Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Breakfast Series - Pawpaw Cafe

A couple of weeks ago I finally got around to visiting Foxy Bean for breakfast and noticed that there was another place high on my list of breakfast spots to visit right next door.  It's not enough that Brisbane has one of the hottest breakfast scenes in the universe, now great breakfast spots are 'eying each other off' right next door to each other (albeit with a street in between).  

Pawpaw cafe is another spot that has a huge reputation as being one of the best breakfast spots around town and I was keen to check it out.  Aware that there can be fairly long waits at Pawpaw, SC and I decided to head over quite early Sunday morning, then head off down to the Gold Coast for the annual Swell Festival at Currumbin.  I'm glad we did, we scored one of the last available tables, which ended up being a great table right over by a set of open sliding windows, which let the outside in.

Like the Foxy Bean next door, Pawpaw resides in a converted Queenslander and can be found behind the very well known Green Papaya.  It has been renovated with a fairly modern looking back section that opens right up into the street. There is also a little window with a bright neon sign that is specifically designed as a takeaway coffee window. The inside of Pawpaw is a little boring when you compare it to some of the other cafes around Brisbane, not that boring is a bad thing, I'm just getting accustomed to cool interiors.  There is a concession to colour with some wacky palm tree wallpaper with a bright yellow background as well as a huge wall mural that has a Polynesian feel to it.  The tables and chairs are a rustic assortment of solid looking furniture along with a couple of thin bench seats with stools instead of chairs.  We were sitting at one of these, but as a consolation we had the gentle breeze from the huge and open windows.

The menu at Pawpaw is a little more comprehensive than a lot of other breakfast spots around town and actually looks as if it doubles as a brunch or lunch menu.  There's a really broad range of contemporary and traditional menu items that range from light options, such as a simple avocado on sourdough all the way to a heavier looking Israeli Breakfast which includes a falafel.  As we looked over the menu our drinks orders were taken with SC ordering her customary half strength latte. Unfortunately, when I enquired about a smoothie, I was advised that there were no smoothies on the menu so I had to stick with a glass of water.  Also unfortunately, SC thought her coffee was way too bitter, which signified being over extracted, and was hard to drink.

The dish SC ordered really resonated with the name and feeling of Pawpaw and had a bit of a tropical feel to it even though its name was anything but.  The Canadian breakfast consisted of waffles served with crispy bacon, caramelised banana and maple syrup but also had some strawberry slices and julienned apple slices.  The waffles were lovely and light but not overly sweet and came in an interesting star shape instead of a boring old square.  The bacon was far from crispy, but SC was happy about this as it was perfectly cooked for her, well cooked but not too crispy.  The caramelised banana added the sweetness to the dish and the addition of the apple gave a great texture and a little bit of sourness to the dish.

I selected the boring title of eggs on toast but went crazy adding extras to make my breakfast a little more interesting.  Of course I had the eggs scrambled and I added roasted tomato, bacon, sauteed mushrooms and last but not least, chorizo.  There were some things I loved about the dish, namely the roasted tomatoes and the sauteed mushrooms, which were as good as any breakfast spot around town. I particularly loved the large roasted tomatoes and the beautiful roasted flavour that shone through but the star was the mushrooms, which were seasoned and cooked to perfection.  The bacon was pretty much bacon and cooked OK, but the scrambled eggs and chorizo were a bit of a disappointment.  The eggs were cooked well but just had too much salt, so the flavour was overpowered.  The chorizo was bland, which is unusual for the Spanish sausage, in fact I was amazed at how bland it was.  

There were a few seats available when we arrived at Pawpaw but these were quickly being taken as wave after wave of customers turned up.  It was interesting, I have a restaurant stalker friend at work who inadvertently ends up at the same restaurants and cafe as me who visited Pawpaw about an hour after I left and had to wait twenty minutes for a table.  What's worse was that KT and her group had to wait one hour and twenty minutes for their breakfast to arrive!  That's dedication for hanging in there, I would have left.

After hearing this tale, I was happy that SC and I arrived when we did as we hate waiting and we would have spat the dummy if we had to wait for that long.  Our tolerance for waiting runs to about 30 minutes.  While we were there we experienced great service that was nice and friendly and our food arrived pretty quickly.

I mostly enjoyed my breakfast, with just a few minor issues and SC loved her waffles and there was enough of a glimpse of the breakfast to understand why this place is so popular.  It's a double edged sword really, a place gets really popular then you have to wait, as per KT and her group, and then have a really poor experience.  Thats contrasted to arriving early and having a pretty good experience.  It really goes to show that eating out for breakfast in Brisbane is all about timing.  I think my strategy of getting to a cafe early for breakfast is the best, even if it means an early rise.  After all, the early bird catches the worm.

We left Pawpaw and hit the sunny Gold Coast for the Swell Festival and had a great time, if only I didn't get sunburned feet......

One of the free tables that was gone shortly after this photo was taken
The two breakfasts if only I had a nice cool smoothie on a sunny Sunday morning!
This little fella gets to hold the cards up and can be seen in different spots around Pawpaw on different days
A more casual breakfast option
The crazy wallpaper
The great open windows that we were sitting next to
The coffee walk through with a ray of sunshine - it was a glorious morning

Pawpaw on UrbanspoonPawpaw

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