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Mr Wolf, Cairns *CLOSED DOWN*

After a couple of weeks dabbling with breakfast and lunch at Mr Wolf I have finally decided to put finger to keyboard and write about it. Mr Wolf is the reasonably new venture for the previous owners of one of my favourite Cairns haunts, Ever After. Moving and expanding to a larger shop with a new name, Mr Wolf is now a little further down in the Cairns City Centre where Twelve BC used to be. Since opening in late July, MS and I have dined there a few times. The place is always teeming with people sitting inside in the airconditioning and outside at the tables and chairs on the pathway. Myself? I much prefer the outside area because it is a great place to people watch although I may change my mind as the temperature starts to climb due the approach of Cairns’ dreaded Summer (NOOOOOO!).

Most recently MS and I went to Mr Wolf for lunch last week. Nick the owner gave us a rundown of just what the specials on the Specials Board were… Malay Curry with Fried Rice made by a Malay woman and another dish that I’m failing to recall (must be old age, that and I keep forgetting to take my Fish Oil). They both sounded delicious but MS and I were steering towards the Burger/Club Sandwich section of the menu. Not wanting to eat too much bread with my lunch I requested to have the Mr Wolf Beef Burger in a wrap instead of on a bun and figuring that this was a superb idea (newsflash: all my ideas are superb) MS opted for the Chicken and Smashed Avocado Club also as a wrap. Now I don’t want to be a pain in the ass for the Chef/Cook at Mr Wolf and suggest that people should do this regularly but I am merely trying to point out that changing it up a little wasn’t a problem. In the meantime MS ordered a Banana Smoothie with Banana (der), Vanilla, Honey, Ice Cream and Yogurt, while I ordered a Flat White.

Flat White

Our beverages arrived in ample time and although my coffee was excellent I was more interested in MS’ Banana Smoothie. Lucky for me he harbours no qualms about sharing his food or drink unlike yours truly. It’s the age old thing with me, I never wanted it until I saw someone else with it (unless it’s a pair of Jeggings). The same goes for food and drink. I can’t drink a whole can of soft drink but I will happily share yours. Anyway so the Banana Smoothie was delicious and used nice ripe bananas rather than nasty green ones that should have been left in the fruit bowl for another week to ripen. Like I said my coffee was excellent, apparently they were trialling a new brand and wanted some feedback which I happily provided giving it the thumbs up.

Not long after that our Burger/Club Sandwich/Wraps arrived minus our chips but that was a minor mishap that was quickly resolved. Not like I really needed chips anyway. MS was happy with his choice since anything with both Chicken and Bacon has his tick of approval. Oh what’s that? There was aioli on it too? Yep, it’s in the bag.

Chicken and Smashed Avocado Club (as a wrap) with Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato, Aioli, Poached Chicken and Leg Ham (served with fries) AU$9.50

My Mr Wolf Beef Burger/Wrap was even better. The beef patty was obviously fresh because it was thick and juicy (not like the nasty ass dried up beef patty from Rex’s Burger Bar that I spied on MS’ burger a couple of weeks ago). I loved combination of the Aioli, Caramelised Onions, Dill Pickle and Beetroot Relish. It didn’t take long till I had burger juices running down my hands onto my forearms because after all isn’t that how burgers should be? Hell yes it is! It was a really yummy Burger/Wrap. One that I will soon be back for but I think I will have to go the whole hog and have a proper burger.

Mr Wolf Beef Burger (as a wrap) with Caramelized Onions, Salad Leaves, Tomato, Dill Pickle, Aioli and Beetroot Relish (served with fries) AU$7.90

The staff are always personable and friendly, greeting breakfast and lunch diners with a friendly hello and even a chat. Couple that with the good food, coffee, people watching, the availability of The Cairns Post and the owners at Mr Wolf are once again onto a winner. I’ll admit there were definitely some teething problems in the first month or so after Mr Wolf opened but these crinkles have since been ironed out. It’s kind of expected when you pretty much double the size of your cafe and as a result have double the amount of people to feed. Add that to the fact that Mr Wolf is open 7 days a week whereas Ever After was only open 5. One things for sure, Mr Wolf offers good homestyle food at outstanding prices. Seriously, I mean where can you get a good burger and fries for under $8 and a freshly made sandwich for $7.50? Also the Big Breakfast for AU$17.90 is absolutely ridiculous – in a good way! I’m pretty sure I have blown my foodvixen cover out of the water with the Mr Wolf crew after this post but what the heck!

