The Gold Coast is synonymous with many things; the V8s, Meter Maids, teeny weeny bikinis, drunk maccas pit stops, Chinese food, tourist attractions involving laser lights… A great brunch, however has not been that list until very recently.
For those who do their homework and are willing to branch out a little further than Cavill Ave, there are a few brunch spots that are making their way down the grapevine, like Cardamom Pod.
Determined to track down the best beach-side brunch spot, I dragged my ass all the way to Burleigh Social.
The vibe of the cafe was pretty cool; located in a repurposed shed and decked out with plenty of picnic-bench seats and #hip artwork, it seems like the kind of place you’d bust out of the ocean for and wander down with your surfboard in hand. But it’s not really that close to the beach and you have to walk across the highway so there was actually none of that going on 🙁
Now I’m going to preface this next paragraph by stating that I am poor and when I spend good money on a breakfast meal, I want it to be an ~experience~. I don’t want to have to tag team it up to the counter to order, I want to be waited on, I want my food delivered right under my nose, I want a napkin that isn’t 1 ply and a shade of environmentally-friendly-brown and I would like a free tiara shine at the end. Not so much to ask, right?
So the thing that I couldn’t really get behind with Burleigh Social is that you have to do everything yourself, short of actually cooking your own breakfast. The food is also served in a takeaway container with wooden cutlery that couldn’t stab a marshmallow. If the cafe was adjacent to the beach, I’d get it. But it’s not. So unless you want to watch the traffic float by on the highway as you eat your eggs, the mandatory takeaway box is stupid and wasteful.
AAANYWAY, down to business. The coffee was really good but the Oreo and caramel milkshake was luke-warm. The pulled pork burger with coleslaw was saucy and flavoursome but the avo on toast with dukkah and poached eggs was impossible to cut with the sticks I had to use for cutlery and the eggs were soggy. All in all, an average brunch that was made extra average by the DIY takeaway style service.
It’s ok, I have recovered.
So the next weekend I popped on down to the Gold Coast I was going with a new brunch spot in mind, just down the road from Burleigh Social on the whimsically named, Hibiscus Haven. Paddock Bakery has an Instagram that will make a carb lover like me swoon. Salted caramel pretzel cookie donut? yes pls.
Paddock Bakery is slightly bigger than Burleigh Social and has less of a ‘beach’ vibe and more of a ‘farmhouse’ vibe. It’s super cute. I was excited to snag a seat because it was packed and I acted very opportunistically when I saw a group shuffle around as though they were leaving. Luckily they were.
The menu looked awesome AND we had scored a fab seat, so I was understandably disappointed when I realised I was going to have to use my legs to walk to the counter and wait in line to order my food *insert eye roll*.
I had the toad in the hole which consisted of 2 eggs fried in a big slice of house made bread, with avo, bacon and spicy sambal. I also had the magical pretzel donut. The food was awesome and we didn’t have to wait long despite it being busy. BUT Paddock also serve all their food in a cardboard box, but at least I got real cutlery this time.
Turns out this review has been less about the food and more about the service but I would argue these are equally important features when dining out. And I’m sure you all know what avo on toast tastes like.
TLDR; the food at Paddock won the battle of my tummy, but the service model at both Paddock and Burleigh Social lost the battle of my heart. There were many casualties at the battle of Hibiscus Haven and the search continues for the ultimate GC brunch.
Paddock Bakery is at 20 Hibiscus Haven, Burleigh Heads and is open 6:30am-3pm 7 days.
Check them out here: https://www.facebook.com/PaddockBakery/ and here: @paddockbakery
Burleigh Social is at 2 Hibiscus Haven and is open 6am-2pm 7 days.
Check them out here: https://www.facebook.com/Burleighsocial/ and here: @burleighsocial
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