Don Campos and Bread & Circus, Alexandria

Last weekend, we headed out to Alexandria to check out the Art Hunter exhibition, which was a short term show set up by the famous art and design blogger The Cool Hunter.

Afterwards, we headed across the road to check out the Potting Shed, a new bar at the Grounds of Alexandria. BUT when we weaved through the crowded Grounds to get there, it wasn’t opened! This was a bit disappointing, as I had heard it had opened late March and was open from 11am… 😦 The Grounds website doesn’t say anything about it as yet, so I guess it’s still in the works?

Plus it was hot and I was looking forward to nice cold drink.

Thankfully, with the wonders of the Internet, we found some other nearby options at 21 Fountain Street:

Campos Specialty Brewing Bar

Don Campos Specialty Brewing Bar
Don Campos Specialty Brewing Bar

When you walk into 21 Fountain Street, the first ‘stop’ is the Campos Bar. In fact, that’s the only signage you see from the outside. We’d been looking for Bread & Circus and walked right past 21 Fountain Street, because the outside sign only says “Campos”.

Afternoon coffee
Afternoon coffee

Further in past Campos, however, is Bread & Circus! But straightaway, it’s obvious that there is a line of people waiting for tables. Sigh. I’m not a fan of waiting, which is why I always prefer to book ahead or just go somewhere else.

I can never understand the people who show up at Jamie Oliver’s Jamie’s Italian and are happy to wait 1 hour! From memory, we’ve waited at Chai Thai in Westfield Sydney (40 minutes!) and Reuben Hills (15 mins).

Anyway, we decide to grab a drink at Campos instead – since we’ll be having a big dinner later.

Affogato
Affogato

D2D orders a white chocolate affogato and I get the peanut butter affogato. It’s so good for a hot afternoon. I can’t taste much difference between the two affogatos, but it doesn’t really matter since anything with ice cream usually just tastes awesome.

Don Campos on Urbanspoon

While we waited for our affogatos, I’d wandered around.

Rosetta Stone Artisan Bakery
Rosetta Stone Artisan Bakery

Next to Don Campos is the cafe and bakery for the Rosetta Stone Artisan Bakery. Behind this small shop front is a large glass walled area for industrial baking! No one was baking this late in the afternoon, but it looked pretty pro.

The breads for sale
The breads for sale

I then snuck up to Bread & Circus and asked how long the wait for a table for two is. It’s only 10 minutes! So we quickly drink up our affogatos and go up….just in time for the line to be cleared except for another table for two! 🙂

Excellent timing…

Bread & Circus Wholefoods Canteen
Bread & Circus Wholefoods Canteen

Bread and Circus Wholefoods Canteen

  • Website: http://www.breadandcircus.com.au/
  • Address: 21 Fountain Street, Alexandria
  • Open: Mon to Fri (7am – 3pm) and Sat & Sun (7am – 4pm)
  • Call: 0418 214 425
  • Bookings: only for weekdays for groups of 5+
  • Communal table sharing available
Busy barista
Busy barista

Signposted with a giant spoon with “Bread & Circus” written on it, this place has a large open kitchen with fruits, vegetables, jars, sacks, pots, and buckets decorating every possible space!

Open kitchen
Open kitchen

I love the atmosphere of this place – kind of like a farmer’s market combined with a candy shop. I’m quite sure that if I tried this at home, it would look like an absolute mess.

I say candy shop because the colour theme of B&C appears to be PINK. Usually this would seem tacky, but somehow they manage to use the colour to make the place look quite beautiful with pink homewares, shelves and menus.

Jars
Jars

The staff here are all smiles and seat us with table water and the menu at the end of a communal table which isn’t too crowded. All the tables here at large wooden tables, seating probably 10 people each.

Check out all these people!

Communal tables
Communal tables

B&C has daily changing menus, which are uploaded on their website! The food menu is quite wide ranging, with Breakfast separated into a “bread” section (covering things with bread/toast) and “things with fruit” section. Lunch is then separated into soups, salads, sandwich boxes and the “daily plates”.

I would have loved to try more of their menu, but we’re only here for afternoon tea, so we order:

Six hour organic chicken brown rice congee w/ chilli flakes white pepper and shallot - $10
Six hour organic chicken brown rice congee w/ chilli flakes white pepper and shallot – $14

This seems to be a standing item on the B&C menu and also one of their more well known dishes to try. What can I say? It’s very good and rather peppery – a nice big bowl (think 2-3 Chinese rice bowls) for only $14! You can also get it as a ‘side’ for $8 (not sure how big this is) or takeaway for $10.

Their drinks menu is also impressive. They have a page for a variety of teas, plus coffees, and freshly blended juices etc.

Juice
Juice

Juices are around $8. I can’t recall which one we ordered, but it was delicious and had a nice sour touch.

This place is nice table decorations. Perhaps an easier way to describe B&C is via comparison to the Paramount Coffee Project. PCP can be described as ‘beautiful’ – it’s white spaces, minimalist, crisp, modern, glass, clear. B&C is pastel, organic, homely, real.

Table decorations
Table decorations

Notes: the food and drink did take a while to come out. So it’s best to come when you’re up for some relaxation or have time to spare.

Also, it’s probably best to come in a small group where you don’t mind table sharing. Otherwise you’ll have a wait a while.

They also take credit card and offer email receipts, which I thought was a nice touch towards being ‘paper conscious’.

Deckchairs
Deckchairs

AND, you can also sit outside on these colourful deck chairs for relaxation and a dog-friendly afternoon. Unfortunately there’s a bit of construction going on the adjacent building at the moment so the view from the deckchairs isn’t great (you can see the fencing in the photo there).

All in all, this was a cool find that I definitely prefer over the overcrowded Grounds.

Bread & Circus on Urbanspoon

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