Berry Good Produce

In my continuing series on My Rockhampton I have decided to share the story of my local Green Grocer, Berry Good Produce. For me, Berry Good Produce epitomises the very essence of a local retailer. Berry Good sells not only his own produce, but sources the best our region has to offer. He gives the smaller producers a chance to have their produce seen and tasted by the people of Rockhamtpon. This Co-Op is what has seen the exceptionally friendly Green Grocer evolve from an overspilled Gazebo in the carpark, to a large store front with an ever expanding range of produce.

Humble Beginnings

Humble Beginnings

Mark and his team are always on hand to ensure you get the right produce for the right job. They may even lead you towards something that you weren’t expecting. On a recent visit to Berry Good I was in the market for mushrooms for breakfast the next morning. As always I had a chat with Mark as I shopped and browsed. When I got to the mushrooms he enquired what I was using them for, I explained my morning treat idea and he suggested the new local Oyster Mushrooms. Having never had them before I took Mark’s advice, as he is normally right, and I was not disappointed. The were amazingly fresh, buttery, and delicious. Mark and his team know what is best from the region and how to use them.

Local Produce

Local Produce

The store has seen an evolution from the aforementioned gazebo and the tray of a ute, to a large storefront with the evolving line of produce. This is an absolute score for the local community as the range of fresh, local produce expands to encompass everything that you could want in a staple Green Grocer, plus the addition of some of the lesser known, or at least lesser seen produce. Purple brussel sprouts, oyster mushrooms, five different types and colours of cauliflower, just to name a few of the lesser seen produce. Mark has even shared photos and videos of his personal Dragon fruit orchard on his property, this wonderful asian fruit has a sweet lovely flesh, that Mark is all too happy to share and show off. Its this kind of business that ensures Berry Good Produce will be here for the long haul.

Berry Good Produce

Berry Good Produce

Berry Good Produce has become the life blood of fresh produce for Parkhurst and its surrounds. With a variety wide enough to ensure that all needs can be met, and produce fresh enough to actually last longer than 3 days, Mark and his team have a good thing going. I would encourage everyone, if you haven’t already, stop in on Mark (he’s the one with his face on the sign) or anyone from his team, have a chat about what local produce is doing well this time of year, and stock your fridges and cupboards with the best, freshest produce available.

Maintain the Rage

Luke Sondergeld

 

Parkhurst Quality Meats

For those who have been reading for a while, you know that I love supporting the local guy where I can. If every dollar I spent could stay in the region I am residing, I would make it so. In that vein of thought my local butcher, Parkhurst Quality Meats, not only provides me with a large variety of butchered goods, but has second to none customer service, and an attitude of constant improvement and development.

Some of the Team

Some of the Team

I love my meat. I love beef, lamb, goat, chicken, duck, crocodile, in fact if it can be butchered, I’m in! Reggie and his team provide a large variety of butchered meats, and meat products. The casing window is chock a block full of different cuts, marinated products, stuffed products, a large selection of flavoured sausages, jerky, cabana, salami, and the list goes on. You can walk past the window every day, and every day there will be something new. And if you don’t see something you want it is nothing to the boys and girls to go and grab it for you. I have been exclusively eating the meat from Parkhurst Quality Meats for nearly two years now, and I have never has a bad or even mediocre product. The team love feedback on what you have tasted, and will endeavour to take any thoughts on board. The team also provide bulk packs in the form of ‘BBQ Packs’ with differing denominational values attached, or going whole hog and ordering a quarter of a Cow. Nothing is too much for the team, and everything is sublime.

