The Old Crow
It’s 35 degrees at 8am, Australia are looking likely to win the Ashes and my English fiance wants to go out for breakfast to get me focussed on something else other than gloating. I check my “list of places to review” and we decide to head to Northbridge. We satisfyingly walk past the over crowded Tuck Shop cafe and straight into a place that was just opening it’s doors. Stepping into The Old Crow is how I imagine it to be walking into a diner in the deep south. Women with “do-rags” in their hair, pushing through swinging doors to bring out hearty meals to your rustic wooden table whilst New Orleans Blues plays in the background.
Some people might refer to the food served for breakfast here as “dude food”.. because some of it is fried, some of it comes with lashings of cheese and it’s all really just a little bit different. IT’S NOT DUDE FOOD. This is Southern style food and it’s amazing beyond belief. I regretted not coming here for breakfast with more people in tow. I wanted to try everything on this menu. Who doesn’t want to try doughnuts with buttermilk custard and rhubarb ($16) for breakfast!?! You really need to read this menu for yourselves, I could list every item off there with the same statement. Prices top out at $20 for maple glazed pork, hot cakes, fried egg and apple. HOT DAMN!
Local Freo roasters Dark Star supply the coffee here. I have had this at the other cafe’s and it’s usually been very good but on this day the coffee didn’t blow me away. It was very creamy but there was barely any flavour and Andy and I both prefer our coffee with a bit more body.
Andy and I couldn’t not order the fried potatoes with cajun salt and ranch ($9) as a side to share. Yep.. we had a side with breakfast. This was a huge serve of halved potatoes cooked to that point they had split and formed golden crispy edges. My mouth is watering just thinking about them again! They were covered heavily in cajun spice and topped with a creamy ranch dressing. Without those lashings of bitey cajun these potatoes would have just been bland roasted potatoes. I loved picking all the crispy bits out of the bowl even when I was so full that I was wishing I wore looser clothes.
I ordered the breakfast special which was meringue with mango, coconut and granola ($16). Parts of the meringue were “filling removing” levels of sticky and oh so good. The coconut was in the custard-like cream which reminded me of the type my mum makes for trifle that is made from brown sugar to give it a nice caramel flavour. Thin strips of sweet soft mango topped the dish with a sprinkling of granola for a dose of crunch. It was just the right size where it was finished before it got too sickly. This was more like a dessert than a breakfast but I didn’t regret ordering it. Who can turn down mango on a 40 degree day!
After much deliberation, Andy went with the mushrooms, provolone croquettes, slow cooked egg and red sauce ($19). I thought he had become a religious man with the amount of times he was saying “oh my god” after each bite the of the cheesy croquettes. As the dish cooled down the provolone cheese flavour became stronger (cue Liz’s lesson that cheese has more flavour at room temperature). There was a decent selection of mushrooms thrown in including enoki and oyster; they were cooked well – firm but not slimy. Andy made the comment of day when referring to the slow cooked egg as being “like a soft boiled egg without clothes on”. The runny yolk was perfect to swirl in with the smokey sauce and made the perfect partner for the cheesy croquettes.
The service here was spot on. The girls were attentive – making sure we had water, taking our order at the precise time we were ready and casually checking on us after we were served. They were all smiles, unobtrusive and very likeable.
So honky-tonk down to The Old Crow, grab a table outside and get ready to eat some soulful southern food. On Sundays, watching people trying to work out if they need to pay for parking or not is extra entertainment for free. (no you don’t need to pay on Sundays)
Breakfast served weekends 8am – 11.30am
Originally posted on WA Today – Friday 20th December 2013