Sunday, 24 November 2013

Breakfast Series - Eurovida

North, South, East or West, it doesn't really matter any more, you can head off in any one of these directions from the CBD and hit a decent breakfast spot.  When it came to deciding on where to go for breakfast this morning after a late night out on the Sunshine Coast I had to decide to which point of the compass we would head.  It would be great if I had a little spinning wheel with dining precincts, something like a twister spinner but instead of colours resplendent with dining areas.  At least then it might be easier to at least get a start on where to go for breakfast, spin the wheel and off you go!

After getting my somewhat foggy brain into gear, I decided that it would be West, inner West to be precise so I started to look for cafes in Paddington that we had not yet visited.  There are around nineteen cafes in Paddington that are doing breakfast on  Sunday mornings and we have been to most of them, so making a choice became a little easier.  One particular cafe caught my eye, somewhere that not only had we not been before, but I had never heard of, my spider senses were tingling, this could be the place.

Eurovida is an interesting name that conjures up images of European cafes and looking at their site, this is exactly the image that they are looking to portray.  In fact with a quite like "come and experience a little taste of Europe right here in Brisbane" you can guarantee this is the just the feel they are going for.  The cafe is located pretty close to the city at the beginning of Given Terrace and if we had been a little more energised we could have walked there in no time.  Energised was probably the last way you could describe how we were feeling so into the car we went and five minutes later we were cruising past looking for a park.

While we had never been to Eurovida, the location was well known to us. Over the years we had seen many a cafe or dining spot come and go in this little stretch of Paddington.  It's actually right at the beginning of the hottest dining strip in Paddington with the well known Anouk, Montrachet and Grappino only meters away (click links for posts).  It is a very competitive spot but it's also a lovely spot, so I've been intrigued as to why cafes have not lasted so long in the location over the years.

For once we were not in a mad rush to get to a cafe early as I'd been smarter this time and made an online reservation through Dimmi.  As we walked up to the cafe I could see that it had a pretty funky outdoor area with lots of high stools and higher tables along with normal tables and chairs for some outside dining (I won't say alfresco because they were not on the street).  We were standing at the 'wait to be seated' sign when I discovered that my voice had just about deserted me.  When the waitress greeted us and I stated we had a reservation, she could hardly hear me.  In fact it took several attempts to croak out that we had a reservation and we were eventually rescued by the owner or manager who confirmed we had a table available.

One of the things that attracted me to try Eurovida was the very simple breakfast menu online and I was happy to see that it was identical to the menu placed in front of us.  I'm a man of simple breakfast tastes and to see a menu that actually starts off with 'simple eats' and just lists out free range eggs on sourdough, I'm in a happy place.  That's not to say that there are not some contemporary options available, there are, but it just warmed my heart to see it start that way.  The menu itself is short and to the point with a slight bent towards middle eastern, with some whacky options that remind of Mexico - ever had breakfast scrambled egg tacos??

Before we ordered any food it was drinks time and SC ordered her now customary half strength latte and I went for a mixed berry smoothie with vanilla ice cream.  I was pretty happy with my smoothie, which was perfect for my scratchy throat, it was soothing and full of berry goodness.  SC's coffee on the other hand was more like a quarter strength latte than half strength, in fact it was only slightly darker than a warm milk!

We had pigged out the previous night at SC's sister's fortieth birthday party so she was feeling like something quite light and the avocado, roma tomatoes and basil on toasted sourdough seemed like it would hit the spot. It was a very fresh and healthy looking plate of food with big chunks of avocado mixed in with roma tomato slices, as well as heaps of cherry tomatoes.  There was a sprinkling of balsamic vinegar and olive oil to finish it off.  The balsamic was a lovely addition and always goes so well with tomato but SC found the roma tomato chunks lacking in flavour and really wished there were more of the cherry tomatoes, which packed a flavour punch.  SC's approach to eating this was eat all the tomato first then smear the remaining avocado on the toast and eat the avo and toast together. 

Of course I was pretty happy to just go for the scrambled free range eggs on sourdough and even happier when I saw the mix of 'sides' available.  I ended up adding the wood smoked bacon, roasted field mushrooms and my favourite the Redriguez Brother chorizo.  

I was taken aback by the size of the plate and how much food was piled on, it really was way too much food for one person to eat.  However, I was determined to give it my best shot and started off digging into the scrambled eggs, which were creamy and seasoned perfectly.  The were cooked just the way I like them and overall were some of the nicest scrambled eggs I've had in a while.  After digging into the massive pile of eggs I thought it best to move on and then got stuck into the chorizo, which had a lovely flavour and texture but was just a little dry.  The roasted field mushrooms were a revelation, they were delicious and cooked beautifully but most importantly had the right amount of seasoning to make the woody flavour pop.  There was too much food on the plate and I only made a half hearted attempt at the bacon, which was cooked just the way I like it but I definitely didn't pick up any smoky wood flavour.  I felt stuffed by the end and it seemed like I had only eaten half of the plate, so it seemed like a bit of a waste.

For a cafe that I had not heard of before I was pretty stoked with the outcome, the meal was really nice and given the amount of food on offer, it was really good value too.  I do feel a little guilty leaving so much food on a plate at the end of a meal but I just can't force myself to eat for the sake of eating.  

I'm not sure I really picked up on the European references on the website, if I had to categorise the cafe I would have probably called it Modern Australian both in feel and with the menu.  I'm not sure what the big push for the European feel but it certainly felt nothing like the cafes and dining spots we had visited previously on our trips to Europe.

The cafe must be building as it didn't completely pack out but it certainly had a steady stream of customers throughout the time we were there.  I found all of the staff we encountered to be friendly and very competent and our breakfast arrived in short order, so there was none of the waiting around that you can have in some cafes.  With the quality of the food that we had and the really quite pleasant surroundings with a great view out the back, I'd be positive that Eurovida will be the cafe that hangs around for the long term.

The only area that we thought could be improved, the coffee was very weak
more of the cherry tomatoes please!
mmmm Chorizo and those mushrooms were amazing
Great view out the back of the cafe
If you have a sweet tooth, then there are plenty of options too
Cool light fittings 
A lovely bar area that would be a great spot for Friday drinks
I think the key area to work on is improving the coffee
A lovely morning to be sitting outside and getting busy too.

Eurovida on UrbanspoonEurovida Cafe Bar


  1. On the lookout for good brunch places, but top coffee is a must! The food looks good though

    1. Hi Anna, there are a heap of good ones around, Cirque at Newfarm, Moose & Gibson at the Gabba, Sassafrass at Paddington, the list goes on :) If you search for breakfast on my blog a heap come up :)

    2. Little Brew at Paddington, nice coffee, breakfast and friendly service. Also, Choc Orange at Bardon for a good coffee (consistently good) and great salads/frittata/sweets, most made there I think and they use organic when they can. Friendly service. Not so much a proper breakfast cafe though, that is not their aim. I love it. Beans on the Green at Bardon do an excellent coffee too. Rosalie Gourmet Market "Back Door Cafe" does nice coffee and excellent balcony to people watch from overlooking Rosalie Village (The old Bali Grill - great recipe books, pasta and gifts upstairs too as well as downstairs.

    3. Sounds like I have a few places to check out in the area then :)


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