The only Oscar to ever cross my path was the one in the rubbish tin on Sesame Street - until recently.
Seeking lunchtime refuge from a pea-souper that had enveloped Inglewood, I met Oscar the cafe. You'll find it bang on the left-hand corner as you head south and if the food on offer at the price doesn't please you, keep driving until you get to Cook Strait and carry on.
Oscars has been in the town for years, but mainly as a pizza and takeaway outlet, which opened in the late afternoon for the dinner market.
That was next door to its current site, which owner Craig Williamson swooped on a few months ago.
"It used to be Grandma's hot bread shop and when it closed, we made a few changes and reopened with a cafe menu," he said.
The fish and chips and pizzas are still on offer, but there is plenty for the lunchtime traffic now. This was a particularly bleak day, so the diet was set aside and the pie warmer given a thoroughly good study. It was a toughie: butter chicken, Thai chicken or bacon and egg? There were other varieties, but the B&E got the nod.
According to the boss, 85 per cent of food sold is made on site. The pies are included in that.
"We used to bring them in from Auckland, but there was too much waste, so we decided to have a go ourselves. They have really taken off."
My gourmet pie cost just $4.50, so there was plenty of scope for a sweet. The Danish pastry (boysenberry flavour) looked too good to be true for $2.50.
There are plenty of other sweets, such as doughnuts, custard squares, fudge, chocolate mousse, apple slice, scones and the customer favourite, carrot cake.
There's not much left at day's end for the Oscar in the rubbish tin.
- © Fairfax NZ News