Greg Dixon is deputy editor of Canvas.

Brunch: Sidewalk, Mt Albert

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Herald Rating: 3/5
Address: 883 New North Rd, Mt Albert

Sidewalk cafe, Mt Albert, Auckland. Photo / Steven McNicholl
Sidewalk cafe, Mt Albert, Auckland. Photo / Steven McNicholl

We came here because Sidewalk is a very welcome new addition to the Mt Albert shopping strip, which has had too few cafes for too long.

Parking was not a concern for us as we walked from home, but there's plenty of on-and-off street parking in the area.

We walked in and immediately thought it was like going to someone's flat for brunch, with mismatched furniture and long tables that you share with other brunchers. It's a flat that has good taste in music, too.

The most unusual thing on the menu is Porridge of the Gods ($6), your choice of montezuma (70 per cent cocoa), banana and orange blossom honey, or honeycomb, blueberries and toasted seeds.

We ordered the Texan chilli beef ($12), which is ground beef, chilli, kidney beans and poached eggs on bread - it's basically a bit like damned good mince on toast - and the Sweetest Hangover ($16), the big breakfast of eggs your way on toasted bread, a sausage, crispy bacon, grilled tomato, baked beans, mushrooms and potato hash - burp! The food isn't fancy, just good.

The service was not going to win any records for speed. But on the other hand, they're not trying to push you out the door as quickly as they can. And they're just so nice.

The coffee was Atomic, 100 per cent fair trade and does the business. All servings are double shot.

We recommend if you come here you grab some free citrus or coffee grounds for the compost outside.

Overall we thought Sidewalk has good food at great prices, friendly service and a relaxed, neighbourly feel. And you can buy a posy to take home - a nice touch.

- NZ Herald

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