I love eating with my extended family. With my immediate family, my cousins and Aunty and Uncle there are about 12 or so of us most family dinners or lunches, and I love the craziness of it. Conversation flying everywhere, so much food (I had to get it from somewhere), everyone talking over each other as we catch up on the last few weeks. We usually do a kind of pot luck family lunch or dinner where everyone brings something, but at this time of year sometimes that isn’t always possible, so I was quite happy with my fellow foodie cousins choice to have her birthday brunch at Red Door Corner Store, in Northcote.
This spot is somewhat nostalgic for my family- my Aunty and Uncle lived up the road from this gorgeous little corner store turned cafe, and my cousins now in their 30’s used to ride their bikes up to this milk bar to buy lollies. Nowadays, it is a very cute little cafe with ample seating area both on the street, inside and in a back courtyard. I had visited the cafe many years ago and loved it, and had referred friends to it since, but was excited to pay this cafe a visit again. The brunch factor was especially good as I was coming straight from sleeping on my best friends couch after her hen’s party the night before and was in great need of a strong coffee, a medicinal juice and a big hearty meal which is what I got!
I umm-ed and aah-ed over the menu. Eating out is SO HARD when you are hungover. It is such a fine line between needing something greasy and wanting something healthy and nourishing. Especially when burgers were already involved late the night before. Luckily, I was able to find the perfect compromise with the Cape Grim Grass Fed Scotch Fillet on brioche with Vegemite (give me ANYTHING with Vegemite and I am a happy little… you know the song) aioli served with ‘little chips’. This was just the right amount of greasy hangover food, but it was gourmet and nourishing and also made me feel good after. The burger was beautifully presented, the meat melt in your mouth tender and the Vegemite aioli an absolute winner. I was so happy with my choice.
Aside from the food, I was most impressed by the staff and the way they handled a table of 14. We were in the back courtyard, sitting on a long table. Some of us were late, some of us were hungry, and the waitress was met with a chorus of “Oh wait, what was that juice again?” “Juice?! Yeah I want a juice? Can you repeat what sort it was?” “Can I have another coffee?” “Oh actually, I am going to change my order… I want what she is having…” “Can I have this meal, but without this…” And so on. 14 people for brunch is a fair few at once, and the staff there handled us with grace and bubbly enthusiasm which is a lot more than I can say for other restaurants where the price per head is much harder on the old hip pocket.
So well done, Red Door Corner Store… keep up the good work! You managed to satisfy a couple of ravenous young men, a pregnant woman, someone on a wedding diet, a hungover food blogger and their respective parents and grandparents on a sunny Sunday morning. Hats off to you!
Hope you all had a delicious weekend,