It was an overcast day with the occasional spit of rain but nothing could dampen our spirits once we'd been ushered to our table at the Zesty Lemon Cafe in Deception Bay. We'd arrived at around 11.30am which was late enough for lunch, but not too late for breakfast. So we thought: Why not try both?
The house-made beef burger ordered by one of my companions was the pièce de résistance, It arrived with lashings of greens, tomato, onion and melted cheese, plus that perennial Aussie favourite - beetroot. Fetchingly topped with gherkin and accompanied by potato crisps, it was washed down by a tall glass of freshly squeezed orange juice. Other lunch options include fishcakes, quesadillas (roasted tortillas) and calzone, all served with salad.
Those of us who were slower to wake up stuck to the breakfast menu though. My Eggs Benedict had all the right inclusions - fat free-range eggs, ham, toasted Turkish bread and a rich, thick hollandaise sauce. The coconut pancakes with caramelised banana and the rosti smoked salmon stack were also popular choices - the latter so eagerly tucked into, it was half-eaten before I had the opportunity to photograph it.
The littlies aren't forgotten either - with a 'mini-me' menu including pancakes and Turkish toast for breakfast and pizzas and meatballs for lunch. Baby 'cino, milkshakes and the healthy shake (with milk or almond milk, banana, yoghurt and honey) are among the drinks on offer. Zesty Lemon Cafe is also dog-friendly.
Located at Deception Bay, about 32 kilometres north of Brisbane's CBD, Zesty Lemon Cafe has a distinct 'getaway' feel about it. The holiday vibe is helped along by its location across the road from the water, and a beachfront promenade that is popular with locals and ever-present seagulls. There are other hidden gems in Deception Bay, among them heritage-listed swimming pools. Dating back to the 1880s and also known as Bancroft Sea Baths, these were added to the Queensland Heritage Register less than a decade ago.
Coconut pancakes with caramelised banana. Author image.
The Zesty Lemon Cafe has been in the capable hands of owner Linda Calder since midway through last year. The site of the shop itself has had a colourful history, with previous incarnations including a butcher's shop and tattoo parlour. Locally sourced produce is a special feature of the cafe. For example, coffee comes courtesy of Neli Coffee Roasters at Clontarf while honey is sourced from hives at Kippa Ring.
Seagulls hunker down under the rain. Author image.