Surfers Paradise Beach Cafe, Surfers Paradise QLD ($)

Address: 4 The Esplanade, Surfers Paradise, QLD

Tel: (07) 5527 6183

Website: http://www.thesurfersparadisebeachcafe.com/

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The day after we visited Muse, MC and I stumbled across Surfer’s Beach Cafe on our morning walk to the beach.

Atmosphere

It was quite crowded as it was peak breakfast period and the cafe is located at an ideal spot, right opposite the beach.

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In order to order we needed a table to sit at, so we stood around for a few minutes waiting.  We were a bit disappointed that there were about two to three tables of families that were taking up more space than they needed.  If they had moved down the table a bit we would have had plenty of room to sit.

Despite the wait for a table, we eventually found a seat by the entrance.

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The cafe has a lovely laid back surfer atmosphere.  There are surfboards on the wall and lots of yellow, blue and white around the room.

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The tables are a sort of old, worn white and the place gives off a very calm and chilled out vibe, except for the hustle and bustle of the busy diners.

Service

Service wasn’t very prominent as you have to order at the counter, which is probably a good idea given how popular the place is! Despite this, our food came out within about ten minutes and the staff were quick when we asked for things like serviettes and salt.

Food

I ordered a Tropicana Smoothie which was a very tropical combination of mango, pineapple, passionfruit and banana, some of my favourite fruits.

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Tropicana Smoothie, $8.50

For breakky I had the Big Beach Breakfast and MC ordered the Stack of Pancakes.

The breakfast was great, it was colourful and tasted flavoursome, the eggs were perfectly poached, the hashbrowns were crunchy, the bacon crisp and the tomato fresh.

Overall it was a pretty darn good fry up.

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Big Beach Breakfast, $19.50

MC’s pancakes were amazing, some of the best I have had.

I am a big fan of the thick, fluffy pancakes, the McDonald’s style ones that soak up all the syrup and just melt in your mouth. None of this crepe business.

These pancakes were all that and more.  They came with a side of butter, maple syrup and whipped cream and they were absolutely delicious.

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Stack of Pancakes, $9.95

Summary

Surfers Beach Cafe is one of those great finds that has a great view, a lovely atmosphere and a fantastic menu.  The wait can be a little frustrating but it was worth it for the view!

Rating

I would rate my experience (out of 10):

  • Service-  4
  • Food-  8
  • Atmosphere- 8
  • Value – 7.5

The Surfers Paradise Beach Cafe on Urbanspoon

Three Williams, Redfern ($$)

Address: 613a Elizabeth Street Redfern NSW

Tel: (02) 9698 1111

Website: http://www.threewilliams.com/

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I was super excited to be invited for a menu tasting at Three Williams in Redfern, along with some of my fave food bloggers, Excuse Me Waiter, The Lamstock, Simon Food Favourites, VegeTARAian, Jugernauts, 84th and 3rdFood is our Religion and Hillary and Dijon.

I’d heard a lot about the Three Williams and was keen to find out whether it lived up to my expectations.

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Atmosphere

Three Williams is located in Redfern, in an area that is apparently “not in the dodgy part of Redfern,” I was told.

The easiest way to get there is to drive, and there is plenty of parking out the front.  MC kindly dropped me off right at the door of the cafe.

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The cafe was busy but not quite full when I arrived at 9.30am for brunch.

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By the time we left at 11.30 however, there was a steady stream of customers walking through the door and a serious queue forming of patient customers, waiting by the counter for a table.

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The crowd at the Three Williams is a somewhat “messy cool” mix of mothers with screaming children, playing in the kids corner and trendy foodies casually enjoying a coffee and muesli.

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The decor is simple and almost “warehousey” but still quite funky, with a mix of light wood and industrial grey paints.

Overall, the place oozes a trendy and hip vibe and is perfect for those looking for a quick, quality meal before heading out to the markets or going to explore the city.  That is, if you can get a table!

Service

Service during our tasting was quite good.

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The staff were all polite and friendly but perhaps a little overwhelmed by the busy crowds and in particular, our fussy table of food bloggers!

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This is what it is like to dine with food bloggers!

While I thought they did a great job with handling most of the orders, my Chai Latte did take a while to come out (I had to ask how it was going to remind them).

Overall however, service was quite good and I don’t have any major complaints.

