i’ve made no secret of my love for the land of the star-spangled banner – we would seriously move there tomorrow if we could just a) get a visa and b) get a visa. anyway, so while i’m keeping my fingers + toes crossed for the green card lottery i’ll keep my love for all things american alive with country music, belle’s hot chicken, some texas bbq + waffles… lots of waffles! so you know that when a cafe invites you over for brunch to sample their two speciality waffle dishes, i am definitely in!
providence cafe opened on rathdowne st in carlton just over a year ago. it occupies a large floor space on the ground floor of an apartment building, close to the carlton farmers markets + a host of other residential buildings + eateries. the interior is a tasteful design of textured greys, timber panelling + replica thonet white dining chairs. the interior space is amplified by the floor to ceiling windows running two sides of the cafe, one leading out to a huge outdoor dining area on the footpath… it would be a great spot in the summer.
and with a pedigree between owners and chef that includes the grain store, reading room and st ali… i was expecting great things in terms of the food + service too.
chicken + waffles with crispy fried chicken, salad + a ranch-style dressing
ok, so it may have been before midday… but honestly when it’s chicken + waffles who cares… we’re digging in! my husband devoured most of this delicious dish, but i managed to sneak in a few bites. the chicken was succulent + juicy inside with a crunchy flavourful coating that would make willie mae proud. the waffles were perfectly cooked with an authentic sweet flavour. the green salad with black sesame + olive oil dressing added a crisp freshness + the subtle creamy ranch-style dressing helped to smooth out all that crispy-fried-chicken-ess. i’m not usually one to mix my savoury + sweet (or have fried-chicken for breakfast) but there was definitely something right in thomas jefferson’s madness in 1790!
chocolatey rocky road waffles: waffle stack, banana fritters, rocky road crumble, vanilla ice cream + hot chocolate sauce
decadently saucy + delicious, this waffle stack was topped with crispy fried banana pieces, home-made pieces of rocky road and a lovely creamy ice-cream. take me back to a diner in the south right now!
breakfast stack with sweet potato and désirée potato hash brown with portobello mushroom, poached eggs + avocado salsa
for some added balance + and different food groups, we also tried the fresh + healthy vegetarian breakfast stack. a generously-sized dish (as with the others), the poached eggs were oozey + gooey mixing perfectly with the soft potato cake. the salsa added crispness but i would’ve liked some more zest or lime to really give it a punch. the heroes, however, were the mushrooms which had been twice cooked with a vibrant dose of thyme which really complimented the potatoes.
so now that we know they can cook – and not just waffles… how about the coffee?
another locally-roasted coffee, providence serve clark st roasters mastermind blend. clark st have a direct-to-farm approach placing importance on quality and sustainability. using unique + high-scoring single-farm and estate coffees, each coffee is roasted individually. the mastermind blend is a combination of brazilian fazenda pinahl + fazenda santa alina as well as etheopian hunkute – with flavours of red apple, honeysuckle, walnut + cocoa. this was the first time i’ve tried clark st roasters, and the smooth + well-rounded profile had a very pleasant after-taste which left you wanting more!
my husband opted for a green smoothie: coconut water, chia seeds, spinach, cucumber, ginger, lemon, mangoes, strawberries + pineapple. a tasty + good balance to all those waffles!
speaking of good taste… how amazing are these ingrid tufts cups? each unique homemade ceramic tableware is slightly different! absolutely love!
our service throughout the morning was thoughtful, friendly + considerate. i always love talking to passionate waitstaff who are informed + knowledgeable about the menu + produce. there is an aged care facility nearby, and it was also really heart-warming to see the elderly clientele be treated with patience + respect.
providence pride themselves on sourcing and serving produce from the farmers markets around victoria. there is a great graphic on the wall which is updated each season, detailing the current in-season fruit, vegetables and herbs which you will also find featured on the current menu. in a city like melbourne and with an ever-growing wishlist, it’s things like this that will make me come back a second (or third time). oh, and the waffles… i will definitely be back for the waffles!
verdict: delightful, delicious + decadent!
(note: inlovewithbrunch was invited by providence cafe to dine here, however all remarks and reviews are honest and genuine)