Like many South African boys, Fritz Brand enrolled as an apprentice to his dad for braai training at a young age. His passion for food ignited, he went on to spend time with his mom in the kitchen too.
Originally from Heidelberg, a small town on the Garden Route, Fritz moved to Durbanville to study in the IT field, but he ended up spending all his free time and money on food and messing around in the kitchen, making meals for his colleagues and friends. And his passion for cookery – and cookbooks – just hasn’t stopped growing.
Today, not only is Fritz a braaimaster and hotshot in the kitchen, but his blog, Real Men Can Cook, has been nominated for Best Local Food Blog at the 2014 Eat Out Zonnebloem Produce Awards. (Winners of this award and others will be announced on Saturday 12 April 2014 at the Stellenbosch Slowmarket. See you there!)
We asked Fritz to share his top eating-out spots for when he’s not crafting gorgeous dishes in the kitchen.
I love Pizza Vesuvio in the Tygervalley Waterfront for great, authentic Neapolitan-style pizza, made by real Italians. I was quite surprised to find a pizza joint this side of the Boerewors Curtain that doesn’t offer the usual American “how many toppings can we add” kind of pizza, but I’m very glad that I did!
Without blowing my own horn, I have yet to find a better burger than the ones I make at home. That said, Clarke’s in Bree Street is a close second. I love their vibe, with mostly everything made in-house. They respect good ingredients and it shows. I also have a bit of an obsession with the chocolate tart that appears on the dessert menu from time to time…
De Grendel Restaurant may be somewhat unassuming from the outside, yet every time I pass through the gates of the estate I feel like I’m transported into another world, where everything is done better, looks better and just plain is better. The restaurant, with its magnificent food and generous portion sizes, is no exception. Chef Ian Bergh’s version of steak tartare is still sitting pretty at number one on my list of the best ever.
Bamboo Restaurant at Cape Garden Centre in Joostenbergvlakte has simple, unpretentious food made with care and served with a smile. I usually go to the centre for my gardening needs on Saturdays, and often find myself pleasantly delayed at Bamboo.
La Mouette in Sea Point. I love the atmosphere of this restaurant and the food is always top-notch. I don’t generally enjoy fine dining restaurants that much – I find they can be very uppity – but La Mouette balances this perfectly. It’s fancy enough to impress the socks (maybe more) off any date, yet relaxed enough to put anyone at ease. Lord knows dating can be terrifying enough as is!
Die Backstube bakery. They have drop-off points in a number of supermarkets and delis in the northern suburbs of Cape Town. This bakery believes in making old-fashioned bread with no emulsifiers, additives or preservatives, and I just love the result.
I still enjoy the Neighbourgoods Market at The Old Biscuit Mill. I just make sure to get there very early, grab what I need, and get out before 10am when the hipsters and tourists start flooding in!