27 Degraves Street, Melbourne
The Quarter is in a favourite laneway of mine, Degraves Street. The first time I ever came here was in year 11 when my history class came to listen to historian Orlando Figes (most self-absorbed, arrogant man ever, SUCH a disappointment from what I was expecting: the brilliantly attractive, erudite writer who taught me about Trotsky). The lecture was in the morning at Federation Square, and a group of us met earlier for breakfast at The Quarter. I remember I had the ham and cheese croissant with pesto, and a coffee, and I felt so grown up having breakfast in the city.Since then, I’ve had a number of other breakfasts here, and a pizza one time for lunch. It’s small, chilled out, and (if you’re interested) open late for evening drinks.
As is usual in cafes, the waitress first came around with a bottle of water and two glasses to take our coffee order. “A flat white, please”, says D. The waitress jots down his order, looks at me. “I’ll have a latte, please”, I say. “Two flat whites” concludes the waitress. D and I chuckled about that, and wondered if she misheard, was being deliberately rude, or just honestly believed a latte and a flat white were the same thing. Regardless, my
latte flat white was quite nice, it had a good flavour without being too strong or bitter.
I had the Greek Salad with lamb. The lamb I remember as being very tender and tasty, but the salad was somewhat insipid. I would have put more feta (but then I always say that), and I really cannot stand iceberg lettuce, because it goes limp quickly and is very difficult to get onto your fork. Rocket or baby spinach, or cos would have been better. And the dressing was too acidic. Perhaps I just chose poorly on this particular day.
D was obviously in a breakfast/egg mood, because he went with the Spanish Omelette that, judging by the picture (because I was terrible with notes that day), included olives, red capsicum, and potentially artichoke?? As I said, my notes for this place are scarce indeed:
“The Quarter, 1st July 2011
Greek salad w lamb – needs more cheese, acid, tender lamb
Spanish omlette – no cheese!!!
Coffee – good flavour, not too strong (also no cheese, positive)”
Apart from noticing the cheese in every dish (even when there wasn’t any), and my hilarious little joke to myself, I haven’t left myself much material to work with! D said that though he enjoyed it, he missed the inclusion of cheese. Indeed, an omelette without cheese is a sad omelette indeed – I think the cheese gives the eggs a nicer taste.
All up, a pleasant but not outstanding experience at The Quarter, the wait staff in particular were a little negligent; we couldn’t get their attention for the bill for a good ten minutes, despite our attempts. The only thing they were on-the-ball about was filling up empty water bottles, so D bravely stepped up and finished our water in a desperate bid to get some attention. I suggest you stick to either breakfast or drinks here.