I am a freelance writer and diversional therapist, living in Brisbane's North West. I write for Weekend Notes, Must do Brisbane and Starts at Sixty. Visit my blogs at babybloomin.wordpress.com and brisbanetripster.wordpress.com.
Looking for a new coffee spot on the Northside? Try the newly opened Haven Espresso, where a good coffee and a quick bite to eat won't empty your hip pocket. Only open for 2 months, word is out that good, inexpensive basic fare is on offer here.
A cup of coffee made from Costa Noosa beans, roasted on the Sunny Coast) will set you back $3.50. Add to that a cheese toastie, oozing with delicious melty cheese and you'll need another $1 - yes, you read that correctly - $1! You can add leg ham off the bone to your cheese toastie and all up that'll be $3! But wait there's more great value: how about a Weekly Gourmet Toastie which last week included roast beef, chutney, rocket and vintage cheese for $4? How could you go wrong?!
Cakes and muffins are also on sale if you need that little treat to go with your coffee. The menu is evolving, however Haven's owner, Neill Hooper says, "Right from the start the plan was to keep it really simple and affordable." Tick that box! According to Neill, the most popular sweet treat is the Evil Brownie - very aptly named. We're talking about a layer of partially cooked cookie dough, then an Oreo biscuit, then a layer of caramel, topped off with a layer of brownie mixture - evil, indeed. The morning I visited, temptation had been removed as all of these sinful morsels had been sold - perhaps a good thing!
The Evil Brownie - Photo courtesy of Haven Espresso
Besides affordable and tasty offerings, there is another edge to Haven Espresso. The decor is simple, with crisp white walls, perfect for displaying the handiwork of local artists. Each month the walls feature the works of a different artist or photographer, making your coffee experience different each month. Being a photographer himself, Neill is happy for artists to bring their work in and have a chat about future exhibits. The "walls" are booked until early next year, so get in soon! The August exhibition, "Time for the Garden" is. Ow up and features works by Colleen Stevenson and Magda Labuda. Beautiful photography and whimsical ideas are the basis of this body of work. Pop in and have a look.
Unfortunately the day I visited was exhibit change-over day so no artwork was on display, but I'll be back for another look.
There's nothing pretentious about Haven Espresso which is what will appeal to many of us who are just after good coffee and good food at prices that won't break the bank. Add to that the quirky vibe that the fit-out and artwork provide and Haven is bound to become a favourite hang out for locals and visitors alike.