The pizza arrives, a steaming plateful of cheesy topping dripping over the edges of the crust onto the giant-sized plate. It’s huge, far too big for my appetite, and this is only one slice of pizza!
It’s lunchtime in Disneyland, the place ‘where all your dreams come true.’
Someone’s dreams, perhaps, but some of my memories of the US involve a sickening surplus of food: plates brimming with buffet food, and huge boxes of donuts laid out for breakfast.
We live in a ‘land of milk and honey’, and sometimes our meal portions in Australia are massive as well.
Have you ever been caught out by the size of a meal, uncertain whether you should leave half on your plate or ask for a takeaway?
Then put yourself in the place of someone with a quarter of your appetite; someone who’s had bariatric surgery and can eat only a very small amount at each meal.
Sisters Maria Elita and Toula Scott have combined their skills and love of food and people to open Frigg Café, Toula leaving corporate life so they could embark on their first hospitality venture in Labrador. Success has led to a move around the corner into Frank Street where there’s a lot more restaurant space and tons of parking.
Though the café’s name may sound like a swear word, it’s named after Frigg (or Frija, after whom Friday is named), goddess of domesticity, wisdom, love and marriage, pretty apt considering how the sisters love to cook!
And here we come to the point of difference of this café…
“Both Maria and I have had bariatric surgery,” Toula tells us. “After surgery you physically can’t overeat, but your taste buds are happier. So we offer two menus – a normal menu and a ‘petite’ menu with smaller servings of main course dishes as a WLS (weight loss surgery) option.”
Obesity is an ‘epidemic’ in Australia, with 63% of Australians classified as obese, bariatric surgery is one of the few approaches to the problem with a high success rate. Their little cafe provides support and a welcome to those who’ve had weight loss surgery, as well as the general public.
Eat. Drink. Connect.
Toula goes on to tell us about the café’s logo: “Because we both love people, we want the café to be a communication hub. We want people to walk in and feel at home here. We love meeting locals and having a chat. We also hold special events and dinners, and have a bariatric night once a month.”
Items on their all-day menu stem from their Greek heritage and Toula’s love of baking, while Maria specialises in the healthy side and fresh juices.
“Our food is not about ‘pretty’,” Toula says. “It’s simple, honest food, rough and ragged, rustic dishes we love to cook.”
As the cooling sounds of Ibiza drift over the airwaves, I look across at the Big Fat Scone, Big Fat Lamington and slab of Greek Spaghetti Pie. ‘Big’ certainly is the operative word here.
Then I note that the dual menu also holds protein balls to boost between meal energy, flourless protein pancakes to ease the conscience and waistline, hickory-smoked free-range bacon and free-range eggs, as well as fresh juices made to order. Menu items include Acai smoothies, The Good Frigg (as well as a Frigg feast)! All is not what it seems when you look past the ‘big’ labels. There’s a lot of healthy food here as well.
When my meal arrives, the corn fritter stack from the ‘secret’ menu is a great size for me; two corn fritters stacked on top of each other, dressed up with rustic avo salsa on mixed greens, no toast in sight. Perfect!
The Main Squeeze happily chooses from the normal café menu.
The house coffee is from Fonzie Abbott in Brisbane, a mellow blend that’s won lots of customers.
“People fall in love with our coffee, so we also sell it by the bag,” Toula says.
She’s right. The coffee is amazing.
Honest. That’s the word that comes to mind when I think of Frigg. Appetites come in all different sizes, and don’t these ladies know it, catering for both large and small size meals.
In our books, Frigg isn’t just about size, though. It’s about the enjoyment of everyday food, done well; coming together to share a meal, catered for in whichever size you desire or need. No need to leave half the meal on your plate. In our present climate of waste, we applaud them for that!
10 Frank Street Labrador, Ph: 07 5591 5103
Open: Sat – Thurs 6.30am – 3pm; Fri 6.30am – 9.30pm