This country cafe is worth a visit
I'm an absolute sucker for carrot cake.
Growing up it was one of the first cakes I learnt to make (a White Wings packet version before I graduated to making it from scratch) and it was always a family favourite.
So when I'm greeted by a freshly made rendition lacquered with an almost inch-thick layer of cream cheese frosting (arguably the best part of a carrot cake) when I go to place my breakfast order at the counter of Stanthorpe's Cafe 77, I just can't pass up a slice.
Humming with nutmeg, studded with walnuts and as moist as a towelette, it's what a classic carrot cake should be. A lovely treat to balance out the bitterness in the café's Giancarlo coffee.
Cafe 77 is that sweet little country cafe where you can stop in for morning tea before venturing to the nearby Granite Belt wineries, or stay longer and be treated to a full dose of rural hospitality - with old-fashioned serving sizes to match.
The menu of a morning is a simple, mostly traditional affair with the likes of eggs and bacon on toast, waffles and ice cream, and vegetarian frittata, while lunch serves up an expansive array of burgers, sandwiches, salads, pub-style grub such as a parmigiana and chips, and a handful of vegan dishes including enchiladas and nachos.
A burrito makes the breakfast offering ($14.95), and although its tie to Mexico is loose, it's a hearty and satisfying interpretation with its filling of soft, salty bacon, just-set fried eggs and melted cheddar cheese in a slightly puff pastry-like airy tortilla.
Meanwhile, the savoury mince ($15.95) could feed a family, with the pea and corn-dotted, Shepherd's pie-style ground beef - just like grandma used to make - filling a large terracotta pan and accompanied by mixed leaves, a fried egg and a large slice of toast for dipping.
Pair it with one of the cafe's intensely malty Maltesers milkshakes or perhaps a frappe or smoothie and you won't need to eat for the rest of the day.
Boasting kind, knowledgeable service and terrific value for money, Cafe 77 is worth checking out for more than just its carrot cake.