Friday, 22 June 2012

Exploring cafes in Newport

I have previously complained about how dismal it is working in Brooklyn as a locale, but there is at least one benefit that I can name -- and that is the proximity to a plethora of wonderful little cafes in suburbs such as Yarraville, Seddon, Newport and Williamstown.

It started as a Friday thing. Two of us (mostly it's just two of us) would escape the sterile office for a slightly longer than normal lunch in a location with character. Over time, however, the lure of the cafes has become a bit like the song of the siren... and we seem to have slotted in Wednesday cafe lunches too. This means we try to squeeze the whole expedition into an hour if possible, but it's still marvellous to get away.

So, rather than keeping them all to myself, I thought I would share my thoughts on some of these cafes. Today, I am going to start with those in Newport, which are our most recent discovery. A colleague emailed me a list of Newport cafes to try -- and try them we have!

First was Leroy's on Mason Street. This is quite a large cafe with Campos coffee (tick), a tempting cake window, and a menu with plenty of options. On visit number #1, I ate a very nice pumpkin soup and on visit #2 (which was today) I had a baked omelet with corn and pesto. This too was delicious, although when I asked how many eggs were in it and they said 5 or 6 I nearly fainted. Needless to say, I will avoid that in future. They had four soups on the menu today, so they will likely be a good option in the future. I haven't really paid much attention to the rest of their menu, although I have been keeping an eye on their twice-baked french toast with fruit compote special. The service staff there are friendly and obliging -- although no doubt think I'm a bit of a freak after my 'OMG was that really 5 eggs?" reaction today! I rate it a good place for a quick lunch: the coffee is good, there's plenty of space (not too busy), and the menu has healthy options (if you order more wisely than I did today!).

Second was The Pint of Milk on North Road. A renovated corner milk bar, this stylish little cafe has a Mediterranean influence. I've only been there once to-date, but we loved it and I think it's probably my favourite of the Newport cafes so far. I had a simple but delicious meal of poached eggs with spinach and mushrooms -- they sauteed the two vegetables together and my only mild complaint was the excessive oil drizzled over them. (This is my standard 'low cal' breakfast, so oil and butter = bad.) But this was only a slight blemish -- and it tasted fabulous (which is far more important really). The ambiance and decor are lovely with a milk bottle theme, and the coffee (Gridlock) was also fantastic. For a cafe in the middle of nowhere it was humming -- and the parking was easy. Sweet! Will definitely be back there in the very near future.

Third was Nosh (24 Hall Street), which is another funky cafe, fairly casual with another impressive cake window and apparently -- although I haven't tried them yet -- awesome roti wraps on the lunch menu. I (as is my wont) chose from the breakfast menu... in this case the big vegetarian breakfast, which was far too big! I'm ashamed to say I can't remember the coffee, but this must mean it was good! Nosh didn't engage me quite as much as The Pint of Milk did, but it is nonetheless a fine place to dash for lunch, and I foresee many future visits. (Variety is after all essential!)

Finally, I also visited the Odd Spot Cafe (1/302 Melbourne Road, Newport) for a breakfast meeting. This is a cosy cafe and I enjoyed it, but owing to the earliness of the hour, my memory is a bit hazy as to the specifics. Will have to go back and check that one out again!

That concludes for the present my round-up of Newport cafes. It's not very scientific, being purely anecdotal and based on limited visits, but in summary I've found Newport cafes to be something of a revelation! I look forward to continued exploration and sampling.

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