Saturday, February 19, 2005

The Green Grocer, North Fitzroy

Say what you like about the organic, biodynamic, birkenstock-wearing crowd... they make a kick-arse breakfast. At least, that's what you'll get at The Green Grocer, 217 St Georges Road, North Fitzroy, Tel +61 3 9489 1747. As Paris Hilton would say, "it's hot". But just in case her dubious trade mark ever gets up, please note that I am not in any way suggesting that she did say that, nor that she would, if she ever came here, which is pretty unlikely.

Enough about Paris, back to North Fitzroy... time for a rave review.

I'll start with my big breakfast. Take a herb and fetta pancake, load it up with spinach, mushrooms, bacon, pesto, avocado, hash browns and boston baked beans. Top it off with a perfectly poached egg, and dig in. Trust me, you'll be grinning for the rest of the day.

But why stop there? The Green Grocer menu bats right down the order. How about mushrooms in red wine butter on grilled polenta? Or granola sweetened with pear juice and vanilla bean, served with grated apple yoghurt? Even the toast is sexed up. As much as I enjoyed my pancake, the sesame-encrusted sourdough was hard to resist.

If you're looking for a certified organic breakfast, this place is hardcore. Anything less than 70% organic gets a little black mark, just in case dangerous chemicals lurk within. And if you like your sausage aligned with Uranus, then the biodynamic free-range snags will be right up your alley. It tasted like a pork sausage to me, but it was reassuring to know that the pig was tuned in to the forces of the cosmos.

My only gripe with this place is that it gives me sweet FA to whinge about. Bitching and moaning is, after all, much more fun than being nice. So, I won't go on about the slick service, the laid back vibe, or the Jaspers "o blend" organic coffee. All were good.

At somewhere between 10 and 20 bucks, The Green Grocer breakfast is not only great, but great value. Try it. I'll be amazed if you don't come back for more.

17/20 "best big (organic) brekky"

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Blogger Pietro said...

I agree with you. Good breakfast, good environment, despite the fact that there were no sits vacant, the place did not feel crowded and we could still have a decent conversation without shouting.
I'm also very pleased to note more dynamicism in your reviews.
Keep up the good work ... it's becoming entertaining.

21/2/05 09:09  
Blogger Niki said...

Love the Green Grocer. Avoided it for years bc I thought it was a bit hippie, but when I finally made it I was blown away.

26/10/05 09:08  
Blogger Jamie Wodetzki said...

The GG is still going strong, as I discovered when I tried their excellent croque madame just recently.

2/7/06 18:04  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Went to this cafe very recently:
My 2c worth..

Great food. Quite good coffee. Good attentive service.

Refuse to make large coffees (only serve micro-glasses).
Won't split bills.
Both things quite silly and irritating in my book.

15/7/06 16:02  
Anonymous Tullster said...

The big breakfasts don't seem as big as they used too. They seem to have shrunk in recent times. We're semi-regulars, on average going once every 3 or so weeks.

They no longer present the BB with all breakfast toppings layered on the pancake(the stack! which was very pleasing to the eye), but now only layer the pancake with 1 or 2 toppings and place the remaining breakfast items around the pancake.

I'd order the meat BB with a side of sausage, where as she'll order the Veg BB. I would always feel pretty damn full after eating the BB, to the point of needing to take the belt out a notch. My partner would leave a sufficient amount to keep anyone's pet dog happy(though I'm sure pup would have been happier with the bacon and snag option - anyone have a vegetarian dog?!?).

At first I thought it must be the change in presentation, still the same amount of food, just looks a little different, but not the case. On the last couple of occasions the missus has been able to finish her BB with no problems. The last visit she went the whole hog and ordered the meat BB(as she was a little under whelmed with the veg BB last visit), which she admirably finished to my amazement, but not so amazing that she's then eyeing off my un-eaten hash brown(those things are like gold ya know). And no she's not on the escalator to obesity, she hasn't been stacking on the pounds, nor does she suffer from bulimia. All the same it's a sufficient amount of food, but if you're going to call your BIG BREAKFAST a BIG BREAKFAST it's gotta be BIG, not that it used to be BIG, NOT AS BIG BREAKFAST, ONCE WAS A BIG BREAKFAST, etc.

But in saying that the Green Grocer still produces a very high quality, very tasty breakfast, one which we both really enjoy and a place we both enjoy taking others that may never have experienced the GG before.
Highly recommended, would definitely go back, because we do.