Casing Window

Casing Window

The customer service at Parkhurst Quality Meats is second to none. The service you receive at the window is superb, but it even extends beyond that. Myself, and many other customers are welcomed just by walking past the shopfront. The staff always remember your name, and are genuinely interested in how you are doing. They are the epitome of a small community Butcher. It reminds me of the old TV show Cheers where Everybody knows your name. The team remember what you have bought recently, ask how the product was, and make suggestions based on your feedback to ensure that you have the best dining experience with their products. They are always innovating based on customer feedback, which just shows that the team really listen, and genuinely care about your feedback. Nothing is too hard for the team. If something isn’t in the casing window, and they have it out back, it’s yours. If you have a budget and an idea in mind, they can tailor the meat selection accordingly. They even help with portions and required amounts of meat. Nothing is too hard for the team.

Reggie and Mia

Reggie and Mia

I’ve already touched on the constant improvement and development that the team put into their products, and it shows. It almost seems every time you turn around, Reggie and the rest of the team at Parkhurst Quality Meats are winning an award for some creation of theirs. This not only reaffirms their devotion to improvement, but also shows the level of product you are receiving. Even products like the humble sausage has all of the love and attention to detail that can possibly be poured into it, added in. I could not speak more highly of the products that Reggie and the team produce, but instead of being verbose, I will let the pictures of just some of the awards that they have been awarded.

If you live in Rockhampton, or even the surrounding region, and are looking for a great, friendly, local butcher, then look no further than Parkhurst Quality Meats. You will not be disappointed.

Parkhurst Quality Meats

Parkhurst Quality Meats

Maintain the Rage

Luke Sondergeld

No payment was made to Maintain the Rage or any of its authors for the publishing of this post.

The Barbecue Box

A little over 3 months ago I wrote an article called My Rockhampton in which I shared some of the things that, to me, make Rockhampton the place I love. Well, I have decided to start getting a little more specific in what I think make this city so great. I will share, on no regular interval, the cafe’s, restaurants, retail outlets, butchers and many more places that make Rockhampton the brilliant place it is. Today, I am going to focus on a nearly unheard of restaurant near the CBD called The Barbecue Box.

The Barbecue Box is located on the corner of Bolsover Street and Archer Street, diagonally opposite the “Target Centre”. The place itself is clean and tidy, the tables aren’t too tightly packed together, and the Korean BBQ tables were new and immaculately clean. As soon as we entered the building we were greeted by the waitress, who showed us to our table, gave us our menus and offered us drinks. The menu was quite large, it comprised of Entrees, Rice Dishes, BBQ, Deep Fried, and Sizzling options. There was also a Take Away menu which offered what I presume to be their hot favourites. The prices were reasonable with entrees tallying around the $10 and mains hovering around the $15-$20 per person price point. Drinks weren’t unreasonable, I have certainly paid a lot more for a lot less, and they offered some more traditional drink options, which was nice.

Deep Fried Sushi

Deep Fried Sushi

Now onto the important part, the food. For an entree I picked the Deep Fried Sushi. I couldn’t pass it up for two reasons; I am a sucker for good sushi, and they deep fried it so I was both intrigued and salivating at the same time. It had a reasonable price point of $9.90, and I assumed it would be something attune to 3-4 pieces of sushi in some kind of batter then deep fried. Oh how wrong I was. As you can see from the image above, it was not simply 3 or 4 pieces, it was a whole roll of sushi, over 15 cm long, and covered in a deliciously light crumb/batter. The sushi was amazing. It wasn’t oily or saturated like one might expect. The rice still stood on its own, the Korean beef was to die for, the kimchi scattered throughout added a nice piece of heat and wonderful crunch. The batter/crumb was light enough to not stand out, but had enough body to still offer the resistance and snap one would not expect from Sushi. The bar had been set pretty high with this as an entree.

