Every once in awhile—every week—we get this uncontrollable urge to consume our entire bodyweight in thick, greasy, delicious carbs. It blindsides us, leaving no room for refusal and we go along like a lost kid in a playground. Sometimes it’s flaky pies and sweet pastries, other times it’s creamy pasta and cheesy pizza but when it hits really bad, it’s anything and everything we can get our hands on. Some call this love for carb loading an addiction, we prefer to call it a hobby. It takes talent to a) decide what to eat and b) eat every last mouthful. So, when you find yourself having your next carb-loaded craving, head to one of the below eateries and show the table next to you how it’s truly done. Who’s got food envy now, huh?
Whether it is brunch, lunch or late night feeds, The Fed provides generous servings of carb-loaded dishes around the clock. The midday bagel and sandwich selection is off the bloody charts, with offerings like the toasted reuben sammy and the NYC-style street dog. Cutting to the chase, we all know it’d be rude to leave The Fed without a hearty lashing of Montreal poutine. The perfect match to those post town blues—fries, cheese curd and gravy is our secret to surviving a Tequila-burdened Sunday.
There’s nothing quite like a burger and fries to satisfy those carby cravings. Big J’s is Mount Wellington’s not-so-secret gourmet burger joint. The menu boasts all the favourites from steak and egg burgers to chips and gravy and an extensive range of sammies and hot dogs. But for those days when you need the full shabang, put your faith in the clever owners hands and order the burger of the week. You’ll quite possibly land yourself the best burger in Auckland, and by best we mean huuuuge.
Non Solo Pizza
There’s no doubt that Italians do carb loading better than anybody else—we’re just sneaky enough to have adopted their style. Non Solo Pizza lets you eat your weight in pizza and pasta yet feel a little fancy while doing so. Dressing for the occasion isn’t always easy, because, really, how does one look cute in stretchy pants? We like to opt for a flowy dress, AKA the perfect disguise to hide those four slices too many of Margarita or the excess plates of risotto, lasagne and fettuccini carbonara… oops.
La Cigale Markets
There’s two types of species you’ll find at La Cigale. There’s the fresh-faced, green smoothie-sippin’ type boasting active wear and a bag filled with organic produce. Then there’s us, rocking last nights make-up, a baggy tee and slides on a mission to find the greasiest French offerings in town. Take it from us and head straight indoors on arrival. You’ll be greeted with tables of extra-cheesy croque monsieur, open pork belly sandwiches and an endless supply of croissants. Pro tip: order your croissants in pairs and tell the waitress to keep them coming until you’ve rolled off your chair Humpty Dumpty style. Carb loading = accomplished.
Butter chicken, tikka masala or lamb khorma—whatever the dish you’re destined for a satisfactory carb load. Paradise is the perfect spot to get your fix having been dubbed one of the best Indian restaurants in Auckland. Like any good carb lover, we know that adding bread is essential to boost those numbers. Choose between butter, plain, garlic or paneer naan (or opt for all four) and get dunkin’ and slurpin’ on them curries. We’re not sure why, but there’s an unspoken rule that Indian food tastes better the day after, so go to town with the ordering and doggy bag what’s left.
A good pie is a Kiwi classic on a hot day. Buttery, flaky and stuffed with all the best ingredients, gourmet pies rank pretty high on our carb loading checklist. Foxtrot Parlour have a knack with putting pastry on just about everything. The classic mince and cheese combo is thrown out the window as Foxtrot has piefied just about everything. There’s Thai chicken pies, Morrocan lamb tajine pies and creamy stilton beef pies—holy heckers. We’ll take one for now and three for later, thank you.
Introducing simple and effective carb loading with fries and only fries. The loyal team at Fry Baby are your one-stop shop for satisfying every last grease need. Serving up traditional Belgium fries, it’s safe to say the team don’t f*** around, with not just one but ten (yes ten!!) alternative sauces to choose from. Served to you in a cute little cone, test your waitress skills and see how many cones you can stack on one arm. More carbs and improved balance—it’s a win-win.
Rosebank Coffee & Kitchen
Sometimes carbs in the morning is simply nonnegotiable. We’re not talking about your ordinary eggs on toast kinda carbs, we’re talking about the OTT french toast and pancake stacks we normally reserve for our dreams. Nowhere quite gets this like Rosebank Coffee & Kitchen who offer s’mores tarts, salted cocoa crumble french toast and wait for it… doughnut towers. Yep, sugar coated doughnuts stacked sky high waiting for you to sink your chops into. Our Uber is en route.
Dos Amigos is a primo spot to wash down a brew and eat your week's worth of calories in Mexican cuisine—go hard or go home, right? Cruise here with your SO after a day in the sunshine and let the carb-loading games begin. Start with a grande plate of nachos to share before diving into the main course of chimichangas, burritos and a sizzling plate of fajitas. Washed down with a few brews and the last of the days rays, you’re about as close to perfection as you’ll find. Don’t worry, you can thank us later.
Ask any Epsom local where to find the best food and they’ll point you straight in the direction of KK’s. The exterior may be humble but the food is everything but. Satisfy your noodle cravings with a hefty portion of mee goreng before ordering an infamous bowl of chicken curry. The best part is to come—gorgeous morcels of buttery, flaky roti. If eating is the most fun you can have with your clothes on, Malaysian food is the pinnacle. No matter how much your stomachs stretching, order a steaming hot plate of beef rendang with a side of coconut rice. The amount of carbs in this dinner will have you begging for a salad tomorrow, or at least have you considering one…
Image Credit: Fry Baby, La Cigale Markets, KK Malaysian