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Las Chicas Cafe

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by Chris Shepherdson (subscribe)
I'm a copywriter and freelance writer living in Melbourne. My novel, Another New York Murder, is available online.
Published July 21st 2013
A perfect place for the morning after
Carlisle Street in St Kilda is the scene of many things and has always been a favourite of mine. From Glicks, the Coffee Company, and the traditional Russian Butcher there's something here for everyone. Naturally there's also a fine selection of cafes and eateries. After a recent Sunday morning sleep in and wanting to remove the residue of a night out, we headed to Las Chicas.

Coffee, Cafe, Las Chicas
Barely touching the sides after a big night

Running alongside the passenger ramp for Balaclava station, the Tardis like interior has something for everyone. You enter into a traditional looking cafe before a Parisian style bistro reveals itself to your right and the narrow corridor takes you past the kitchen to the courtyard out the back. There was more than enough room to accommodate our disorganised and growing party of seven who arrived unannounced at brunch rush hour.

Many cafes treat such an imposition as a major chore and you're usually well aware of their displeasure. But Los Chicas understand that such fluid plans are a natural side effect of a relaxed Sunday morning brunch and embraced our swelling party with glee.

Finding a seat in the spacious courtyard, even with the chilly air, it was so warm and inviting that we scarcely noticed the occasional urban symphony of a train going past overhead.

Cafe, las Chicas

[ADVERT]Emergency coffees were administered quickly and we looked to the menu with its good selection of sweet and savoury options. I landed on the Big Breaky comprising eggs of my choice (scrambled), spinach, vine cherry tomatoes, Ottway bacon (which tasted very simliar to non-Ottway varieties), and spicy chorizo, just spicy enough to wake you up and make you reach for a water but not too spicy that a tear races a bead of sweat down your cheek.

I don't know about you but whenever I see the words Big Breaky on a menu I need look no further but if I had I would have seen that in addition to the staple sides of bacon, sausage, salmon, mushrooms etc, Las Chicas also offers lamb, haloumi, baked beans, and a pistachio ricotta that gave me a severe case of menu envy. The butter milk pancakes were also a tempting option had I not needed the Big Breaky to combat the Sunday morning-after malaise.

Las Chicas, Big Breaky, Cafes, Carlisle Street
The Las Chicas Big Breaky

Las Chicas also make good use of their juicer with a good selection perfectly complimenting the well-made coffee but, more importantly, passing the gee-this-would-taste-good-with-vodka test.

One of the great treats of Las Chicas is you can come here three times and sit in three different sections and have three different meals but know you are getting top quality coffee, food and service, or if you prefer the reliability of routine, know that each section and meal will be just the tonic for a Sunday morning recovery session.

Las Chicas can be found at 208 Carlisle Street, on the St Kilda side of the railway overpass. They also have plenty of vegetarian and gluten free options.
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Why? Good food, coffee, service and space
When: Nearly every day
Phone: 03 9531 3699
Where: 203 Carlisle Street St Kilda
Cost: $15-25
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