I see this cafe all the time - my second favourite riding route takes me straight past it. I often see a lot of cyclist there early in the morning, then people relaxing at the side walk tables as the morning progresses. An acquaintance recently told me of their amazing $10 Saturday morning breakfast over beers at the QA, so, with the help of some friends, we tried it out.
Located on the dog leg on Commercial Drive where it meets Florence St (conveniently across the road from a CityCycle station), Caffeine Espresso offers standard breakfast fare, such as muesli, toasted sandwiches, as well as some decently priced cookies, muffins and savouries for the snack friendly. I was there for the $10 breakfast though... It was two eggs, scrambled with chives (made with cream I think) on a thick buttered slice of sour dough, with 3 pieces of bacon, a thick slice of tomato and an orange slice. Also included in the price was a coffee, I got a pot of tea instead - opting for Earl Grey.
The food itself was very good for the price. The bacon and tomato were pan fried, but not oily at all. The bacon was also of the premium cut variety, so not the thin fatty part. The scrambled eggs (my breakfast of choice) was so rich and creamy and not over cooked. They were a deep yellow colour as well, so not watered down with milk. Three friends ordered the same, and like me, ate everything on the plate. Another ordered mango yogurt and muesli, and finally one had toasted cheese and ham sandwich.
The coffee got mixed reviews. One friend said it was really good, another said it was a little burnt. Another had a chai latte and had no complaints, though my tea was just average. The brand of tea wasn't the best - though it was gorgeously presented. However for $10 for a breakfast that left me full till after 3pm with a big pot of tea - you can't really complain.
Very conveniently located off the main drag with lots of side streets for parking - though note some are covered by meters.
CityCycle station 65 is just across the road.
Quick service time, food was out in under 10 minutes, and shortly after the drinks.
Iced water available (including ice) by the door.
Doesn't get the morning sun on the tables, so not ridiculously hot to sit outside.
Friendly service, cafe style.
Excellent value for money.
Not enough sugar pots or salt and pepper shakers for all tables.
Chairs feel a little unstable but seemed fine.
The brand of tea.
Not so comfy you want to linger and linger.
No wifi provided and one friend had patchy 3G coverage while there.
I can't comment on what Caffeine Espresso is like during the week, but on Saturday morning, forget spending $16.50 on a meal then $4.50 on coffee, and throw down $10 at Caffeine Espresso. You won't be disappointed.
#threeandahalfegglovingpandas (it would have got 4 pandas if the tea was better quality or if I ordered the yummy chai I imagine)