Thursday, 28 November 2013

Foxtrot Charlie - Brunswick

Breakfast: my least-favoured meal of the day. All too often I avoid eating until after 11am purely so I can call the bowl of soggy cereal in - what is certainly by this stage - tepid milk "brunch". Deep down in my heart I know what this bowl before me really is - a bowl of disintegrating dreams - but somehow it becomes more palatable with a different title. (A rose by any other name indeed!)

Apologies for appearing to get so morbid, I should confess that I rarely actually eat cereal, but I DO vastly prefer brunch to breakfast. Don't get me wrong, I love the crunch of my vegemite on sourdough toast in the morning, but whenever I go out for breakfast I regularly find the menu options to be particularly uninspiring. Essentially, they seem to be bacon and eggs made fifty different ways, invariably with the veg. twist being that the bacon has been removed from the dish with slightly more egg added. And the vegan option? Don't get me started! Fortunately, there are many breakfast spots that have decided they can't put up with my whinging any longer, and have decided to prove that there can be more to your morning meal than pig and eggs (Exhibit 'A': Grigons & Orr). Many such cafes can be found in the cultural mixing pot that is Brunswick, and one in particular is Foxtrot Charlie on Sydney Road. Boasting the use of organic produce, and a rotating range of interesting deli goodies, there is sure to be something to take your fancy. For instance, the 3 cheese Panini: Meredith Goats Cheese, Schamorza, and assaggio, layered with salad-y goodness. One look at it and it screams out to you! Also, for the uninitiated, schamorza is a personal favourite of mine, and under-utilized far too often in my opinion.

But I came here to go for one of the breakfast specialties, so I opted for the Saint Joseph's Day Fritter
The Fritter!
(Veg. Version - $16.50): a ricotta fritter served with sauteed mushrooms on a pea fondue. There is only one word that for me accurately captures this dish: juicy! This fritter is like a water bomb exploding in your mouth. You know, the kind you used to throw at your friends in those carefree youthful summer days. Or, alternatively, at your best friend's Winter bbq last June - hilarious at the time, but his girlfriend hasn't spoken to you since. Of course, when I say "water bomb", I don't mean to say that it is loaded with liquid. Nope, I'm referring to the taste explosion that goes off the moment you crunch through the crispy fritter exterior. The mushrooms, too, were unbelievable. I'm the first to admit that I am not the biggest fan of mushrooms, but in this dish I did not merely tolerate them, I gobbled them! Juicy, sweet, salty...they were a work in contradictions. The pea fondue was like the calming voice of the dish, keeping all the outrageous flavours in check, binding them.

Pistachio and Yoghurt Mousse Cake
It's not all peaches and cream. Whilst I was served a very elegant looking hot chocolate, it was rather watery. However, there are only a few places in Melbourne where the hot chocolate is the decisive factor in me returning, and - fear not Foxtrotters - this is not one of them. Aside from my incredible breakfast, the other thing that stood out for me about this place was the service. The wait staff genuinely make you feel like they're happy to see you...more so than some of my close friends! As an added bonus, we were treated to a sample of some freshly made pistachio and yoghurt mousse cake, which is certainly worth a try.

There's plenty more on offer here for the meat-a-tarians amongst us and the veg. options are a little limited, but what they do have, they do exceedingly well. Watch out Green Refectory, you've got competition!

5/5 (How could I not, they actually had me enjoying my mushrooms!)

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