Two of my friends are visiting Melbourne this weekend and of course they want to have brunch at Proud Mary. I think Proud Mary must be the one brunch place in Melbourne that people hear about overseas. I have to explain to them that if you’re organising a group of people for brunch it’s not really going to work at Proud Mary because there’s always a queue, even for a table for two. I also try to explain that Proud Mary may be good for brunch and coffee but lots of other places are equally good… like, for example, Stagger Lee’s, the new cafe from the Proud Mary team.
Stagger Lee’s is bringing the hipster back to long neglected Brunswick street at a prime corner location. Big glass windows allow for people watching from outside in and inside out. The fit out has an industrial feel with polished concrete floors and exposed brick walls. Warmth is added though the mint green painted back wall which is echoed in the cute salt and pepper shakers on each table. Like Proud Mary’s, Stagger Lee’s is all about the coffee. There’s a super slick looking Synesso machine on the bench top and it turned out a smooth and creamy latté with a delicate finish . But there are also excellent juices ($7.50) and very over-priced milkshakes ($10 a pop is outrageous, even if they do have broken up bits of oreo cookies floating on top).
The brunch options are different enough to keep things interesting. I loved the “Shrooms ‘n truffles”($17.50) a dish of creamy polenta with just a hint of rich truffle stirred through it and earthy pine mushrooms topped with a runny egg yolk. I stirred the egg into the polenta making an incredibly decadent breakfast dish.
Another different take on the usual breakfast options at Stagger Lee’s is the Mexican tortillas compete with charred corn and tomatillo salsa they’re made breakfast appropriate with the addition of fried eggs. Arriba!
The only downside to Stagger Lee’s is that it is already so popular that you have to wait on a weekend and just like Proud Mary’s, I wouldn’t suggest going there with a big group. I’m going to have to recommend somewhere else again for my out of town friends.
Details: Stagger Lee’s, 276 Brunswick St Fitzroy, 3065 (Open 8am-4-pm)
Kids: While there aren’t any high chairs or change facilities Stagger Lee’s were pretty cool about us having a baby with us for brunch and I spied a few other kidlets in there as well.