Wednesday, January 28, 2009

An Aussie on The Square

The HLDW* and I live in an Atlanta, GA suburb by the name of Marietta. One of the things that we like about this burb is that they have preserved it's historical downtown area. It is laid out in that "town square" fashion that is iconic Americana - there is a park area (with a fountain and stage for summer concerts) surrounded on four sides by streets - the court house is set at one side of the square and the other three sides are shops and restaurants.

So, the HLDW and I finish dinner at the pizza joint and decide that we need something for dessert. It is too cold for ice cream so we decide to go the pastry route and saunter over to take a look at one of the businesses that we haven't visited yet -- The Australian Bakery. We've been living in Marietta for the last 3 years and have been on 'The Square' numerous times but I've never poked my horn in there for a look ... it could be that "Australian Bakery" sounds like an oxymoron to me - Vegemite Strudel anyone?

We walk in are greeted with a massive bakery case filled with sweet and savory pastries on one side of the room and on the other side we see this (pics taken with my phone so apologies in advance for the dodgy quality)

A wall full of freakin' Aussie dry goods and stuff.

Of course, right off the bat they feature that quintessential Australian delicacy...

Yeah, Vegemite. And, no, I didn't buy any.

Further exploration found these:

Birmo posted, lovingly, about Tim Tams over on Cheesburger Gothic ... but I didn't buy any this round. Bought too much of the fresh and delicious looking offerings in the case - an apple turnover and slice of carrot cake for the Rhino and some frufru stuff for the HLDW.

But then, I found something utterly disturbing that defied immediate identification. I know, the package identifies them as "Musk Flavoured Sticks" (and you know they are foreign because of the extra "u" in the word flavored) What what I couldn't identify is whether these were a food product, insect repellent or something used by Aussie blokes to attract the sheilas... so, I decided to go with food product.

What the HELL are these things? Worse yet, what kind of conversation had to go on at the marketing meeting for these things? "Well, you know, peppermint sticks are nice and all but don't you think that it's a bit cliche? I think that it's about time to give some consideration to the clamoring hordes of musk lovers we all know are out there. We'll OWN the market!"

I offered the HLDW $50.00 to try them but she muttered something about having enough trouble getting the musk out of my side of the bed sheets and refused.

As we make our purchases I hear the distinctive sound of the Australian accent and am informed by the clerk that the speaker is the owner/baker, and he is, indeed, an actual Australian. I introduce myself and the HLDW and we exchange the usual pleasantries. After a few minutes I decide that I need to establish my Oz Cred so I go for the big name drop, "So, I'm sure you've read He Died with a Felafel in His Hand by John Birmingham?"

Oz Baker, "Umm, no, don't know that one."

Rhino, "You know, John Birmingham? He Died was adapted into a play and is the longest running play in Australian history ... that John Birmingham?"

Oz Baker, "Ummm, nope."

Rhino, "OK, then. Maybe you know about his award winning history of Sydney, Leviathan?"

Oz Baker, "Hmmmmmmm, nope, don't know it."

Rhino, "Do you read science fiction? Maybe you've seen his Axis of Time trilogy?"

Oz Baker, "No. But I may have to check them out."

Rhino, "Yeah, well, I think that you'd enjoy them. Oh, and, he's got another coming out in February - Without Warning."

I was about to go into a synopsis of the plot and characters along with my best rendition of of my best "You don't get these by pettin' kitty cats" but, by this point, his eyes were glazing over like the topping on the apple tart I just purchased.

So, there you go ... my attempt to name drop is an epic fail.

In consolation the apple turnover was pretty good.

But the slice of carrot cake was stale.

All in all I should have gone with the Tim Tams.


*Hippie Liberal Douche Wife


  1. Hey Rhino...

    Give the Tim Tams a go... Mmmmm Is good. Is Tim Tam. I dare you to stop at just one.

    Musk sticks are addictive. Nice. But I notice the brand is Black and Gold... B&G is a cheap generic brand here in Oz. You need to try the Allen's brand Musk Sticks.

  2. Musk Sticks... absolutely, definitely an acquired taste. If you feel like acquiring it, that is. Me -- I just remind myself that 'musk' is acquired from the ass of various unpalatable animals.

  3. Like big Al said. I laughed when I saw that it was black and gold!
    Definitely addictive, really yummy, try a pack
    (remember that I once owned a lolly shop)

    Flinty the musk is artificial in this case sheesh! :-)

  4. Rhino, that shop's been in business for years. Their sandwiches are good, try eating there for lunch. The owner has probably lived here so long, he's not up on Australian writers. He could probably tell you more about the ghosts of Confederate soldiers that can be seen on the square (or maybe those are homeless people.... they all look the same with their sunken eyes).

