Recently we cycled up to High St for some sun, physical activity and takeaway frozen La Panella pies. New cafes pop up on this strip St faster than we ever make it up there to visit them, and this was a chance to try at least one more. I picked Sookie La La from my to-eat list, having read about it on MEL: HOT OR NOT earlier this year. This is a cute hybrid of American diner and inner north cafe, with a stool-lined high counter, dark wood booths, espresso coffee, pies, shakes, fries and - on the specials board - a lamington-flavoured bagel.
Vegetarian options are abundant, there are helpful hints for vegans along the way, and there's gluten-free bread available for those who need it. Veganising the Don Watson sandwich ($12) means sourdough or rye bread instead of brioche; Michael chose the latter. He reported that the slab of tofu tasted as much of mustard as the promised sweet BBQ sauce, and I could see the pickled beetroot, carrot and cucumber making quite the mess as he gobbled it all up (see pic below). I helped out with the shoestring fries (an extra $3) before setting to work on my own meal.
Since the desserts looked good, I decided against cornmeal buttermilk pancakes for lunch and tried The Bacho ($12.50), a toasted bagel thickly spread with jalapeno cream cheese on one side, then layered with black beans, melted mozzarella, salsa and avocado on the other. It was gooey and comforting, and perfectly portioned.
The sundae list is short but irresistable - there's even a vegan option made with 'Coconut Silk' sorbet! I pressured Michael into sharing some 'Strawberry Harvest' icecream topped with a thick hot chocolate fudge sauce, honey-roasted macadamias and stroopwafel wedges in place of the more traditional wafers ($8). I can see why Thanh goes ga-ga for this biscuits, with their chewy strip of caramel through the centre. Three spoons in, Michael ceased acting at all put upon.
Sooki La La is a sweet little spot - I hope we'll find time for more bike trips towards their sundaes come summer.
Sookie La La
593 High St, Northcote
breakfast & bagels, sandwiches, drinks, sundaes
Accessibility: We think Sookie La La has a flat entryway. Seating has a range of free-standing seats and tables, fixed booths and high stools at the counter with a wide pathway through the middle. We ordered at our table and paid at the high counter. The toilet was unisex and located upstairs.