Drinks

Upon our arrival we were served coffee and drinks.

There was a delicious jug of fresh OJ, which was sweet and bright orange, perfect for the warm weather.

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Fresh Orange Juice, $5 a glass

The coffees were spot on. They were well presented and well made.

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House Chai Latte, $5.00

We also enjoyed a delicious Pineapple and Mint Soda.

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Pineapple and Mint Soda, $12.00 a jug

Some of the bloggers ordered the Peanut Butter Smoothie. I tried a little and oh my…. it was peanutty and creamy yet oddly (a little) bitter.  A strange mix of Reese’s Pieces and milkshake.

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Peanut Caramel Shake, $6.00

I also noticed some other great items on the drink menu, including the Banana, Medjool Date and Walnut Praline Shake and Willie’s 100% Cacao Hot Chocolate.

Food

Chef Tim Bryan of Aria and Chiswick fame is the driving force behind the Three Williams menu.

To start off, we tried some items on the breakfast menu (available 7am until 3pm). VegeTARAian tried the Granola with Hibiscus Pear, a delicious combination of fruit toasted muesli with creamy yoghurt and a delicious deep red, sweet pear. I tried a little and absolutely loved the lightness of the yogurt and pear and the tasty, crunchy granola.  Perfect for the health conscious!

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Granola with Hibiscus Pear, $12.00

The Spicy Smashed Beans with Avocado on Charred Toast was also delicious. The beans had the perfect amount of spice and were great combined with creamy avocado and crispy toast.  84th and 3rd also commented that she enjoyed this dish.

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Spicy Smashed Beans with Avocado on Charred Toast, $13.00

The Merchant burger, chilli fried egg, crispy bacon, pickled slaw, ranch dressing on a warm brioche bun was an interesting idea but I have to admit that I couldn’t really taste any chilli in the egg, although I did enjoy the pickled slaw.

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The Merchant, $12.00

The Poached Eggs, Marinated Bull Horn Peppers, Serrano Ham, Feta and Dukkah, on toast was quite tasty. The eggs were nicely poached (apparently in glad wrap from the lines on them), and the ham and peppers went really well with them, creating a nice balance of sweetness and saltiness.

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Poached Eggs with Peppers, Ham, Feta and Dukkah, $16.00

To finish off the eggs feast, there was The Big William: bacon, fried eggs, nuremberg sausage, roma tomato, hash, onion relish.

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Big William, $17.00

Of all the breakfast dishes, my favourite had to be the French Toast.  The brioche toast was crumbly, almost like a cake, and was drenched in a gooey maple syrup and topped with pecans.  The tangy yogurt and fresh blueberries and raspberries complemented it perfectly.

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Brioche French Toast, $14.00

If all that wasn’t enough we then moved on to the BEST HOT CHIPS I HAVE EVER TASTED. Crunchy. Salty. Crisp. Golden. Soft. AMAZING. These chips are the chips dreams are made of.  If you like chips, these are the ish.

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Beer battered chips with house aioli, $6.00

We also enjoyed some creamy and cheesy fish croquettes with lemon juice.

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Fish Croquettes with Lemon and Aioli, $3 each

We then tried some of the Caramelised Cauliflower Tabouli, a mix of cauliflower, pomegranate, quinoa, walnuts and preserved lemon. We had this dish without chicken for the benefit of the vegetarians at the table with us.

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???????????????????????????????Caramelised Cauliflower Tabouli, $13 or $15 with chicken

The final brunch meals before dessert were the Narnies. Sarnies but narnies. These are basically sandwiches made with naan bread.

While I didn’t really like the naan bread (I found it a little tough to chew and difficult to cut up), I did enjoy the fillings.

The prawn naanie was a fresh and light almost “prawn taco-like” combination of avocado, corn, lettuce and prawns.

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Prawn, iceberg lettuce, avocado and aioli, $14.00

The fried tempeh narnie was pretty spicy and tasted a bit like the filling for my Sri Lankan tuna fish pastries. It contained carrot, asian pickled vegetables, sriracha, and lime mayo. The tempeh was quite interesting, unlike anything I have had before, and I learnt that it was made of fermented soybeans, pressed into a pattie.

