3416 Warburton Hwy, Warburton, Victoria
It had been years since I’d last been to Warburton when I decided to take a little escape weekend there a few weeks ago. I explored some stunning places like the Californian Redwood Forest and walked the trail by the lake a few times. I also did some eating (duh). Some places were exactly the beautiful country-style gems I was hoping and expecting them to be, like the gorgeous Old Tea House where I spent one afternoon. Other places were utter and complete disappointments, like the café (which shall remain nameless) I walked into at 8:40am, only to be told that unless I was with the tour group they couldn’t help me until they opened at 8:30am. When they realised it was past 8:30am, the lady who first addressed me screamed for another staff member out the back, walked awkwardly away and left me standing there. Needless to say I left pretty quickly and opted for breakfast elsewhere. Anyway, after getting home and telling husband all about the lovely, relaxing weekend I’d had, and he decided it was something he wanted to get in on, too. So tomorrow we’re both heading to Warburton for the day 🙂 And one of the places well be stopping in at to eat will be Little Joe.
What I wasn’t expecting was a gorgeous little pizza place that was Little Joe. Open all day long for breakfast, lunch and dinner (they do some sexy looking Portuguese tarts and lemon cinnamon donuts that I heard more than one local talking about), the menu is locally sourced, freshly made and incredibly appetizing – sweet corn fritters with pancetta and rocket, Middle Eastern style flatbread with chorizo, haloumi and fried egg, and the most gorgeous pizza combinations. I decided to treat myself on the Friday night and ordered a serving of marinated olives and a house made pork and fennel sausage, tomato, roast onion, provolone and rosemary pizza.
The olives were SO GOOD!!! I just kept eating and eating, they were warm and full of flavor – an absolute must! And the pizza? Wow. Beautiful soft, thin dough cooked to perfection in the wood fired oven down to the charred dough bubbles around the crust, plenty of toppings along with a drizzle of noticeably good quality olive oil, and that house made sausage was magnificent.
Amazing food, great service, brilliant experience. So much so that I didn’t bother looking for anything else the next night – I grabbed a take away because I was feeling a little under the weather and just wanted to snuggle up in my hotel room by the heater, so I grabbed a salami, tomato, fior di latte and basil pizza, which was again, outstanding. The salami was beautiful, their supplier Istra makes a fantastic product. Again, heaps of cheese, sweet fresh basil and the proper Italian drizzle of olive oil.
If you’re thinking of taking your own little escape from Melbourne, don’t bother with the other dinner options (ok, maybe the pub, I hear they do a good parma!), just head straight to Little Joe 🙂