From the moment we stepped foot off the ship in Aukland, New Zealand, I knew we were going to fall in love with the country. As we walked through the port authority and out onto the street a lady handed me a map of the central downtown area of Aukland. I had already noted from my Lonely Planet guidebook that we wanted to hit Albert Park and knew it was pretty much walking distance from the ship.
First we walked up Queen Street a few blocks and found some of the famous Arcades that are all over New Zealand and Australian cities. These are small alley ways where they allow only pedestrians. These alleys are lined with shops and different eateries on both the ground level and the upper floor. It’s pretty cool to walk down these little side streets and check out the people in the upper floors hanging out over the street waving and chatting to friends.
Matt and I were starving and on a mission for some eggs benedict. It happens to be both our favorite breakfast food. We cut up the first arcade we saw, Vulcan Lane as it was quite inviting and there were loads of people sitting outside various cafes at tables under umbrellas shaded out of the sun. As we walked by I gawked at everyones plate searching for someone who had breakfast food. At last, in front of the Vulcan Cafe, I saw a guy with an amazing plate of eggs benedict and a cup of coffee that looked equally as tasty. So in we went. First thing that I noted that was also mentioned in my LP NZ guidebook was the fact that many of the cafes in New Zealand actually have the customer order at a counter, then give them a number associated with their order and have the customer sit down. Then when the coffee and/or food are ready, they have a server bring it out to your table. If you want something else, you just go back up to the counter and order it… repeating the number process all over again. This is different than we are used to in the States, but it didn’t bother me much at all.
After a few moments, our coffees came out and then shortly there after our eggs benedict arrived. We dug into the tasty goodness. Here, the “bacon” is more like English bacon where it has both the fatty belly bacon part cured in the States and also a section of the meat next to it that is more like what we’d call ham or Canadian bacon. It’s also not nearly as smokey in flavor as you find in the U.S. Funny part about the eggs is the yolks are quite a bright color of orange here, not at all the dull color yellow that you’d find in the U.S. based eggs. When I was talking to one of my friends, they mentioned that the majority of meat and produce consumed in New Zealand is actually farmed pretty locally to where the restaurants are and sourced directly. As I understand it, they do not use growth hormones and other pesticides that are often found in products in the U.S. You can taste the difference in the flavor here for sure.