// you’re reading...

breakfast, brunswick east, casual, child-friendly, restaurants and cafes, sandwiches, under $20

HOT: Pope Joan, 77-79 Nicholson Street, Brunswick East

P1080262 HOT: Pope Joan, 77 79 Nicholson Street, Brunswick East

At last count, there were 19 blog reviews of Pope Joan on Urbanspoon. So I’m far behind with my visit and now I’m not sure why I’ve waited so long.

Pope Joan is the kind of neighbourhood cafe for which you’d be willing to travel. Which is why it has found success despite being located in the most non-descript, smoggy section of Nicholson Street. The names behind it probably help draw in the crowds too – Ben Foster (ex-Kent Hotel) and Matt Wilkinson (ex-Circa) own it.

P1080253 HOT: Pope Joan, 77 79 Nicholson Street, Brunswick East

There are lots of different spaces for diners depending on your mood. The front room is cosy timber and houses the most amazing carved lantern from the centre of the ceiling. Through the sliding doors is an undercover corridor of high wooden benches, communal picnic settings, wrought-iron park benches and Astroturf, with a cul-de-sac kitchen garden blooming a giant rainbow chard centrepiece.  The crowd is just as eclectic, ranging from families with young kids to ladies-who-lunch to construction workers.

P1080260 HOT: Pope Joan, 77 79 Nicholson Street, Brunswick East

The menu specialises in breakfast/brunch/lunch options, with a whole section dedicated to eggs proudly sourced from Green Eggs. On my lunch visit I decided to bypass the eggs for a sandwich – it was a difficult choice but you had me at ‘slow cooked’ then ‘pork’ then ‘Cuban style’ ($12). Next time I’m trying the The Cornish: Milawa chicken, stuffing, jalapeno pepper ($12).

P1080251 HOT: Pope Joan, 77 79 Nicholson Street, Brunswick East

On the plate was a fat La Madre ciabatta stuffed with tender roast pork, lettuce, carrot, gherkin and some sort of mayonnaise/aioli. It was a-mazing. Really. I could have had a second one.

But instead I decided to fill up my remaining appetite with bread and butter. Not just any old bread and butter, but two slices of spiced, lightly toasted gingerbread with a pot of smoked maple butter (although I confess I couldn’t taste or smell any smoke or maple flavour).

P1080256 HOT: Pope Joan, 77 79 Nicholson Street, Brunswick East

The cake cabinet presents more temptations from brownies to muffins to cookies. I nursed home a high-topped carrot cake ($4.50) which was very moist and nutty with a sweet lemony cream cheese frosting.

P1080265 HOT: Pope Joan, 77 79 Nicholson Street, Brunswick East

I will be sure to return to Pope Joan – the menu is a step away from standard brunch fare and it’s obvious that they care about the quality of the ingredients they use. They’ve just received their liquor licence for the next door space (to be called Bishop of Ostia) and will be opening for dinner soon.

Pope Joan, 77-79 Nicholson Street, Brunswick East +61 3 9388 8858

minilink HOT: Pope Joan, 77 79 Nicholson Street, Brunswick East

pixel HOT: Pope Joan, 77 79 Nicholson Street, Brunswick East

Discussion

2 comments for “HOT: Pope Joan, 77-79 Nicholson Street, Brunswick East”

  1. I so need to get back to Pope Joan.. I love love love them and their menu!

    Posted by msihua
    Twitter: msihua
    | October 15, 2011, 6:17 pm
  2. Hi, I went to pope Joan last weekend and to be honest I don’t understand what the fuss is about. The coffee was ok, porridge average and gingerbread was ok, all in all nothing special. I got to talking to a shop owner in Nicholson st who felt the same way. Lovely friendly waitstaff thou. Oh well, meh

    Posted by Jodi | October 20, 2011, 9:05 pm

Post a comment

Twitter ID
(ID only. No links or "@" symbols)

Welcome to MEL: HOT OR NOT

The decisive guide to Melbourne

Reviews of what's HOT and NOT in the city.

Recent Posts

HOT: Ebi Fine Food, 18A Essex St, Footscray
July 21, 2014
HOT: Luna1878 Night Market, Queen Victoria Market, cnr Elizabeth and Victoria Streets, Melbourne + Giveaway!
July 18, 2014
HOT: Southgate Moveable Feasts at Artusi, Amarok and Bluetrain, Southgate Precint, 3 Southgate Ave, Southbank
July 16, 2014
HOT: Parisian Patisserie Boulangerie, 19 Keilor Rd, Essendon
July 14, 2014

Click for more in Archives

Get in touch

Want to say hello, ask questions, give feedback, advertise on the site? Email me at joyce@melhotornot.com

LIKE me on Facebook

We’re featured in LonelyPlanet.com

I'm a featured blogger on Lonely Planet
MEL: HOT OR NOT - The decisive guide to Melbourne Melbourne restaurants

Twitter Updates

    Categories

    Editorial policy

    Get Adobe Flash player