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Fried tempeh narnie, $12.00

Finally, the most delicious of them all, the glazed beef narnie. This delicious brisket, gherkin and chipotle narnie was tender, tangy and colourful. The beautiful glaze on the beef and the delicious sweet yet spicy chipotle were a match made in heaven.

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Glazed beef narnie, $14.00

Already full, we moved on to desserts, savouring the crispy glazed Grapefruit Donuts and Chocolate Brownies.???????????????????????????????

Brownies and Donuts

The Donuts were quite average, but the Brownie was heaven. It was slightly crispy on the outside yet fudgey and rich on the inside, the perfect consistency.

Although some of the other bloggers were too full by this stage and too “chocolate-d out” I happily devoured my share of the Brownies (and perhaps a little more!).

Overall

Overall I loved the experience at Three Williams. The menu is so different to any I have seen before and the standout dishes for me- the french toast, the brownie and the hot chips were fantastic.

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I would most certainly recommend giving this place ago if you are in the area!

Rating:

I would rate my experience (out of 10):

  • Service- 6.5
  • Food-  9
  • Ambience-  7.75
  • Value – 7.75

The TCFB dined as a guest of Wasamedia and the Three Williams.

Three Williams on Urbanspoon

Momo Brasserie, Sydney CBD ($)

Address: 65 Elizabeth Street, Sydney NSW

Tel: (02) 9233 8838

Website: http://www.momobrasserie.com.au/

* * *

Atmosphere

Momo Brasserie is located near the courts, at the top end of Hyde Park.

It’s about a 5 minute walk from Wynyard station and just around the corner from Martin Place station.

When we walked in, mum and I were greeted by a friendly waiter who asked us to choose a seat. We picked a window seat in the corner as the comfy lounges along the side of the wall are always the best!

The atmosphere inside is pretty calm and relaxed. The warm browns and soft lighting make it a relaxing place to enjoy a morning breakfast or afternoon tea.

I must admit I was a little reluctant to leave and head out into the chilly breeze!

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Mum having a read of the menu

Service

Although I resented the fact that the lady who took my booking called me “hun” (pretty unprofessional when you don’t know the person!), I have to admit that the gentleman who served us was pretty nice.

He was helpful, took our orders efficiently and without error, didn’t let our empty plates sit in front of us for too long, and asked us if we wanted more tea or coffee when we had finished our cups.

They also refilled our water, a small thing that I find is quite often overlooked in many cafes around Sydney.

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Me in the comfy wall seat 🙂

Food

Mum decided to go with the “Momo Breakfast”. The big brekky which came with a side of…well almost everything you could ask for with brekky except spinach and baked beans.

It included two eggs (which she ordered poached), a gourmet sausage, double-smoked bacon, grilled tomatoes, sauteed mushrooms and toasted sourdough, served with cute individual pats of butter.

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Momo Breakfast, $16.00

Her breakfast was served with a generous amount of everything and she struggled to eat it all (although I expect my bro would have easily demolished this serving).

The eggs were poached quite well and were still quite runny in the middle which is perfect. It looked to us like they had been poached in Glad wrap as you could see the lines from where the wrap had been twisted.

One comment I would make about the breakfast was that the sourdough was a little too thin. There is nothing better than a piece of thick sourdough bread to soak up your eggs with, and I would have preferred a slightly bigger piece.

I decided to go for a less traditional brekky of poached eggs, prosciutto, grilled tomato and grilled haloumi cheese on toasted sourdough bread.

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Haloumi and prosciutto brekky, $14.00

The haloumi was delicious and salty, one of my favourite cheeses and I have seen it appearing on more and more menus lately.

The eggs were again, poached very well.

The breakfast was enjoyable but it was a little small compared to the Momo Breakfast, and it wasn’t very colourful either. Some wilted baby spinach on the side would have been great!

For drinks mum ordered a latte….

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Latte, $3.80

…and I ordered a Chai Tea.

5 Chai Tea, $4.00

Cost

We used a Groupon voucher.

Rating:

Overall I would rate my experience (out of 10):

  • Service- 7.5
  • Food- 7.5
  • Ambience- 7
  • Value – 7

Momo Brasserie on Urbanspoon

Third Village, Darlinghurst ($)

Address: 80 Stanley Street Darlinghurst NSW

Tel: 02 9361 5826

Website: http://thirdvillage.com.au

Opening hours:
Monday to Friday: 7.00 am – 4.00 pm
Saturday to Sunday: 8.00 am – 4.00 pm

* * *

I’m quite sad that I only discovered this little gem on the last day of my job in Woolloomooloo. Had I known about it earlier I would have been a frequent visitor on my lunch breaks!

