For anyone who lives or has visited Swan Hill in summer, they know that it gets hot. Really hot. And hot weather and gelato go together like peas and carrots. Which Jilarty Gelato Bar and Cafe does a roaring trade in during the summer months (gelato that is, not peas and carrots). However, I was always intrigued as to how an ice-cream shop could survive during the colder months.
That was until I was taken there for breakfast one Saturday morning in May. It was then that I realised that Jilarty offers a hell of a lot more than just home-made gelato. Open for both breakfast and lunch, as well as gelato and drinks, Jilarty has plenty of options regardless of the weather outside.
The breakfast menu is a feast for the eyes. Going above and beyond the usual café breakfast fare, Jilarty’s menu caters for whatever craving you have. On my first visit I chose the Spanish Baked Eggs ($16), a rarity in most cafés in the Mallee. If you’ve never had baked eggs before, I recommend you start here. Two eggs, cooked in a sweet yet spicy, chunky chorizo and tomato sauce, served with toasted sourdough. My dining companion ordered ‘Dad’s Big Breakfast’ ($18) which is practically impossible to be consumed solo. So be prepared to share, or eat the left overs like I did (Istra bacon, mmmmm).
That particular Saturday in May I also played netball really well. Which I attributed to my hearty protein-packed breakfast. Which has now become my Saturday morning pre-game ritual ever since. Even though I’ve been tempted by the freshly made Belgian Waffles ($12) and the French Brioche Stack ($13), I keep coming back to those Spanish Baked Eggs, served with a latte. The coffee is strong and robust in flavour, the milk creamy and served in colourful mugs or graffiti designed take away cups. And is without a doubt, the best-priced quality coffee in town at $3.50 for a regular size or $4.00 for a large. On the off chance that I have early canteen duty and don’t have the time for my eggs, I’ll still treat myself to a large latte on the drive out of town, ordered using the Jilarty app. These guys have thought of everything.
The lunch menu is a mix of favourites and changing specials, but you can guarantee that just about everything is made in store. Options include burgers, pies, focaccias, soups in the colder months and salads in the warmer months. And don’t forget the gelato- it is what the place is named after. They have 50 different flavours which you can get in cones, cups or to take-away in larger containers. And it too is made on site.
Opened in 2008, the café is located at 233 Campbell Street, Swan Hill and open seven days a week. You have the option of sitting inside on the cooler days, but there is also seating available at the back of the café in their alley-style set up, perfect for sunny days. Run by Brett and his capable staff, you can also find them serving gelato at events such as the Swan Hill Region Food & Wine Festival and coffee at the Swan Hill Farmers Market (on the first Sunday of each month). Which just happens to be this weekend. Treat yourself. And let me know if the baked eggs improve your Saturday sport performance. Just don’t tell ASADA.
Jilarty Gelato Bar and Cafe, located at 223 Campbell St, Swan Hill Ph: 5033 0042