Bluebird Espresso- Johnston St, Collingwood

I’ve decided to create an #OccupieFitzroy hall of fame. Bluebird Espresso will be in it.

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This place is little, and easy to miss. It’s down the dodgy end of Johnston St (near my house), nestled amongst a sleazy backpackers hostel and some tiling stores. For anyone that knows Johnston St, if you’re not on your way to the Convent then this is the place to start giving up. Unless you’re going to Bluebird of course.

To begin, I ordered a coffee and it came out almost cold. Well, cold for my standards. But I was here for my regular Friday morning brunch, so I was happy to take it easy and see how it went. The menu looked amazing, and there were some really incredible vegetarian options (which can sometimes compensate for cold coffee).

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I ordered garlic butter mushrooms on on cheesy potato puree, with poached eggs and roquette on toast. All of a sudden I didn’t give a fuck about the cold coffee because I had died and gone to heaven. This meal was like sex. On toast. With some sunshine and rainbows. I still dream about it, and I would happily drink all the cold coffee in Melbourne if it meant I could eat this more often.

image-5This was my meal, midway through. Note how delicious it still looks.

I’m not usually one to order sweet breakfasts, but Chloe always does. She ordered French Toast. I can’t remember exactly what was in it other than salted caramel somethingarather, and some banana. But it looked fucking tits. Again, didn’t give a fuck about the cold coffee. This was just too good.

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Again, take note of the half eaten meal and how fucking appetising it still looks.

Occupie Metrics:
Door to Beard Index: This place is still in the ‘I knew about Bluebird before it was cool’ phase. The dodgy end of Johnston St is quickly becoming less dodgy, but Bluebird is still in its ‘not too cool’ phase. It’s always busy on weekends, and it’s full of hipsters. Therefore, beards. I rate it: 1 step.

Coffee: Would be good if it was warmer, but Chloe didn’t mind it so much. I wouldn’t go here *just* for the coffee, considering how much great coffee there is in the area.

Noms: FUCKING INCREDIBLE, HOLY JESUS. EAT IT NOW.

How poor will it make me? Normal Fitzroy/Collingwood poor, and a bit too poor considering it’s the dodgy end of Johnston St.

Final thoughts: This place is a big deal: I could forget about the less-than-average coffee because their food was just so, incredibly tops. Urban Spoon rates them at 4.5 starts. I would rate them 9 if I could (10 if they did hot coffee).

Check out their Facebook.  Fall in love with Bluebird Espresso.

-Mads

Bluebird Espresso on Urbanspoon

Slowpoke on Brunswick St

This place makes me happy even just thinking about it!

I visited Slowpoke last Friday, which was also MY BIRTHDAY! I was already in a good mood, as one often is on their birthday, and I was lucky enough to be blessed with brunch accompanied by two of my favourite people in the world.

The sun was shining, I was feeling the love. This place was a good choice. As was my meal!

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Baked beans with goats cheese, toast, and a ton of herbs. Bliss.

I FEEL LIKE I SHOULD WRITE THIS ALL IN CAPITALS JUST TO EXPRESS HOW I EXCITED I WAS BY EVERYTHING, but I shall refrain. This place just has totally positive vibes about it, and the staff are really friendly. It was cold outside, but I was cosy. My other friend Jodie came to say hello WHICH MADE ME MORE EXCITED. It was my birthday, and everything was wonderful!

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This is Thomas eating brunch! ^^

The menu was simple, which was good. Thomas ordered Avocado Smash, and it looked incredible. It also had chilli in it, I never thought that could be a thing! I then ordered a cup of tea after my meal because I got really excited and ate it too quickly, and that was also amazing! Everything was awesome!

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I then got to work to find these bad boys freshly baked, sitting on my desk.

image 02Then, two of my bosses (and Thomas) did their own rendition of Happy Birthday. It was a god day.

I’m aware these extra birthday details are unnecessary in the scheme of #OccupieFitzroy, but I really don’t give two shits and want to share the awesomeness that was, my birthday.

Occupie Metrics:
Door to Beard Index: Being the perfect Brunswick St cafe, it was high. Possibly even 1 step.

Coffee: Smooth and delicious.

Noms: AWESOME. Eat all the things.

How poor will it make me? Standard amount of poor. 

Final thoughts: On any other day, this place would still have been pretty damn excellent. Check out their Facebook page!

-Madeline

Slowpoke on Urbanspoon

Mr Tulk- Latrobe St, CBD

I’ve had a lot of brunch recently. Honestly, my life is incredibly brunch-tastic. (brunch brunch brunch).