I met my lovely uni friend Nancy for lunch here on a particularly rainy day. Having walked through the drizzle with a borrowed umbrella (thanks Lauren!), I was glad to find the little hole-in-the-wall cafe in popular Stanley Street.

Atmosphere

Third Village is a typical Surry Hills/Darlinghurst type of cafe. A little bit of grungy-ness, a little bit organic, and a lot of friendly locals.

The interesting Oxford Street mural on the wall added a bit of colour and the wooden chairs and tables contributed to the natural and organic vibe of the cafe.

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Service

Introducing myself to staff I was welcomed to take a seat and asked what I wanted to drink. After ordering my preferred beverage, I was asked to come to the counter when I was ready to order. When Nancy arrived the staff took her order at the table. They were very friendly and service was quite prompt.

Nancy’s order, which required quite a few changes to what was on the menu, was accommodated with ease and I was pleasantly surprised at their flexibility and friendly attitude. Of course, as they knew I was blogging I can’t vouch for their being friendly all the time, but then again, who is? From my experience there they were quite nice.

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Drink

Both Nancy and I ordered chai lattes. I was impressed with how they presented them, in a small glass jug with a strainer and glass on the side. The tea was hot, sweet and fragrant and was absolutely perfect on this cold day. Nancy also commented on how well-presented the tea was and how nice it tasted.

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Chai Latte, $4.30

Food

The menu at Third Village is a little dodgy, being simply a piece of printed A4 paper. I would suggest either laminating the paper (as ours had a few patches on it), or getting a more professional one printed out. Despite the fact that plastic is not good for the environment, laminated menus would last longer and elevate the cafe a little, making it look a lot more inviting.

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I was feeling eggs that morning. Poached eggs. Don’t know why, as it was 1.00pm, but I just wanted eggs. 

After perusing the menu and umming and aaahing over the numerous delicious alternatives, I decided on the Eggs Royale. This consisted of 2 eggs (poached), on a toasted sonoma round roll with sustainable Tasmanian salmon, baby spinach and hollandaise sauce.

When the dish came out I was impressed. Presentation was fantastic and portion size was great. I was very excited to dig in, and the meal did not disappoint. The eggs were perfectly poached, the sauce creamy and delicious, the salmon fresh and slightly oily and the bread, crunchy and well-toasted. One of the best brekkies (for lunch) I’ve had and close to my favourites at Cora’s in Canada.

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Eggs Royale, $17.95

Nancy ordered the Eggs Mediterranean. As she is gluten intolerant we swapped sour dough toast for gluten free bread. She also asked for haloumi instead of sheep feta, and scrambled eggs instead of poached ones.

Her dish was also very well presented with two neat piles of bread, avocado, roasted tomato and haloumi topped with pesto, and a pile of scrambled eggs in the middle.

She said her eggs were not dry at all and despite the haloumi being slightly overcooked, she enjoyed the meal.

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Eggs Mediterranean, $17.95

All in all, both breakfasts were delicious and enjoyable, as was the chai tea. We also saw a few fellow diners enjoying some of Third Village’s salads which looked delicious- definitely something to try next time!

Cost

The Casual Food Blogger and her friend Nancy dined as guests of Third Village.

Rating:

Overall I would rate my experience (out of 10):

    • Service- 6.5
    • Food- 8.5
    • Ambience- 5.5
    • Value – 7.5

Third Village on Urbanspoon

Thyme Square, Hornsby ($)

Address: 5/43a Florence Street Hornsby NSW

Tel: (02) 9476 0700

Websitehttp://thymesquarecafe.com.au/

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The news of my friend’s engagement to her long-term boyfriend brought us to Thyme Square for some Sunday morning brunch!

Prowsey, Kate-T and I chose a cosy booth for our morning coffee and breakfast spot. We were greeted by a nice waitress who was pretty efficient despite telling us that she was new to the job. She soon took our orders and the coffees and my chai latte were soon brought out.

