Freelance writer exploring Melbourne and beyond. If you enjoy the following article click on the Like button, Facebook it to your friends or subscribe. I'll update you with yummy and often free events. Like my photos? I instagram @redbagwilltravel
Published February 2nd 2021
Perfect when out exploring the beach or Albert Park Lake
Middle Park was out of the neighbourhood for me but what a delightful village area with its clutch of old-fashioned shops, romantic period homes and leafy streets. Perfect for a meander and a gander.
The area is so old-fashioned-friendly even the postie gave me a wave. Or perhaps it was because I was obstructing his path as I zigzagged across the footpath deliberating over which cafe to duck into for brunch.
But the windows also whisper Art Nouveau with their sinuous, organic lines and the cafe's focus on potted ferns and polished brass touches and the high ceilings is also in keeping. Looking around felt like a tea-dance twirl back to 1910.
Melbourne does brunch like no other city, and here's another great place to add to your list. You do keep a list mental or otherwise don't you? Every self-respecting Melburnian does.
To attract all comers, Jack the Geezer offers an array of ultra-healthy as well as cheat-day options. Everything from acacia bowls with berries, roasted coconut, chia seeds and seasonal fruits to buttermilk hotcakes loaded with sweet berries, lemon curd and ice-cream.
Vegans and paleo adherents are catered for and those requiring gluten-free. Even dogs have their day with plenty of water bowls and great areas outside with seating for their humans under the shady umbrellas.
What piqued my interest was all the English named dishes like the Piccadily Grocer (eggs with broccolini shown in the second photo), Big Ben (a wagyu burger), The Ashes Caesar a salad and Covent Grain (a grain salad as opposed to a Covent Garden salad I'm guessing).
Soup is on the menu. Photo Jack the Geezer Facebook
The Brits aren't overly known for their food, although this truism is changing, what they do well is hearty, comforting foods. So I sat ready to tuck in like Billy Bunter.
I chose the Buckingham Benedict. The attraction went beyond the royal name to the base which was home-made crumpets, and if you can find crumpets in Melbourne and even better house-made ones, you have found heaven.
The dish sounds simple but it was a glorious riot of popping colors and morish tastes. It was poached eggs under a saffron-coloured hollandaise with a side of vivid green asparagus all crowned with little threads of violet garnish. I could have chosen bacon, ham or salmon with the dish but instead went for good old sausages, or bangers as the English sometimes call them. They were herby and slightly peppery. Just divine.
And then the great find of the soft, fluffy crumpets underneath. I notice reading the menu, you can order the crumpets as a separate item. So, they will be my next good reason to visit Middle Park and the time after that will be to try Jack the Geezer pumpkin sourdough-based toast.
While the names of some of the dishes have English panache, this is not English stodge, in fact there are lots of French culinary twists. Even the basic Geezer (poached eggs and bacon) comes with beetroot Béarnaise,and my eggs came with Hollandaise one of the five mother sauces in French cuisine.
The other accent on the dishes is Middle Eastern. Spice life up with the Spice Girls a dish of chorizo with slow-braised beans, pistachio and pomegranate and avocado salsa on sourdough. And vegetarians will thrive on the Middle Eastern plated of traditional falafels, roasted pine nuts, hummus, heirloom tomatoes, cucumber olives, sumac dukkah, and a poached egg with rosemary and basil dressing served with panini bread.
Portions are liberal: your plate really does runneth over here.
Jack the Geezer coffee is by a Melbourne based roaster Madamimadam. They have their special coffee blend Madam Reviver proudly on display. The beans are not only ethically sourced but this is a rich, intense coffee with high notes of caramel, dark chocolate, butterscotch, roasted almonds, sprinkle of citrus, floral notes, lingering spicy and a sweet finale.
Facebook Jack the Geezer. Coffee is by a Melbourne based roaster Madamimadam.
Although I wished I had also opted for one of their smoothies as these are well beyond the pedestrian with choices such as The Morning Glory - a blend of dates, banana, vanilla, almond milk and a shot of coffee or the Golden Shake - carrot, cinnamon, dates, unsweetened almond milk, rolled oats and banana.
There is also alcoholic drinks to have with your lunch which is something you can't always get in a cafe.
Jack, the Geezer Cafe, is close to Middle Park's tram station on the 96 tram route. For families Middle Park Community Playground with its Viking theme is not far away. The local drawcard is the famous walk around Albert Park Lake. If you attend the Grand Prix, this would make a great lunch spot as it's across the road from the track and the Middle Park Beach is an 8 minute walk away.
I parked just outside - there was a surprising amount of street parking nearby.