|Wall art on the exterior of Grace Cafe in Fitzroy, by Australian graffiti artist, Matt Adnate.|
It was a rainy Friday, well past noon and I was still curled up in bed, browsing on Simon's laptop when I came across this post by Fitzroyalty on the recently opened Grace Cafe (76 Rose St, Fitzroy). Immediately enthused by its proximity and the nice looking food, I suggested to Simon that we have brunch there and in no time at all we were off, the housemate's fluffy dog in tow, to brave the cold and the drizzle.
The cafe is quite ambiguously housed in a cottage with an interesting history - it has, apparently, operated as a brothel and a BDSM film editing studio in the past. Now, street art is splashed across the outside walls; walk in and it's all warm, rustic and friendly. We sat outside, perching ourselves upon wooden seats attached on top of recycled plastic crates, unwittingly providing free advertising for the cafe, if the intrigued looks from passers-by were any indication.
Hot drinks to warm us up? Yes please! Simon had a cappuccino, and I had a chai, which was served adorably on a framed page featuring the tea party text from Alice in Wonderland. This was okay - we're still looking for a chai in Melbourne that's as wonderfully spicy as the one Simon brought home from India, but mostly we've given up and I've taken to making my own instead, with great success. But I digress...
|loose leaf calmer sutra chai, $4.5.|
The food here celebrates tried-and-true flavours that just work. Take, for example, the baked eggs, cooked with chickpeas, eggplant, tomatoes, onion, garlic and cumin, garnished with fresh herbs and fetta. One of the eggs was more cooked than the other, but it was still satisfyingly delicious.
|baked eggs, $15.|
Then there are the juicy field mushrooms served on sourdough with roasted beetroot, rocket, pine nuts and herbs. Our cheerful waitress suggested an upgrade with a topping of goats fetta, which made it a little pricier but also all the more pleasurable to eat.
|field mushrooms, $14 (+$3 for fetta for a total of $17).|
I like Grace. With a sustainable sway towards kind, locally-sourced quality ingredients, and a menu that easily caters for those on gluten-free and vegetarian diets, it's a charming addition to Fitzroy's residential area. I can foresee more visits in the future, on those lazy days when we want a good wholesome feed without doing the hard yards in the kitchen...