Joe’s Garage

366 Bruswick Street, Fitzroy
Phone: 9419 9944

Joe’s Garage is somewhat of of a Brunswick St institution. Serving standard cafe fare, it’s usually bustling and it’s enough of a landmark with its neon signage for you to use as a reference point when giving people directions. I had a friend who used to work as a waiter here, back in the old student days, and though it was never amazing food, it was decent, and the vibe was fun and casual.

I haven’t eaten at Joe’s in years, but I stopped in for brunch with some friends recently, and found that things had changed somewhat. First of all, the service was definitely lacking. Yes, it was a Saturday afternoon (which is usually pretty busy for cafes along Brunswick St) and we were seated outside, but we were waiting at every turn, and the staff seemed more interested in cleaning the glass door than getting the bill to us.

The food itself was hit and miss. The miss first: my friend D ordered the poached eggs on toast, which came rather unappetisingly presented (see below) and we had to ask for butter. Butter! Really? Friends J and K both ordered the bubble and squeak, which were served with a poached egg, hollandaise and a hash brown. I’m a huge fan of hash browns, but this wasn’t a hash brown. This was a potato burger. Other than the carb-overload, this dish was pretty appetising, and both J and K were happily sated. I ordered the Caesar salad with chicken, which was pretty good! The egg could have been a little runnier, and I would’ve liked a little more dressing, but apart from that, it was a pretty good salad.

Joe’s Garage is one of those places you go when you don’t know what the tastes of your dining companions might be. I didn’t mind it, but I’m in no hurry to return.

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