Foodie’s mom, but would cost around $2.00 if paid for.


Back to Foodie Philip’s brother’s for dinner with just the five of us. Brother had roasted his own chicken and roasted vegetables under the grill. All very good, and, again, free to the Foodies.

Dec 10: Ham, Cheese and Pickle Roll; Rib Eye with Peas and Boiled Potatoes


For lunch the Foodies had a multigrain roll with ham, cheese and home-made pickles.

Lunch was again supplied by the Foodie’s mom.


The Foodies’ mom had a very successful day so she purchased some amazing 500g (about 1 lb) bone in rib eye steaks. It was decided that we’d only cook one and slice it, losing someone the eye appeal of the bone in ‘Viking’ style presentation, but making it a more appropriate serving size.

Served with ‘classic’ (for our mom) boiled potatoes and microwaved peas.

While the Foodie’s mom bought the rib eyes, it worked out to Au$9.00 each  or SU$6.57 per serve.

Dec 9: Ham, Cheese & Pickle Roll; Chicken in Honey Mustard Sauce with Broccolini


For lunch the Foodies had a multigrain roll with ham, cheese and home-made pickles.

Lunch was again supplied by the Foodie’s mom.


Once again the Foodie’s mom supplied dinner: an easy-to-prepare meal of cubed chicken breast with a cook-in honey mustard cook-in sauce, with mashed potato, boiled carrot and boiled broccolini.

Unfortunately the food-of-our-youth was largely boiled-to-death vegetables and we revisited that again tonight! Sadly over-boiling vegetables puts all the nutrition down the drain, while making the food unappealing. The cook-in sauce was okay.

Again, food was supplied by the Foodies’ mom.

Dec 8: Steak Sandwich; Thai


Intentionally or not, the Foodies are reliving the food of their youth. Yesterday meat pies and sausage rolls; today a good old steak sandwich. Except this was a really good, kicked up version at at Travino’s in Warner’s Bay (Newcastle-ish).

Great bread, a really good aioli, steak with good beef flavor and moderately tender, and lightly grilled onions. Not quite the TipTop white bread (think Wonderbread) with hot plate grilled onions and BBQ sauce of our youth, and all the better for it.

Lunch today was Au$18.00 or about US$13.15, which was pretty reasonable for the quality of food served.


For Foodie Philip’s birthday celebration his brother took the family to his favorite Thai restaurant – Benjamas. I’m pretty sure it’s the only restaurant he frequents!

We had a variety of food, all of which was tasty, including a Prawn (shrimp) and cashew stir fry (Foodie Philip) and Pad Thai (Foodie Greg).

As brother paid for it, dinner was (again) free.


Dec 7: Chicken Pie & Sausage Roll; Lamb Chops with Potatoes, Peas and String Beans


The Foodies went visiting their old stomping grounds in the heart of Newcastle (NSW, Australia) and ate at the semi-famous Harry’s Cafe de Wheels: a meat pie shop in a converted tram. Despite Anthony Bourdain’s gushing over their Sydney outlet, Harry’s meat pies and sausage rolls are, at best, average.

The chicken pie was okay; the sausage rolls suffered from over-exposure to the heating drawer which dried the outside. A little water in that heating draw would solve that problem.

Lunch today was Au$10.60 or US$7.74


Dinner was once again hosted by the Foodie’s mother with a very classic Australian meal: meat and two veg! We had three vegetables but the star of this meal were the lamb loin chops, which are much more popular (and affordable) in Australia.

Dinner tonight was again at no cost to the Foodies.

Dec 6: Brunch out; Roast Chicken and Salad


Although the Foodies mostly associate with Foodie Philip’s family, this morning we had brunch with Foodie Greg’s niece. She collected us and we went to a nearby suburb for a rather good breakfast meal, although almost at lunch time.

Foodie Greg had Australian style baked beans, eggs and sourdough toast. Australian style baked beans are more tomato based, and much less sweet than US baked beans. Foodie Philip had “the big breakfast” of eggs, bacon, hash brown, sourdough toast, sausage, spinach, mushrooms and vine tomatoes. All very good. Foodie Philip’s meal is today’s featured image.

Today’s lunch averages at Au$20.50 or US$14.95 per serve.


Foodie Philip’s mother once again prepared dinner: the remainder of the roast chicken and salad, with ham as an additional protein.

Once again there was no cost to the Foodies.

Dec 5: Meat Pie and Sausage Roll; Family Dinner


The first thing these ex-pat travelers want when back in Australia is a meat pie and sausage roll, so that’s what we had while dining with our mother and a friend of hers.

Being a coffee shop and not a take-out, the meal was more expensive than expected for such simple fare at Au$8.50 for the combination, or US$6.20.


Tonight’s meal was the first time Foodie Philip’s extended family was together for a meal. Ever. In the time the Foodies have been living in the US Foodie Philip’s brother remarried and we gained another branch to the family tree, and it was the first time Foodie Greg met many of the extended family.

Dinner tonight was an excellent eye fillet with boiled whole potatoes and a garden salad, all of which were very good.

Dec 4: Fish and Chips; Roast Chicken and Salad


The Foodies had a very late lunch after arriving in Sydney at 9am, going through immigration, baggage claim and customs and then catching a train to Newcastle. It was 2pm before we were able to get a bite to eat: fish and chips from a local store.

The fish was perfectly cooked in a good batter while the chips* were creamy on the inside and crisp on the outside, just as they should be.

*Australian chips are more like US steak fries: somewhat larger.

Lunch today cost Au$5.50 or $4.05 US.


Dinner was with our mother/mother-in-law who had purchased a roast chicken and prepared salad vegetables – iceberg, tomato, avocado and mango – to go with it.

Mother paid for dinner tonight.

Dec 3: Airline Dinner


Because of the peculiarities of the International Date Line, Saturday Dec 3 didn’t really exist for the Foodies. We left Los Angeles close to midnight on Dec 2 and arrived in the morning of Dec 4.

During the flight we had a ‘dinner’ of Thai Chicken Curry with rice and ‘roasted vegetables’, which was serviceable.

The meal was included in the air fare so there’s no isolated cost.


Also included in the air fare was breakfast of a ham, egg and cheese sandwich, which was also serviceable. Food out of LAX is rarely very good.

Dec 2: Pulled Pork Roll; TGIF


Since we were about to leave for an Australian trip, we needed to use up the last of the pulled pork.

  • Six par baked rustic rolls were $3.29 or 55c per serve.
  • The pulled pork cost $1.47
  • Add 20c for some Sriracha Garlic BBQ sauce

Lunch today cost $2.22.


After traveling to Los Angeles International Airport and checking in, we ended up at TGIF nearby for dinner when our original plans fell through.

The meal at TGIF cost approximately $21.70 per serve with tax and tip. To be honest the food at TGIF is, at best, average. About the level that Gordon Biersch was five years ago before they got serious about improving their food. Between those two chains Gordon Biersch has the best food by a big margin.