Mario’s Cafe is all about keeping things uncomplicated. That means full-cream milk coffees, a breakfast menu that’s available all day round, and the option of intimate, white-clothed tables or the cute window bar at the front. The menu is simple, but that’s what makes it work – distinctive and simply Italian, Mario’s Cafe’s menu only subtly evolves as time passes, keeping its roots. The decor is simple and relaxed, with walls lined with posters and articles alike. Rocking up just before 8am, it is one of only a handful of cafes open on Brunswick Street. Relatively popular with the morning crowd, a number of individuals are already seated on the tables lining the bustling street outside and perched atop the high chairs of the window bar.
Latte and peppermint teaCoffees are aromatic and creamy here – with no skim milk option, the latte comes out gorgeously full bodied and with the simplest of coffee arts. To our disappointment, the peppermint tea is simply a Twinings tea bag thrown in hot water. People come here for the coffee, and not the tea, it seems.
Poached eggs on soughdough ($8.50) with smoked salmon ($4.50)Following our infatuation with smoked salmon (see our post on The Salmon Shop here – http://thefoodsociety.com.au/the-salmon-shop-tassal/), the poached eggs on toast is ordered with a mound of fleshy, pink salmon on top. The sourdough bread is toasted, with the edges crispy and the inside still chewy. With 2 accompanying and perfectly runny poached eggs, the breakfast is a fresh and simple classic at a good price. Offering reasonably priced, unpretentious fare, Mario’s Cafe keeps things beautifully basic. A little bit of a character, with relaxed but waist-coated service and that large, beckoning, neon-red sign, there’s nothing lavish about the food or interior here. You come here for simple Italian food – food that will be just as reliably simple from the last time you visit it to the next.