I’ve been doing a little bit of work down at Foxy Brown Café in Westgarth (aka Northcote). The owners and staff, aside from being warm, friendly, family oriented people, are all very much down to earth. As such they wanted to be able to utilise their surrounding gardens to grow things for use in their kitchen. It’s a great idea and it’s something, thankfully, that is really taking off in Melbourne. “Thankfully” I say, not because it means more work for me, but because I care about where my food comes from and I’m sure that there are many others out there like me. It’s wonderful to know that at least some of the food café’s are now preparing is grown right outside their door. I think that it’s a great demonstration of the commitment of such proprietors to deliver best quality food to their customers.
As you can see I’ve been working in the herb garden at the front of the café. I’ve jam packed this bed with as many plants as it can handle. First I removed the tomatoes that occupied the side of this bed through summer. Then there was a general tidy up, mostly removing the much-loved coriander, which had previously gone to seed. I replaced all of those plants with a slow bolting variety. I’ve added my heirloom carrots, peas, spring onions and tatsoi for their salads and some sweet alyssum for colour and bee fodder (relax, there won’t be swarms of bees). Everything else was cracking on: thyme, oregano, chives, parsley, basil ( ah, the ones I had to replace because some naughty person thought they were grown for their benefit! NOT!). The overall best performers have been the strawberries which have been treating clients and passers by with bursts of sweet red goodness. They are self propagating all over the place. Free plants + more strawberries = a big thumbs up from everybody.
A little history: Foxy Brown Café occupies a former Milk Bar (Corner Store) and is, after many years, once again serving the community, beautifully and possibly better than it ever has in the past. It is located in a lovely leafy neighbourhood setting, just a stones throw away from Dennis and Westgath stations on the Hurstbridge line. The coffee, roasted by both Josh Bailey and Patrick Sloane is interesting, diverse and lovingly prepared. The food is delicious and wholesome. And a bonus for the mums among us – it’s absolutely a baby friendly café.
One of my favorite things about Foxy is watching the young families coming in, mum and dad reading the paper, the kids colouring books or playing cars around the crockery. The kids of the neighbourhood love to come dressed in their favourite costumes, some kids drop by to sit on the couch out the front and demonstrate the latest song they’ve written [FoxyTalent]. It’s a great place for everyone.
Look, they might say their sixes funny, but that’s alright. So, get down, for the best damn brown in town =) and check out our garden while you’re there.
FOXY BROWN espresso bar and café
31a South Cres, Westgarth, Melbourne 3070
Open 7 days a week 7:30am – 5pm