Mr Wolf

City Place, Cnr Shields and Lake St, Cairns QLD 4870

Ph: (07) 4041 2210

Opening Hours: Closed Mon, Tues – Fri 8.30am – 4pm, Sat – Sun 8.30am – 2.30pm

Rehab, Cairns

Last Saturday MS and I took a wander through the city in search of somewhere to go for a late breakfast. Scratching our heads and tossing around ideas neither of us could come to an agreement on just where we wanted to go until MS suggested Rehab. Of course! I had been there for coffee a few times but had been meaning to try their menu since it came online a few months ago so off we went to Rehab. For a Saturday afternoon, Rehab was as I had expected… busy. Upon entering Rehab we were greeted by the two friendly owners whose names slip my mind at the present but it was nice to be welcomed by such smiling faces. We ordered off the menu on the wall and upon ordering were told that it would be about a 40 minute wait for food. Neither of us were too concerned as long as we had a cappuccino and The Weekend Post we weren’t in a hurry to go anywhere. It was nice to be told of the wait so we had the option to go somewhere else but we stayed at Rehab.

The tables were full of diners and there was only the bench outside that was free until one nice man who was dining by himself gave up his table for so MS and I could sit together and stare into each others eyes (I’m kidding!) But seriously, it was a nice thing to do. Seems strangers with manners do still exist in 2012. In the end after we managed to coax the friendly solo guy away from his outside table we decided to sit inside at one of the larger tables. 1) Because it was a little bit too cold outside and 2) Because I felt that the tables outside were a little bit too intimate. Other diners were literally centimetres from our table and it felt like we just wouldn’t be able to have a conversation without people hearing the entire thing and us hearing theirs.

The decor at Rehab is super funky with grandma’s brown velvet couch in the corner, weird-ass chalk drawings on the walls of bald men and chemical structures (shit, it’s been a while since I did second year Chem), red glowing chandeliers and even a bit of astro turf out the front. Like another popular cafe in Cairns *cough* Caffiend *cough* it’s very Melbournesque except with Caffiend it’s more alley way setting that makes it rather than the decor. I did find Rehab a little bit dark inside but as a bonus at least MS couldn’t see how dry my skin was from being out at sea for the last few weeks. No I am not an old sea hag, it’s the airconditioning I swear! We weren’t waiting long for our cappuccino’s to arrive and when they did we were super amazed by the super amazing coffee art on top that can only be described as pure genius. I get excited when the barista does the whole palm frond/leaf thing on the top of my foam but wow… this was a face. A very delicately drawn face. MS and I admired both of our cappuccino’s wondering how on earth the barista managed to do it but in the end we figured we would just ask him when we payed for our meals. Now the only problem with the coffee art is that our coffees were actually cold. Maybe because they weren’t particular hot in the first place or maybe because the coffee art took just that little bit too long. The coffee, however, was a damn fine cup of coffee I just would have preferred it to be hot rather than luke warm.

Coffee art in my cappuccino

The 40 minutes that we were told to wait for our food flew by pretty quickly while MS and I fought over who got to read which section of the newspaper first and why one turned the page while the other was still reading it. Ah, young(ish) love. Just to be a little different with our breakfast choices, MS went for the Eggs Benedict with Bacon for AU$15 while I went for the 3 Eggs Scrambled with Gypsy Ham and Roasted Tomato (AU$12) with a side of Avocado (AU$3). Both were good sized servings with big thick pieces of toast. MS’ bacon was nice and crispy with the poached eggs delicately perched on top. Slight problem was that the poached eggs were just a little overcooked, something neither of us are a fan of (they need to be runny). The hollandaise sauce had just the right amount of tang to it and wasn’t overpowering, nor was it slathered on. It was exactly as it should be.

