Friday, September 7, 2012


I just started a new job this week, so the week before I began, I took advantage of my short lived freedom to eat like crazy and brunch like there was no tomorrow mornings off.

 This was breakfast. This is why they tell you that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. If everyone started their day like this, Melbourne would be a beautiful place.

The first port of call was Collingwood’s Proud Mary to begin a chilly Wednesday for breakfast. I used to visit Proud Mary a lot when I was an intern in Collingwood but as it’s almost on the other side of town, I don’t get there too much now. Either way, as I was reminded, the cafe is well worth the trip and food here is top notch.

Crowded for breakfast, lunch and take-away coffee, Proud Mary is a Melbourne favourite for all of the above. Despite being packed almost every time I've visited, wait times are minimal and it’s not a huge challenge to find a table on a weekday morning. When we arrived, menus were distributed within a few minutes of sitting, and our coffee arrived a few minutes after that. Generally, service is fast and organised, without lacking in care. At Proud Mary, they have crowd-management down to a fine art, and live between that fine line of wham-bam-thankyou-ma'am service and a nicely paced eatery.

We both ordered the Potato Hash, which usually is made up of a thick hash brown, grilled bacon, spinach, a poached egg, bagna cauda (a light italian sauce, made up of anchovies, cream and garlic) which proved to be a good choice on a miserable Melbourne morning.

My meal involved just the right amount of potato, spinach and salmon (my substitute for bacon) with a well poached egg. It was hearty and warm, but I was thankful for the salmon, which added a change of texture and some lightness to a heavy dish. However, my friend altered hers by swapping the eggs for tomato, and was just as pleased with her meal as I was with mine. Both dishes were perfectly sized, leaving us pleasantly full.

What I really noticed about our meals, and those of people around us, was that both dishes were beautifully presented, full of colour and delicately arranged. The salmon on my plate has been perfectly folded into a little round nest, while the other components of the meal looked wonderful alongside. There is no real benefit to eating food art, but it certainly made me slow down and enjoy my meal a little more then usual and I appreciated the effort that had gone into the look of our meals. 

I also liked how much choice the meals were. With a huge selection of sides on offer beyond the regular menu, you get the impression that Proud Mary is willing to cater for everyone. Although the hot breakfast menu is not huge, the set menu is adaptable to almost any taste, so if your favourites aren't there, try the 'sides'. 

Price wise, Proud Mary reaches, and almost exceeds my $20 budget, especially after I added my latte to the bill. But this breakfast experience was really, really great and with sufficient staffing, minimal waiting times and decent serves (the big three, am i right?) I left feeling more then satisfied that it was money well spent. So, if you're having a flash week and find yourself in Collingwood, head to Proud Mary.   

Proud Mary roast their own beans. Thus, best coffee out. 


172 Oxford St (off Smith Street)
Collingwood, Victoria 3066

Monday – Friday : 7am to 4pm
Saturday – Sunday : 8am to 4pm
Public Holidays : 7am to 4pm

Good for: Coffee; both the take-away and in-house options are quick and really good. Also good for groups of friends because of the long tables, but I'd stick to smaller groups during peak times.
Vegetarians: Will be able to eat well-  for breakfast, there are more vegetarian options then there are meat-options with additional vegetarian sides available.
Wait time: We walked straight in and found a spot on a communal table at around 10.30am last Wednesday morning.
Food waiting time: Not long at all- less then 15 minutes in total. 
Cost: PM added an extra dollar for the salmon, making the meal and my latte $21.00 all up.

 Proud Mary on Urbanspoon

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