Annoying Brother Espresso + Kitchen, North Fitzroy

It was Sunday morning and we were heading home from the archery shop.  We were a little excited about Dave’s new compound bow so we were happy to celebrate with a nice breakfast.

We did a quick drive-by past Proud Mary in Collingwood and the place was overrun with hipsters.  There was no way we were going to get a table and have a peaceful breakfast so we drove on.

I figured that if we wanted a table and quiet breakfast, we’d have to leave the centre of Fitzroy and look for something more peripheral, and so we found Annoying Brother.

Located on Nicholson Street near the Empress Hotel, the little cafe would be quite discreet if it wasn’t for the red and black stools that accompanied their outdoor tables.

Inside, natural light pours in from the street and the open accordion windows kept it fresh and breezy.  Everything was superbly neat and clean, with a contrasting blackboard wall displaying the specials and someone’s cute creativity.

We sat down inside along the wall opposite the counter and I was immediately charmed by the glass of colourful garden flowers.  Their menu was printed on recycled brown paper and held together by a clipboard.

First up was coffee.  I went with the usual soy latte and it arrived with some lovely coffee art etched into the froth, which was lovely and creamy.  The coffee itself tasted great – there was no bitterness – but I’m curious about the kind of soy milk they use, as it left a velvet texture in my mouth.  Regardless, it was consumed greedily.

I was completely undecided about what to order.  It was a contest between smashed avocado with mushrooms, feta and egg on toast, the breakfast panini with egg, bacon, avocado, lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise, or the ‘Tetris’, which is a “build your breaky” option that starts with a foundation of eggs of your choice on toast with extras.  Dave knew what he wanted and asked me to order it while he went out for a smoke.

The lovely waitress came over and I pinned down Dave’s Eggs Benedict before asking her what she recommended.  She motioned towards the specials on the blackboard wall and suggested the Silly Eggs, which consisted of two poached eggs in a napoli and chorizo sauce with feta and sourdough toast.

She also said that the smashed avocado was a favourite, but that I wouldn’t be disappointed with the Silly Eggs.  This is the kind of recommendation that I like – strong and confident and coming from someone with awesome hair and a gorgeous smile.  I also ordered a side of smashed avocado with feta, because lately, breakfast just isn’t the same without a little avo.

Our meals arrived looking smashing and dashing!  Mine looked more like a soup than a breakfast.  The two poached eggs were plopped into the napoli sauce, with a handful of rocket leaves over the top and the sourdough on the side.

The napoli sauce was rich and warming with a hint of sweetness to hush the acidity of the tomato.  Submerged were slices of chorizo that added a bang of flavour.  The eggs were perfectly cooked, and when pricked, the yolk oozed out into the red.  The feta that was crumbled over the top added creaminess but its flavour didn’t stand a chance over the tomato and chorizo.

The side of avocado was on a completely different wavelength to the Silly Eggs.  Stirred into the avocado and feta mash was dill, an ingenious addition that added a dimension of soothing sweetness.  I ate this portion last spread atop the pieces of sourdough toast.  YUM!

Dave’s Eggs Benedict was demolished quickly. A disc of toasted Turkish bread with a poached egg dressed in hollaindaise sauce on top of a slice of ham.  He said that the ham was salty and excellent and the egg was cooked beautifully.

 

I think we’ve found a winner with Annoying Brother.  The atmosphere was light and refreshing, the staff were friendly, relaxed people and the food was great quality and an even better price.  I will definitely be back again for a Tetris breaky with another side of smashed avocado with the dill.  Wow…

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