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Proud Mary

I can do nothing but rave about Proud Mary (172 Oxford Street, Collingwood). I visited the renowned coffee-makers and cafe for the first time in August last year, when my sister was in town. I'd heard rumours that it was so popular, it was likely we'd have to wait for a table, so we tried our luck on a Friday morning instead of the weekend and managed to get a decent table fairly quickly. I remember being impressed by the single origin coffees on offer, and eating a delicious mushroom and polenta dish. I think my sister had some kind of pancakes or sweet dish that came with a bitter citrus sauce. (The menu has changed since then.)

At that point, I wasn't blogging... so here is my belated enthusiastic amateur review!

I've been back for coffee once or twice, but this was my second time for brunch. A friend and I had decided to arrive early to beat the Saturday morning crowds. (Proud Mary is conveniently/annoyingly located a stone's throw from Smith Street, on the corner of Oxford and Stanley Streets - nestled in amongst a bunch of huge, funky Collingwood apartment blocks and warehouse conversions... To those residents, I say: I hate you! It's also very near the highly cool, pop-up People's Market.) We waltzed in without a hitch (by the time we left, it was packed) and sat at one corner of a communal table.

The waitress was ultra helpful in explaining the current single origins on offer and making recommendations. I'm a cappuccino kind of girl, so I can best evaluate a coffee when it's served with milk. The 'blend of the month', Ghost Rider, was more suited to milk than any of the singles on offer that day, as its characteristics are apparently complementary to the creaminess of milk, but punchy enough to display some nice rich flavours.

I then had a fantastic single origin shortie - don't remember where from, but it wouldn't help you much anyway, because they change all the time.

My friend ordered a weird green juice. He drank it, so it can't have been bad:

I purposely selected food different to what I'd had last time (as humans, we get far too entrenched in habits. It is my belief we should mix things up as often and willingly as we can. Yep): simply called "Avocado" on the menu, but so much more! It was a delicious blend of mashed avocado, corn, quinoa, chilli, goats cheese and other stuff, on toast.

My friend ordered the potato hash: a ginormous cake of shredded potato (it was so big, he couldn't finish it), served with a poached egg, bacon, spinach, and a yummy creamy sauce:

Both were fantastic and testament to Proud Mary's impressive array of talents.

I swear to God, I don't work for them. I just really, really like it. Even the wallpaper is cool. See:

(Not sure what happened to that poor bloke's face. My camera kinda mashed him. Probably better anyway, for legal/identification purposes, or something.)

The place was buzzing when we left, so I was glad we'd come early. (Mental note - remember for next visit.)

The only thing that bugs me about Proud Mary is how popular it is. I know a rave review like this won't help matters, but they deserve it. Damn them.

Proud Mary on Urbanspoon

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