Bi Bim Bap

Bi Bim Bap

For the main I wanted something a little more traditional, something that the chef should be able to do in their sleep, something that would stand out and say “This is The Barbecue Box, you will be coming back for more”. I decided the $16.95 Bi Bim Bap would be up to the task, and I wasn’t disappointed. When the bowl hit the table, I will admit I was a little disappointed. I am a large guy, and as such tend to eat fairly large serves, even if I shouldn’t. The bowl that laid before me, and the one photographed above, seemed a little small, more of an entree serve than a main. Nevertheless I gave it a go, and gave it a chance. I was not disappointed. The beef was tender and juicy, the kimchi offered a breath of heat and freshness, the rice and sauce that was intertwined was delicious, even the egg on top was a beautiful and perfect sunny side up. I couldn’t stop eating, even after getting three quarters of the way through and realising just how deceptive the bowl was, I wouldn’t put down my spoon. It was amazing.

All in all the experience of The Barbecue Box was amazing, I instantly wrote a review on their Facebook page to share my glee. I came home to my wife and told her about the restaurant and what it had to offer, and we agreed we would have to return for a Date Night in the near future. If you are in Rockhamtpon and looking for somewhere to eat that is delicious and not too expensive, look it up.

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/The-barbecue-box-317504395581977/

Website – https://the-barbecue-box.business.site/?m=true

Maintain the Rage

Luke Sondergeld

No payment was made to Maintain the Rage or any of its authors for the publishing of this post.

My Rockhampton

Welcome to Rockhampton

Welcome to Rockhampton

In my life I have lived in a number of cities, across most of the states of Australia. I have seldom called any of them home. I have felt that for the most part I was either a visitor, or an outsider. Even Canberra, where I spent most of my formative years, where I purchased my first house, and where my two best friends reside, I still struggled to feel a sense of community. Rockhampton, however, has surpassed that. I moved to Rockhampton in 2014 with my wife, and son. We bought a home, and started to grow roots.

Rockhampton Home

Rockhampton Home

The beginning of any community is those closest to you. I am exceptionally lucky that I have my parents and brother here, as well as my Grandfather, most of my uncles, and last but not least my Sister-in-Law. We found ourselves in one of the local churches and felt immediately at home within the church family. We quickly began to make friends with some of the congregation, and are still friends with them today. We both got jobs and began to settle in. But Rockhampton is more than family and friends.

Rockhampton Floods

Rockhampton Floods

Rockhampton is more than Beef and Floods, though both of those happen. It is a wonderful city that has all of the benefits of a large city, and none of the draw backs. Traffic in Rockhampton will delay your journey by no more then 5 minutes, and even if you are unlucky enough to be stopped by the train twice, there won’t be a massive addition to the amount of time you will need to travel.

Old Rockhampton Home

Old Rockhampton Home

Central Queensland has seen its times of hardship and struggle, and Rockhampton is no different. Whether is has been Cyclones, Flood, Downturns, or mass laying off of staff the people of Rockhampton have struggled. Images like the home above aren’t as commonplace as they once were. New mining contracts, employment opportunities in the regions, stable weather patterns, and general economical improvement has seen these houses fall in a reduction of numbers, instead of increase.

Rockhampton Architecture

Rockhampton Architecture

Rockhampton is steeped in history and grandeur, the architecture of the CBD is an excellent reflection of this. The large sandstone blocks, the grand balconies and casements, it is like looking directly into the past as you walk down the street with your latte on the way to work.

Rockhampton Cemetery

Rockhampton Cemetery

A quick stroll through the Rockhampton Cemetery will show you that there have been families here in Rockhampton since the town was first planted. You can see the introduction of vaccines and reduction of childhood deaths. You can see the different faiths and belief reflected in burial practices, tombstones, and words on memorial plates. As a snapshot of the lives of people in Rockhampton, the cemetery shows this.

Rockhampton Masonic Temple

Rockhampton Masonic Temple

Every historical building has seen use after use, nothing is left to rot and collapse. The Rockhampton Masonic Temple has seen numerous uses over the years, the obvious original purpose, an office space, and most recently a dance studio. This constant renewal of life ensures these amazing structures are still in place for our children and theirs.

