In the tree-lined street The Strand in Colonel Light Gardens you'll find The Stranded Store Cafe. Owned by the same people who run the delightful Little Fig Cafe in Melrose Park, The Stranded Store's leafy suburban setting makes a nice change to cafes on hectic thoroughfares.
When we visited on a Friday morning it was very busy and there were no tables in the café proper. We could have sat outside, and while it was a chilly morning I wouldn't really have minded, but when some seats on the bench looking out the window became available we happily sat there in the warmth instead. I never actually made it past this entry area and into the other section of the café but where we were seated had a nice feel to it anyway with cute little pot plants in view and the picturesque setting outside the window.
Something sweet for later - Blueberry and Lemon Curd Cheesecake Tart
The Stranded Store also sells artisan bread and other bits and pieces so we had a look at that, and at the assorted cakes and baguettes in the cabinet. We could hear friendly chatter filtering through from the other room where most people were dining.
We ordered two skim lattes which still hadn't arrived when our food came so I had to ask the lady who delivered the food to chase up the coffees for us. I could then hear the conversation between the barista and the lady. The barista knew nothing about our supposed coffees and the issue wasn't dealt with quietly. I heard the lady say, 'They said they've ordered them.' We had in fact ordered them we weren't just saying it.
When we eventually got them the girl who'd taken our order apologised for the delay and said that there would be no charge for them. However, when it came time to pay we were in fact charged for the coffees by a different girl. I didn't mind paying for it as it was a nice coffee but the fact that we were told they would be complimentary and then they weren't rankled my spirits slightly. I was over looking at the cakes deciding what I would get to take away while my partner paid the bill otherwise I probably would have questioned being charged for the coffees. But, as I said, I don't begrudge paying for what I had – it's more the lack of communication between the staff members that was the problem.
Also, I really do like to settle into a place with my coffee before the meal comes and enjoy it before the food. The coffee was good, with a helpful little sign on the wall telling me that the day's bean was Nicaraguan corcasan. Like the Little Fig the beans are roasted in Adelaide by De Groot Coffee Co. I didn't find the taste as unique as the one I had at The Little Fig though. Still, if it had arrived when I ordered it I might have even ordered a second.
Despite not getting the coffees on time, I can't really fault their service in any other way. An elderly lady came in and was greeted warmly by the waitress, 'Good morning Helen, are you in for some cakes today?' and there was a genuine conversation that took place after. Rather than feeling like they think of customers as just more faceless blurs on a conveyor belt, it made me think that they value their regulars. I don't know how many customers would just drive past and decide to stop at the café so it's in their best interests to have good service – it is their regulars that will be the life blood of the business.
I ordered the Vego breakfast which came with spinach, mushrooms, roasted tomatoes, house-made baked beans and eggs on toast (mine were poached). I also got a side of chorizo just to be contrary, and my partner had poached eggs with Hahndorf bacon and house-made baked beans. The food was good. The mushrooms weren't as good as some that I've had as they were slightly bland, but the roma tomatoes were lovely and flavoursome, the spinach was good, the chorizo a little spicy, the beans delicious and the eggs poached to perfection.
The sweet treat I got to take away was also lovely. It was a blueberry and lemon curd cheesecake tart where the base was nice and crunchy and the curd was not sickly sweet. My partner got a lemon meringue tart although it wasn't eaten until a day later and looked a little worse for wear. I'd prefer more lemon and less meringue but I think that's just a personal thing.
Poor little lemon meringue tart got a little battered
I enjoyed my visit overall, but the coffee misunderstanding did put a bit of a dampener on things. That said, I am sure I will be back to this charming little café in suburbia, and hopefully nothing will mar my next visit.
The breakfasts look divine. I also enjoyed this review and would rather try a place that's been reviewed with some honesty than something that sounds more like a paid advertisement. As long as it looks pretty alright as well!!!
I went back today and had lunch. I had the roasted pumpkin pizza which was delicious, my partner had the big beef burger which was exactly how a burger should be. Our coffees arrived promptly and were lovely. I even made it into the cafe proper and had a comfy seat on a couch-type seat by the window where I could really enjoy the peaceful setting. Bliss.
Nice article, yes absolutely it's so important to be honest about how your experience was. I go to this cafe regularly - my pal Nina was a barista there and she is just incredible. I always found the food yummy too and a gorgeous vibe - you really can't beat the tranquility of that tree-lined street! So lush and green. Thanks for sharing your experience!