Saturday, August 05, 2006

9am: Breakfast at East Elevation

Brunswick is overflowing with brunch-related richness - we love Wide Open Road, A Minor Place, New Day Rising, Acustico, Code Black, the CERES cafe, Maddox, Lucy Lockett and Small Block and there are tons of other excellent options as well. But to really start your big day in the inner-north right, we reckon you'd better head to East Elevation.

It's the most beautiful cafe in Brunswick - high ceilings, lot of light, plants everywhere and a working chocolate factory behind some glass barriers. It really is spectacular. Things get pretty busy on the weekend, but if you turn up by 9am you shouldn't have a problem snagging a table (by 10 or so you'll probably have to wait for 10-15 minutes).

The menu is great as well - although I rarely order anything except for the savoury vegan big breakfast, a wonderful combination of spicy marinated tempeh, smoky beans, avo, spinach and tomato. It's top notch.

I've occasionally branched out though - this chipotle-braised tempeh with mint, zucchini ribbons, coconut and cauliflower puree, oranges, hazelnuts and watercress was a memorable variation for me.

They also do a good line in sweet vegan breakfast, usually via the medium of tapioca puddings. This dish changes a bit with the seasons, but the warm rhubarb and coconut version with fresh strawberries and pistachios was a particular triumph.

If you're not worried about eggs and dairy, then you've got even more to choose from - king and Swiss mushrooms with spinach and goat's cheese on rye, vine-ripened tomatoes with avocado, feta and basil on olive bread and these guys: ricotta and rose stuffed crepes with fresh berries, saffron-lemon syrup and hazelnut praline.

The coffee's good and the hot chocolate is great - actually, you might want to grab a few bars of the astonishingly good Monsieur Truffe chocolate while you're here, you've got a big day ahead.

Now you've got a choice for your first walk. Either ....

or ...

We'll meet back up for lunch.

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