Eggs Benedict with Bacon (AU$15)

Having swayed from my usual choice of Eggs Benedict I was more than happy with my 3 Scrambed Eggs with Gypsy Ham and Roasted Tomato and for only AU$12 that seemed like a pretty good deal to me. The side of avocado (an entire half an avo) was the perfect accompanying extra to my breakfast and although I think the scrambled eggs could have been a little fluffier (yes, ok, I am super fussy about eggs goddamnit!) they would have been perfect for MS who “doesn’t like fluffy eggs” and prefers to “cook the sh*t out of them” (pardon my French but it’s getting late). I actually had no idea what Gypsy Ham was although I figured if it had anything to do with Gypsies then it must be stolen. Upon Googling it about 1 minute ago it appears that Gypsy Ham is pretty much just smoked leg ham which got that name from its dark colour and tender texture. Yawn. Ok, it tasted like ham but good ham at that.

3 Eggs Scrambled with Gypsy Ham and Roast Tomato (AU$12) plus a side of Avocado (AU$3)

Despite a couple of egg gripes our all day breakfast experience at Rehab was tantalisingly tasty. The young, vibrant owners are nothing but friendly and accommodating and they even showed us how the Barista does the awesome coffee art that MS and I ummed and ahhed over. I’m not going to tell you how it’s done, you are just going to have to go in and see it for yourself. The fitout and decor is funky and fresh, something that so many Cairns restaurants and cafes are lacking, and the atmosphere is cosy. Seems Rehab is not just somewhere that my low-life alcoholic ex-boyfriend needs to go (whoops that’s a different kind of rehab) but it’s also the name of a cool little coffee shop/cafe on Lake St that I’ll be checking into again very soon.

Rehab

46 Lake St, Cairns QLD 4870

Ph: 0439 831 824

Opening Hours : Mon – Fri 7am – 6pm, Sat – Sun 8am – 3pm

Website: www.rehabcafe.com.au

All Day Breakfast @ Ever After Bookshop Cafe, Cairns City *CLOSED DOWN*

Loving the new All Day Breakfast at Ever After Bookshop Cafe! MS and I went there today for brekkie to check it out. Their new menu includes four alternatives of my breakfast favourite, Eggs Benedict (Traditional, Asparagus and Avocado, Devilled Mushroom, Smoked Salmon), Panini’s, Burger’s and even their very own spin on the ‘Big Breakfast’. After a few disappointing ‘Big Breakfast’s’ in and around Cairns (*cough* Candy *cough*) I can safely say that Ever After’s Big Breakfast is exactly as it’s advertised… BIG!!! Described on the menu as Eggs any way (poached, fried or scrambled), with Crispy Bacon, Skinless Sausages, Mexican Beans, Herbed Potatoes, Devilled Mushrooms, Grilled Tomato, English Spinach and Hollandaise & BBQ Sauce. Anything that automatically comes with BBQ sauce on the side gets my vote and at AU$19.90 it’s a bloody decent sized feed. One that MS struggled to finish (even with me stealing Herbed Potatoes off the side of his plate). I had the Asparagus and Avocado Egg’s Benedict (AU$16.90) and it was top notch. Smoked Salmon Egg’s Benedict for my next visit me thinks! Get on down to Ever After Bookstore Cafe for a mean breakfast! I only wish they were open on weekends (hint, hint)…

Big Breakfast

Ever After Bookshop Cafe

Shop 10, 85 Lake St Cairns QLD 4870

Ph: (07) 4031 5955

Opening Hours: Mon – Fri 7am – 2.30pm

Ever After Bookshop Cafe, Cairns City *CLOSED DOWN*

I had to write a quick post about a cafe that I had the pleasure of lunching at yesterday… Ever After Bookshop Cafe.  Yes, I know it’s been around for ages and blah blah blah but I honestly haven’t had a chance to get there before now since my busy schedule only allows me to arrive there at closing time.  Yeah ok if you call going to the gym at 9.30 am and then eating breakfast at 11.30 am a busy schedule then I’m flat out like a lizard drinking but enough about me lets talk about the Ever After Bookshop Cafe.

