TILT COFFEE, MELVILLE:
It’s eternally true that good food, and coffee, bring people together. And equally, that dynamite comes in small packages. Tilt Coffee is a manifestation of all of the above, and a Melville institution that’s been going strong for years. Co-owner Lia Syrrafos’ friendly face and uncanny ability to remember patrons’ favourite food and coffee orders kept me going during the toughest of level five lockdown, and I know the rest of the Melville community would agree.
Tilt does a toasted caprese sandwich on buttered bread to die for (add a fried egg, trust me), but the real winner has to be their carrot cake. I’ve yet to enjoy a baked item as much as this light and scrumptious treat — decorated with glazed fruit and with just the right blend of spices.
I never leave without taking a second slice home. I’d advise that you call ahead to make sure Lia has some available but, if not, their homemade pecan-nut pie is a tasty alternative.
FRESH EARTH, EMMARENTIA:
This vegan-friendly restaurant and grocer will already be familiar to Joburgers who hunger for fresh, healthy alternatives to more mainstream dine-in options. Situated in the leafy suburb of Emmarentia, Fresh Earth is staffed with knowledgeable and smiling waiters who know the menu inside and out. Arrive on a Sunday for breakfast and be greeted at the door with their daily offering of freshly baked sweet treats; their cinnabons being my first choice if I’m feeling like a spoil. I always say one of the true tests of a breakfast joint is hollandaise sauce, and Fresh Earth passes with flying colours. Oh, and don’t leave without stocking up on groceries and the many organic, vegan, and environmentally friendly products they have on offer too.
SWEET TEA AND CHICKADEE, EMMARENTIA:
Fancy a visit to Alabama or Georgia? The steady hum of the cicadas in the mossy oaks, sipping iced tea on a wide porch in your rocker while lazily turning pages in your F Scott Fitzgerald novel? Well, Sweet Tea and Chickadee in Emmarentia is the closest you’re going to get to an authentic Southern American experience. Owners Natasha Robson-Lovato and Jason Lovato (Natasha is South African-born while Jason is a native of the US) moved back to Joburg to start this passion project, born from their love of good, old-fashioned, American soul food. Think buttery biscuits (a South African scone, just next-level delicious), grits, and even fried green tomatoes. The Mount Pleasant biscuit sandwich is my real love.
Not to be deterred by not being able to buy traditional American graham crackers here, the couple simply decided to make their own, as the crackers are an essential element for their key lime pie, which is out of this world. How’s that for dedication?
• From the November edition of Wanted, 2020.