Maybe it was a bit early to be indulging in another breakfast out on Rathdowne St, but this Friday morning was the last meal that Michael and I would be sharing for a bit. It was also Michael's last chance to enjoy a good meal for almost 2 days, and to enjoy a good meal from a menu he could read for almost 2 weeks. In a couple of hours, he'd be beginning his journey to Budapest for a most-expenses-paid conference and a few extra days of exploration (lucky kid). As well as rating a couple of recent comments on our blog, the Rathdowne St Food Store has long been praised by the punters and it was about time we gave it a go. On a weekday morning there was no trouble getting a table inside.
The menu is substantial, with an array of egg-based dishes including build-your-own; porridge, muesli and fruit for the virtuous; toast, muffins and pastries for the modest of appetite; and hotcakes for the incorrigible sweeth tooth. Michael picked out one of his all-time favourites, eggs florentine ($13.50). He actually didn't pass much comment on them but did finish before I was a quarter of the way through my meal, then swiped some of my toast to mop up the traces of hollandaise from his plate. Guess they were OK, then. (Michael, feel free to post comment on them instead!)
What with my egg aversion, I decided to build my own hearty and savoury breakfast, requesting mushrooms on toast with avocado and hash browns (~$15). By the time it reached the table my avocado had morphed into spinach, but I took it as a sign that hash browns were treat enough for me this morning. This plate was even heartier than I anticipated - in particular the toast was super thick cut and lightly grainy. Awesome. The mushrooms and spinach were barely seasoned, depending entirely on their own vege merits. They certainly measured up. But I was most impressed by the hashbrowns: compact; steaming, soft but textured centres spiked with black pepper; crunchy but not greasy crusts. Avo-what? I didn't miss it - even with unsolicited assistance from Michael, I only made it through three quarters of what I was served.
Brekky at the Rathdowne St Food Store is a tad pricier than what I'm accustomed to, but I think we got pretty good value for our money. If I wasn't inclined to return for the breakfasts, I'd still come crawling back to try a pear and chocolate muffin, or to find out if any of those pies in the display case are vego.
Address: 617 Rathdowne St, Carlton North
Ph: 9347 4064
Price: veg breakfasts $5-20