The chaps at Ceremony were sandwich gods, purveying heaven between bread. Sadly they shut up shop to focus on other hospitality prospects (observe a moment of silence here). You can expect a new opening from the team in the new year.
Filling their large shoes at 7 Park Road is a somewhat similar outfit, Beakers and Jars. They've kept the famous communal table, the breakfast sarnies and the brick and concrete industrial interior, but added touches of the brand with blue signage and menus. The place looks great, and it's often abuzz with a slightly hipster clientele as well as regulars from down the road at the hospital and the Auckland Uni medical campus.
The menu is succinct with just ten brunch meals on offer. It's all delectable, from staples like the avocado on toast with dukkah and poached eggs ($14) to more out their options like the Crazy Pig ($15) — a massive breakfast burger featuring a buttery brioche bun, stringy melted cheese and tender braised pork. There are also chicken/pork sausage, smoked chicken and vegetarian burger options — all of which will delight the hungriest and most hungover of brunch-goers. Everything from the eggs to the pork and avocado is generously proportioned.
What's more, you can wash it all down with your choice of specialty coffees, from cold brew to pour over. The barista obviously knows his way around the Flight beans too, as when we popped in the coffee was all on point. There's also a selection of boutique teas available for the caffeine-averse, like the Salvation tea, with peppermint, kawakawa and dandelion root.
While the loss of Ceremony struck us to our flabby cores, Beakers and Jars has succeeded in lifting our spirits. Their respect for well-made, soul-and-hangover-healing breakfast burgers and an impeccably brewed cuppa means means they should be gracing the streets of Grafton for some time to come.