Essendon is hardly the breakfast capital of Melbourne. Until a couple of years ago, the best you could do was a McValue meal or an International Roast coffee as you kicked tyres at one of the many car dealerships along Keilor Road. But NOW, bits of Brunswick have come to Essendon! And good bits too, not just men with beards.
The latest cafe to open its doors is North and Eight on Buckley Street. Long known for its annoying level crossing waits and not much else, finally Buckley Street has something to brag about. Yesterday we dropped in for breakfast and although the place was packed we easily elbowed a few people out of the way to snaffle an outside table.
The Canadian was delighted that there were no silly time restrictions applied to his stomach and he could order lunch at 9.30am. It’s actually sort of annoying when places say lunch from 11am but I don’t like to agree with him too often or I fear the hostility (I mean spark) may go out of our relationship.
He therefore went an early morning soft shell crab burger. There was practically applause as it landed in front of him. I took his word for its deliciousness but I can definitely vouch for the chips that accompanied it. They were oddly enough served in a take away coffee cup but this place was so busy, I wouldn’t have been surprised if they’d just sent Jarrod up to Kmart in search of more crockery. Actually not Kmart as the crockery was cool, even the little sugar pots were adorable. Because this place was new and I want awesome places to survive in the suburbs, I decided I should pinch it next time.
I had a bacon and egg brioche roll thing (do I need to add that the Canadian ate the bacon component or would we all just assume that based on his race?) which was simply delicious. Some sort of lemony dressing, a hash brown inside that was more rosti but I thanked them mentally for their lack of wankery and ate it all! I also inhaled two cups of yummy coffee.
The staff were very friendly and pretty swift considering there were more people inside than those who watched The Verdict last week. The interior had a really nice feel, considering this place used to be a fruit shop, the owners have done an amazing job to make it look so airy and spacious. Apart from the food, I noticed people having a lovely time. Everyone was chatting happily, I was trying to abduct a miniature dachshund at a neighbouring table and it seemed the locals were so thrilled to have another option for breakfast in their active wear that they embraced everything and everyone around them.
Their Facebook page doesn’t do them justice, (see?) and frankly I’m glad. I’d much rather go to a place where the owners are more interested in making gorgeous, different food than one where they’re instagramming a ham and cheese toastie and calling it hip.
If you’re hungry, head to 285-287 Buckley Street, Essendon.