MS and I somehow managed to pop into this bustling little cafe for lunch on Wednesday and were both a little taken aback at just how many people were in there for lunch.  It was flat out around the counter and the coffee machine yet the staff still managed to maintain their composure and control to a point where I was overly impressed at the situation.  Pretty much as soon as MS and I walked into Ever After we were greeted by a friendly staff member behind the counter who then began to rattle off all the specials they had in the window, none of which I can remember because I didn’t even realise that she was talking to us.  Due to the fact that I am shall we say vertically challenged I could only see the top of her head over the counter so it wasn’t until she was finished her speel that I realised that she was in fact talking to the two of us.  Never mind that’s my own fault and although the rolls in the ‘window’ did look very inviting again I’m trying to limit my carbohydrate intake (I like to keep telling myself that anyway) so I decided almost straight away that I was going to have a wrap.  Ever After has daily specials as well as more yummy items on their double-sided menu including salads, burgers and sandwiches.

The owner of the cafe, Nick I think his name is, took over while we placed our order and even though we ummed and ahhed and took something off one of the wraps he never seemed annoyed or tried to hurry us at all.  Again, I’m impressed.  MS ordered a Chicken Schnitzel Wrap with Golden Crumbed Chicken Breast, Cheese, Tomato, Salad Leaves, Aioli and Chilli Sauce (hold the chilli sauce) for AU$7.50 while I went with the Roast Beef Wrap with Tender Beef, Caramelised Onions, Cheese, Tomato, Salad Leaves, Red Onion and Chutney also for AU$7.50.  I ordered a Chai Latte and we took a seat at the last available table which was outside in the arcade to read the latest edition of the Cairns Eye but not before one of the attentive staff made some room for us at the big table inside which we kindly refused.  Even though we were concealed outside in the arcade away from the main thoroughfare of Ever After staff we still weren’t forgotten about and a waitress bought us a bottle of water and some glasses, even though we didn’t ask for it.  Pretty soon my Chai Latte was presented to me in a tea pot with a glass and I do have to say despite my previous post about Jamaica Blue the Chai Latte at Ever After is pretty damn good.  So good in fact I would have to say the second best Chai Latte in Cairns.  Not long after my Chai Latte our wraps arrived.  Freshly made, good size and full of tasty fillings we both really enjoyed our wraps, so much so we tried to go back for more today but we didn’t make it there before closing time.  Out of the two wraps though mine was definitely the best and MS had a little bit of wrap envy when he tasted it not to say that his wasn’t delicious but I think the Caramelised Onions on my Beef Wrap ‘made it’ for the both of us.

Chicken Schnitzel Wrap – Golden Crumbed Chicken Breast with Cheese, Tomato, Salad Leaves, Aioli and Chilli Sauce (AU$7.50)

Not only were the wraps awesome but MS and I were both surprised at the short amount of time that it took between ordering our food and drinks at the counter and the time we were actually served.  Not only that but the service that we received from not just one but all of the staff was impressive and without fault.  Even with the hustle and bustle going on around them none of the staff missed a beat.  They even smiled as they served us.  It may not sound like that much of an impressive feat but if you eat out even half as much as I do in Cairns then you should know that good service like this is damn hard to find.  I’ll certainly be back for another wrap and another serve of some good old fashioned service.  The super cheap menu no doubt is another reason why the place was packed with lunch-goers when we turned up since surely these people like me get sick and tired of paying AU$15 for a wrap or salad at many other cafes around Cairns.  Seems good service does still exist in the Cairns CBD.  Ever After Bookshop Cafe you are a breath of fresh air!

