Where: 445 Queensberry St North Melbourne
When: Weekends 8am-4pm, Weekdays 7am-4pm
Dine-in, take-away for milk-bar items
Contact: (03) 9663 5192
Remember the days when you could get everything at your Corner Store? All your groceries and a milkshake too? If you don’t remember then it’s probably because this distorted piece of nostalgia owes itself to something out of 1950’s America rather than anything you, (most likely) growing in Australia, have probably ever experienced. But for those with a whimsical sense of fake nostalgia, Grigons & Orr Corner Store might just give you a little thrill. Grigons is decked out like a Ye Olde milk-bar with shelves to the ceiling stacked with a mix of modern-day groceries and retro adorables. Atop the front cabinet are some tasty looking fresh muffins and slices while behind the glass you’ll find WizzFizz. I’m not sure if this is what most parents would call a “kid-friendly café”, but as a kid I know I would’ve been in sugary heaven.
Grigons & Or seemingly have very few tables unless you realise there’s a dining room upstairs; something not immediately apparent. The tables outside are subjected to a sloping footpath and some nasty road noise, while the ones inside downstairs are, well…there’re just three of them. It might matter to lazier readers how close to the cash register they’re seated as you’ll need to walk up to the counter to order. Glasses of water are also DIY. And another warning; try to have cash on you, otherwise you’ll need to go on a hike uphill to Errol Street, not recommended.
Uncle Bennies ($14.50)
Once you’ve found appropriate seating and filled your wallets with cash you might notice that the menu is very large and quite “egg-centric”, (Dining Partner’s words, not mine) While large menus are rarely a good sign, G & O did manage to deliver on the goods; the food was great. Dining partner ordered the Uncle Bennies (Poached eggs on toast with hollandaise and choice of bacon/spinach/ham) for $14.50 and I asked for the Coddled Eggs (cooked with fresh herbs, creamed spinach and served with cheesy soldiers) at $12.50. Aside from being too small, the Uncle Bennies was picture-perfect with trimmed, high quality bacon and decent hollandaise. My coddled eggs were cooked nicely and did indeed contain plenty of herbs and creamed spinach, yet were a little basic in flavour. The cheesy soldiers were generous chunks of spongey bread with charred cheese topping. It did appear that they were also drizzled with hollandaise; exciting at first but too rich by the end. We washed our breakfasts down with cappuccinos and lattes which were excellent when asked for “strong”, but quite watery when made as standard.
If you can get a seat inside, Grigons and Or does have a certain ambiance; the music is tastefully low-volume for the small space and there’s a cute drink fridge with rarities like Cherry Cola and Dr Pepper all frosty and ready for you. It also pays to be open seven days a week; you’ve got to admire that commitment.
Coddled Eggs with Cheesy Soldiers ($12.50)