Pope Joan, Brunswick

Pope Joan at a glance
Service 3

Atmosphere 4.5

Coffee 4.5

Menu 3.5

Food 4

Overall 3.9 🥑🥑🥑
Our second visit with Pope Joan regulars, we were looking forward to some yummy food and coffee coupled with a good atmosphere. We knew some of what to expect with this hip cafe with its retro boho interior, with a slight country cottage appeal and grandma China crockery, it was a good reminder that the North end of Nicholson street is still cool. They have a large seating area both inside and out the back of the restaurant and were pretty busy for a peak Saturday brunch time. 
Their menu isn’t extensive but has some unusual choices. Featuring a small almost brunch entree section, all day Breaky, sandwiches and lunch menus starting at differing times of the day, you won’t see too many of the usual suspects on this menu. But sometimes a step outside the comfort zone can be a good thing. Plus their drinks menu is quite impressive especially on the boozy side of things. 
As our friends were saving our table we had a little wait before we were served, with both coffee and food orders being taken at the same time. When the coffee arrived we think they gave me the strong latte by mistake. It was definitely strong, and to me it tasted a little bitter. Chris and our friends thoroughly enjoyed the coffee though so it was hard to fault. The atmosphere had a great relaxed feel, it wasn’t too loud but felt leisurely despite the bustle of people coming and going. 

Our friends (and Guest Reviewers) ordered their favourite meals when they come to Pope Joan as it’s a favourite hang out of theirs. They both ordered The Cornish sandwich, roasted chook, stuffing and jalapeño with a side of chips. They were both satisfied with their go to meal. 

 I ordered the Pope’s Huevos-chorizo, poached egg, spiced beans, guacamole and pepper salsa served on a tortilla. There was a delicate spice to the dish the chorizo was so yummy and meaty and the guacamole was unbelievably smooth. It was let down only by a slightly over cooked egg, dry tortilla and that it was a touch small.

Chris ordered Our ‘kinda’ Full English, Davids bacon, English sausage, scrambled eggs and Joan’s baked beans served on multigrain toast. The eggs weren’t too rich and cooked perfectly, could have done with more of them though. The bacon was cooked beautifully but again was a bit light on the plate. The baked beans had that lovely homemade flavour that makes you think of mums kitchen at home. The sausage was nice but a bit tough to cut through and the toast could have been spruced up with something a bit more interesting. Overall a pretty yummy dish with a few tweaks to be perfect. 

As it had been a while, we had a lot to catch up on with our friends and were lingering long after we finished our food. Service up until we finished our meals was quite attentive. The proactive presentation of the bill, and the follow up on said bill felt like we were being chased by debt collectors. The morning rush had long since finished and there were definitely tables available so we didn’t appreciate being interrupted mid sentence about paying the bill. Unfortunately this made us feel as if we were being given bums rush, and put a dampener on our Saturday brunch. 
Overall a pretty decent brunching experience, a definite return to Pope Joan isn’t doubtful, however hopefully the service will be slightly improved as this would have put this score in the 4s if it had been better. If you do happen to get yourselves there, do try the brownie as a post brunch dessert, you won’t be disappointed. 

This review sees us at the end of another month of brunching, we look forward to seeing you next weekend for another chilly weekend made for hot coffees and comforting brunches. 
-C, J, K & A

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