Cracked Pepper wins worldwide fame

By, John Maslin

Theresa Falk and her crew at Cracked Pepper cafe couldn't have wished for a better birthday present.

The cafe, at the bottom end of Wanganui's Victoria Ave, has been given an accolade money couldn't buy in the latest edition of the Lonely Planet's New Zealand guidebook.

The authors cruised the city's eateries for the latest edition and have reserved their best praise for Cracked Pepper.

They rate it the best cafe in the city "serving (arguably) the best eggs benedict in New Zealand".

And for Ms Falk it's the best news she could read as the cafe gets ready to celebrate its 10th anniversary next month.

"We had no idea we had been mentioned until (Mayor) Annette Main called by," she said.

She said they were thrilled with the recognition because "we have customers who are very passionate about our eggs benedict".

The dish has been the biggest seller in the cafe ever since she and her brother Derek Allomes opened for business in 2002.

Mr Allomes is currently working as a chef aboard a super yacht in the Mediterranean.

"We've had people in here who say they travel the world tasting eggs benedict and we've often been told by customers that it's the best dish they've ever had," Ms Falk said.

The key to its popularity is consistency; it's the same every time.

"In terms of taste it's probably a combination of things. We put it together on a muffin with capsicum coulis, pesto and streaky bacon. The capsicum and pesto cuts through the buttery flavour of the hollandaise which sometimes can be a bit bland."

And the cafe uses fresh products from local suppliers.

"We loaded this news on Facebook the other night and within an hour we'd had responses from around the world. It was great," she said.

Ms Falk said this recognition was what she and her brother had set as a goal when they opened Cracked Pepper.

She said it's been hard work "and there's no money tree" but she wouldn't have it any other way.

And the Lonely Planet recognition cannot be underestimated. More than 70 million people visit every year.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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