Steve Braunias is on a mission to eat at each of the 54 food joints on Lincoln Rd in West Auckland. • Episode 35 (and food joint 46): Big Tree Cafe at Adventure Playground

The man who ate Lincoln Rd watched warfare over the wedges last weekend. We had Minka's friend Zahra over for a playdate, and took the girls to BFF Adventure Playground sort of behind La Porchetta and a bowling alley. It doesn't look like much from the outside - just a low corrugated iron shed - but inside it was all on for young and young.

It's a cool place. The girls had an awesome time. But there were a couple of little savages there, a brother and sister, who seemed to think they owned the joint.

First they refused to let the girls have a turn on the flying fox. Just point-blank said, "Nah."

Later they shoved in when Minka and Zahra were queuing for the star attraction at BFF - rides on big furry motorised animals on wheels. Just pushed them aside. "Move," said the boy. "Yeah," said his kid sister. They stood in front of the line with their stupid beligerent faces.


I watched, fascinated and appalled, and the thought occurred to me that I should do something about the little savages in the same way that it wouldn't have been a bad idea to push Hitler under a tram or something when he was a boy. Wouldn't I be doing the world a favour? "In the lost childhood of Judas," Graham Greene was fond of quoting, "Christ was betrayed." Who knows what future evil might be inflicted by those two brutes?

How did they even get to be like that? Was it nature, or nurture? I suppose some parents instruct their kids, "Don't let anyone get in your way. If you want something, take it. Stand up for yourself and by the way Donald Trump is a good person who gets bad press."

But the dad of the savages didn't look like that kind of guy. He seemed perfectly harmless, nothing aggressive about him, just a tired looking man who sighed and filled in the Herald crossword while running his hand through what was left of his hair.

The girls took a break and scoffed chips and nuggets, and the four of us shared a big plate of wedges which I hereby declare are the best wedges on Lincoln Rd. They were generous and cooked just right, golden brown, filling.

Big Tree Café also does gluten-free this and that. I ordered a mousetrap. I was a bit miffed they couldn't be bothered melting the cheese on top of the ham and tinned spagetti on a bun. But the prices are excellent, with toasted sandwiches from $3.

Kids can ride the big furry motorised animals once an hour. Zahra chose a rhino with Minka on the back; the savages were on the track, too, and sped out in front on a rhino. God I hated them. I wished the animals would come to life and trample the real beasts.

Still, a good time was had by all. To the ratings. Big Tree Café: 8/10.