I’m sick, today. Annoyingly sick. The kind of sick where your head is stuffed painfully full of cotton wool and your throat is full of sandpaper, and any time you try to get up to do anything, you find yourself getting light-headed and needing to lie down again.
It’s very frustrating.
Anyway, I’m half Italian, which means that I firmly believe in the curative power of eggs when I’m sick. I’m not sure why I believe this, mind you, but eggs are definitely what I crave. Poached eggs or baked eggs or soft boiled eggs – the runniness of the yolks is what’s really important here.
Sadly, I’m not very good at creating these sorts of eggs, especially when cotton-woollish, so I was rather delighted to discover that True North, the new cafe on the corner of my street is basically a baked-egg-fest.
OK, I’m sure there are other things on the menu, but eggs seem to be what it’s all about – there are baked eggs with chorizo, or with spinach and pine nuts and haloumi, or with butterbeans and tomatoes and herbs and feta, or with roasted mushrooms and provolone, or with smoked salmon. There are omelettes and quiches and french toast and huevos rancheros and I’m pretty sure there are eggs on toast, too. And yes, there are also BLTs and salad sandwiches and other things that my foggy brain can’t remember, but really, it’s about the eggs. The glorious, glorious eggs…
Which they do stupendously well, by the way. The eggs are hot and bubbling and gooey in the middle, and the Things That Go With Eggs are well-cooked and tasty and comforting, and best of all, they serve their baked eggs with a big slice of really good sourdough toast, which you can use to mop up any juices you missed.
The serving sizes are good, too – you get a satisfying meal, but would still have room for a bit of strawberry and rhubarb crumble (or whatever the pie of the day happens to be – I haven’t tried any of them yet, but really should, as they look beautifully homey and full of fruit), should you so desire it. You aren’t left guiltily looking at the things on your plate that you can’t quite finish eating. Which I like very much in a café.
It may be the virus talking, but I do feel that True North are the best purveyors of egg-based comfort food that I have encountered in a very long time.
And speaking of comfort, the other nice thing about the café is that the staff are lovely, and I just feel very loved when I go and eat there. I can’t really quantify this, it’s just a really nice atmosphere. Which is also especially pleasant if one is feeling under the weather and has just discovered that perhaps one wasn’t really entirely up to walking all the way to the corner of Sydney Road…
Also, they make gingerbread cat biscuits, which are delicious. And there are cat-oriented decorations everywhere (though no cat, at least as far as I’ve observed). They also make lunchboxes which you can take to work – $10 for whatever the sandwich or quiche special happens to be, plus a salad.
In terms of dietary requirements, there are a heap of vegetarian options, and according to Johanna, this includes vegetarian versions of the chorizo and bacon. Very cool. I’m afraid I’ve been a bit too dopey both times I’ve been there to really suss out gluten-free and vegan options – I would have thought the chef’s evident love of eggs would limit the vegan possibilities, but the fact that they have vegan bacon, chorizo and cheese suggests that it’s probably worth enquiring about their vegan menu options.
Altogether, it’s a wonderful, warm sort of place to have brunch on a cold day, and I am beyond delighted to have something this gorgeously comforting right here on my street. I’ll be going back, and soon.
(and next time, I will actually pay proper attention to the menu and ask about things like vegan meals, so that I can tell you all about it)
(and I will have some pie. Why did I not have pie today? It was strawberry and rhubarb crumble and it had oats in the topping – what was I thinking?)
True North is at 2A Munro St, Coburg. They are open from 7am to 4pm most days – possibly even seven days – sorry, this is terrible excuse for a review, I really will have to go back and do this properly!