Food Review: Local & Co

Shop 6, 20 – 22 Tedder Avenue, Main Beach, Ph: 0428 019 977

There was a time in the ‘90s when Tedder Avenue, Main Beach, was the ‘eat street’ of the Gold Coast – the locale with the trendiest bars and the best hatted restaurants.

But with rents skyrocketing out of control, young restaurateurs took their chances opening elsewhere, minimising their risk by opening casual dining establishments in cheaper rent suburbs. Their strategy of moving closer to diners paid off, with several other suburbs developing new dining hubs. The GFC put the nail in the coffin for Main Beach and closures became more the norm than openings.

With the opening of Local & Co this week and a number of new venues to follow, we hope it’s the beginning of a rejuvenation for the strip, bringing it back onto the radar for Gold Coast diners.

Local & Co Espresso Bar is the latest addition to the stable of Marco De Vincentiis (Co-Owner of Cicchetti Gold Coast, owner of Cicchetti Byron Bay and previously Raw Kitchen & Espresso) and Sam Mustafa (previous partner of MLK Broadbeach).

“It’s been a while, but I’m very excited to be back in Main Beach,” Sam says, all smiles. “This is such a cool street, and I’ve wanted to come back here for a while. It’s awesome!”

For Sam, who ran Blue Grotto for six years in its heyday, it’s a return to his old stomping ground, and already his smile is drawing in Main Beach’s young diners who are revelling in Local’s vibrant fresh food.

With Fernanda Otelinger (previously from MLK) and Matthew Cashmere (previously Head Chef from Raw Kitchen & Espresso, Sanctuary Cove) on board, the menu is a breath of fresh air for those wanting healthy choices. Yes, you’ll find your familiar favourites, but with a modern, fresh twist. Smashed avo comes on a croissant; smoothies and freshly squeezed juices in jam jars, the Vegie burger with a side of chips.

“The combination of our location, Fernanda and Matt’s incredible food, coffee from local provider Social Espresso [Yatala] and our passion for creating a café that stands out from the rest will hopefully help us generate some very satisfied and regular customers,” said Sam.

“Our menu is unique and although we offer a vast menu that covers most dietary requirements, we are more than happy to adapt meals if required,” he says.

There’s an ‘all day’ breakfast featuring organic free range eggs, fruit, açai bowls and brekkie bruschetta, followed by a lunch menu of salads, burgers, pastas and assorted small plates – plenty for paleo, vegetarian, and gluten and dairy free diners, all at a keen price point.

With Nutella waffles on offer for breakfast, raw cakes in the cabinet and wicked ‘explosion’ shakes coming out of the kitchen, ‘cheat day’ is also covered.

Cocktails will please locals, priced to go at $13 – $16. There’s even a hand of friendship extended to diners with BYO wine allowed in the fully licensed venue.

We dine at lunch, choosing a delicious Beef ragu pasta and Superfood salad strewn with almond flakes and flowers, a bowl of goodness as pretty to the eye as it is to the palate. My freshly squeezed juice, ‘Go Green’ with mint, apple, kale and lime, is absolutely refreshing! Coffee lovers will be pleased with the Social Espresso blend with its edge of darkness on the palate.

We’ll be back for the Grilled prawns with jalapeno mayo and the Turmeric latte – two favourites we spotted on the menu.

The venue has been through a refurb, but most of all it’s fabulous to see an injection of healthy food and positive attitude into Tedder Avenue. As warmer weather approaches, there are plans for the café to open for dinner five nights a week from October onwards.

“It’s all about being here for locals, and about rejuvenating the locale,” Sam says.

We could not agree more!

Read more of Marj’s reviews on Good Food Gold Coast http://www.foodgoldcoast.com.au

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