  5. Soo, in this case the mush is sourced from the arses of atificial generic inedibles - mm mmm sounds tasty. Actually they are pretty good & not that musky, a bit, sort of, dusty.

    The Tim Tams are the shit, top shelf, alpha prime stoner food. Seriously if you thought crack / meth were hard to get off, try firing up a scooby, wait ten minutes then crack a pack of TTs. If you can stop at one you are a stronger man than me.
    Real men don't, but I like to take a small bite off opposite corners (Noreast & souwest)of a TT then suck coffee through it like a straw. When the structural integrity off the biscuit starts to fail, (don't leave it too long) then pop the whole steaming mess into your mouth. Most excellant.

  6. What a cheapskate - Black and Gold brand. Betcha he didn't have any sausage rolls or meat pies freshly baked either. Stale carrot cake? His mum must have sent it over as a care package. If he does make meat pies, grab one, smear it with ketchup and enjoy the meaty goodness.

  7. Blech! Black and Gold!!

    Dark choc Tim Tmas are the biz accept no other substitute!

  8. LOL - Black and Gold brand!!!

  9. Ignore Chaz, go the blue pack of Tim Tams, double choc, mmmmmmm.

    The made white choc tim tams for a short period, took a bit of getting used to but then I was addicted.

    Musk sticks rock, although I agree that B&G is the shit brand. They have started selling a similar thing to musk sticks that I think they call fruit sticks, only there aint no fruit in 'em.

    As Therbs says, does he have an Four'n Twenty pies or sausage rolls with White Crow tomato sauce.

  10. I'll go down on Friday and check it out for lunch and do a full write-up.

  11. who's this john guy you aussies(and one american Rhino) keep talking about?


  12. brian9:29 PM

    Pity about the Carrot cake. Was it like in packaging, or part of a wheel?

    Packaged CC is always dry (shrug) daminfinowhy.

    Rhino - next time you want an ex-pat Aussie to make the JB link. Metion that he was the guy who got up Germaine Greers nose. Just about everyone remembers that story. Such is fame in this transient world.

  13. Anonymous9:57 PM

    ignore Naut he's just cranky cus his A/C's not working...dark choc is the way to go

  14. Rhino, try the Tim Tams first then the musk sticks later.

  15. Rhino, ask him if he remembers when Bart Simpson was going to get the boot to the arse.

    And I can vouch that they do (or did, last time I was there) have meat pies. No clue if they were any good, I'm not a meat pie fan, but they did have them.

    And didn't NatalieV once speak out strongly against those who suck coffee through Tim Tams?

  16. Anonymous9:46 PM

    My wife loves musk sticks, but I don't think even she would resort to the Black and Gold kind.

    It's funny how you Americans think we all know each other here. Ten years ago I was in Boston and someone asked me if I knew their cousin in Melbourne. I had to explain that Melbourne has 3 million people in it, etc, etc. Anyway, she persisted and it turned out I knew her cousin, dammit. I was tempted to say I didn't but Im too honest.

  17. We do the same thing to other Americans, Abe. My neighbor across the street is also from NJ. When talking about people/places we knew, it turns out I used to work for his uncle.

    Any chance you know a guy named Andrew Eberhardt? He's from Melbourne. Of course, he moved to New Jersey when he was 5, and we grew up together.

  18. That Vegemite jar looks exactly like the Marmite jar I saw at Hy-Vee! Probably tastes the same, too.

    There. That oughta get the Vegemite fanatics going.

  19. Anonymous8:50 AM

    Kill the heretic!!!

  20. Blasphemer. The death of a thousand cuts and then hang his putrid corpse from the Harbour Bridge.

  21. RHINO, whats even better is that those MUSK sticks can be bought as a CIGAR, now they are the cats arse, better than just the sticks, well, pink cigars, maybe not. ALLENS, remember ALLENS and all else is SHITE.

    YD, their is a bomb with your name on it here should you er like THAT again..sheeez.

    And shapes, Arnotts shapes, go the BBQ ones. WICKED with BEER.

  22. Rhino, a cleverer scheme to get JB to divert to Atlanta I've never seen.... While the rest of us are waving Beer under John's nose, you have the intelligence to Post a picture of TimTams on the shelf... by the time he get's to the east coast, he'll find an excuse to divert to or pick a flight that transfers from Atlanta Int. ...Genius! And the Piccy of the Vegimite didn't hurt either...

  23. Here's an Idea. Club together and make up a care package of tasty Anzac goodies to send to the Rhino... only include the good stuff lads, remember the plan is to get the Rhino hooked on Vegemite...

  24. Tim, I'll give JB the same suggestion that I gave over at Tonyzilla's.....JB should hit Atlanta and try the Clermont Lounge. The women who dance there are all GILF's, minus the -ILF part.


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