On Sunday morning we wanted to head up towards Albion Street to scope out a rumoured new veg eatery that a friend had spotted (Little River, coming soon) and figured we'd start things off with brekkie at A Minor Place, an old favourite. The menu at A Minor Place has been pretty stable over the years, with most of our more recent visits going unblogged as we ordered old favourites like Henry's white beans and the New York bagel. We were pretty surprised to turn up and see that they've made sweeping menu changes in our absence (although don't be alarmed, the two dishes mentioned above remain available).
There are a few promising new dishes to add to these classics - a white bean ragout with poached eggs and goats cheese (with a vegan option, $16), a harissa scrambled eggs ($15.50) and a super salad with quinoa, kale, wild rice, corn and jalapenos among other ingredients ($16) all caught my eye. Things are well labelled - V for vegan and VO for vegan option, with everything else pretty self-explanatory.
Cindy was thrilled that they'd finally changed up the sweet options, promptly ordering the housemade pancakes with mixed berry compote, strawberry mascarpone, pistachio praline and berry maple syrup ($15.50).
Look at that mountain of decadence! Cindy loves a good berry-based sweet treat and she was very happy with this - the mascarpone was generously proportioned but not particularly strawberry flavoured and the pistachio praline was a mix of pistachio slivers and chunks of very sweet toffee.
I went for the vegan open chickpea sandwich, which is an almond-crusted chickpea patty with vegan mayo, caramelised onion, tomato, spinach, pickled carrots and tomato relish on wholegrain toast ($16.50).
First up, a minor complaint: why on earth do people insist on stacking meals such that two pieces of toast are on top of each other with basically nothing in between? Nobody wants to eat toast like that, you just wind up having to awkward tip things off the toast while trying not to embarrass yourself by smearing relish all down your front. Anyway. Structural frustrations aside, this was a damn fine start to the day - the patty was hefty and delicious (although not quite as crunchy on the outside as I was imagining from the phrase 'almond crusted'), the onions were soft and sweet, the relish had a nice sneaky spiciness to it and the whole package was a massive, messy food explosion. If you turn up at 10:30ish like we did, this will hold you until dinner (oh okay, we did have some sneaky pub chips at about 4:30).
A Minor Place is reliably impressive - the staff are friendly and efficient, the coffee's top notch, the food is always great and the atmosphere is a bit less stressful than a few years back when the Sunday queue would take up most of the block. If you haven't been for a while, now's a good time to go back and check out the new menu.
Since our last visit (way back in 2011!), A Minor Place has been reviewed positively by veg blogs The Good Hearted and Tempeh Tantrum and by more general bloggers Sharking for Chips and Drinks, dear melbourne, Gagwood Blog, EggsWithSides, things i see, eat and think, MelbourneChaiTimes and the spy machine.
A Minor Place
103 Albion Street, Brunswick
menus: food, drinks
Accessibility: You've got a few steps up to the front door and to the outdoor tables down the side, although there are a couple right on the street as well. Inside, things are fairly spacious around the counter, but get a bit crowded in the second room. The toilets are tucked away in the back courtyard and aren't really designed with accessibility in mind.