I've now got it in my head that it's the off-the-beaten track venues that we need to locate for that perfect coffee and breakfast. Venues that tourists and holiday-makers still have to locate orů..hopefully, not! And, this is why we chose The Velo Project - you might remember that they're on my list of 41 Dog-Friendly Coffee Hang-Outs on the Sunshine Coast - a list that I'm steadily working my way through.
Please wait here to be seated - Image: Elaine de Wet
Located in a quiet street of suburbia, this funky non-esplanade eatery was a hive of activity. There was a queue of un-rushed diners waiting to be seated - there's no better testament to the popularity of a venue, when people are prepared to wait for their seats and remain good-humoured throughout the 'waiting' time. Though, in all honesty, The Velo Project had this totally under control and people were seated promptly, with perhaps, a maximum of a five minute wait.
Un-rushed diner with her furry pal - Image: Elaine de Wet
The staff were exceptionally friendly and once seated, brought us our menus. I loved the quirky menu idea - old atlases were very creatively utilised, with the respective menus randomly placed inside the atlas - making it a fun project to locate, in our instance, the breakfast menu. And, we weren't disappointed.
Simple Unicycles, which includes muffins; toasted ciabatta; Velo smoothie bowl; house-made toasted banana, almond and date bread; lychee, lemongrass and coconut pannacotta; and bacon and egg turkish;
Vintage Two Wheelers - Avocado Smashed (our choice), with fresh red onion, roasted garlic, corn, lemon juice and fresh herbs served on ciabatta toast for $17; add two eggs of your choice $21; Verdict - Fresh, tasty and totally more-ish!
Eggs Benedict; quinoa and potato hash; pumpkin and goats curd baked gnocchi;
Urban Tandems (the tandems are available any time of the day) and include delicious treats like hot smoked ocean trout salad; masala chickpea wild rice Buddha bowl or perhaps a slow braised beef brisket, would tickle your fancy.
Easy Riders - buckwheat crepes with all sorts of decadent flavours for the sweet-tooth, including Nutella, hazelnut crumble, butterscotch and macadamia praline;
The savoury tooth wasn't forgotten either with hot smoked ocean trout; roasted pumpkin and grilled zucchini; grilled crispy bacon, banana and Canadian maple;
Freshly-squeezed orange juice - Image: Elaine de Wet
The Good Stuff - coffee by 'Kai Coffee', with every conceivable coffee being available including the Vietnamese Iced Coffee, served over ice with condensed milk; organic tea; herbal teas; fresh juices; ginger ninja; smoothies; cold drinks.
The Little Trike Club - specially for the littlies in our life
Baby chino; choco chino; super dooper baby chino with fruit pieces and melted dipping chocolate; milk bottles (a variety of flavours); little juices; ginger ninja; crepes and even simple sandwiches to ensure that little tummies are catered for.
The Dogue Menu - Image: The Velo Project
The Dogue Menu - yep, people, our favourite furry family members are totally welcome with their very own menu, boasting Doggy Doughnuts, Peanut Treats and even a Poochy Latte.
Not a seat occupier - also not waitstaff - Image: Elaine de Wet
The Velo Project's zany eclectic assortment of decor all added to the warm ambience of a venue very much-loved by its patrons, from the young to the 'old-ish' (that's us!) Fashion mannequins are quaintly standing or sitting around - one tends to think they're extra patrons, but don't be fooled, these life-size dolls all add to the creative space without taking up necessary seating space.
Parking wasn't a problem as there was plenty of street parking available - I suspect many of The Velo Project's visitors choose to walk to this, their favourite breakfast/brunch venue. With indoor and outdoor seating available, one can choose to sit indoors and enjoy the liquorice all-sorts decor or sit outdoors and enjoy the warmth of the morning sun.
The Velo Project's message 'Where a group of talented creatives from around the globe bring to life international brands, simple fresh food and artisan espresso' perfectly sums up this little gem's personality.
Great spot for a coffee and a newspaper read - Image: Elaine de Wet
The Mooloolaba Collective Markets are in the same vicinity as The Velo Project, so a good brekkie and then a relaxing outdoor shopping experience would surely not go amiss. I would highly recommend this quirky out-of-the-way venue for its top-notch service, creative decor and more-ish food delights. Perhaps...we can keep it a secret 'just for us locals'!