The Break Room
Where: 37 Hilton Ave, Hilton
Open: Monday to Friday 8am to 3pm, Saturday 8am to 1pm
Call: 076 676 3140
ON a recent trip to the Midlands, I discovered The Break Room, a new healthy living and super vegan friendly eatery and coffee shop, right in the heart of the village.
And when you put something called The Famous Eggslut on the menu, who could resist that?
Nestled in a modern brick building, with tables spilling onto a deck, it’s squashed between a bakery and a tattoo parlour, and it’s advertised with a comic book-style mural painted onto the bricks. So it’s hardly conventional.
The chalk menu doesn’t only sound absurdly healthy, but also surprisingly delicious.
Think of the Power Breakfast Bowl, which takes in scrambled egg or tofu, lentil and chickpea mince, vegan cheddar, baby spinach and sriracha sauce, wrapped in a burrito. Or there’s vegan and gluten free flapjacks with apple and berry compote, chocolate sauce, granola and vegan ice-cream, or even a cinnamon and raisin bagel with peanut butter, syrup, banana, nut sprinkle, cream cheese and star anise glaze. That takes the good old peanut butter sarmie to a whole new level
The latest addition was a sushi dog. This is a poke style burrito that’s battered and crumbed, and fried to a golden crisp. It’s stuffed with tofu, cucumber, avo, edamame beans, pickled ginger, gochujang (Korean chilli) paste, togarashi (spicy Japanese mayo) sauce, and sesame seeds. Fortunately, for this non-lover of tofu, there is a salmon or tuna option here as well. Next time.
Even sourdough with avo, cherry tomatoes, coriander, pesto, poached egg and “nut Parmesan” sounds like it deserves a try. The ultimate cheese sandwich is loaded with three different cheeses, onion marmalade and an undescribed Malawi hot sauce. Black bean or falafel burgers complete the picture. And, naturally, there’s a whole array of smoothies.
But back to that Famous Eggslut (R55). It’s an English muffin, topped with tomato, avo, onion, baby spinach, rocket, and sweet chilli vegan mayo, with a poached egg or black mushrooms, or both (add R6). I went for both. It was every bit as healthy and messy as it sounded ‒ but delicious. It was washed down with a very good coffee
Ambience: 3 ½
Where: Glenore Centre, 36 Aubrey Drive, Glenashley
Open: Monday to Sunday 7am to 5pm
Call: 081 717 6860
THIS is the shop and coffee shop attached to LIV Village, the charitable organisation based in Verulam, that does some amazing work with orphaned and vulnerable children. This is part second-hand shop, part coffee shop, with tables meandering through racks of second-hand clothing, vintage good quality kitchen wares, children's toys, decor items, and even crafts produced by the children in LIV Village itself. You can even buy the table and chairs you're sitting at if you so desire, or take a book off the shelf, start reading it, and buy it to take home.
At the heart is a central coffee counter, where friendly staff will take your order and bring it to your table. There’s always a smile here.
There’s no kitchen on the premises, so everything is made off-site and brought in, but there are a handful of toasted sandwiches, mini quiches, and fresh baked muffins, along with moist mile-high carrot cakes and red velvet cakes that I will have to try sometime.
The coffee here is from Colombo, and barista training is part of the skills set for young adults starting out on life’s journey.
The cappuccino was beautiful, rich, full flavoured, with an excellent ring of cream. Someone here knows how to pull a coffee. I enjoyed it with a simple ham and cheese toasted sandwich (R50).
Apart from the charity’s good works, the shop is a charming and warm space, adding heaps of character to a centre that, while well run, tends to be a fairly soulless place.
Service: 3 ½
The Independent on Saturday