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I almost resent having to drive across the city on a Sunday, confronting the masses of Sunday-drivers whose driving skills suggest they only go out on that one day each week. I set off for Fitzroy and 40 minutes later, I arrived at the Shire, the small café that my friend had chosen for brunch.
The Shire is a relaxed alternative to the trendy bakeries and cafes of Brunswick Street. With natural wood tables, tranquil staff and music that would be fitting for a massage parlour, I felt like I was in a country-side health retreat, rather than in hectic Fitzroy.
Alongside smoothies and juices, The Shire also makes great coffee with the organic Griffiths blend. I love fresh juice but after a late night, a flat white was obligatory. It arrived in a big cup which I welcomed.
The breakfast menu flaunts several vegetarian dishes including corn fritters, porridge, goat’s cheese omelette, baked ricotta, pancakes, French toast and eggs Florentine. I picked the chilli beans with poached eggs and fetta.
The chilli eggs were very different and I enjoyed them a lot. The base was mainly kidney beans with an overly chilied tomato sugo. A crunchy pesto and soft fetta also made their way into the dish to give it an appearance of baked eggs. The flavours were intense but delicious with the softness of the egg and cheese breaking through the chilli. The eggs were poached well but perhaps slightly undercooked in the middle – better than having hardened yolks. The rye bread had been spread with salted butter and then grilled to get a crusty texture on top.
We relaxed in this little spot, socialising, eating and drinking for hours. It was a lovely Sunday morning. Until I had to drive home.