Ever After

Shop 10, 85 Lake St Cairns QLD 4870

Ph: (07) 4031 5955

Opening Hours: Mon – Fri 7am – 2.30pm

Vibe Bar and Lounge, Cairns

Next stop on the Table 52 bandwagon was Vibe Bar and Lounge for lunch last week. I went to Vibe for dinner on a Tuesday night about a year ago when they had their 2-4-1 burger special. Back then their burgers were huge and I’d have to say one of the best in town. At present I can’t comment on the burgers because I haven’t had one since then. Unfortunately they don’t have their 2-4-1 burger specials anymore but according to the waiter that served us last week the ‘powers that be’ at Vibe decided to make their burgers cheaper everyday instead of just on Tuesday’s. Fair enough. So back to my post… When MS and I went to Vibe for lunch last week we were greeted at the counter by the friendly waiter who took our orders. MS went with the 350g Angus Rump Served With Grilled Vegies and Hollandaise for AU$25 while I figured if I was going to have steak I might as well have seafood too so I ordered the Reef and Beef – 250g Scotch Fillet, QLD BBQ King Prawns, Hollandaise Sauce, French Beans and Sweet and Kipfler Potatoes for AU$25. MS ordered his steak to be cooked Medium while I ordered mine Medium Rare. We opted to sit inside but then decided the atmosphere just wasn’t very pleasant (it is a nightclub) so we moved to an outside table where we could people watch and drool over a group of tourists eating bowls of noodles from next doors Pho ‘n Thai while we waited for our meals (just to clear things up we were drooling over the noodles not the tourists).

Our meals were ready pretty quickly and rightfully so since there was only 3 other occupied tables at this time of day. On bringing the meals out the Hollandaise that was so delicately placed on top of MS’ Rump slid off onto the side. The waiter apologised (no bigie, you can’t help sauce sliding off) and offered to bring out some extra Hollandaise to have on the side. Ever the sauce lover MS accepted the waiters apology and the extra sauce. The waiter also advised me that the chef had given me sirloin and not scotch fillet. He said that the sirloin was a leaner cut of meat than the scotch (what was he trying to say?) and he could have it changed if I so wished. I really couldn’t be bothered to wait for another steak to be cooked for me so I told him not to worry about it and stuck with the sirloin. Shame because I do much prefer scotch fillet.

MS’ enjoyed his steak although it was a little overcooked, probably closer to Well Done than Medium but he’s not one to care too much about that, unlike myself. It was a pretty big meal but then again the steak was 350g. The Grilled Vegies that it came with were exactly the same as what my meal came with (Beans, Sweet and Kipfler Potatoes) so pretty much the only difference was the steaks were a different cut and mine had the additional prawns. The Sweet and Kipfler Potatoes were really yummy and the beans were still crunchy (the way they should be).

350g Angus Rump served with Grilled Vegies and Hollandaise (AU$25)

My Reef and Beef came with three decent sized BBQ King Prawns, which I thought was pretty reasonable but I was horrified to find that they hadn’t been deveined. I’m sorry but you just cannot serve prawns that haven’t been deveined!!! Absolutely not! There is no excuse for it and I am sure that I can vouch for pretty much anyone and everyone that eats prawns when I say that I want my prawns to be cleaned when I eat them. I’m still horrified by the whole affair. You might think I’m being a little over the top but like I have said in a previous post my parents have owned a seafood business (not a Fish and Chip shop) for donkey’s years and I kinda know what I’m talking about. Moving on, the Hollandaise Sauce that was served with both of our meals was flavorless. It didn’t have the eggy/lemony taste that I so love about Hollandaise and instead it tasted like nothing. I was pretty disappointed and considered asking for a bottle of BBQ sauce to compensate.

Reef and Beef – 250g Scotch Fillet, QLD BBQ King Prawns, Hollandaise Sauce, French Beans and Sweet and Kipfler Potatoes for AU$25

I’m not trying to rain on Vibe’s parade because I know they have been putting a lot of money into their advertising particularly that of their cheaper meal deals they have throughout the week. Our meal wasn’t the best meal I have ever had nor was it the worst however I would be pretty pissed if I had paid full price for it. They just need to make a few minor changes to things, first and foremost the prawns need to be deveined and they need to change their Hollandaise Sauce recipe. I’ll be returning for a burger but right now I’m just not feeling the vibe at Vibe.

Vibe Bar and Lounge

39 Lake St, Cairns QLD 4870

Ph: (07) 4052 1494

Opening Hours: Mon – Fri from 10.30am, Sat from 12pm, Sun from 5pm

Website: www.vibebarcairns.com