Gospel Hall

Gospel Hall

But, not all things that are old need a new purpose. The old Gospel Hall is still to this day being used for exactly what it was designed for. The well maintained building still strikes imagery of old Churches nestled on hill tops, or centred in an old country town. This one is tucked away, unassumingly on the outer edge of our CBD.

Rockhampton Trains

Rockhampton Trains

When we first moved to Rockhampton my wife couldn’t get over the fact that there were trains rolling down the middle of the road, through the middle of the CBD, in the middle of the day. 5 years on, nothing has changed. The railway which bought much of the life and business to Rockhampton in the early years, still acts as an artery providing much commerce in the way of goods and cattle. I see the train as our own mid street carriage way like Melbourne has her trams.

Rockhampton Graffiti

Rockhampton Graffiti

Similarly the lanes and alley ways are decorated like much of Sydney or Melbourne. They aren’t hate speech, or graven images, just simple artwork from our young and young at heart. The tasteful art is ever changing, walking down this alley in a months time will spring forth new imagery and life, with its time waining just as quickly.

Rockhampton Laneway Life

Rockhampton Laneway Life

The laneways are not simply an avenue for street art, they are the practical driveway of many a home and business. As such, the laneways see springs of life through hedges, flowers, and ferneries. This life brings forth colour and greenery to an otherwise cold and grey landscape. It also serves to show the individuality of the person who lives in the  home, or operates their business from the laneway.

Rockhampton Laneway

Rockhampton Laneway

With almost more laneways than Sydney, seemingly, there is no end to what can be found as soon as you round the corner. It is safe to say though that each laneway is full of  unheard stories, unmet people, and connections that are yet to made. One of the best things about living in Rockhampton is the sense that if you hang around long enough, you may just get the chance to hear all the stories tucked away in these laneways.

Gus' Coffee Rockhampton

Gus’ Coffee Rockhampton

Every city has their special little coffee hole, somewhere where you can unwind, enjoy a lovely cup of coffee, and just recharge. For me and my kin, that place is Gus’. A local chap who started the business with the singleminded goal of making a great coffee, a real “Shot above the rest”. Though everyone around Rockhampton has their own idea of the best coffee; The Two Professors, Stellarosa, Zaraffas, or Coffee Club jut to name a few.

Samo's Fish Bar

Samo’s Fish Bar

One thing that is probably universally agreed upon is the best fish and chips in town goes to Samo’s Fish Bar. A Friday night can see you waiting for up to an hour for your order, Samo’s is that popular. Their chips are always crisp and hot, the fish looks thick and juicy (I’m allergic so I will say Looks), and the prices are hard to beat. Samo’s is known by almost every person who lives in Rockhampton, and if they haven’t eaten there themselves they know someone who has.

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Keppel Island

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Fish

If, however, you would prefer to catch your own fish and prepare them to your personal taste, then Rockhampton is conveniently situated about 30 minutes from Yeppoon and Emu Park, both are great launching platforms for your boating adventure to the Keppels. The diversity of the seafood that is available to the cunning anglers is impressive, an even if you spend the day on the water without so much as a bite, you are surrounded by some of the clearest waters and best views around.

War Memorial

War Memorial

I’ve been around the country a number of times, I have served in the military for five year, and subsequently seen my fair share of War Memorials. Outside of the capital cities I can say, hands down, the memorial at Emu Park is stunning. It captures the moments of the war that some people don’t realise, it honours the memory of those who have gone before us, and has one of the most beautiful memorial pieces I have ever seen. At the right angle, the above photographed sits in just a way that the ships and men appear as though they are storming the beach of Emu Park.

My Backyard

My Backyard

The great things about Rockhampton, Rockhampton being a regional centre, a small town feel with the big town attractions, a town of classical values, a town that believes in bettering itself, a town that hangs onto traditions, its a town everyone can call home. From my back yard to yours, I encourage you to stop in and share a steak, at the Beef Capital of Australia, Rockhampton.

Maintain the Rage

Luke Sondergeld