Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Lansdowne Cafe

I truly love this cafe. It's my local, and I try to go there for a coffee at least once a week. I love that the staff know my name and my coffee. I love that they remember the names of my kids and ask how they are. I love the way way they make their coffee. And the food's pretty good as well.

I have had some damn sublime breakfast experiences here: the most memorable being a pair of poached eggs atop perfect asparagus and spinach and toast, smothered in a zingy hollandaise. Heavenly. It was a work of art, and I wish I'd taken a photo. A few days later I snuck in for a furtive feast, ordering poached eggs with smoked salmon. Although pleasantly surprised to be presented with lovely chunks of hot-smoked salmon, the toast was tough and impossible to cut, let alone chew. And it was unbuttered, which didn't help.
The menu has a few interesting-looking dishes such as green eggs and ham (scrambled with pesto) which I imagine I might try some day.
I often share a muffin with Mr Nellie over our coffee, and they are invariably satisfactory (but not amazing). Big though, cooked in mini-loaf tins (Whitey, there's a good-value tip for you!) and too big for one person.

The coffee's very good. I know people drive to Lansdowne for the coffee alone, so that speaks volumes.

I cannot fault the wait staff at all. Except for being too darn perky and happy every day. But seriously, they seem genuine in their friendliness and relaxed without being slow. I gather many of their patrons are regulars, so there's a confident familiarity that works pretty well.

OK, this place is Mumsy-Central from 9-11am. And Dadsy-Central, for this is West Hobart and shared parenting is the order of the day. It's hard to negotiate the prams that clutter up every available space some mornings, which irks me somewhat (and I'm a mumma too, but purleese leave the bloody prams outside thanks).
There's plenty of breakfast meetings and coffee meetings happening too, but not suits - more the creative types than the business types.
And just lots of locals - middle aged women and men, uni students etc. Not people out to see and be seen, but people popping in to have a decent coffee and read the paper.
It's a brilliant vibe, I reckon. It reminds me of the bar in Cheers, where "everybody knows your name".

The only real gripe I have with the place is its too cosy: I wish there was more room to spread out a bit. It's too tight to feel relaxed with the kids in tow. The staff are accommodating to families, but geez an internal courtyard would be the icing on the cake.

Rated 8/10
Lansdowne Cafe


foodkitty said...

Good to see you blogging again. I think the coffee at Landsdowne is first rate - but I think the lunches can be a bit ordinary - too much over dressed lettuce - not enough of the substantial ingredient.
I agree about the "cosiness" too, but I'd call that overcrowding the tables...

Ms Creosote said...

Sadly, their good coffee doesn't make up for lack of elbow room when you have kids in tow (and everyone seems to).

And I had a very ordinary lunch here a while back.. I had to get out my torch and magnifier to find the chicken pieces.

It may please the locals but there are better places to get a good meal.

Nellie said...

To be honest, Ms Creosote and Foodkitty, I have never eaten lunch there before, nor have I even surveyed that menu. I still love the breckie there and the coffee, but will steer clear at lunch time.

The lack of elbow room is indeed a pain in the arse. I would award an extra half point for more inside space, and a full point for an outdoor option that didn't involve sitting alongside a relatively busy road.


Anonymous said...

Well you may love the place foodkitty (and up till Saturday breakfast my husband regularly had takeaway coffee) but after waiting 20 minutes to have our order taken by a very surly and slow waitress then a further 45 minutes for our food to arrive with no apology and cold I can assure you that we will never go back.

We are cafe lovers

TIME BEING said...

Being new to Hobart & housesitting locally, I have frequented this place many times to acclimatize myself. The New Yorker is a favourite with ultra fresh salmon being the star of the dish. The staff are very kind & alert & theybtake an interest but not so as to smother your visit. One of the best environments I have found so far in Hobart & Im a foody.