One of if not the most important activities I plan for when traveling is eating! What is <insert name of destination> best known for? Where do the locals go? Most of the time you can find those places via a quick online search, but sometimes you find them just by looking around and keeping your eyes open. I’ve found a couple places like that in Christchurch, so here are my recommendations for future travelers!
First things first, breakfast, the most important meal of the day. Unfortunately it’s not a meal I usually have while traveling for work because I’m so focused on getting to the client site. A quick run to the local ‘bucks is usually all I have time for. However, since this trip has me staying over weekends, I have ample opportunity to enjoy breakfast, and I found a good spot to do so at Tap N Grind. While busy, it didn’t have the hustle and bustle, get-out-of-my-way-I-just-want-my-coffee feel to it. Much more relaxed and casual. My desire for my Waffle House Peachtree Road Race waffle must have been sending me subliminal messages, as I spotted the waffle and bacon and decided that was the dish for me. As you can see, it looked awesome and it also tasted awesome. The waffle was crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. The citrus mascarpone acted like butter to make the waffle soft but not soggy. The caramelized banana gave it that little something extra and the variety of nuts a little crunch. It was so good that I made a point to tell the waitress, who sheepishly said, “We just assume everything in America is better than what we have here.” I told her she was dead wrong on this; it was hands down the best waffle I have ever had, and even in the top three as far as breakfast dishes go! When I went back the next week, I had the same waitress and she smiled and asked if I would be having the waffle again, which, of course, I did!
For dinner, I recommend you check out O.G.B. (aka Old Government Building), as it hosted various government departments from 1913 to the 1980s. After being vacant for some time, the building was threatened to be demolished but eventually made it to a real estate developer. Today, the bar and Heritage Hotel call this place home. They have a traditional restaurant space with the bar being in a separate area. Eating in the bar is the way to go with a speakeasy feel consisting of a wood bar, dark colored walls, and the staff being dressed in 1920s and 1930s attire. I had the beef rib burger, but just to be clear, we would call this a sandwich in the States. In New Zealand they call a burger anything where protein (beef, lamb, chicken, etc…) is served between two pieces of bread. The protein doesn’t even necessarily have to be formed into the traditional patty shape. To flip it the other way, what we call a pulled pork sandwich, a Kiwi would call a pork burger. Enough on semantics and onto the food!
The “burger” was cooked very well and had this molasses-like sauce that put it over the top. It was paired with potato wedges and a house-made ketchup that tasted much more tomato based than American ketchup and, to be honest, tasted better than American ketchup. The final reason you should go to O.G.B.? Well, any place that uses a sousaphone as part of its decor is well worth the trip!