So I wanted to have coffee with an old colleague a little while ago. We often go to Avid Reader in West End because it’s fabulously booky, and so are we. However, as she lives on the north side of Brisbane, I wanted to even things up a bit and find somewhere close to her. The north side is a tricky spot for eating out and good coffee. Only in the last couple of years have quality coffee spots popped up, finally serving the jittery masses as they commute into town. For coffee, Dandelion and Driftwood gets the most attention, but newcomer Pod in Stafford (yes, I know. Stafford) looks like it could be promising and Metro Espresso on Edinburgh Castle Road has long served the passing traffic. When I worked on the north side, I never went to Metro Espresso regularly as it was a dangerous road to cross and because their iced coffee had ice cream in it. Period. It may have changed by now.
If I did get caffeinated libations on the way to work, it was often at Idea Cafe on Shaw Road. It’s easy to pass by but was safer to park and served consistent quality coffee. And they never minded my iced latte on soy requests. I can imagine locals enjoying this cafe a lot- it’s right next door to the local hydrobath, so diners sitting at the back table are rewarded on the weekend with cute pooches and children roaming around (but not too close; I don’t like other people’s kids sharing my experience too much). Just down the road is Shaw Park, a large sporting and parkland area, it would be a great way for Kedron-ians (Kedronites?) and Wooloowin residents (I give up) to begin the weekend.
We got a table at about 9 and ordered the avo and tomato toast on turkish. I ordered peppermint tea with mine, and my friend had a flat white. I would have liked a poached egg, but there is only a hot plate, not a hob, in the kitchen and eggs are done scrambled or fried. You can sit up front near the tree-line road, at the coffee bar on a stool, or on one of the little tables down the side. They also had several chairs that still had folded blankets over the back, which is a nice sign of consideration.
Although I prefer my toast as sourdough, this turkish bread was toasted flat, making it easy and manageable. It was a simple, nice meal done well. My friend liked her coffee, but I don’t know how fantastic their coffee is overall as I didn’t get a chance to try for myself. Although we hardly sampled the most complex of dishes (I want to try their banana bread with ricotta, honey and caramelised banana!), I really enjoyed eating here. When a waiter came to tell me I couldn’t have poached, it was done with grace and apologies. When we stayed for THREE hours catching up, we weren’t hassled or given passive-aggressive waiter body language to leave (it wasn’t a packed Saturday, so we weren’t keeping a table from someone). When we forgot to pay (yes, I’m awful) and came back ten minutes later, the staff laughed and said it happened all the time, but everyone always comes back and fixes them up.
I get the impression from other reviews I’ve read in the past that this is not the place for a huge group or a late lunch, but for a brekkie for two, it was clean, fresh food and a great start to my weekend.
And just because, check out this dude’s amazing garden just a couple of doors down the road. Amazing!