FOR most Port Elizabethans Storms River is merely a convenient petrol and pee stop with the chance to also fuel up on insipid sandwiches or a grab-and-go burger.
But just a few kilometres away is an infinitely preferable stop: the Finebush Farm where food is not a hurried affair but well worth sampling.
There are freshly prepared quiches, lasagne and an oh so tempting cheese platter.
But eventually my fellow traveller and I both settled on an open sandwich. While R65 might sound like a lot for a sandwich this is no ordinary sandwich, it’s a meal in itself and one for savouring right down to the very last mouthful.
I had the fontina and gypsy ham (pictured right): a mountain of meat, cheese and salad served on two slices of home-made bread, drizzled with a delicious sauce and topped with salad fresh from the garden.
My partner opted for the bokbolletjie sandwich, bokbolletjies being a rich, strong, up-market version of feta which had been matured in a garlic and herb preserve. Again it was a meal on its own and my carnivore lunch partner pronounced the usually spurned salad “an essential accompaniment” to the strongly-flavoured cheese.
They were both absolutely stunning sandwiches-with-a- difference for cheese fundis, which we both are.
Although we had started out feeling ravenous we had no room left for the lemon curd cheesecake which gains its rich yellow colour from the use of free-range eggs from the hens which wander around the farm, so we picked up a slice or two on the way home. It was sublime, the best I had honestly ever tasted.
You can also have your pick of home-made bread and specially sourced South African cheeses, as well as a range of reasonably priced souvenirs if you make a stop at Finebush Farm, run very hands-on by Carla Symes. It’s an experience well worth driving from PE for, even if it’s just for lunch. Phone Carla on 082-747-5196 for bookings.
Featuring a simpler but equally tempting menu is the Oudebosh Farm Stall, located just off the N2 at the Kareedouw/Eerste River turn-off. It is located on the more scenic R102 and offers weary travellers a simple omelette for just R12, with a variety of toppings available at a small extra charge; freshly baked roosterkoek with jam and cheese or, at the top end of the scale, a huge breakfast for the reasonable price of R49. The extensive menu also offers open sandwiches and South African favourites like bobotie.
Add to this that Oudebosch also serves as an information centre, a tourist information centre, sells farm produce and souvenirs and also has a small supermarket, plus a spot where kiddies can feed the bunnies, then you have a one-stop shop which is much less impersonal than the grab-and-go petroport.
You can always fill up the car there and have lunch at one of these two lovely options nearby.