Sunday, September 2, 2012

Lunch at Wray Organic, Toowoomba

Wray Organic Market and Cafe, Toowoomba
Cnr of Russel St and Mylne St, Toowoomba CBD

These days, work's been a bit more relaxed and I'm starting to get used to long lunch breaks and early finishes. I know that when the busy season comes, I'll be weak and unable to face normal working hours... and will probably just keel over.

In the meantime though, long lunches are great! I still message Marc excitedly "I've got 2 hours off" to which he'll reply "don't you get that every day?"

On one such lucky day, I actually ended up having 2 and 1/2 hours off, although I didn't realize until I was back in the practice (more on that later). Despite that, I knew I had enough time to go out for lunch. That contrasts with my usual pattern because I like to go home on long lunch breaks (there's enough time to unwind for it to be worthwhile) and stay out for shorter breaks. Anyway, this break was actually long enough for me to do both.

I went home and kneaded some flatbread dough first. After that was stored away to rest, I headed back out to meet Biz at Wray Organic. 'New' in Toowoomba is always something of note. In fact, this even made it into the local news. When we got there, the place was sparkly new, as in, it had only opened for business a few days ago.

Wray Organic is a cafe slash organic grocery store in one. I got there early and grabbed a basket, thinking I could pick up some ingredients I needed. Gee, I had greatly underestimated how expensive it is to be on an organic diet. Feeling sheepish because I was already carrying a basket, I had to buy SOMETHING so I picked some swiss brown mushrooms and organic salad leaves that I was going to use on my mushroom bruchetta.

Not to start anything controversial but I personally am not passionate about organic eating/living so everything was just too exorbitantly priced for me. I have a new found respect for those who do.

After I finished my grocery shopping (where I was pressured to buy a $7 tiny block of organic dark chocolate because I was below Eftpos minimum, and where I picked up some oat sourdough buns that went off the next day I guess because they were preservative-free), I found Biz and we waited in line to order food.

When I say waited, I mean WAITED. At one point, I even asked "is the line moving?" I'm usually the patient one when it comes to service. I get annoyed at rude or stupid service (i.e. receiving the wrong items numerous times) but waiting in line doesn't normally bother me. This was something else... it really felt like we were stationary. Biz is an IMPATIENT person with these things in any situation so I'm sure he was seething to the point of exploding.

I kept hearing the counterstaff say "sorry we're out of ___" to the people in front of us. I hoped the same wouldn't happen to me. When it finally got to us, the Eftpos machine was broken (lol?) so we were redirected to the grocery store checkout to put our order through there. After paying, I was told that the roast veggie sandwich I wanted was out (lol? again) so I just said "get me any other sandwich".

We sat down and commenced further waiting.

Latte and cappucino

To be fair, the coffee didn't take too long to come out. And it was rather good. I don't take sugar in my coffee but I noticed they used organic sugar and everything. Very thorough.

For our food, I had ordered an egg sandwich (which just needed to be taken out of the cabinet), Biz, a Thai chicken curry pie (which just needed reheating) and a zucchini cake to takeaway (just needed to be put in a box).

After a rediculous amount of waiting (our coffees long finished), we had run short of a) conversation and b) tolerance. Biz had to get back to work. My seemingly long 2 hours of break had evaporated. We were very cross.

We ended up requesting everything be takeaway because we literally did not have time to sit there and eat. It was a working day. Don't they know people need to get to work?

Biz ate his pie walking back to the office. I drove back to my practice and sat in the car scoffing my sandwich in the parking lot. That's when I saw a message saying I didn't have to be back for another 1/2 hour, which would have been helpful if I saw it 5 minutes earlier.

Thai chicken curry pie

All that ranting aside, I'll get to my feedback on the actual food. Biz hated his pie. He said it was lukewarm and likened the consistency to that of scrambled eggs. Apparently there was no discernible meat component but lots of overcooked beans.

Toasted egg sandwich

I'll admit I quite liked my sandwich. I don't know what the egg component was meant to be... it kinda made me think of beaten egg that was cooked in a silicone mold. Weird and artificial. The rest of the filling was good and fresh. What really won me over was the bread. The bread was delicious. It was packed with seeds and grains and just had a lovely, moist texture that wasn't gluggy or cakey like some health food breads can be.

Zucchini cake

I tried the zucchini cake the next day and enjoyed that too. It was slightly too sweet for my liking but the texture was nice and moist. Zucchini has a very subtle flavor in cake (which is probably a good thing) but it went well with the lemon icing.

Bite-shot of zucchini cake

I've been in the mood to bake zucchini cake ever since... and that's still to come.

Look, it's obvious that we didn't have the best first impression of Wray Organic. I think a lot of that came down to teething troubles because it was so new. I don't know exactly what type of clientelle they're targeting... I'm sure that not everyone who goes is on a limited lunch break and needs to eat and take off in a hurry. Having said that, I don't like to wait too long even when I have no other commitments. The Eftpos dramas and food running out all contributed to our annoyance but that might just be a once off thing. I hope they sort all that out.

EDITED TO ADD (as of 23/01/2013): I go there quite regularly now for toasties, salads, green smoothies and coffee. There's still a bit of wait for food but nothing like that first experience. It's quite reasonable. The pesto chicken and pumpkin toastie is amazing and I love the soy latte here.


  1. Hi, i am not the hugest fan of Wray organic either, but I admire what they are trying to do. we have one near where I live and it always seems to be busy. I noticed they pride themselves on not using microwaves - that could explain why your food took so long to arrive. Jolene

  2. Hi Jolene...

    That would make sense if our food actually required heating in a microwave. But I'm pretty sure it's just an organizational thing. They probably weren't prepared for such a high volume of people at that time.