Tonic Espresso & Bar, Hynes St, Fortitude Valley.
Tonic Espresso & Bar was buzzing with excitement when Brisbane Bites attended their inaugural Friday night drinks 15/03/12. It is true that the venue is a little…cosy…but that adds to the intimate charm of the place. Tonic’s origins stem from humble beginnings as a coffee shoppe operating out of an empty garage space. Yes, literally, the old metal roller-door still remains — how rustic!
Naples Pizzeria — The Grange
The carbonara served at Naples Pizzeria in The Grange has got to be one of the creamiest and delicious tasting ones I have experienced in Brisbane so far. It is true, Naples offers hearty, homely and honest Italian fare at a decent price. The ambience isn’t the most appealing of restaurants around these days (for example the no-fuss table/chair sets, understated decor and the sometimes awkward placement of brightly-lit down lights) however the Brisbane Bites team still would rank it as an “excellent” for its excellence in simplicity.
Alfred & Constance — The Fortitude Valley
Is this where all the trendy people go? On first impressions, Alfred & Constance (or A&C as locals call it) seemed to be a melting pot of the exceedingly attractive intertwined with a modern hipster vibe. Despite being neither of these two demographics, I did feel very at home. This was probably owing to the uber cute set-up they have involving the amalgamation of two Queenslander style homes to form a sort-of “house party”. Quirky, yet fresh describes the eclectic collection of rooms, each with independent bar and menu dining options. Of particular interest to me was the “late night dessert bar and boozy-smoothie station” which was a great source of excitement for me to visit and lived very much up to my expectations!
The Pepper Lounge
The awards speak for itself…The Pepper Lounge is a winner amongst breakfast cafes both in terms of competitions, and in terms of Sunday brunch popularity. It is definitely one of my family’s favorite West side breakfast spots.
Its been around for several years now, however, was devastated by the Brisbane floods of 2011. Luckily, however, it was rebuilt to its former glory and is ready to serve up hearty breakfasts.
Tea Master — The Fortitude Valley
I never knew vegetarian and vegan food could be so delicious — the simulation crispy chicken nuggets were much more appetizing than Tea Master’s (vegetarian and vegan eatery) laminated menu pray told.
The reality of the matter is that I had only recently been introduced to such meat-free delights. After catering for my vegan friend’s dietary requirements at a party, I now understood how difficult procuring vegan food (and vegetarian to a lesser extent) was — for example, many vegans would prefer to avoid white sugar due to its use of animal products during processing. I used to cringe at the thought of having to find vegan friendly restaurant options.
For this reason, Tea Master was a blast of fresh air proving that there are an abundance of ways vegan food could be prepared and also disproving my, and common misconceptions, that veggie/vegan food was all bland. Tea Master has a distinct Asian persuasion (rather than than the Indian dishes available at the more other notable vegetarian eateries in the CBD) with plenty of menu items. I would have to say that this restaurant receives a resounding EXCELLENT in my books for taste, value and innovation.