Marc and I are just about the laziest people in the world but luckily, we have some positive external influences in the form of friends who are more active than we. Jenny suggested that we not only climb Mount Warning (which in itself is formidable for someone as unfit as I am) but that we do the 3am climb to get there in time for sunrise.
It was one of those ideas that I cursed all the way up the mountain. Every agonizing step and difficult breath reminded me just why I like spending my weekends at home in bed. We did, however, make it up in time. Seeing the sunrise and finally descending back at the bottom of the mountain gave us a huge sense of achievement... and also a rumbling hunger.
Garthritis suggested a cafe near Mount Warning called Sphinx Rock that he had been recommended by friends. We were concerned that Sphinx Rock Cafe wasn't open yet but timing worked out well because by the time we drove there, the kitchen was definitely up and running.
Sphinx Rock Cafe appears to be in the middle of nowhere but it must have a popular reputation because it was fairly busy the entire time we were there. There is dining space indoors (limited), on the back deck and in their semi-covered yard. It was a chilly morning so we took shelter at the deck where the sun could reach us but the wind was blocked.
The menu has a good variety of breakfast items. I saw salmon, haloumi and eggy things on offer along with several vegetarian options. We had all been up since 1am that morning to drive to Mount Warning so the first thing on all our minds was coffee.
The coffee was not only great for waking us up but was also blessedly warm. It was so cold that morning that having a mug of hot liquid was great even as a hand warmer.
As for food, three at our table ordered the big breakfast. A big walk deserves a big breakfast. Garthritis went for the pea and haloumi fritters with added bacon. I chose the 'The Veggie', which I think is like the vegetarian equivalent of big breakfast.
The big breakfast was suitably 'big' with a cast of all the typical savoury day starters: eggs, bacon, toast, baked beans, sausage, mushrooms and even a homemade hashbrown. I was amused by the obligatory green on the plate, represented by a single baby spinach leaf. That ended up being the only thing on the plate that Marc didn't eat!
Pea and haloumi fritters with side of bacon
Garthritis was disappointed that his pea and haloumi fritters didn't contain actual identifiable pieces of haloumi. We suspect it was blended up into the fritters? This was a pretty-looking dish and the greenest of the lot but I don't think it would have been satisfying enough if it weren't for the addition of bacon.
The Veggie big breakfast
My veggie breakfast was definitely satisfying. I did get large slices of grilled haloumi, piled onto a crunchy slice of toast along with a stack of cooked vegetables and a poached egg. My favourite component was the eggplant.
Sphinx Rock Cafe is a bit far for me to dine at regularly but if you're in that part of Australia, I recommend it as a great spot for both food and atmosphere. The menu is comprehensive, with the lunch menu containing some delicious-sounding burgers that unfortunately for us weren't available at breakfast time. It was perfect for our post-Mount Warning hike because the food was generous, tasty and homely.