The first thing I notice when I wander over the road from my house and into Meet Gerard, apart from the pleasingly minimalist decor, is the stack of well-loved cookbooks on the kitchen counter, namely Stephanie’ Alexander’s A Cook’s Companion and Yotam Ottolenghi’s Nopi. I’m in good hands. It’s been here for less than a month, but already this converted corner shop shouldering Henderson Road and Gerard Street is gaining traction amongst Alexandrians, filling the gap between the Fountain Street eatery precinct and the cafe strip along Botany Road. And for good reason – everything in this friendly little café is made in-house, supplemented with bread from Sonoma and beans from Coffee Alchemy.
With the likes of buckwheat, burnt butter hummus, and heirloom baby carrots lurking on the menu, it would be easy enough to write off Meet Gerard as yet another hipster-organic-natural-wholefoods café. But this place is legit, with a genuine, relaxed, and friendly vibe, and a rotating seasonal menu that puts an innovative spin on the classics (and doesn’t charge you $35 for your coffee and eggs).
Smashed avo on toast is topped with lime, feta, pickled chili, coriander, and yuko sesame, the banana bread is made from spelt and is served with espresso butter, and the porridge comes with homemade date honey, rose, pear and rhubarb. But the Granny Apple French Toast is where it’s at – one side of a very generous slice of sourdough has been given the classic dipped-in-egg treatment, the other side is smothered in ricotta and topped with baked apples and nine spice crumble, and drizzled with whey caramel. It’s truly what breakfast-dessert dreams are made of. At the counter there’s a daily selection of house-made goodies to take away – expect the likes of baby bundt cakes, flourless orange cake, oatmeal biscuits (which I can highly recommend), chocolate brookies, and banana and peanut butter cake. Best make the most of the stellar Autumn menu, then ease into what is sure to be a cracking Winter lineup!
Meet Gerard | 54 Henderson Road Alexandria