Sunday, August 30, 2009
Bus Stop Espresso, Enmore
The folks behind the ever-popular Clipper in Glebe have opened a new cafe in Enmore.
A few weeks back, Sally tipped me off about its impending arrival, and with it slated to open near Lisa's house, all of us had been on new-Clipper-watch for a while. It was meant to open last Monday, but the staff were still lugging bits of wood and were seemingly very much in handyman-mode when I had a look.
Then I saw Meagan on Friday and she had first-visit reports! She'd gone with Chris and Lisa and namely, "it was good, but it's mainly sandwiches". Which is as pithy and spot-on a report as you can get.
Bus Stop Espresso isn't Clipper 2.0; if anything, it's a smaller version aimed at a slightly older crowd in a quieter neighbourhood. The menu is simpler and slimmed-down – it needs to be, as all food is prepared on a micro kitchen that doubles as a service counter – and the drawing-crowded chalkboard, scattering of toys and children's seats tells you this aims for less of a student/young hipster following and more of a family one.
Also, there are no bikes on the wall or issues of Monocle; just some simple wood-crate displays, an awesomely old-looking gramophone and a less-awesome painting of cranky dogs that triggered much head-scratching around our table (let's put it this way, it's not a painting that will ever inspire an art heist).
The name – Bus Stop Espresso – not only signals its location but plays on the lighting of the eatery; everytime a 426 rolls past, everyone sits up and wonders if someone's playing with the switches and dimmers; it just turns out that buses have an amazing, killjoy ability to block out sunlight. Just temporarily, luckily.
Yes, but what about the food? There are a few similarities with the Clipper menu – such as the Arabian-style Muesli with Pistachioes and Berries ($7.50), which Will instantly pronounced awesome, and the Toasted Banana Bread With Berries, Ricotta & Honey, which Kate did a bit of carb-trading on, swapping the slices for crisp Turkish fruit loaf instead.
Because of the cafe's basic set-up, all orders are toasty or crusty or hand-clutchable. As Meagan said, it's mainly sandwiches. You won't get the inventive hot breakfasts that Clipper can deliver, but there's Avocado, Tomato and Basil on Sourdough ($8.50) (with an unexpected but lively, likeable dose of Thai basil) and Turkish Raisin Bread, while the lunch menu covers sandwich fillings such as Basil Pesto, Bocconcini and Tomato ($8).
And if you haven't figured from the photos, there's definitely a berry-heavy theme throughout.
The minimal start-up menu meant that we could only ask for coffee or tea (I had a chai with a sweet, fragrant kick), but juices will be added soon. Also, part of our order didn't actually arrive, which I'd like to think was just a case of understandable just-opened fumbles rather than anything endemic.)
So, it's not the second coming of Clipper but Bus Stop Espresso is a much-needed option on a part of Enmore Road that is rather cafe-empty. It's also a few blocks from Enmore Park, which makes the highly portable menu a nice accessory for a sunny laze in the grass. (Note, if you do that, make sure you grab some cups of ice cream from nearby Serendipity, the green tea and mangoes & cream flavours make you glad the weather is warming up.) Also extra handy if you catch the 426. Or happen to live where Lisa does.
Bus Stop Espresso, 297 Enmore Road (near Scouller Street), Enmore