Fresh from a recent speaking engagement in Brisabane, author Walter Mason writes a guest post for Noodlies, Sydney food blog.
First, let me just say that I do in fact have an obsession with breakfast. You may have noticed that most of my guest posts concern that most important meal of the day, and anyone who knows me will vouch for the fact that,unless I have breakfast pretty pronto after waking up, I can become a little, er, difficult. What can I say? Blood sugar problems? Probably.
I often say that the only two things you need to worry about when selecting a place to stay in a strange city is 1) Can you get a good breakfast very close by and 2) Can you get a late night snack when you are drunk and ravenous? For both of those reasons I always stay in The Valley when I am in Brisbane. There’s something about The Valley I love – its old-school sleaze, its incredible crowds late at night, its high-energy buzz and the fact that there is a 7 Eleven for every two residents. It’s heaven.
Right downstairs from where I stay is a Coffee Club – that ubiquitous Queensland coffee chain that is a cut above the other two brands that Shall Remain Nameless. Now, the Brunswick St. Coffee Club must have just about the sweetest and most attentive staff ever. Even if the food and coffee were terrible (which they aren’t) I would have come back every morning just to be treated with the kindness and good cheer of the baristas and waiters. In general I find that service in Queensland, though casual, is significantly more polite than in any other state in Australia, but here it’s off the radar. Someone is treating these guys well.
Plus I had an Incident, and nothing can gauge the quality of people better than how they deal with an Incident. One morning, befuddled and anxious on my way to deliver a paper at a conference, I foolishly left my iPhone on the table at the cafe. I didn’t realise until I had arrived at the university, and I was driven into a wild panic – what on earth would I do without my phone? I couldn’t even call someone for help, because I haven’t remembered a phone number since about 1989. So I jumped back into a cab (please don’t ask about the cost of all this foolishness) and sped back to Brunswick St., sweating with worry. Of course, I had just stepped in the door when the sainted woman behind the counter beamed up at me and handed over my phone. At that stage I would have offered her my firstborn.
I should tell you what else is good about this particular branch of Coffee Club. There is free Wifi, and generally in the morning the place is quiet enough to get a bit of work done. Coffee is perfectly reliable, and the extensive breakfast menu, served all day, is a real beauty. Bacon & egg on Turkish, eggs Benedict and, my eventual favourite, pancakes! A big stack of the babies, thick and yummy. My only complaint is that I could have done with a smidgin bigger scoop of ice cream. But I loves my ice cream. So breakfast heaven, really.
A great place to make your base when you are visiting Brisbane.
Shop 1 Central Brunswick
335-421 Brunswick Street
Fortitude Valley, Brisbane