Wednesday, 9 April 2014

True North: Coburg cafe

Recently we noticed a brand spnaking new cafe had opened up at the local shopping centre.  Then an acquaintance said her friends were running the place.  Full of hope, I went there for brunch on Sunday and then returned for lunch this week.  The reclaimed timber and green walls were welcoming and fresh.  The menu is full of eggs, breads and fancy sandwiches.  I was pleased to find that there were some good vegetarian options.

Before visiting, we checked online for more information and found that according to The Three Thousand, it is in "Coburgia"  where "the beards and tattoos [are] encroaching on the Nonas and fruiterers".  Be warned that I also got sidetracked by a cafe of the same name in America.

Upon entering on Sunday lunchtime, we found that indeed The Three Thousand is right.  It was bustling with hipsters and drawing interested looks of passerbys.  Or perhaps it was just the David Tennant look-a-like making coffee.  Despite being busy, the service was prompt and friendly.

The menu was in a small print and I didn't have my glasses.  Everything seemed expensive and mysterious.  I asked about vegetarian options and was delighted to hear that they have vegan bacon and vegan chorizo.  (Hopefully the menu will eventually note these options.)

I decided to try the BLT.  The Bacon (or facon) was thin and crispy, the Lettuce was crunchy, the Tomatoes and mayonnaise kept it saucy and the seeded sourdough bread was dense and pleasing.  On the side were some fancy corn chips.  I loved this as a light lunch.

Sylvia was disappointed to hear that they were out of waffles.  Instead she had some of the lovely seeded sourdough with honey.  E had an egg and bacon roll which came with sauerkraut and relish.  He enjoyed it but found the roll a little crunchy.  I loved the green decor, E loved the cats decorations and Sylvia was very pleased to get a little Easter egg as she left.  We headed off to our play (A Pocketful of Joy at La Mama) feeling very satisfied.

This week I returned for lunch with my mum and Sylvia. I brought along my glasses and found the prices looked more reasonable when I could read them properly.  It was a different vibe on a weekday.  Not so busy, less of the hipsters and no David Tennant look-a-like.  The Go Betweens was on the soundtrack, however.  Now that is my sort of music.

I already knew what I wanted: The Reuben sandwich with vegan bacon instead of the pastrami.  When I asked the owner he said it might taste a bit odd.  But they did it for me.  It was great.  I have never had a Reuben sandwich and this mix of vegan bacon, cheese, sauerkraut and mustard was a delicious mixture of crunch, melty, sharp and spicy.  With chips and a pickle on the side.

My mum had the asparagus and ham quiche with salad.  She said it was delicious and that they got the pastry right.  Sylvia was very pleased to have the waffles with maple butter, pecans and caramelised banana.

Afterwards, I was curious about the sweet pie of the day.  My mum and I shared a slice of the peach, honey and cinnamon pie.  For research, you understand!  I had thought it would come warm and was surprised it was room temperature.  I wasn't very keen on having it served with cream poured over it (one of my childhood dislikes).  The pastry was nice but I am not really into pastry.  It was the peach the drew me to the pie and the peach that I loved.  It was scrumptious.  Juicy and flavoursome.

There is lots of more interesting food to try.  If I get there again in the next week or two, I might sample a hot cross bun.  E wants to try a gingerbread cat.  I quite liked the look of the salad sandwich (with feta as optional), the bagels look lovely and I really would love a version of the huevos rancheros without the eggs.  Along with Eastern Bloc and Little Deer Tracks, it does seem that the hipsters are moving into Coburg.

True North
2a Munro Street, Coburg
03 9917 2262
Open: weekdays 7am - 4pm, weekends 8am - 4pm
True North Facebook page

True North on Urbanspoon

11 comments:

  1. Oh! I've been walking past that cafe every day for the last couple of weeks on the way to work - was wondering what it was like! I shall have to investigate!

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    1. Thanks Catherine - would love to hear what you think - on their facebook page there was a note about doing takeaway sandwiches in the morning for workers

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  2. What a great place! It sounds like they do a good job of catering to everyone, even if you need to pick your day to get the vibe you're after ;) I love the sound of the menu too and am glad you got some pie research in. That kind of research is important!

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    1. Thanks Kari - pie research is the best kind - though I would love them to offer a chocolate cake - and I liked that they were willing to make changes to the reuben - that is my sort of place

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  3. Great review! I'll be going there next while Husband probably goes to Zaatar!

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    1. Thanks Veganopoulous - I think the salad sandwich might be vegan and I am sure you could make some others vegan with the bacon and chorizo - you probably need to ask about things like butter and mayo (if you try the BLT) but I am sure you are used to that - hope to hear how you go

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  4. Hi Johanna,

    I love when you take us along on your family excursions:) It sounds like you have found a close keeper in that cafe. The food sounds yummy and the vegan examples sound just as good as their counterparts. I'm going to have so many places to visit when I venture abroad, lol...

    Thank you so much for sharing, Johanna...

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    1. thanks Louise - glad you come along - just let me know when you land in Melbourne and I will be happy to show you about :-)

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  5. I'll be honest, I've never had fake meat. I don't like the taste of meat or the idea of it being in my mouth. Haha. This place looks pretty awesome. I would definitely be curious to try everything you ordered though. Yum!

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    1. Thanks Cass - I tried the facon in the supermarket when I was first veg out of curiosity and was not keen - too meaty - not sure if they use the same one (the one I have in mind is probably sanitarium) - I still found the meat taste quite intense but they did a great job of getting it quite crispy and it was much better than just leaving the meat out altogether - though the salad sandwich looked really good (wish I had taken notes on what was in it - I think tomato, avocado, lettuce and .... will update if I find out)

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  6. Yep, I'm with Sylvia again for this one.

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