Thursday, May 27, 2010

May 12, 2010: Gertrude Street Grub - Proud Mary

When we finally got around to reviewing Auction Rooms last December, I made note of our typical missing of the zeitgeist and suggested it would be another 12 months before we got around to visiting Proud Mary, the darling of the moment. Well, clearly we're improving slightly - it only took until May for me to duck down from work one day to check out Melbourne's latest trendy "third wave" coffee place.

Even at 2 o'clock the lunch crowd filled all the tables, and it took 10 minutes or so for space to clear for our group of 4. Still, this gave me time to peruse the menu, which includes a range of all-day breakfast options, some lunchy mains and daily specials and sandwiches. But before we got to ordering food, it was time to sample the coffee that has earned Proud Mary rave reviews from all the coffee-blogs in Melbourne. As much as I enjoy coffee, I'm a bit of a philistine, so didn't order anything from any of the fancy machines - just a simple flat white in a cute blue cup. The verdict? In my considered opinion: it's pretty great.

Food-wise, the veg options ranged from quince salad to pumpkin tart with a tasty looking haloumi sandwich somewhere in between. I couldn't make it past the brekkie menu and ordered up the corn fritters (sweet corn and manchego fritters, with avocado and tomato and basil salsa, $15.5). A highlight of the visit: these come with crispy bacon by default and when I asked if they could leave it out, the waitress suggested straight away that they add mushrooms instead. This is pretty simple stuff, but you'd be amazed how often places either take the bacon out and still charge the same amount, or even worse refuse to make any alterations at all. So I was immediately impressed.

Things got even better when I tasted the fritters - these were moist and tasty (a far cry from the weird discs Cindy had a Cafe Vue) and the avocado, rocket and salsa added some nice fresh flavours. At $15.50, they're probably not the best value for money in the world, but they were a high quality meal and thoroughly enjoyable. There's a lot more on the Proud Mary menu to investigate, with some particularly impressive sounding breakfast sweets that would be right up Cindy's alley, so there's no doubt we'll be back there soon.

We're officially the last bloggers in Melbourne to try Proud Mary. Read other reviews at: Ronnies Spots, Addictive and Consuming, Bijou Kaleidoscope, Richard Elliot, Gourmet to Glam, Breakies worth getting up for, Tomato, Sarah Cooks, Cookbook, Cruxie Faye, That Jess Ho, Fitzroyalty, Eating Melbourne and Mel Hot or Not (plus all the coffee reviews linked to above!).

Address: 172 Oxford St, Collingwood
Ph: 9417 5930
Price: $6 - $16.50


  1. you can always count on me to be one step behind but I do love the sound of a quince salad - though the amount of eating out I do, I am more likely to try one at home than at proud mary in the near future

  2. Here, here. I've not tried Proud Mary either. Though going out for breakfast is not something I do heaps. I totally would have fallen for those fritters, though. Sounds like a breakfast outing is in order!

  3. I didn't have such a good food experience here (Saturday morning, very busy, very loud, yada yada), but the coffee is seriously good. Even if you're not a coffee nerd like me, I highly recommend throwing caution to the wind and trying something new here. If you've never had syphon or clover coffee, give it a whirl. My favourite (and the current flavour-of-the-month amongst the caffeine crowd) is the cold-drip: the coffee filters cold for about 12 hours, bringing out all the rich, sweet oils from the bean. You drink it cold and straight over ice and it's amazing.

  4. Impressive breakfast sweets, you say... I never really thought much about going here, seeing as I am not a coffee person, but it's good to know that the food options might be worth popping in for.

  5. You should get coffee from P.M. for me when I was in the hospital! What sort of friend are you??!!!

    (Just kidding. You are awesome!)

    I need to try their coffee ASAP.

  6. Haha congrats on making it to Proud Mary - I love the corn fritters there too (though admittedly I have mine with bacon) - really fresh corn kernels and great flavours.

    I don't even drink coffee and I rate Proud Mary :)

    Jetsetting Joyce

  7. can anyone please tell me the brand of their gorgeous blue cups?