Elliott’s Bistro

There’s something seriously surreal about having breakfast with your family on your 50th birthday and then heading straight to the airport to fly home to Sydney. Alone.

On the upside, I knew that in just 10 days time I’d be flying back up to join them for good, but on the down-side? As I said, surreal. But we’re not here to talk about that. Instead we’re talking about the fabulous breakfast before the surreal and solo birthday flight. And fabulous it was.

Elliott’s Bistro at Alexandra Headland – just across the road from the beach.

Ok, right here I’ll back-track just a little. Melbourne has mastered the smashed avo thing. Some would say they invented it. Whatever. Sydney, for whatever reason, with a few exceptions, does not do it at all well.

You start off with high hopes and get a piece of toasted average quality sourdough with a squint-worthy smear of avocado. Or, worse, you pay $5 extra for a miserly amount as a “side” when everyone knows that smashed avo should be piled generously onto excellent sourdough.

From the minute we walked in I knew that Elliott’s would know how to do smashed avo the way it’s meant to be done. It wasn’t just the soundtrack – Bob Dylan and This Wheels On Fire – it was the service, the cute beach-side shopfront, the whole package.

We weren’t disappointed. Miss 19 was well impressed with her avo smash – which she declared up to Melbourne standards. It came with perfectly poached eggs and sharp, salty feta perched on top for the perfect avo. Hubby made his version even more perfect by adding bacon and tomato.

Elliott’s also know that anyone can do the basic bacon and eggs, but a great breakfast place should do that plus something a little more interesting. Something like, say, potato and gruyere croquettes. Served with fried eggs, bacon, a dollop of relish and a dab of blue cheese, this was bacon and eggs with hash browns taken to a much higher level.

And the coffee? Yeah. It was good. Excellent even.

Where: Shop 102, 102 Alexandra Parade, Alexandra Headland

More info: www.elliottsfinefoods.com

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/elliottsbistro/

The Velo Project

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I don’t know about you, but if I’m going out for breakfast I want something a little, well, different to what I’d get at home – and I say that acknowledging that my husband makes a flipping good brekky and an even better avo smash. I don’t want overpriced avo smash, or, worse, overpriced avo smash that’s been smeared rather than piled onto the bread. Speaking of which, I don’t want overpriced, smeared avo smash on badly toasted, ordinary bread. Nor do I want my eggs rubbery, the decor sterile or the menu boring.

No, when I have breakfast out, I want breakfast the way that it’s intended to be: somewhere a tad quirky, served with a sunny smile-up, and a menu that has you considering your options. It’s even better in a place that only locals know about. See how I just slipped that in? Even though we’re still officially summer people, we will be locals in just a few weeks…

Anyways, The Velo Project is all that with a side of vintage and fabulous coffee.

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There’s a lot to look at here – something in every corner. If you can drag your view away from the bits and pieces, the menu – presented in vintage encyclopaedias – is worth consideration over a cup of excellent caffeine presented in the type of china I’m trying to get rid of at the moment.

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‘See,’ my husband said, ‘vintage china is really in at the moment.’

‘Perhaps, but do we need that much of it?’

‘We threw out the souvenir teaspoons, didn’t we?’

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The thing about vintage china and nik-naks is that they look great in a semi-industrial space (this used to be an old mechanics/ garage) in a place where nothing matches, nothing is trying to match, and everything (including the menu) feels young and vital. In any other circumstance, it just looks old. Here it works.

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As for the food? I somehow managed to resist the urge to try the eggs benny (next time – although with four different varieties, I could try a different one each visit) and went instead for the avo smash – as did Ms T. Served on good ciabatta, the avo is mixed with fresh red onion, roasted garlic, corn, lemon juice and piled high with fresh herbs – I suspect from the garden out the back. At $17 it’s a little pricier than some, but kept us going through a harrowing morning of real estate agents and open homes.

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Hubby went for house made toasted banana, macadamia and date bread served with mascarpone and orange cardamon syrup ($10.50). It looked beautiful and tasted even better than that.

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This place gets super busy on weekends, but there are some tables out the back too – where the herb garden is. The menu is also jam-packed with smoothies, enough varieties of coffees and teas to make even a Melbourne-ite proud (turmeric, ginger & honey brewed on coconut milk or dandelion latte anyone?) and plenty of options for the too young to drink coffee crew.

The Velo Project is located off the Esplanade, a few streets behind Mooloolaba Beach at 19 Careela St. It’s open 7am-3pm 7 days a week and is well worth seeking out…

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This post was originally published in January 2017 on andanyways…