The downside of this is that unless they fall into the category of ‘fuck yeah’, these cafes have kind of all blurred into the same brunchey experience. The upside, is that when a place is particularly stand out, it’s easy to notice. Mr Tulk however, has fallen into the blur.

Mr Tulk is a cute and cosy little cafe nestled next to the State Library. It was somewhat tempting to not bother including this place in the blog, because I just didn’t really feel like there was anything spectacular about it (But then I remembered my #OF rules to blog about EVERY place I visit). It certainly wasn’t bad, and it was still worthwhile visiting (especially because I got to share the experience with brunch-bestie 2.0, Jules). Their coffee was very decent, they had an appropriately simple menu but there could have been a few more veggie options.

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This was my brunch buddie Jules, note how hot she is.

I ordered a poached egg on polenta, with garlic butter mushrooms. I think polenta is the absolute bomb, as are garlic butter mushrooms, but this meal was a bit heavy and felt more dinner-like to me (with the exception of the egg). It was still really fucking tasty though. Jules initially ordered something with meat in it but was not allowed to swap the meat for something else, which really shits me (#VEGETARIANWORLDPROBLEMS).

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All in all it was a very tasty experience, but I think I’d just been completely overwhelmed with the amazing standard of food in previous weeks, and this fell right into the middle. I was also tripping out on cough syrup as a result of some winter sickness going around, and so my tastes were very specific that day. My meal also went cold because I spent too long chatting with Jules, but such is life.

Occupie Metrics:
Door to Beard Index: A deceiving 2 seconds. It’s a cafe staffed by hipsters, but filled with mostly middle-aged library goers, and a few tourists.

Coffee: I ordered a soy chai latte and it was very decent.

Noms: Super tasty but ever so slightly underwhelming. I like my brunch to be epic.

How poor will it make me? As poor as most cafes will- I think my meal was $16.

Final thoughts: This is probably more of a reliable coffee place than a reliable food place. I might give their food another try.

-Madeline

Mr Tulk on Urbanspoon

Arcadia- Gertrude St

I’ve been so slack! It’s almost been two weeks since I wrote about the culinary delights of the North Side, but I’ve been busy with things like my birthday, and #YOLOing that shit up.

But whatever, I need to write about Arcadia before it fades back into my memories of the Gertrude St charm. This was an exciting encounter, because I finally ordered MOTHERFUCKING AVOCADO SMASH (mah faaav).

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Avocado Smash. Note, the lack of chunks.

For those who don’t know, my standards for Avo Smash are lofty.  I usually prefer goats cheese, but feta is also pretty amaze, and there needs to be an egg included.

At most cafes, they will charge at least $2.50 just to put an egg in some water and serve it to you (seriously, fuck that shit), and unfortunately Arcadia was no exception. They also really seemed to take the term ‘Avo Smash’ and run with it, because I ended up with Avo Puree. This puree also included the goats cheese, so it was really just a tasty, green paste on toast. This is by no means a bad thing, and it was still delicious and I still felt satisfied. But I’m a gal who likes her avocado chunky and her goats cheese crumbly. Not blended into baby food.

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It required its own point of view shot.

The slight discontent really just comes down to personal preference, and I can’t really fault Arcadia on anything else. Their coffee was absolutely tops, and amidst some epic brunch-envy, I managed to snag a bite of Chloe’s banana bread with vanilla flavoured ricotta cheese.

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Everyone should try this place. It was cool and cosy. A couple decided to sit inappropriately close to us, considering how many empty tables there were. So we decided to engage in inappropriate discussion on how stressful our work weeks had been, and our party plans for the weekend that involved moustaches.

Occupie Metrics:
Door to Beard Index:  I don’t know, this metric is partly dependent on my willingness to engage with people and not just sit in a corner because I’m feeling grumpy.

Coffee: It’s hard to judge coffee when you continually drink good coffee. This one was still amazeballs.

Noms: Really decent. They just have a different style of Avo Smash, and that’s ok.

How poor will it make me? It’s Fitzroy and Gertrude St. Think about it.

Final thoughts: I’d go back there.

Check out their Facebook page right here!

-Maddy

Arcadia on Urbanspoon

Sonido! on Gertrude St

Sonido! was probably the most pleasant surprise I’ve encountered all week. Not because I suspected it to be bad, but because I tend to find myself in a cafe-routine (rut) thus assume every other place must be rubbish (especially after visiting Breakfast Thieves last week). And especially if Avocado Smash isn’t on the menu.

