Updated: Nov 2, 2019
It had been a bit of a hectic week. Between the usual challenges at work, the school sports carnival, and Book Week costume construction, I was feeling all tuckered out. To top it off, the eldest's school had decided to chuck in a pupil free day for good measure.
It was Friday morning, and the first order of business for the tribe for the day was dancing for the middle daughter. I decided that this might be my chance to sneak in a little down time. So I suggested to the wife that I could take the eldest into town for coffee and a treat (as a reward for doing really well at her sports carnival and book week parade - which we totally nailed, as shown in the photo below), while she took the other two girls to dance lessons. To which she countered with, "How about we all go to dancing, and then head out for coffee all together?"
"Yaaaaayyyyy....." I thought to myself.
So we all bundled into the car and headed off to dancing together. Mercifully the youngest daughter had fallen asleep in the car, so I gallantly offered to sit with her while she slept (yay, down time). With lessons complete, everyone piled noisily back into the car, and we headed into town. By this point it had been decided by the masses that the only appropriate treat for the aforementioned achievements, would obviously be some form of doughnut. Which made choosing our destination easy. It would have to be Beached Barrel.
Located at 26 Foreshore Drive, in Geraldton (which is oddly enough, down along the foreshore), Beached Barrel describe themselves as an " Artisan Doughnut, Sandwich & Coffee Bar." Which is a pretty concise and apt way of describing their offerings. They're quite well known locally as the authority on all things doughnut related. And their menu includes everything from unique and delectable sweet creations, to doughnut ice cream sandwiches, and even savoury breakfast and lunch doughnut options. They're open from 7:30am till 2pm, Tuesday to Friday. 9am till 2pm on the weekend, and closed on Mondays.
If you're unfamiliar with savoury doughnuts, they're very similar to a brioche style bun. And you have a myriad of tasty filling options. They have a breakfast range (available all day) with names like the "Tradie's Breakie Doughy", which comes stuffed with bacon, egg, cheese, and BBQ sauce. Or the "Dirty Street Doughie", with BBQ beans, pastrami, cheese, sour cream and jalapenos.
Lunch options (available from 11am) include the "BBQ Beached Kahuna", which is stacked 2 high with Angus beef patties, bacon, swiss cheese and BBQ sauce. They even have their own spin on the traditional hot-dog, with the "New York Dawgnut". Which is a brioche doughnut style hot-dog bun, with a classic Frankfurt covered in tomato sauce and Carolina mustard.
Sides available include beer battered fries, waffle fries and beer battered onion rings. With a final offering, dubbed the "DIIIRRTTYY STREET FRIES." Which are their beer battered fries, coated in a house blend of spices, smothered in meaty BBQ beans, sour cream and jalapenos.
Although there's plenty of free parking along side their venue, for some reason, Friday was absolutely hectic down town, so we had to park further down the foreshore and trek it in (it was only a couple of hundred meters, so I may be playing a bit fast and loose with the word "trek"). By the time we'd pulled up to the counter, I think I'd averaged about 3 "Slow down, and get away from the road!"'s every 50 meters for the walk. As I composed myself and began perusing the menu, the girls all dashed up to the display cases prominently positioned on the counter.
I can't be sure, but I assume these cases are just a security measure to protect their precious doughnuts from ravenous hordes (like the one that I'd brought with me). But they also work well for displaying the sweet doughnuts that they currently have available. These are made fresh daily, and they're always coming up with new creations, which means there's usually something new to try with every visit.
After a cacophony of debate, and holding small people up to look into the display case, we made our selections. The older girls chose a "Vanilla Slice" and a "Koala in a Spa" doughnut each (lucky Koala). While the wife went with the "Dirty Bird-Nut" and I, the "Angus Beef Cheesenut" savoury options. We also grabbed some fries and a couple of milkshakes to share. The 1 year old daughter was handed half a banana, which she wasn't much impressed with. But it's a hard knock life after all.
There's a pretty nice seating area in front of the venue, with a view across to the water. Not a bad spot to pull up while we waited for our order. The sweet doughnuts were ready straight away. So obviously the girls dove straight in. Which was a little unfortunate, as I'd hoped to get a photo before they'd been half ravaged. But apparently they were delicious.
About 5 minutes later, the rest of our food was ready to go. We decided to make the most of the close proximity to the foreshore playground, and attempt to channel the inevitable sugar rush of energy, into some non-destructive play time for the kids. So we headed across the road and found a shady spot on the lawn nearby.
The journey to the playground, and the hands of small children, hadn't been kind to our savoury doughnuts, so they were a little visually worse for wear by the time we got to eat them. But they tasted fantastic. I'm definitely a big fan of that style of doughnut/brioche bun. The beer battered fries, covered in the house blend of spices were also great. And they kept us busy fending off the ferocious advances of hungry seagulls.
But the surprise winner for me was the milkshakes. I hadn't ordered one myself. But I imposed the obligatory milkshake tax on the girls, so was able to sample theirs. They'd ordered one bubblegum and one choc mint. And they were both amazing.
After we'd all finished eating, and while the kids were burning off enough energy to restart a sun, I affirmed that this was definitely not the sort of down time I was hoping for at the start of the day. But the treat for the kids part, was definitely a giant tick.
So, if you're looking to treat the family to something sweet or savoury, then I would say Beached Barrel comes highly recommended. If you're looking to treat yourself and grab a bit of time out, then this would also be a great spot. But maybe just don't tell anyone you're going.