Very cheap eats: Pigeon Hole Cafe – Hobart

Pigeon Hole Cafe
93 Goulburn Street West Hobart, Tasmania
(03) 62369306
Open Tue-Sat, 8:30am until 4:30pm Barely more than 12 months old, tiny Pigeon Hole in West Hobart, Tasmania, has carved a tidy niche for itself. It’s café, gourmet edged, with a little retro style thrown in for good measure. With only 16 seats it’s a tiny venue – but it’s big on promises and it well delivers. On the corner of Goulburn and Molle Streets, it’s just far enough away from home, and close enough to everything, to encourage a move to West Hobart purely to have Pigeon Hole as your local.After a favourable mention in Gourmet Traveller magazine and a smattering of awards – most recently an “I love FOOD” award for 2009 – Pigeon Hole is no longer a well-kept secret. Word spreads fast in this town, and the hole in the wall space fills fast with locals and travellers alike clambering for great coffee, a spot of lunch or a chat with the very professional and very unpretentious owner/occupiers who put on a constantly stellar performance.

Chef Jay Patey (of restaurant 373 fame) runs an impressive one man show in his tiny kitchen, turning out a daily selection of tasty treats influenced by seasonal and locally available products. Perhaps you may have a white bean, garlic and lemon soup with house-made bread, or you might choose from a selection of the famous paninni, with inspired filings like salami, cornichons and provolone, or fennel, chilli and mozzarella.

Breakfast options are limited, but the house-made baked beans on toast with a generous helping of Parmesan are belly warming. Simple options like Miellerie honey on toast prove a popular choice, and the butter is churned and pressed on premises. There is no fuss here – these guys make the restaurant game look easy. Oh, and the coffee is good too.With many Hobart cafes charging $15+ for meal, it is refreshing to see value, with no dishes on the menu more than $12, average prices sitting around the $10 mark. Coffee is superb, and surely must be reasonably priced, although I’ve never asked how much. I just pay whatever I am told. It’s obvious that the focus here is on quality, not quantity, and the pricing is generously fair.Rumor also has it that the owners have their eye on a few potential locations for a second venue. Potentially, there could be another cafe in the Hobart city area for the office lunch crowd, but they are also playing with the idea of a night time venue as well. Fingers crossed.