Wide Open Road is a very new Brunswick cafe, having opened its doors about a month ago. It’s located on the bottom floor of an old warehouse on Barkly Street, opposite Barkly Square and just off Sydney Road. Living nearby, I wearily popped in for coffee one Saturday a few weeks ago and was mightily impressed. Melbournians are spoiled for choice when it comes to good coffee, but truly great cups of coffee are few and far between. Wide Open Road brew truly great coffee. I later found out that they actually make their own blends and roast their own beans, so I guess their coffee scientists know their shit.
Having been there for coffee a few times since, last Sunday my partner and I decided to sit down for a full breakfast. The food on offer is simple and quite humble when compared to the range and extravagance of the insanely popular nearby Green Refectory. There’s a blackboard featuring breakfast staples – toast with condiments, ham and cheese croissants, small cakes and the like. These are displayed neatly in a glass cabinet at the counter. There’s also an A4 sized board on the counter that has a few daily specials – from memory it has featured things like fruit porridges, scones with jam and cream and gourmet bacon and egg sandwiches. I chose an omelette with goat’s cheese, spicy sausage and black olives and Cate chose the ol’ reliable ham and cheese croissant.
The omelette was salty and delicious, effortlessly combining a few basic ingredients into more than the sum of their parts. With some crunchy toast (not too much thankfully, as is often the case with breakfasts that come with toast) and fresh greens, it struck a perfect balance and didn’t leave me so stuffed that I couldn’t fit in a second coffee. Cate enjoyed her croissant, though regretted not getting the omelette.
After breakfast we also ordered a small gluten-free orange cake to share, which was moist and sweet and tangy and rolled in roast almond pieces. We sat outside slowly eating and drinking coffee for about an hour and the staff were friendly and helpful throughout. Empty plates were promptly cleared and one staff member who was outside on a break offered to get us another napkin when one of ours blew onto the ground.
The concept behind Wild Open Road works well. Simple, quaint and tasty food combined with brilliant coffee and good service. It’s a step away from the massive meals and hustle and bustle of other Brunswick cafes and stands out all the more for it.
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