Tuesday, December 01, 2009

November 29, 2009: Gluttony, It's A Sin

When we breakfasted with Mike, Tracy and Lee at Bebida earlier this year, we noticed just how many cafes line Smith St that we've yet to try. So when we arranged to meet up with the same crowd on Sunday morning I suggested one of their number, Gluttony. I remembered positive reviews of it on The Breakfast Blog, Fitzroyalty and Mel: Hot or Not though it's also been blogged by others - check out Eating Through Life, Gluten Savvy and Lady Lunchalot.

Things began well - we bagged a great table out front, the staff were friendly, and the lunch/dinner menu on the wall clearly marked their vegan and gluten free options. The breakfast menu had a few deviations from the typical, including okonomiyaki, Italian (cheese and tomato crostini), Tex Mex (chilli beans) and Pambula Beach (flathead fillets) plates. The most notable oddity in this part of town is that you're expected to grab your own laminated menus and order at the counter.

When the food arrived, we noticed what every other blogger before us has noted - the portions are enormous. This photo doesn't do justice to the size of Michael's scrambled special ($13) - "scrambled eggs topped with spinach and lime Dijon hollandaise on a potato, mushroom, onion and tomato fry up, all on a slab of thick cheese toast". Boy, was it a slab of toast! Sadly, once Michael had picked the tomatoes off, he found the rest a little bland.

The sweet side of the menu was not so extensive, but the pecan flapjack ($12) sounded like my kinda breakfast - "one thick flapjack topped with butter, pure maple syrup and fresh strawberries". I decided against the optional icecream but that didn't seem to deter the chef (apparently Michael saw the waiter copy down my order correctly). Again, crazy-large, and unfortunately a little over-cooked. Any other gripes come down to my personal sweet-breakfast preferences - too much syrup, not enough fruit. Oh well. They won back a point for the gorgeous cup that they served my chai in.

Judgements around the table (and around the blogosphere) were consistent - Gluttony's breakfasts are great value for the portions granted, but the flavours aren't so remarkable. Unfortunately in a neighbourhood boasting the likes of Min Lokal, Ici and Babka, it means we're unlikely to return any time soon. If you're still interested in giving Gluttony a go, blog reviews indicate that you might fare better at lunch or dinner.

Address: 278 Smith St, Collingwood
Ph: 9416 0336
Licensed, BYO wine
Price: veg breakfasts $4-$13


  1. Ordering at the counter is perhaps less user friendly than some places but the staff are usually friendly and helpful! I have not been for a while, so it must be time to return.

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  3. Oops, mistyping ...Here's what I meant to write:

    The serves are totally ginormous! Sadly, I won't be returning, ever. For a cafe with a dedicated vegan menu, Gluttony's ability to actually serve a vegan breakfast, by which I mean one that doesn't have butter-soaked mushrooms or toast or pots of mayonnaise or even bits of fried egg attached to the toast - is pitiful. Even explicit explanations, repeat chances, all accompanied by a direct complaint to the owner, have failed to improve things. In any other cafe, this wouldn't get me so much. In one that has a permanent, standing vegan menu, it's very blergh indeed.

  4. As a breakfast-sceptic, unless a cafe's breakfast menu has something really imaginative on it (which is rare, to be honest) then I am quite happy to go for quantity over quality :)

    Having said that, the amount of fruit on your flapjack is laughable.

    Jetsetting Joyce

  5. Even at dinner I found their food a little bland, but that said, they had the most delicious chocolate cake I had ever eaten! We were literally fighting amongst ourselves to get the last bite of it!

  6. Brian, I agree - the staff were most pleasant to us!

    Miss T, that is really disappointing to know - particularly, as you say, given that they offer a dedicated vegan section on their menu.

    Hi JJ! I'm not so hung up about quantity, I guess. :-)

    Sugar Junkie, I didn't even look at the snacks and desserts! Wish I had seen that chocolate cake.

  7. Hmm I have to say, I have enjoyed Gluttony for lunch - I love that they have a vegan menu page that actually changes, and I love the huge serves. I also never ordered at the counter...

    Shame breakfast sounds so crap!

  8. Thanks for chipping in, Niki! I don't think the breakfast menu is as vegan-friendly as the rest - lots of eggs. :-/

  9. there was a time when I was student when this was the place to be but I don't think it shines as much as it used to - fiercer competition and I think the food isn't as good as it was - but I have fond memories

  10. Yes, Johanna - competition is pretty fierce in this neighbourhood! Gluttony's most positive reviews seem to be a few years old now.