South American cuisine would probably not be my first choice for a Friday morning brunch with my brunch bestie Chloe, but she had been here before and tends to have far superior cafe taste to me. So come 9.30am, I was bleary eyed and feasting on some South American noms served by a sweet, Spanish speaking fellow. I was content.

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My first thought upon entering  was ‘wow, this place is colourful and the barista has an incredible beard’. Followed by, ‘What does this menu say? I hope I don’t eat something meaty’. The aforementioned Spanish speaking fellow was incredibly patient with our order, while we deciphered the list of South American fruits we wanted in our smoothie, and I figured out what ‘arepas’ were (I’m a massive Spanish noob, FYI).

The menu was simple and small, which when you’re ordering slightly unfamiliar food, definitely works to your advantage. I ordered something involving ‘huevos’ and ‘arepas’ with a side of guacamole, which turned out to be some fried eggs with tomato on top of a corn tortilla kind of thing. The meal looked small but was incredibly filling and satisfying. It was like a Latin American party in my mouth, minus lines of cocaine but including lots of coriander. Complimenting this meal was a tasty pineapple and guava juice with some mint. This place certainly knows how to do ‘fresh and zesty’, which is perfect for a slightly hungover Friday morning.

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This was my incredible meal.

Occupie Metrics:
DBI: -3 steps. You could probably see that beard from the passing tram.

Coffee Snob rating: I ordered a smoothie instead of a coffee, which was badass. But Chloe’s long black looked equally as badass.

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Noms: Amazing food. However it’s probably not a place I’ll frequent too often, I’ll want to keep those noms for a special occasion.

How poor will it make me? If you’re already committed to eating in Fitzroy then this is on the slightly lower-end of the scale. My meal and smoothie cost $20.

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This place is colourful and friendly. Come here to liven up a grey Melbourne morning, and enjoy the vibes.

Their website: http://sonido.com.au/

-Maddy

Sonido! on Urbanspoon

Breakfast Thieves on Gore St

Let me tell you about my plan to kidnap the chefs from Breakfast Thieves and keep them in my basement.

I mean what I meant to say, was the food at Breakfast Thieves is absolutely, mindblowingly incredible.

Tucked under a pretty fugly set of apartments, is this super cool, somewhat rustic little cafe that has well and truly won my heart. I had brunch here last week with my brunch bestie Chloe, and it changed my life. Despite my initial disappointment that the menu did not feature any avocado smash (my all time fav), the menu is really creative, and made myself & my brunch bestie wonder how people come up with these incredible meals (to which someone kindly reminded me that “people actually go to school for this stuff”).

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This was my Friday morning breakfast. It’s called ‘The Leprechaun’, and it involves corn and basil fritters on cauliflower and pea puree on toast with eggs. It must also contain heroin. I spent the rest of my Friday chasing the dragon and hoping to re-experience the magnificence that was this meal, but instead I found an extremely substandard burger in the CBD and went into withdrawal (#RegrettableLifeChoices). The soy chai latte I ordered alongside this meal was also fucking tops. You know when cafes bring out really bad chai lattes that are nothing more than some frothy and slightly sweet milk? This was not like that in the slightest. It was Christmas in a teapot and it was $4.50.

The next morning I awoke to a mild hangover and an empty stomach. There was only one answer to this situation: go back to Breakfast Thieves.

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‘The Breakfast Chain’

This is what Chloe the brunch bestie ordered on our first visit, and it’s what I ordered on my second. Anyone that knows me, knows that I have a serious addiction to cheese (sorry vegans) so this one was automatically a winner. Plus the eggs and yummy crumble, Breakfast Thieves had lived up to my memory from the previous day. I’m not much of a food critic so can’t really explain much about this meal other than it was well rounded and fucking delicious.

Occupie Metrics:
DBI: Unknown- I was too busy focusing on how amazing the menu was to notice any beards. There were probably quite a few though.

Coffee Snob rating: The soy chai latte was the nectar of Gods. I’m sure the coffee is somewhat similar.

Noms: I don’t think I could make it any clearer. When I die, I will go to heaven and feast on this cuisine. The menu is also vegetarian friendly, so 100 extra points.
How poor will it make me? Meals range from about $12-20. Standard Fitzroy prices, but it will definitely make you poor because you will definitely keep returning with your wallet and your mouth wide open.

Have a look at their aesthetically pleasing yet mostly useless website at: http://www.breakfastthieves.com.au/

-Maddy x

Breakfast Thieves on Urbanspoon