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Chai tea latte

My chai latte was delicious and creamy, very soothing and quite tasty with the honey. A good choice!

While Prowsey and Kate-T both chose the Bacon & Eggs with a cappucino, I opted for the Smoke Salmon breakfast. This option included toasted wholemeal bread (although I ended up getting sourdough), smoked salmon, scrambled eggs, half an avocado, and rocket, all for $15.50.

The Bacon & Eggs contained two eggs with bacon and toast for $13.50. The girls also ordered a side of spinach and mushrooms (extra).

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Smoked salmon breakfast

I really enjoyed my meal. The avocado was a little hard, not ripe enough, but that is something which isn’t always controllable!

The eggs weren’t as fluffy as I would prefer them to be but were still tasty and enjoyable.

There was plenty of salmon for the amount of eggs and toast, and the toast was crunchy and delicious.

I didn’t see any rocket on the plate however, which was a little disappointing as it could have done with more greens!

Also, the girls asked for some Turkish bread but also got sourdough -perhaps they ran out? Either way we should have been told that there was no Turkish bread instead of just being served a different type of bread.

Overall there were some minor issues but the place is quite cute and cosy and the food pretty tasty and reasonably-priced.

Rating:

Overall I would rate my experience (out of 10):

  • Service- 5.5
  • Food- 7
  • Ambience- 4.5
  • Value – 6.5

Thyme Square Cafe on Urbanspoon

Corn & Zucchini Fritters (serves 4)

These delicious fritters are easy to make and perfect for breakfast, brunch or lunch.

Topped with fresh or smoked salmon and a dollop or sour cream, they were tasty and something I hadn’t tried making before. Even my younger brother who tends to be a bit of a fussy eater enjoyed them.

I adapted this recipe from the Taste website.

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup plain flour
  • 1/2 cup self-raising flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2/3 cup of corn kernels
  • 2/3 cup grated zucchini
  • 1 cup grated cheese
  • 40g butter
  • 100g smoked salmon
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • Salt

Method:

1. Sift flours into a bowl.

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2. Combine eggs and milk in a jug and whisk lightly. Gradually whisk the egg mixture into the flour until it forms a smooth batter

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3. Add corn, zucchini and cheese.

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4. Stir to combine then add a little salt, cover and set aside for about 20 minutes.

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5. Melt a teaspoon of butter in a large, non-stick pan over high. Pour a few tablespoons of batter into the pan for each fritter.

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6. Cook on each side until golden and cooked through. Then remove from pan and drain on paper towels. Repeat until all batter is used, adding a teaspoon of butter for each new batch.

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7. Place a fritter on a plate and top with 1 tablespoon of sour cream, some sliced salmon and extra cheese.

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Cafe Mason

Address: 320 Mason Street, San Francisco CA 94102 United States

Tel: (415) 544-0320

Email: info@cafemason.net

Website: http://www.cafemasonsf.com/

* * *

One fine morning while holidaying in San Francisco, my bestie and I woke up with a hunger for a big breakkie!

We were lucky enough to stumble across Cafe Mason, a small eatery which specialises in producing homemade breakfasts, lunches and dinners from scratch using fresh ingredients.

We were pleased to find that we were able to have unlimited tea, as we were given a large jug of water and a bowl full of tea bags!

I enjoyed the smoked bacon or sausage with eggs ($9.95), which included a “choice of side dish: home fries (Yukon Potato ), fresh fruit, roasted tomato with basil and herbs, or slices of fresh tomato, and a choice of toast (nine grain, white, rye ; or add 25¢ for English mun; or add 50¢ for homemade banana-nut bread; or add 95¢ for croissant).” I chose the sausages and tomatoes with basil and herbs.

My bestie got the Eggs Benedict ($10.95)- poached eggs and ham topped with Hollandaise sauce.

Source: photo from Cafe Mason website

The food was great and the service was excellent. We thought the place was really funky as well, and really gave off a San Francisco vibe!

After all that food you would think we would be full. But no, our sweet tooths got the better of us and we decided to order some yummy pancakes to finish off the meal.

Buttermilk pancakes were $3.95 for one, $6.75 for two or $8.25 for 3.

Strawberries were $2.50 extra.

We topped it all off with some healthy juices! What a fantastic way to start off a day of exploring!

Cafe Mason on Urbanspoon