Only other gripe is the coffee, it's well below par - my coffee always seems burnt. One occasion ended up with coffee as well as a quarter of a cup of the coffee grinds. I no longer order coffee from there.

6/9/06 15:33  
Anonymous won wron tom said...

I really like the GG, although I find the neighbourhood hard to tolerate. I am a bit of a red-neck and I always find it a little hard to take these Fitzroy folk seriously. All that aside, the staff at the GG always seem very friendly, and the food is top-notch. I usually go for the big breakfast with sausage extra - very tasty. The one minor drawback is the mediocre coffee.

Not related to the excellent breakfast, I have one minor annoyance that I have to mention. The last time I ate at GG I decided to buy a couple of bunches of organic spinach to make a spanikopita from the orgie-produce display at the front of the store. I asked for a plastic bag to carry the dripping, muddy spinach bunch, and I was told that, "we don't DO plastic", by the higher-than-thou, clog wearing troglodite at the counter. My delightful breakfast was slightly tarnished by this lambasting, and the ensuing soggy patch on the back seat of my car.

13/9/06 10:34  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

After reading the rave review, I'm glad to hear Tullster say the BB isn't as big as it used to be. We thought the size was a downright embarrassment to all concerned.

It was lovely food, but we won't be going back to get ripped off again - $13.00 for a "big" breakfast with only one egg?

2/10/06 19:02  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting cynical take on biodynamic sausage.

Rather than focusing on an limited perspective that bio-dynamic is only about esoteric wafty ideas; you could have recognised at least that the pigs are free-range, free of antibiotics and pesticides and living in a sustainable ecosystem.

re the poor coffee that people have experinced, I have found that quality has varied according to staff (an issue in many places) but that the main girl these days is spot on, and the jaspers blend is particualrly good.

I find greengrocer a very differnt beast on a weekday to weekend, much prefer making it in these off peak times.

8/10/06 08:14  
Anonymous Dan said...

A few of my mates and I go for breakfast every Friday (hey we're all students) in Melbourne and take it in turns to choose the venue.
I put in the most research into venues and was delighted to find this site. I thought I'd follow the recommendations and go to the Green Grocer this morning.
Food was really good. I had the GG breakfast and following the warnings on here about its size, I ordered an extra egg. Every part of the meal was cooked as close as you could get to perfection and the fresh juice was exactly as it should be - fresh.
It was also quite nice to be surrounded by the organic vegetables, although I'm not sure if I'd be so appreciative if someone was actually doing their weekly shop next to me.
My only real gripes are the price/ portions size and the variety. At $16 for a standard breakfast, which was quite small, it may be considered at the high end of what is reasonable but to call it over-priced would be pushing it a bit. Didn't really see anything else on the menu that I fancied, so marks off for that one.
I think most of us thought Cafe Ici was probably superior but this was a very close second, which is nothing to be ashamed of.

3/11/06 13:26  
Blogger Jamie Wodetzki said...

Have done a fresh review of the Green Grocer, including the not-so-big "grocer's breakfast"...

4/11/06 00:33  
Blogger Lexionxpole said...

It took 15 mins to get my table, 10 mins to get my order in. Coffees took another 20 mins to arrive. The food portions were terribly small but such a tease.. OH SO TASTY MUSHROOM. I just wanted to gorge myself with Hungry Jacks by the end of it because I was still starving. Quite disappointed.

18/4/07 11:19  
Anonymous Heather said...

I too used to be a regular and returned recently for what I anticipated to be a treat. I had the big breakfast without egg and received a hash brown, one mushroom, half a tomato, quarter of an avocado, one very small piece of bacon and a drizzle of pesto on my pancake. I was charged full price (not cheap) and made to feel "small" when I pointed out that it appeared no additional food had been inclded to replace the egg. Even with a egg, this was not a "big" breakfast. I even took a photo of the meal as I could not believe how small it was. Like a couple of other reviewers I still felt hungry after the meal. At least what I did get to eat tasted good. However I will not be returning - there are other better places to eat.

16/12/07 16:49  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

having read your rave review of green grocer, with anticipation we rolled in on a saturday morning.
exorbitant prices, ridiculous breakfast combinations, small portions, rude staff, we had to fork out for a second breakfast elsewhere in frustration.
with that in mind, cafe piccante across the road has an excellent menu, prices, friendly staff, a relaxed vibe and you won't be left hungry, feeling belittled nor significantly poorer...

31/10/09 11:48  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon, you sound hot.

Will you be my special girl?

I'll take you to the movies shorty.

Love Bangs. x

31/10/09 11:57  

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