Posts Tagged ‘vegemite’

Fish Cafe
Originally uploaded by Miss Krin

No, it’s not closing, but it might as well be.

Newtown has many coffee shops, and as a resident you start to develop a list of coffee shops for particular moods, people you are hanging out with and how far you want to walk.

One of my happy coffee homes for many years was the Old Fish Cafe, usually as a weekday morning thing when all you want is some nice punk barista to make your coffee and someone to take good bread and cover it with butter and vegemite, while you sat in the open air and watched the world wake up.

Fish Cafe was perfect. It had tables by an open side of the cafe. It had good music. It had a string of baristas that would engage with their customers. It had thin sliced sourdough toast.

Which is my complaint about the Fish Cafe now. It appears to have changed ownership. Gone are the interactive staff, but more importantly the ONLY bread you can get is 1 inch thick sliced white or brown or turkish. And apparently asking for vegemite on it means no butter, somehow. I’ve given them the benefit of the doubt a couple of times, but it doesn’t seem to have changed.

Why is it that there seems to be a particular concept that a “cafe” has to have thick sliced bread?? And why is it that I immediately will rate that cafe as second rate as soon as they serve it to me?

Thin sliced toast which is crunchy and tasty is heaven. Thick sliced toast is dry and difficult to chew and not very tasty.

So, the wonderful thing about Sydney’s cafe culture is that there are lots of good cafes. The horrible thing is that sometimes one of the cafes you adore gets popular, gets sold and then someone who has no experience in Newtown cafes takes over and changes the entire reason you went there in the first place (first it was Cordial, and now Fish).

Oh well, at least there is still Moose Cafe, Lou Jacks, Varga Bar, Barmuda, Campos…

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the coffy man goes for germany
Originally uploaded by deepwarren.

The weeks surrounding Christmas and New Year’s are my favourite, full of friends, family and rituals. However I have re-discovered the one aspect of this time of year that I dislike: the Christmas New Year’s close-down of all the decent coffee shops. What is with that? The decent coffee shops with the simple vegemite toast that I eat for breakfast while reading a book close and the dodgy, popularist coffee shops that think breakfast for an office worker should be fluffy, calorific and frou frou stay open!

This week I have tried 4 different places around Parramatta for a simple breakfast of two pieces of wholemeal toast with vegemite and a decent (not brilliant, I’m not that fussy) soy milk cappucino, or macchiato. Each time it has been a complete failure.

I tried a coffee lounge in the middle of Wedstfield, they didn’t even list toast with vegemite on the menu. So I ordered sourdough toast with ricotta and marmalade and the coffee. It was alright, but I don’t do sweet foods in the morning, as I can feel quite tired afterwards. Unfortunately I only really remember this after I have eaten said sweet thing. Why, oh why, can they not have a simple breakfast option? (my standard rant about cafes, don’t get me started!) The coffee was alright, nothing to get excited about.

My second coffee of the day is generally a macchiato, which I get from the lovely Noam and Vivione. They have closed for this week, so the task to find a decent replacement was on. Max Brenner is not that decent replacement. Their choclate is fine, their coffee is too bitter for my liking.

Ate at Starbucks (gasp!). You see the depths I am pushed too at this time of year? In fact it is the only time of year that I will patronise the place, and mostly because it is open and they do an alright coffee (better than gloria jean’s coffee, the other option we have). My main gripes were again: no breakfast option that wasn’t incredibly sweet, you have to have a large coffee, there is no small option, and they FORGOT to make my coffee, I had to walk back up and ask. *sigh*.

Today’s macchiato attempt was at pie face, which was decent and came with friendly service, although with less banter than we get from Noam, so that problem was fixed. When asked, they assured me they made toast so I thought my breakfast worries were over.

Fronted up to pie face for breakfast. “We don’t do toast” came the reply. So one croissant and coffee was taken back to the office. The croissant was decent, but not really what I was after. Scratch that for an alternate breakfast option.

Macchiato taken care of.

My first day at this job I arrived in plenty of time for my 9.30 start, knowing that I might have difficulty finding a place to have breakfast and that I had some reviewing of notes to do. The place I found for breakfast didn’t have any vegemite, as they had “run out” so I determined to not go back there again, ever. However, this morning I was desperate and thought I would give them another go.

I ordered wholemeal vegemite toast, and they passed the first test, there was wholemeal bread and vegemite. However, and this is the confusing thing. They took the pieces of wholemeal bread, covered them in some vegemite, no butter, put the two vegemite halves together and placed them into a sandwich press. WTF!!! When I prised the two pieces apart the insides were steaming! I took two bites and sent them back. What returned was actual toast, again with no butter. It was dry and horrible, but at this point in time I needed food.

I can’t wait for all the decent places to be open again next week. All I want is toast and vegemite. (let’s not discuss the fact that I could have bought a loaf of bread and toasted it at work. Half the point is to eat out of the office to relax before starting the day. Oh, and I keep forgetting to buy a loaf of bread)

*the photo has nothing to do with parramatta’s (lack of) coffee, but it is the photo of a previous stop-gap coffee shop I frequented.

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