Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Cafe 58, Palmyra

Meandering in East Freo - 11km

Another cracker of a morning - winds gusting from the west to 15kts, but in the lee of the Bicton cliffs it was serene. I had mounted my new toy - a GoPro camera - on the front of the boat and was taking it for its maiden voyage. Until I get myself sorted to create and edit the video I'll spare you all the entire paddle on video.  My geriatric brain is obviously showing signs of Alzheimers because I had a complete mental blank on how to start my Garmin GPS watch and like a good Gorilla Biscuit employee pretty much just screached whilst randomly smacking the screen and pushing buttons until it appeared to work. God knows how I'll get it to stop, because I think it tracked my paddle all the way back down Stock Road as well.

I was offloading the boat when I saw an old duck from England who had been driven down to Pt Walter by her mate and was intently making her way to the jetty armed with a fishing rod. Oblivious to the wind, she was as keen as mustard to hook in to a massive WA fish, but was destined for the angler's disappointment present in the large Blowie population that lives around the wharf. Feeling sorry for her that she had flown 17000 miles to catch sweet FA, I directed her into the lee of Bicton, and gave her directions to a small, quiet suburban jetty.

We were only a trio this morning, with M4P flying back to Adelaide after receiving the astonishing news that there were still some uneaten chicken schnitzels at the Coopers Ale House and Bad James spending some quality time at home with his Mum. Westy, Mean Gene and I hit the water at 7.30 and leisurely made our way down river. Mean Gene was a little bit uprightly-challenged from the outset on only his third paddle but sporting a massive set of tackle-busting shoulders, when he gets the hang of things he's going to leave us all for dead. In the meantime however, his frustration was providing much comic relief.

As we cleared the Bicton cliffs, we went past the Anglo Anglette fishing off the small wharf just as she hauled in a decent-sized flathead. As it landed on the wharf it looked like she was flapping around more than the 'lizard' was as she squealed in some cockney dialect that might have approached joy.

I'm not sure what happened this morning - perhaps there was a sudden influx of trackie-wearing, VB-drinking, Commodore-driving people into Peppermint Grove requiring the complete evacuation of the wealthy lest their eyes combust at the sight of so many pairs of double-pluggers - but there was an inordinate number of luxurious Gin Palaces cruising down the Swan River. Multiple "Bastards" comments were required, but the wakes of these floating cities offered a golden opportunity to do a bit of surfing in the river.

A bit of impromptu sprint/interval training occurred up and down Blackwell Reach as I (somewhat unsuccessfully) tried to get into "the zone" right behind several iterations of the Titanic. The V10 Sport was far quicker in a sprint than my Endorfinn, but still being a little unstable on the boat I spent quite a bit of time trying to remain upright. Westy obviously bought a much faster Endorfinn that my old one, because he was powering onto the wakes without too much trouble at all. 

By the time we hauled the boats out, I was feeling it after the sprints and bugger-all paddling in the last few months. What passes for a torso is now bracketed with nothing more than joke-shoulders and my "guns" wouldn't have won a gunfight at the Nerf corral. I was very mindful of this being my last weekend before I was involuntarily enslaved by the Michelle Bridges 12 Week Body Transformation diet, so by God I was going to enjoy this breakfast and the Blokefest immediately afterwards...

Cafe 58 Espresso Bar, 58 Carrington St, Palmyra, 6157, (08) 9339 7155

I like this place. I like the tables out on the corner. I like the tables inside, the ones on the verandah, and I like the courtyard. I like that there is a stack of convenient parking. Every time I've eaten here the staff have been very friendly without hanging around like Herpes and fishing for compliments every 5 minutes (read Bernard Salt's piece in the Weekend Australian 10 Nov 12 that describes this phenomena very well). The breakfast menu is bloody good and very reasonably priced, with only the Cafe 58 Big Breakfast over $20 ($23). Sweets and savouries appear in equal portions.

This (half-eaten) muffin is clearly bigger than Bad James' head.
Bad James, fresh from jostling with his Mum for freshly-cooked biscuits, was waiting for us for we had a task at hand soon after. As we walked in to the courtyard at 9.45am, the last of the early breakfast crowd was departing, so we had the run of the place. A chap snappily took our coffee orders whilst we perused the menu. The sun was shining as a friendly lass delivered our brews (hold on to that word for the next post) in near-record time. 

Bad James had already had breakfast and settled for a blueberry muffin, which when it emerged from the kitchen with a forklift and handling team was pretty much bigger than his head. The photo  doesn't do it justice - he'd eaten a large chunk of it before I could say "James can you wait for a..." so I asked him to put the top back on (Bad James frequently knocks the top off) for a shot.

Turkish D'Lite
Westy went for the Turkish D'Lite (Turkish bread spread with avocado, rocket, grilled tomato and poached eggs - $17) with a side of bacon ($4) which looked pretty good. Mean Gene was into the Bacon and Eggs on Toast (self-descriptive - $15) which also looked delicious. Both these hungry paddlers looked happy with their choices and the empty plates at the end of the meal and almost complete silence from us all in the interval spoke volumes about Cafe 58's meals.


Obviously keen to transform my body (probably into something resembling Bad James' XXXXXL muffin) in less than 12 weeks, I had Eggs Tuscany (poached eggs and smoked salmon on toast with Hollandaise sauce) ($19) with a unMichelle-sized side of bacon ($4). The eggs looked a bit lonely on the large slices of salmon-covered thickly-sliced toast, and the dish could have done with a little more Hollandaise, but it was certainly tasty, and my just-the-right-strength coffee washed it down well. And the bacon...nice and thick, beautifully cooked, and a pile of it Emma George couldn't pole-vault over. Whilst I'm on the subject of bacon, I had a pint of bacon-brewed beer whilst at the Quarrie Bar at Hammond Park the other day. Couldn't quite taste bacon, but it was a nice brown ale, proving that there is nothing that can't be made better with fried pig. But I digress. I have to say, the breakfast was ample, tasty and outstanding value. The service was attentive without being painful and the staff were all very pleasant, smiley and a credit to the place - the owner should be very happy with them! (Disclaimer - I don't know any staff at Cafe 58!).

We all enjoyed our meal at Cafe 58, but we were on a tight schedule. In an uncharacteristic fit of planning ahead, we were heading to the Billabong Brewery at Myaree to meet Travis the Beetle to lay down the equivalent of 12 cartons of beer for Christmas - a very blokey way to finish the morning.

Cafe 58 - I'll definitely go back, like I've been doing for years. You should too. 7/10

Cafe 58 Espresso Bar on Urbanspoon

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