Pickle in the Middle
Time Out says
This cheerful café on Unley Road plates up nourishing breakfasts and wholesome lunches – with or without pickles
Pickle in the Middle started a few years ago as an ambitious pop-up stall in Adelaide’s buzzy Central Market, bottling and selling pickled everything: zucchini, aubergine, beetroot, capsicum – you name it. Things went spectacularly well; as such, a more substantive café was soon on the agenda. The upshot is this neat operation, a fresh food room – all sunshine yellow, charcoal and warm plywood tones – where coffee, smoothies, pancakes and toasties are as much a feature as the pickle jars for sale.
Savvy floor staff meet and greet at the door before leading you to your spot. Choose a stool at the bench along the wide front window; a high circular communal table or a compact two-to-four seater along a single wall. Like the interior, the menu is tidy and considered: nine options with lots of ‘GF’, ‘V’ and VGN’ annotations and a healthy use of local produce (Fleurieu natural yoghurt, Kangaroo Island free-range eggs, Adelaide Bee Sanctuary honey).
Most things on the menu are fibre rich (kale, broccoli, quinoa), especially the ‘Breakfast Greens’, which along with those ingredients boosts your vitamin intake with Brussels sprouts, snow peas, pickled lime chilli vinaigrette and a poached egg. What a saintly start to the day.
The beans and grits are less puritanical – a steaming hotpot of spicy baked beans, croutons and creamy, porridge-like cashew polenta, topped with a poached egg and half a dozen devilish discs of fried kangaroo mettwurst. Hangover, be gone!
Lunch options traverse sandwich and soup terrain. Cheese and mustard pickle toasties with smoked mozzarella and parmesan-crusted focaccia best showcase the kitchen’s pickling prowess. Peppy coffee is skilfully poured by the beardy barista and served to a constant stream of local mums, retired couples and suits.
Service is prompt, knowledgeable and smiling; music is low-key (Air’s 'All I Need'? Nice.) Crafty crockery comes courtesy Adelaide potter Roland Gregory, and it lends an earthy tone to the otherwise clean-cut space. And if you decide you’re into the whole pickling thing? Their regular workshops will teach you how to keep the sour out of your sauerkraut.