Since arriving in Melbourne Town, Proud Mary has constantly scored high in the Sharking books. The location just being off the high street, the groovy space and constant wonder at how they manage to get so many people in at once combine to make it a destination brunch venue. The door wench is as on the ball as St Ali’s and she has to be to get the masses in and out all weekend. A tip of my hat to you.
The space Proud Mary occupies flies in the face of every other minimalistic bare bone café venue that Melbourne continues to spit out. It transcends boundaries that invite a younger Fitzroy crowd but can easily feel homely to out of towners as well. As per this occasion when I had family coming from interstate and wanted to be tempted by Melbourne’s many brunch bars, Proud Mary was high on the list.
The coffee is constantly high quality, the waiter/resses are on the ball – even they are being pulled every which way but loose. If you do have a small wait on your hands you can get a coffee to bide your time or glance up to the wall which manages to fit the whole menu on a massive blackboard to ready yourself for ordering once your table is available.
On this occasion we went for a Melbourne staple of crushed avocado , herbed feta & slow roasted tomato on toast, rocket, lemon. It was an ample serve and a nice sourdough underneath to soak up the juices. The seasoning was on song and the feta provided a great salty accompaniment to the tomatoes.
The second dish was the free range green eggs served on toast, poached with a side of mushrooms to add to the mix. We have had some dire poached eggs in the blogging business but we have never had an issue with them here. They are poached perfectly and once you rupture the belly you do get a nice ooze of yellow yolk that you had secretly hoped for.
Every time I return to Proud Mary, without fail I order the Pork Belly Sandwich. It sort of goes without saying. I will be doing a series of posts soon where I will do a call for suggestions for Melbourne’s best pork belly sandwich, thickshake and the like. But until then Proud Mary’s pork belly sanga is about on par with the St Ali equivalent – and that is high praise indeed. This sandwich comes with a smoked paprika relish and a delicious aioli to boot.
There is a good selection of brunch, lunch and baked good to get your head around and it is well worth the effort to add this place to your repertoire as it very rarely disappoints.
Ph. (03) 9417 5930
172 Oxford Street