I'm a mother of four with two coeliac children. I'm always on the lookout for great gluten-free spots around Brisbane and feature gluten-free cooking in my blog: coeliacfamily.blogspot.com.au
I'm also a muso and enjoy live music around town.
If you are anything like me, part of a shopping centre's attraction is the ability to stop for a breather and have a decent coffee, more often than not accompanied by a little treat - well you have to keep your energy up while trekking all of those shopping centre miles!
With Carindale now topping one of the largest Shopping Centres in the Southern Hemisphere list, shoppers are now spoiled for choice. Customers can expect the usual Shopping Centre coffee shop chains, such as Shingle Inn, the Coffee Club, Muffin Break, Gloria Jeans and Coffee Hit, but there are also a few not so run-of-the-mill outlets to choose from as well.
How then, to make a choice? The most obvious distinguishing feature would be the quality of the coffee, but with everyone having differing concepts of what a coffee should taste like, I might leave that one to the real coffee connoisseurs!
There Are Plenty of Coffee Shops in the Aisle Centres
For me, choice comes down to being able to remove myself from the hustle and bustle of the shops. No middle of the aisle coffee shops for me, so the two Shingle Inn outlets are off my list unless I want to take the kids for a really nice gluten free sandwich or a special High Tea. It also eliminates The Coffee Club and Cafe XS and Crema Espresso where I feel a bit too exposed to shoppers passing by, although the Nachos at Coffee Club are rather good and all of them do a good coffee.
Jamaica Blue and Cafe Siena downstairs I find a bit off putting with the wide expanse of white tiles between them - too noisy, though Cafe Siena is licensed if it's been a particularly stressful shop and you want a shot of something in your coffee! Both shops also offer a wide variety of meals and treats if you're hungry.
Now my choices are shrinking. Coffee Hitopposite Coles is a good choice, a little busy, but they have a good selection of cakes and gluten free food and if you're just after a takeaway there is a special area dedicated to getting your coffee quickly. Directly across from it is a Chocolate Pavillion outlet where you can enjoy decadent delights while enjoying your coffee. They also do all day breakfast and tempting pancakes.
To really get off the beaten track and find yourself in an oasis away from the noise of the shopping mall, there are three options, all on the lower level. Down towards Big W is Coffee Boutique, with a long history at Carindale. Offering meals, treats and a good selection of coffee and teas you can take time out for a breather inside the walls of this Cafe which serves Merlo Coffee if that's one of your preferred blends.
Over in the newer section of Carindale, you can hide away with some beautiful looking and tasting delicacies in Gallery One. A bit pricier than the other Cafes, this place is somewhere to go if you're after an experience - check out the chairs shaped like a bottom - they're really comfortable! The dark corners and secluded nature of this shop is an island of calm in a sea of shoppers.
Finally there is a little known cafe with just a few tables hidden away inside a boutique gift shop called Maria's Emporium. If you really can't seperate yourself from the shops, then this place is for you. Browse the knick-knacks while you enjoy your coffee fix and enjoy the Italian inspired menu!
These are my favourites, which ones do you think are worth a visit next shopping trip?
You should try the new Pizzaria called A Slice of New York Pizza. Gas & Wood fired pizza made to order. The most delicious pizza ever. Never enjoyed gluten free until I had the gluten free pizza here. They use premium quality ingredients. Never thought I will have the best coffee at a Pizzaria. They have an amazing organic dark roast coffee here.