Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Sydney Cafe Marathon 3 - Joe Black

Joe Black
27 Commonweatlh St, Surry Hills, Sydney

When you're away on a work-related trip, it's important to make it to at least some of the educational components of the program. Let's call it a work/play balance. I had just finished lunch at Reuben Hills and my mood was soaring and the weather was fabulous and I was skipping (not literally; didn't want to draw unwanted attention) back to the conference when I stopped short. Commonwealth Street. Hmm... that sounded familiar. I realized that's where Joe Black was, another cafe on my hit list.

Ok let's step back a bit. I admit I just had lunch at Reuben Hills. I did also have breakfast that morning at Savichees (which wasn't that long prior). My stomach was in no mood for more food. But I'm a food blogger. It's really bloody hard for me to resist going into an on-trend food destination when there might not be another opportunity for me to do so. I live in Toowoomba. It's not like I'm in Sydney every weekend (those 2 past weekends notwithstanding).

I told my stomach to man the frick up, located the entrance to Joe Black (it's tiny so keep your eyes peeled) and headed in. I must've looked dazed standing there for a while because the friendly bar staff told me to take a seat and followed up with a "we don't bite, you know".

Once again, I experienced the benefit of being a solo diner, being squeezed into a corner table where there was no room for any party greater than one. I was starting to feel pretty good about this whole eating alone thing. Truth be told, eating 3 meals practically back-to-back is something you want to do in private anyway so that's yet another reason I was glad not to have company. The water was served in Coopers long necks, which makes it superior to regular tap water ;).

Joe Black is a coffee spot famous for coffee. There's coffee-inspired art on the walls. There are tubes and flasks and things reminicent of a chemistry lab. All that to produce a kick ass cuppa. While I was there, I even got to witness one of the guys perform the coffee ritual. Fire was involved. And bubbles. And things. It was cool. I was impressed anyway.

I ordered a coffee (duh) and for the sake of completeness, a veggie sandwich and a muffin. PLEASE DON'T CALL ME A PIG. I was sacrificing myself for this blog, I swear! It had to be done.


The coffee came first. Mmm... delicious. I wish I took on a coffee-appreciation course so I could learn more adjectives that I could use in situations like this. Somehow 'good' and 'rich' just doesn't seem to cut it. Look, it was an amazing coffee and I drink coffee a lot and I might not be the queen of knowing what's what but I know enough that it tasted good.

Roasted veggie sambo with hummus

I sampled the veggie sandwich next. It was just jam packed with roast vegetables, with pumpkin being the predominant filling in my first couple of bites.

Loaded with veggies

Although I do love vegetables (which is why I chose this over say, the chicken burger), I thought this sandwhich could have done with more flavor. Something unhealthy? Dare I say, bacon even??? No, I retract that statement. Vegetables don't need meat to taste good. I'm sure they could've done with a jazzier sauce, perhaps.

White chocolate and raspeberry Betty Croaker's muffin with ricotta

The white chocolate and raspberry muffin was pretty cool. It made me giggle a bit because people get so worked up how tall their muffins rise and how 'cute' they look etc etc. This was more of a chunky muffin in the shape of a scone, that is to say, no real discernible muffin shape at all. And let me say it was delicious. It was served with some ricotta on the side which I thought was a strange accompaniment but it worked fairly well together. Not like "why haven't I done this before?" but more that it helped to cut the sweetness of the white chocolate.

Joe Black was a lovely little coffee stop. It was tiny and 'hip' (gosh I hate using that word) but not at all intimidating for that fact. The coffee is definitely the winner here but they offer some mean food options so you don't have to go at it on coffee alone or shuffle off to another food destination. I thought the baristas were a friendly lot too and if I had any interest in coffee theory (I have plenty of interest in coffee drinking but it doens't extend beyond that), I'm sure they would have been a ball to chat with.
Joe Black on Urbanspoon


  1. Do you know what brand of coffee beans they use? Or is it their own?

  2. I think they use their own and not only that but there are a few different blends avail each day? Not sure but I recall reading that somewhere.