The Grumpy Barista is a great name for a cafe – if the staff are having a bad day you think to yourself “Well, we were warned,” and if the staff are pleasant it’s a lovely surprise! The cafe sits on a corner of a kinda busy street in Petersham right near the train station and is clearly a place where locals love to meet. Stu and I were preparing to go and lingering over the dregs of our coffee when two gentleman took a seat on the stools beside us and were soon joined by a well dressed couple who stood awkwardly beside them discussing seating logistics. We were ready to go anyway so we handed over our seats to the gracious and grateful group. This is a long way of saying this busy cafe has a small number of seats but the lines aren’t ridiculous so you won’t have long to wait.
The deceptively simple menu makes our decision easy. I have been dreaming about their avocado on toast since I first tried it and had to have it again, with a boiled egg on the side. Who dreams about avocado on toast? Weirdo… I know… but it is seriously good. A pile of soft avocado spiked with lemon and za’atar (I think, I can’t find a menu online to confirm) on warm sourdough with a drizzle of olive oil is heavenly. I feel a bit kid-like eating my boiled egg with the teaspoon from my coffee but I wasn’t sure how else I was supposed to tackle it as I wasn’t provided with additional implements. Stu ordered the breakfast stew (ha!) and he enjoyed dunking his toast into the flavoursome tomato sauce. There is a list of specials written onto brown paper hanging inside the cafe and an impressive display of cronuts in the cabinet. Both visits we have been too full to consider having one takeaway, but I suspect we will need to succumb at some point.
The Grumpy Barista has delicious, unpretentious food and awesome coffee in a relaxed environment. Service is hit and miss and the cafe is cash only, but I really don’t care because the food is great! They aren’t open on Sundays, but I get it, I like to sleep in too.
The Grumpy Barista
110 Audley St, Petersham