The Chameleon. Lurking in the urban jungle, undetected, unknown, blending into the ever changing landscape, sampling everything from fine dining to reviewing take away joints, this lizard loves food possibly a little bit too much.

Julie's at the Rectory

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Score: 83/100 

The little villages which dot the backroads around Brisbane are really a bit of motorcycling heaven; from the iconic (and somewhat dangerous) Mount Glorious, through north to Samford and south to Advancetown, the twisty bitumen is very much like a religion, with many followers dutifully descending upon them for an alternate Sunday service. But sooner or later even these road warriors need a rest and Esk affords such an opportunity, especially for those wanting to venture around Somerset Dam, or to make their day longer with a trek up to Maleny. 
   Julie's at Rectory is one common stop in Esk and first impressions hinted at an intimate home-cooked meal ahead. The Queenslander-style guest-house has been converted to a lunch joint and to eat here you have to negotiate a small labyrinth to find the front counter; funnily enough this added to the charm of the place. 
   The menu, or should I say, menus, were a bit of a stumbling block. There was simply too much choice, too many places to look to make a decision. Prices were a touch on the expensive side, but not too silly. I was after a light lunch on this particular day so I opted for a salmon salad; look up 'light lunch' in the dictionary and you will probably see a large white plate with thick edges surrounding a Jackson Pollock inspired beautiful mess of cos lettuce, rocket, salmon and croutons. And at Julie's this is exactly what you get.
   Ordering was pain-free and the waitress, who seemed to be in a slight bit of a rush, was smiling and pleasant. I took my seat, but I wasn't there for long, as I wanted to have a wonder around this old house, see if I could extract a bit of that yesteryear character. One room notably was set up as a kids play room which was a nice touch. Timber EVERYWHERE, and a very relaxed vibe soothed from the walls. You could even eat out the back away from the weekend traffic of the Valley Highway if that was your will. I didn't however have a lot of time to play hide and seek, my coffee was promptly served within a few minutes and not long after the salad arrived; very efficient service and the obvious by-product of having enough staff on to cater for the warriors. 
   I'll go as far as saying the service was outstanding; friendly, prompt, checking in on me, everything you expect in a fine dining restaurant, right there in Esk.
   The salad was fresh and the green part balanced out the salmon perfectly. The rocket was delicious and I can't remember the last time I enjoyed rocket that much in a salad. It had that distinct rocket peppery edge, but was never overpowering, even when the mouthful was dominated by green. The coffee too was gorgeous; a lunch time cap with the right amount of pep.
   Overall, I was very pleased with this little place on the edge of town. Friendly, inviting, glimpses of history and apart from the puzzle that was the lunchtime multiple menus, I would gladly visit Julie's again and next time I'm in town, I think I might do just that. 83/100  

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