Felix for Goodness

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Burnett Lane was the start of Brisbane's development of alleyways and is home to 'hidden' places such as Brew, The Survey Co. and Super Whatnot. Felix Espresso & Winebar is the most recent addition to the lineup and is possibly the most hidden of the lot. The first time I visited it took me a few walks by to see the little chalkboard sign and stairway. I think signage has improved since then but you may need to keep your eyes wide open to find it. Felix is a small cafe offering simple breakfast and lunch fare with a focus on organically and locally sourced wholefoods made from scratch. I believe there were plans to eventually become licensed and serve wine (hence the name) but I'm not sure if that is still happening.

Owners Peter Kuhnell and Gretta Bottomley designed the fitout and Gretta is responsible for all of the delicious homemade treats available to eat. They have done an amazing job with the innovative layout which has a surprisingly spacious feel for such a tiny space due to the high ceilings and sunken eating area. There aren't a lot of available seats (three small, one larger communal table and a bar overlooking Burnett Lane) so get there early if you want to dine in. A beautiful bright sky mural adorns one of the walls and the stained glass windows, brightly coloured stools, flowers in white vases and timber floors and tables give the area a warm and happy feel. There is also a range of great cookbooks available to peruse on a small shelf along the wall.

The all-day menu changes regularly and when I went it included breakfast items such as Felix's Bircher Jar ($7), a vegan Fruit Chia Cup with coconut cashew cream ($6.50) and avocado on sourdough with house-made labna ($7.50). Additionally there were a range of freshly baked goods on the counter including two types of gluten-free vegetarian tarts ($7.50). I've tried the pumpkin, caramelised onion and ricotta and there was also a roasted tomato and pesto one. The pumpkin tart was frittata-like and chock-full of ingredients - perfect for a small breakfast. It would also be an excellent lunch option with the side salad (additional $5). As delicious as the tart was, I've found it difficult to go past the Bircher Jar which is a creamy mix of oats, chia seeds and Maleny vanilla yoghurt topped with sweet crunchy maple nuts and a few slices of fresh fruit such as apple and dragon fruit. It's not a large serve but is delicious and again good for a small breakfast. The avocado on sourdough is one slice but the serving of sliced avocado and labna is generous and is accompanied by a wedge of lemon.

Coffee is $3.50 for small or $4 for large and soy or almond milk are available for an additional 50c. Felix also offer Green Smoothies, Raw Chocolate Milkshakes and Raw Cashew Milkshakes (all $7.50) which are all vegan and dairy-free. Continuing with the raw items, they also make a raw cashew 'cheese' cake ($6)  and something called a Dreambar Brownie ($4) intrigues me. There are usually also a few other baked sweets on the counter. Lunchtime options change daily but generally include a lineup of stuffed baguettes ($11),  salad bowls ($12) with optional chicken/ham ($3) and Goat Pie Guy pies with salad ($17). According to their Facebook page, jaffles and soups have recently been added to the menu. 

Overall, Felix is a fantastic place to stop off and have a relaxing coffee and delicious breakfast in the CBD for a small price. It's rare to find a place where you can sit down and get great coffee and food for just over $10. So far I have met people there but I could see myself happily going there solo and perusing the cookbooks as I ate and people-watched from the window bar. I look forward to seeing what is coming next for Felix - they have recently begun doing evening food workshops such as raw foods, gluten-free baking, vegan baking and fermentation techniques. The cost is $95 for a three hour workshop and further details can be found on their website

The window bar overlooking Burnett Lane
Kitchen behind counter

Pumpkin, caramelised onion, ricotta tart

Avocado on sourdough with house-made labna

Brightly coloured crockery

Green Smoothie


Ease of access: 9/10 (Easy to access off either George or Adelaide Streets)
Parking: 6/10 (No actual bike racks nearby or anything to lock to but there are some nearby spots in Albert St)

Felix Espresso and WineBar on Urbanspoon

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