Ampersand Coffee & Food
863 High St, Thornbury
I noticed this place what feels like ages ago on one of our long walks. A few weeks after that, I saw Ashley’s review on I’m So Hungree, and this girl knows her food, so I made a mental note to get around to it. 4 months later, I finally did (the only down side to this Melbourne hipster apocalypse is the ridiculous amount of good food popping up and no extension of weekends to accommodate it all).
We were greeted by the requisite fancy coffee menu on old-school board, ironic décor of a bike hung behind the counter covered in vines, and completely random neon light/art installation. But, I quite liked it all – it’s a beautiful, light space, and everything worked to make it a really comfortable place.
We were quickly seated with drink orders taken – while still new to the bean scene, husband loved the coffee (Padre coffee, for those who understand these things) and noted how many people were dropping in just for a cup to take away. I was happy to see Larsen & Thompson tea on the menu, and got me some Good Morning tea. Nice.
The menu, while not enormous, does have all the basics that you’re wanting. It should also note that they cater exceptionally well for special dieters, vegetarians and vegans, so big points there. Husband was recovering from a big Saturday night, and went with the breakfast burrito ($16.00), filled with scrambled eggs, Mexican rice, bacon, rocket, and chipotle mayo. He didn’t look too impressed when it came out, saying that it looked a bit on the small side, not realising how full of bacon and egg and rice it actually was – he didn’t finish it, in the end!
I was feeling a bit crap and was after comfort food; when I saw that the porridge ($9.00) was made with soy milk (I think these guys are the only ones who offer a lactose free porridge…), I knew that was for me. Also came with poached pears (which I can’t really eat due to fructose issues), pistachios (yum) and toasted coconut (favourite). I was expecting something a little on the small side for the price, but this was a deceptively big bowl of porridge! I know I probably should have, but I did nibble on a bit of pear, which was soft and delicious. And heaps of pistachios and coconut. Just really good winter comfort food – loved it!
Cute café, great food and coffee, quick (albeit a little cold) service, and close to home – I wouldn’t mind another visit for the waffles with honeycomb, ricotta and chocolate sauce next…