It's amazing the places you stumble into when you're looking for a good coffee, and find there's more to it than meets the eye. Girdlers Grind in Dee Why on Sydney's Northern Beaches is one of these.
Conceived by local ex-footy legend, Ryan Girdler and his wife Katja, this place has got it right. In 2005, they took a former juice bar and turned it into a great little cafe/restaurant, and continued to develop their products to the point where they are now available in several retail outlets and cafes, with more coming on board all the time.
Positioned opposite Dee Why beach at a busy pedestrian crossing, the apparent buzz beckons you enter. We stopped in for coffee which was pretty amazing and stayed for brunch. In fact, Ryan is quoted as having a "passion for all things coffee [which] led him on a mission to source the world's most delicious mix of handpicked coffee cherries." His first product, "The All Original", a medium roast six bean blend, was followed by "The All Good Blend". Made from 100% organic Fair Trade beans, it's probably good for both you and the planet. These days, Ryan continues to work closely with his growers and suppliers as he keeps a keen eye the quality of their beans. This attention to detail, and their own roasting process, ensures consistency of flavour and quality.
Enough about coffee! The food is fresh, healthy and creative offering a variety of breakfast and lunch choices, and a really good all day selection, as well as cakes, muffins and sweet treats.
My husband had a sweet potato cake topped with poached eggs and generous lashings of smoked salmon, while I enjoyed the "Holy Avo" an avocado, halloumi and poached egg dish served on toast. Our coffee arrived promptly and the food wasn't far behind, leaving me impressed with the speed of service and the friendly attitude of all the staff.
Working with a nutritionist and seasonal produce, the a rather clever menu changes regularly, so you won't find it on their website.
Sweet Potato Cake with Poached Eggs & Smoked Salmon
If you really like their coffee, buy a bag of beans to take home, or pick some up at a Coles or Woolworths Supermarket. There are also several cafes and outlets where you will find the Girdlers Grind Organic Fair Trade Blend. Because I didn't pay enough attention while I was there, I missed out on the Girdlers frozen yoghurt "made with real yoghurt, real fruit, a hint of coconut water and no artificial colours or flavours". Looks like I'll have to go back to taste it, or source it at a Coles or Woolworths store.