The Sourced Grocer – 3.4
Breakfast: til 2.00pm
It has finally happened. TCB has given up the flamboyant, playboy lifestyle of a whimsical vagrant and joined the corporate leviathan, slaving away for the man in his corporate Ivory Tower. Fortunately, TCB are incredibly conservative, and the accumulation of independent wealth through private enterprise and big business is well supported. Unfortunately, the 8 to 6 lifestyle makes weekday breakfast junkets a tough ask. So on a sunny Sunday morning following a Saturday dodging bogans, sinking $6.80 mid strengths and getting sun burnt (yes, the cricket), TCB don’t venture too far from home and visit the hugely popular Sourced Grocer in Tenerife. A hippy owned and operated fresh produce market and cafe, this converted warehouse offers affluent housewives and pretentious inner city wankers (include or exclude TCB as you wish) just what the area needs: good quality, fresh produce (because from Tenerife, the excellent wares of the Powerhouse markets at New Farm and the James Street Market in the Valley are just soooo far away.)
Patrons take a seat wherever they can find one: milk crates outside; windowsills; the front stairs to the premises; the high horses they rode in on. We breeze past the fruit and vegetable collection, which doesn’t actually appear to be that extensive, through to the tiny cafe section. The limited menu is scrawled on the tiles of the back wall, and once TCB do battle with the confusing ordering and payment system, we end up ordering the croquet monsieur with Bangalow ham, and the buffalo mozzarella with Roma tomatoes. All ready in a huff and a puff over being deprived the chance to order anything even remotely resembling an egg, TCB have to sit on the corner of the only table in the entire place, having to go through the “excuse me, but do you mind if we sit four and a half inches away from you?” with closely proximate diners, souring the mood further.
And now, as a treat for our loyal fans, I will spare you the recount of the next 56 minutes of the experience, as nothing of note happened, other than a proliferation of screaming children. Oh sorry, the coffees did arrive after 30 minutes, and were watery, bland, flavourless cups of disappointment.
It’s been said before that TCB will cut slack for slow service in a bustling, busy cafe, as long as it is friendly and attentive, but when the food finally did arrive, with no apology to the wait, there would have only been about fifteen others in the place. And what did we get for our wait? The ham in the croquet monsieur was very good, but in reality, it was a small, $12.00, 1 hour toasted sandwich. As for the buffalo mozzarella, the GZA tells me it was passable at best, while the tomatoes were simply that: tomatoes.
Seriously, you could have a thousand ravenous breakfast goers threatening to tear the building down to the foundations, it does not take an hour to toast a sandwich and put some tomatoes and cheese in a bowl. There isn’t even any cooking involved in the later process. It would almost have been quicker to drive to Bangalow ourselves, slaughter our own pig, and put it between some Turkish bread.
If you feel like the level of hostility is growing, you are tremendously astute. The appeal of trendy, hip, cool eateries is nowhere near lost on TCB, but if you can’t get the basics right, there is no point striving for a Melbourne image, which is obviously what The Sourced Grocer is trying to do. If doing a spot of produce shopping and getting a bite to eat sounds like your thing, go to the Powerhouse markets and get some of the best fruit and veg you’ll find, and chow down on a $6.50 bratwurst which will fill you to the seams. Failing that, go to the James Street Market then walk round the corner to Campos for a coffee and a fry up.
The pretentiousness of the Sourced Grocer is in all honesty the least of its problems, as criticising that aspect would make TCB a very black pot. While you may have become use to the flowing, creative prose of past reviews, some messages are most effectively delivered in their simplest form. So excuse the vulgarity, but the Sourced Grocer is shit.
Coffee: 3.0 Menu: 3.0 Food: 5.0 Service: 1.0 Ambience: 5.0
Review by AMac & GZA
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