Lunch #1: The Dodgy Boerie Roll And The Boy From Bonteheuwel

Who says there are no crazy adventures to be had just outside your front door? Okay, lots of people have acknowledged there are. But how many of them actually go and have one on a day at the office? My current quest is to find an adventure every lunch break. I’m lucky enough to work within walking distance of one of Cape Town’s most epic adventure locations: Long Street. I’m also lucky enough to get the chance to take an hour off between 1 and 2pm most weekdays to go in search of sustenance.

I have decided to share this quest with you. And so, today I present: The Dodgy Boerie Roll and The Boy From Bonteheuwel, a photographic food safari.

Where to go for lunch today? A ray of light from on high directed the way.

Yep, I simply stopped at the first place I saw. And this was what I saw…

Cold, turgid boerie and cold oily onion. I’m hungry, but am I this hungry?

Dammit! I am a brave African adventurer. I have eaten camel. I can eat this.

Also, I have lots of Scottish ancestors. And it’s cheap.

I had a long conversation with the guy behind the skillet while we waited for the boerie and onions to heat up again. During this time, I ascertained the following.

  • He had cooked the boerie and onions only this morning, so they were definitely fresh.
  • He was from Bonteheuwel. Bonteheuwel used to be a bad place, but it’s calmed down a lot since 2002. In fact, these days Long Street is a more dangerous place than Bonteheuwel, in his opinion.
  • Nobody would bother his customers, however, because he takes care of his customers. He used to live on the streets, but a documentary maker helped him sort out his life.

Nobody messes with this guy’s customers.

He directed my attention to the block across the road. This used to be inhabited by drug dealers. It’s been cleared out now, but the drug dealers still hang around every night.

The former drug dealers’ headquarters. Apparently it’s being renovated for decent people to move in.

At last the boerie was warmish. Mohammed (for that was his name) put it all in a roll while I staved off pleas from a self-professed starving Zanzibari (who really didn’t look all that starving, I promise). I sauced my roll and departed.

These are the sauces. I recommend the Mustard and Tomato sauces. They taste exactly as you would expect.

“See you tomorrow!” called Mohammed.

“If I’m still alive,” I thought.

One bite into the boerie roll. It’s three hours later and I’m still feeling fine. Result!

Photos taken with crappy purple BlackBerry 8520. Yes, I am the world’s laziest professional photographer. 


  1. Gavin · July 21, 2011

    If Bill Bryson were dead, I would swear that you are his reincarnation (before you rush to the mirror- in a literary sense). As he’s not, fortunately for us all, I think you’re an awesome writer.
    Love your stuff.

  2. Tabitha Nel · August 12, 2011

    Alicat….you just made me snark my lunch up my nose…..(incidentally it was old-style toasted cheese on white,you know the one? when you have to dislocate your shoulder to get the string of cheese to break?)… are a kak-funny ledi…xxx

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s