Chapter Two Espresso

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Alen's Espresso is considered to be one of the best places to get coffee in Brisbane but due to it's George St location being a bit of a trek from my Adelaide St office, I've never made it there. However when I heard that they were opening a secondary cafe which also served food, I knew I had to try it. Chapter Two Espresso is located next to Alen's Espresso at 420 George St and happens to be right near the city side of Kulripa Bridge on the corner of George and Tank streets which I often go over as a nicer, albeit hillier, route to work.

I'd been there once with S, who works nearby, but after mentioning it to B, a similarly-minded breakfast fan, I discovered she hadn't been there and so suggested it when we were trying to decide on a location last week. The last time I had been there I hadn't been particularly inspired by the menu so ended up with a pre-made frittata from the cabinet, which was tasty from memory. It's located in the foyer of an office building so no doubt is popular with those working upstairs or in surrounding buildings.

Upon arrival, I noted a few bikes were already leaning up against the glass window so I locked my bike to a nearby signpost. The first thing I noticed was a signboard advertising an Early Bird Special (before 9am) of Eggs on toast and a medium coffee for $10. As much as I love my muesli and avocado on toast breakfast options, I often like to get eggs as they're not something I often make for myself. There is also a menu located near the entry, which is great if you want to know what is on offer without having to actually go inside.

The decor of Chapter Two Espresso is a little unusual - it has a very modern fit out but with vintage looking touches such as a white dresser which acts as a water stand and cutlery in little tin pails on the tables. There are several plain tables and chairs inside as well as a few taller tables with stools. B arrived shortly after I did and we grabbed one of the tall tables and began to peruse the menus, which were attached to mini clipboards as seems to be a regular cafe trend these days. Chapter Two Espresso's menu has fairly standard breakfast options including Eggs on Toast, Fruit Toast, House made toasted Granola, Avocado on toast as well as some larger meals such as the Chapter Two Eggs Benedict and Signature Breakfast which included eggs on turkish with wood smoked bacon, smokey chorizo, tomato and avocado. They also have several pre-made options in the display cabinet such as breakfast wraps.

While looking at the menu, B noticed that soy milk was an extra 80c which she felt was expensive and I agreed. One of my pet hates is paying extra for gluten-free bread, especially when it is supermarket sandwich bread which is thinly sliced and the non-GF option is an artisan sourdough or similar, so I understand where B, who is lactose intolerant, was coming from. I decided to go for the breakfast special on GF toast ($10) with a side of roasted field mushrooms ($3). I usually get poached eggs but have discovered that they generally don't go well with most GF bread which gets soggy quickly. I was tempted by the wood smoked bacon for it's wood-smoked-ness but I'm not generally a bacon lover so decided against it. However, after mentioning it, B decided that she did want bacon ($4) to go with her Avocado, roasted and fresh Roma tomato, basil with marinated feta on toasted sourdough ($12). When ordering she was asked if that was just avocado on toast or the avocado with feta which confused us and led us to believe you could order toast with a selection of sides, despite that not being clear on the menu. B also ordered a soy flat white ($4.80) and I ordered a medium long black with milk on the side as part of my special. After confirming that the GF bread was a small, thin slice I decided to get scrambled eggs instead of poached. I was happy to discover that the bread was not extra - score for the gluten-intolerant!

Scrambled eggs & mushrooms on gluten-free bread
Our coffees came out quickly - B's was arriving just as I was returning from the counter after ordering! My long black followed soon after. I enjoyed my coffee but wasn't amazed by it either. Our meals arrived not too long afterwards. My meal was substantial with a creamy pile of scrambled eggs atop four triangles of toasted multi-grain bread with chunky sauteed mushrooms and a sprig of parsley on top. There was also a small pat of butter provided.

Avocado on sourdough with bacon

B's avocado on sourdough included a pile of avocado chunks, roasted and fresh tomatoes, basil, crumbled feta and several rashers of bacon on top of two thick slices of sourdough. It was nicely presented but the kind of dish where you had to pull it apart and put it back together so that you could actually eat it. My scrambled eggs had a great texture but I found them too salty, however I generally prefer things less salty and always forget to ask for my eggs to be made that way. I tried a bit of B's bacon and it was nice but I didn't get a really smokey flavour from it.

Overall I found Chapter Two Espresso to be a nice but not overly interesting place for breakfast. I did think the breakfast special was great value and given that it is so convenient to ride to, I would be happy to return. The baked goods in the cabinet looked nice also and S has told me that the salads they serve at lunch are good also.


Ease of Access: 10/10 (Bike paths along Bicentennial Bikeway, Go Between Bridge, through Kulripa Park to Kulripa Bridge, along Tank St and cross at George St)
Parking: 7/10 (A few nearby signposts and apparently room to lean against the glass walls)

Chapter Two Espresso on Urbanspoon

Delicious looking baked goods

Premium bike parking

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