Where: 151 Elgin St Carlton
When: Weekdays 7.30am-5pm, Saturday 8am-3.30pm
Vego & Vegan :)
Contact: (03) 9348 0066
There are plenty of lunch eateries out there which draw the “healthy” card; claiming to be fresh, low-fat and delicious. But too often they’re really just dressed-up, cutely-packaged cheap junk with chemically, sugary dressings and over-processed ingredients. It’s so liberating to find somewhere which delivers a lunch that tastes as real as it is good for you. Big Harvest on Elgin Street aren’t putting low-fat labels or “fresh!” stickers all over their signage, they don’t have to; because all you’d need to do would be to stick your head in the door to understand how wholesome their food is.
Their main deal is catering but there’s a small communal table if you’d like to sit-in and eat, otherwise take-away is a good option. What you see is what you get, with all the salads, soups and rolls displayed in the window. Said rolls are from Dench bakery, and there are a few whole loaves available to take home too. For those who prefer a more luxurious lunch, there are a couple of hot pastry options as well, which can be accompanied by a salad. The salads and soups are served in either a large or small bowl $8.50/$10.50 and filled with whatever appeals. I ordered a large bowl of salad which had a bit of everything (you can have up to six salads in the large bowl). The couscous and Tandoori chicken salad was quite good with a tender yogurty pieces while the beetroot salad was bland and dry, good thing it was only one of six in the bowl. My favourite was the roast-pumpkin and feta salad which was naturally sweet and generously dressed.
Large Mixed Salad ($10.50) and Phoenix Organic Creamy Soda ($4.50)
I sat and munched my salads down at the communal table where I was happy to find a couple of complimentary newspapers and some softly chortling folk-music. It did get a little drafty because of lunch-goers ordering and leaving with their take-away but it was generally quite a nice atmosphere. The take-away is a great option because everything is at the counter and ready to go. Big Harvest’s service is small-scale friendly and I’m told (by the guest seated next to me) that the coffee is perfect too. I’ll be sure to visit again before winter is over to warm myself with the bean and chorizo soup, mmmm.