Teacher educator and author of many teacher reference books. Amused by random ideas and loves random acts of kindness. Enjoys writing humour...seriously!Please see my Instagram: wilsonjeni
Published July 4th 2015
A Cafe for Everyone
Were St is pronounced Where or Weir St depending on who you talk to and it's definitely the place where you should be. There are so many trendy and niche cafes in Were Street, Montmorency you won't know where to go first. So here's a few ideas: Max's Burgers, Espresso 3094, Cherry Red and The Grape and Hop Wine Bar.
Cherry Red cafe – Spanakopita
Max's Burgers Cnr Were St & Rattray Rd
Max's burger bar is a fully licensed restaurant that's so popular you can't always get a seat. It's reasonably priced for the whole family and it's run by a family man (not Max, his dad) and Max's mum. This is right next-door to the trendy new wine bar – the Grape and Hop (reviewed later).
The owners are Simon and Kellie and they make a point of chatting to everyone to make sure they are enjoying the meal. The restaurant caters for all ages. I noticed there were many families, groups of teenagers and young adults as well as elderly diners.
Your challenge is to get your lips around this veggie burger
This is a very reasonably priced venue for a family event or quick bite. Burgers are from $11 and the full Monty only $13. This exotic burger has grilled beef, double smoked bacon, cheese, caramelised onion, beetroot, egg, tomato, lettuce, relish and aioli.
Other picks from the menu include a Lamb Kofta and the Tropical King (smashed avocado and chicken). You can get a Parma for $17 and the wood-fired pizzas looked and smelt great. I tried the gigantic veggie stack. It included roast red peppers and pumpkin, grilled eggplant and zucchini, feta, tomato, relish and herb aioli. All my favorite veggies in one place at the same time it's almost too true to believe.
Some extra super deals include: Herb fries are only $2 with every burger purchase. Seniors burgers are $8.50 with fries. Gluten free buns are available on request at $2 extra. Kid's cones are just $2.
If you'd like a glass of wine with your meal they start at $7. Max's stock premium spirits, cider, soft drink, tea, coffee and make a mean hot chocolate for only $3.80.
Cakes and biscuits from Espresso 3094
Espresso 3094 44 Were St
This little local cafe is always busy and has expanded to two indoor spaces and an outdoor area. The cafe is simply styled in and predominantly white with black boards inside the small shop. There is a slim line window seat often seen in new modern cafes.
Espresso 3094 (Montmorency's postcode) has a large number of staff quickly and efficiently moving around and outside. They have a huge range of slices, biscuits and cakes and they serve very large breakfasts.
This is a café for everyone. They often have mothers with babies at the cafe, this can be fun to watch albeit noisy.
Espresso 3094 is an affordable, popular joint for good reasons. You'd be hard pressed to find a bad review on them anywhere.
Cherry Red 61 Were St
The Cherry Red is a warm, friendly cafe which serves delicious homemade pastries. It's a casual place to eat, is toasty warm in winter and is family run. This café is quiet and there's plenty of elbow room. The service is fast and friendly.
There is a range of seating. This includes traditional dining room settings, couches and bar stools by the window seats with free newspapers to read.
Very crispy chips
Cherry Red sells large meals, snacks, small treats and coffee and cake deals such as:
Coffee and scones $5.90
Coffee and banana bread $6.50
Coffee and muffin (very large) $7.50
Cherry Red also has a loyalty card… buy seven coffees get one free.
I think their prices are very reasonable. For example, avocado smash with Greek feta on toasted sour dough with sautéed spinach is only $10.50.
I love the idea of the brekkie wrap which includes bacon, scrambled eggs, cheese, mushrooms and bbq sauce for only $8.90.
I enjoyed the spanakopita with a delicious Greek salad. They sell tapas for $10, salads for $10, a BLT for under $10 and have many more menu items.
I recommend their hot chocolate, it was sweet and served with two marshmallows. For the guilt-ridden sweet tooths they have many mini desserts. For $5 you can pick from tiramisu, chocolate mousse, vanilla panacotta, lemon curd tart or profiteroles.
The Grape and Hop Wine Bar 10 Were St
With no advertising and no food, the classy Grape and Hop Wine Bar was buzzing as soon as it opened its doors. At the time they served no food, but you could order at Max's burger lounge and have the food delivered to you.
Sip the finest wines at the Grape and Hop and meet mature people who are out to have a good time. They host live music supporting the local musicians. People often spill out the front and along the street so if you want a seat, get there early.
The whole front of the shop opens up so that the indoors blend into the outdoors. There's also an outdoor courtyard out back. They can cater for about 70 people for a function.
The owner, Spencer, has embarked on this as a career change with remarkable success. The racks of wine look impressive. They only stock boutique wines like Little Creatures and Mountain Duck. They sell craft beers and a range of cocktails and Spencer claims to serve a mean martini.
The veggie burger looks very nice, but it doesn't look as if there is an actual patty in there, rather just vegetables stacked on top of one another, which I wouldn't call a burger. Was there a real veggie patty burger inside?