Corner Store Cafe

Sunday, February 23, 2014

I would call Corner Store Cafe at Toowong my local breakfast place. Although not the closest breakfast offering, it is the best around in close proximity. Located on Sylvan Rd, Corner Store Cafe happens to be right on the path for cyclists heading towards the Bicentennial Bikeway from the Westside/Mt Coo-tha. If you get there early, you'll join many a lycra'd up person and see several bikes outside. If you get there after 9:00am, prepare to line up unless you are a group of 5 or more and have had the forethought to book a table. Corner Store Cafe is an old converted corner store (hence the name) with an add-on large outdoor covered area. Inside, is the kitchen and counter and the small store where they sell some gourmet grocery items and basics such as milk and vegetables. There are also a few large tables inside but the majority are located outside.

When deciding where to breakfast with my friend H, I asked H if she would mind going somewhere close-ish to me as I've hurt my leg recently and wasn't up for a long ride. I threw out a few nearby suggestions including Corner Store Cafe and after taking a look at the menu. she chose Corner Store. Knowing that she would be a little exhausted after being at Soundwave the day before, she requested we meet at 9 which is a little later than we usually meet. I decided to try to get there early in case there was a line up so I arrived fifteen minutes early and in the two minutes it took to lock up my bike to a signpost outside, two couples had arrived and gotten in the queue before me. By the time I got to put my name on the list, I was told it would be a twenty minute wait. After H arrived, it was just a five to ten minute wait before we were ushered to our outside table and handed menus and given water in a cute white pitcher.

The cafe changes their menu seasonally and the current summer menu has the usual toast, bircher, muesli, eggs your way offerings plus more unusual options such as Green breakfast (quinoa, sauteed kale & spinach, poached eggs, herbed yoghurt, dukkah), Corned beef with colcannon cake, poached eggs, parsley hollandaise and the Quesadilla with slow cooked pork, white beans, manchego, red pepper jam, scrambled eggs, chipotle mayo. Meals range in price from $5 for toast and jam/nut butter/vegemite to $10-$15 for eggs your way, bircher, granola or smashed avocado on toast to $17-19 for the more unusual options. The price points are at the higher end at Corner Store but their portions are large. They also have a large number of gluten-free options (5 out of the 12 options are GF and 2 have a GF option) and all of the sides are gluten-free.

I am a sucker for corn fritters so I went for the gluten-free Corn & feta fritters, poached eggs, acovado puree, tomato salsa and opted for the smoked salmon over the bacon ($18.50). H chose the Smashed avocado, sourdough toast, heirloom tomatoes, shaved parmesan, aged balsamic vinegar, olive oil, basil ($14.50) but asked for no tomatoes and haloumi instead. H also ordered a flat white which arrived about five minutes after ordering. It didn't seem that long afterwards that our meals arrived although there was no offer of cracked pepper so I had to go and ask for it afterwards. H's smashed avocado was two large pieces of sourdough with avocado and the most giant slab of haloumi placed on top. I thought that there could have been more avocado (although this seems to be the case generally at the moment with avocados going out of season) as it seemed a little thin and due to the haloumi being so thick, it looked too solid on the inside and didn't have that nice melted texture that a few thinner slices would have had. My meal was enormous. The fritter was more of a frittata filled with sweet corn and bits of feta and was on a smear of smooth avocado puree with tomato and red onion salsa scattered around the plate. A large pile of smoked salmon sat next to the fritter and two poached eggs sat on top of it with a sprig of parsley offering the only non-avocado green on the plate. I would have preferred the avocado to have been chunky rather than pureed and there was possibly too much smoked salmon for the rest of the dish but corn, eggs, smoked salmon and avocado has to be one of my favourite combinations for breakfast so I was happy. The poached eggs were perfectly poached and runny. I could have easily done with about half the portion however, being the glutton that I am, I finished off the entire plate. H only got through about 3/4 of hers and there was a lot of haloumi left on her plate.

Corn & feta fritters with smoked salmon, poached eggs, avocado & salsa

Smashed avocado on toast with haloumi

Corner Store Cafe is definitely not the place to go if you are looking for a small light breakfast but they do offer tasty food and some great breakfast options. They also serve lunch and have several baked goods for sale. I would advise that you go early or else be prepared for a long wait! When we left at 10, there was a line of about 15-20 people. However it is an excellent breakfasting option and I am certainly glad it is so near me!


Ease of access: 9/10 
(Extremely close to Regatta exit off Bicentennial Bikeway and then up Sylvan Rd)
Parking: 8/10 
(No bike racks but plenty of signposts to lock your bike to)

Corner Store entrance

Some of the fresh produce and grocery items available

Delicious looking baked goods

More baked goods

Drinks available for purchase

Corner Store Cafe on Urbanspoon

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