Food and Drink


Breakfast at Joe Green

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I’ve been meaning to visit Joe Green for sometime now, and last week finally made it to the green painted shed that is Northcote’s breakfast cum wine bar. Occupying the large, airy space that used to be the exhibition hub Joint Hassles, Joe Green isn’t a bloke, it’s the work of Joe Vacirca, who used to run Cafe Bedda before opening here last May.

My pal and I pull up a window seat on a quiet weekday morning and watch life amble by as we scan the Sicilian-influenced breakfast menu with dishes like Sicilian Eggs ( poached with basil and tomato sugo on toast ($12) and the Semolina Pancake with ricotta cream, honey and pistachio ($11.50). After trying the red beans and rice at Hoboken recently, I’ve decided I’m going through a bean faze, so can’t go past the Home-style Baked Beans on toast with pork and fennel sausage ($12.50). My friend throws her hat in with the Sauteed Field Mushrooms with sage and grilled polenta ($9.50).

After a few robust lattes our food eventually arrives, and I sense Joe Green isn’t the place to go if you’re in a hurry, which suits me fine. I am however hungry, and pleased to see my plate o’ beans arrive.

The beans have been slow cooked with plenty of garlic and onion, and when mixed with the home-made sausage on freshly buttered toast and you’ve got a gutsy breakfast that will keep you going all day. Which didn’t stop me from trying my pal’s dish.

A more restrained offering of handsomely fried polenta cubes and earthy mushrooms drizzled with olive oil, this tasty dish had an interesting mix of textures, though felt more like a side than the main event. But maybe I’m just a greedy bastard.

After polishing off the beans and rubbing my tummy with a mixture of satisfaction and slight discomfort, Joe (Vascirca) put the icing on the cake by bringing us some home-made cannelloni. A nice, thoughtful touch, one of many I found on my first visit to Joe Green. I’ll be back to try that wine list.

Joe Green
2A Mitchell St, Northcote
9481 5554
Daily 7.30am – 4.30pm

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