As a writer there is a tension between going back to places you know and love, and being able to write about your next experience. After eighteen months of writing the balance at breakfast is leaning towards the repeats as the number of cafes on my “must try” list diminishes.
The change-up this time around is taking a crowd to The Grain Store for what can only be described as a recovery brunch. After a night out to the early hours, rocking up to brunch by 10.30am, and needing to be somewhat conversive, you really need to select a place that can quickly get you up and about.
I feel like I’m on holiday here. Like I’ve travelled over the Pacific and landed in L.A., given my keys to the valet, and entered a meal most Australian’s rightly call either late breakfast or early lunch. The Grain Store call it brunch, and as I sit greeting friends equally as dusty with a Bloody Mary in hand, the naming convention fits (but only here).
We are licking our wounds from an abysmal Grand Final defeat, and long lasting commiserations (via Le Bon Ton and the Everleigh mind you!), but Clair has cracked open a bottle of Verve and the party feels like it is starting again. With some good coffee and juices, along with well constructed Bloody Mary’s we are ready to eat.
Last time here, the food Catherine and I tried was memorable. Yet again, as everyone has their first tastes you know The Grain Store is delivering yet again. Catherine’s Pink Lady, buckwheat and ricotta pancakes are divine, and my colour is coming back as I get right into a bacon steak served with sweetcorn fritters and a fried egg. Things are good.
While the seating for groups down the side is not as atmospheric as the main café, that is not a bad thing when you are catching up with old friends and making some noise of your own. The service seems nice and attentive, but it would be inaccurate to say I remembered that side of the experience.
As we pushed off towards Flemington for the Turnbull I knew that it was better than even money we would be back for pre-Derby celebrations in a month’s time. A repeat offense worth doing time for!