Monday, 7 October 2013

Breakfast Series - Atomica Eat Drink

With so many options available for a decent breakfast in Brisbane, it's sometimes hard to pick a place to get over and try, so I was thankful this week when longtime a reader suggest a great spot.  I've been to Atomica heaps of times over the years but hadn't been back for such a long time that it just slipped out of my consciousness.

Atomica Eat Drink is one of the multitude of dining spots over in West End, which seems to have its fair share of well known and well loved restaurants.  West End residents all seem to have their favorite cafes and while Atomica is well loved, but is perhaps a little less well known that some of the other hot spots such as the Gunshop and Lock n Load.

Following our usual thinking that we didn't want to line up for breakfast, we set the alarm for 7am and thought we would get over to score a table before 7:30am.  As it was a Sunday morning, there were the usual grumbles from SC about the things she supports by living with a food blogger.  As we pulled down Boundary Street we were hit with how quiet the area was, there were none of the usual people milling around, even the Gunshop and Lock n Load seemed suspiciously quiet as we drove past.  We easily found a park right out the front of Atomica and wandered into an empty restaurant and as first to arrive picked the best table in the house.

It was a beautiful and sunny Sunday morning and our seat was right by the front door, with just a few rays of the bright sunlight warming us up but not enough to be blinded.  It's weird looking at an empty dining area that you have only ever seen packed, there is a different dimension to the space.  In the case of Atomica, I was staggered with how small the area was without the crowds of noisy diners that usually inhabit the space.  It did give me the opportunity to look around and get a feel for the cafe, which is dominated with comfy bench seating down one wall of the cafe, and also lots of posters of local events.  The kitchen is tucked away at the back of the cafe and we could see the kitchen staff hard at work preparing for the day.

Our waitress, who was incredibly chirpy for such an early time on a Sunday morning, came over and welcomed us and set down a couple of extremely colourful menus.  The breakfast menu is available all day, so there is no need to get out of bed at 'stupid-o-clock' if you feel like a nice Sunday meal.  As we contemplated the fairly traditional breakfast menu, with a leaning towards free range and organic produce, we ordered some drinks. An english breakfast tea for SC and with my smoothy for the morning being a banana and mango blend (which was super yummy with good mango flavour).  What I loved about the smoothy menu was a list of wide range of fruits and you could mix and match them together.

After seriously considering the lamb and rosemary sausages with bubble and squeak SC decided on something a little sweeter to start off her Sunday morning.  The buttermilk pancakes seemed too alluring and with options of either maple syrup or banana and caramel sauce, SC went for gold and ordered with latter.  The breakfast was a decadent looking plate of food, with thick stacked pancakes covered in caramel sauce and caramelised banana.  Not only was it decadent looking, it was huge too and I thought there would be no way SC would get through the whole lot.  There was a lovely buttermilk flavour to the pancakes but the the texture was a bit gluggy, no doubt as a consequence of being so thick.  The caramel sauce and banana were wonderful and sweet but we couldn't help thinking the maple syrup would have been a better option to soak into the pancakes for a little extra moisture.

Of course I chose the free range eggs scrambled which came standard with a serving of bacon and then added the roasted tomato and the garlic roasted swiss brown mushrooms.  I'll start off with the great.  Those garlic mushrooms were something special, cooked wonderfully and seasoned to perfection.  Mushrooms can be a little bland when not seasoned well, but these were spectacular and the clear highlight for me.  I also loved the roasted tomato, which was piping hot and full of rich tomato flavour and the bacon was, well it was bacon, nothing wrong with bacon!  What I found a little weird was the eggs, which had nice flavour and were well seasoned, but just had a weird consistency, almost like packet eggs. I think they may have been over scrambled or had no milk added, they were not very smooth or creamy

Normally when we head out for breakfast early and score great seats the restaurant or cafe fills up quickly behind us, and that didn't happen.  We were able to overhear some of the staff talking about how quiet it was and they seemed pretty surprised that the joint hadn't packed out.  We were a little earlier than normal but by the time we left there were only a handful of other diners in enjoying breakfast.

The service at Atomica was top notch with our waitress all over it for the morning, but it's hard to tell if the service was amazing because there were not that many diners.  I like to give the benefit of the doubt because our waitress was just so friendly and happy.

After we had finished and paid for our meals, we went outside to the beautiful day and it was still incredibly quiet down Boundary Street.  Looking through the windows of the many other usually busy cafes down the West End strip we noticed that is was quiet all around.  I can lament that we didn't really need to get up so early for breakfast this Sunday, but it's always hard to tell if a cafe is going to be flat out or quiet.  I can only imagine that because it was such a beautiful Sunday morning of a long weekend that everyone thought a visit to the beach would be more ideal than breakfast out....  Mmmm, that doesn't sound so crazy after all.

SC was impressed that the tea was 'real' and not tea bags!
The early morning sun was wonderful
Super quiet on a Sunday long weekend
A few customers started to turn up and enjoy the morning outside
We left a bit of a mess!

Atomica Eat Drink on UrbanspoonAtomica Eat Drink

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