Sourdough toast and other cafe hazards

Aug 26, 2023
There were not many cafes around when I was young, however, now every suburb, town, and city has so many to choose from. Source: Getty Images.

Negotiating a trendy cafe these days is often fraught with danger. I love a well-made flat white and even the smell of one wafting out onto the pavement can lure me in to experience the delights within.

But enter at your own peril. A busy cafe is often full of yummy mummies attired in active wear accessorised by wailing toddlers and huge high-tech prams. Or the dog owners who feel that little or big dogs are actually human beings with furry coats. Slumbering under tables or perched on the owner’s knee they share their owner’s food. Stepping over the minefield of kids, toys, pushchairs, doggy tails or leads, you finally find a seat jammed up against a wall. But at least you are on your own. Scanning the menu you decide on a large flat white and poached eggs on sourdough toast. Simple and delicious.

Well, the coffee is divine. The nectar of the gods to me. I swear a flat white runs inside my veins instead of blood. Anyway, the eggs arrive, but sadly either so hard they are rubbery and threaten to bounce off my plate, or so soft the whites are still like mucus. Yuk. I am hard to please, but I want the yolks slightly firm and the whites set. Not hard really.

Ah, the toast. I love buttered sourdough toast. It is one of the simple joys of life, but the crusts are as hard as the hobs of hell, as my mum would have said. I persist, sort of nibbling and chewing to avoid another cracked tooth or popping one of my teeth off my denture plate. But I still love sourdough toast.

Oh I love the buzz, the ambiance, and the cake fridge with its amazing and tempting array of goodies, from genuine fat and sugary treats to raw food cakes pretending to be replica mars bars and cherry ripe slices. And the muffins, glorious domes of carbohydrate and bursting with goodies inside.

My local cafes are wonderful, I don’t go that often as it’s a bit of a treat, but when I do I really enjoy them in spite of the hazards. The one on the beach where I can watch the whales swim past, or those in a garden centre with tempting flowers and shrubs to sniff and enjoy. Or the one painted like a gothic dungeon. Or the french styled ones, simple but classy. Or the minimalist modern ones where the seating is pristine and the wait staff wear linen aprons.

There were not many cafes around when I was young, however, now every suburb, town, and city has so many to choose from. They are part of our culture, cafe culture as it is known. The lure of freshly ground and brewed coffee is enough to be my siren call. The steam and throb of a wonderful Italian coffee machine and a competent barista presiding over their domain brings me a lot of joy for around five dollars a dose. Not much to pay for a time to pause, people watch and enjoy the buzz of life.

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