When roaming along Given Terrace, Lorna Jane bag in one hand, Fundies tote in the other, trying to pick a cafe to brunch at can be one of the most stressful experiences for any Paddington shopper. This strip is awash in cosmopolitan cafes, yet Tall Short Espresso is the one sit-down or takeaway safety net, where you can go, eat, pay and not feeling like you've been fleeced of quality and cash.
Once upon a time Tall Short was a lone nomadic red VW Kombi that popped up around Brisbane serving A-grade coffee at a price that wasn't painful. Now in its fixed position on Given Terrace — just down from the hardware store — Tall Short has given itself an umbrella-shaded sidewalk and cafe-space to move, and boy has it stretched its legs.
Whether you want to sit in and have some brekkie, nab a takeaway coffee, overdose on baked goods, or drink until dawn, Tall Short has the goods to deliver. They do the classics excellently; there's avo on toast ($4.50 a slice), croissants ($4 for jam, $6 for ham and cheese), baked beans on sourdough ($6 for one slice, $10 for two) and ham and cheese toastie ($6).
If you're really out for a treat, try one of their bagels — the bacon and egg surpasses any other in the area (besides Scout) and their New York bagel is so richly laden in cream cheese it could have any American swooning. There's always a selection of brownies, carrot cakes, muffins and banana bread if you're in the market for something a little sweeter.
While the coffee is rich and delicious, the sweetest bit about Tall Short is every cup comes with a gingerbread man — a smiling little bickie that can throw a silver lining around even the most solemn of days. You've got to admire a cafe that adds a little spice to the ordinary, and does it with crunch and smile. And if coffee, gingerbread, cakes and bagels aren't really your scene, Tall Short transforms into a bar Fridays from 5pm, Saturdays from 3pm and Sundays from 2pm. The beer selection is crafty, and the atmosphere is rife with conversation and cheer.
Simply put, Tall Short caters to everyone and anything — it's family friendly, open enough to have the wildest of conversations, and dishes up food and coffee in tune with what you would expect from Paddington. If you're ever confused, coffee-starved, and searching the streets of Paddington for a little relief, Tall Short is your answer.