Day in, day out - the working week can drag on like groundhog day and tired legs on a hot summer's day. To escape and prepare for the daily grind, office workers need their daily grinds. Much like ants the CBD workers, always in a hurry, trudge into one of hundreds of espresso bars and cafes lining every corner. Triple macchiato and a muffin-that-is-more-like-cake* and off they go.
Fortunately, the CBD's newest laneway cafe is anything but ordinary and those who are curious will spot it first. Tucked away in Burnett Lane, blink and you'll walk right by, but open your eyes and climb the half-flight of stair to meet with Felix Espresso and Winebar. This is not the sort of place you want to stop, grab a coffee and walk on by, but somewhat of an urban oasis to sit, enjoy and contemplate within.
The small cafe's design is an interesting and well-executed one. From the street go up half a flight, turn left and you'll reach the coffee counter filled with fresh-baked goods and roasting beans. Behind it is the small kitchen, and in front is seating. Step down a few stairs into the sunken eating area and pull up a bar stool at the open stained-glass window. Taking over one wall is a massive print of a cloud, helping feed your day dreams about further places, and the other wall is raw brick.
The menu puts a focus on on healthy food made from scratch. Daily offerings vary but usually include 2-3 salad options, fresh-baked savoury tarts, goat pies, baguettes, chia cups, green smoothies and home-baked sweets. The coffee is organic and comes from Cup, and Felix even make their own almond milk. That's dedication.
For lunch, a caramelised onion, feta and pumpkin tart with two salads sets you back a reasonable $13. Served on a blue-rimmed white tin plate, the salads of the day were a raw beetroot, feta and pepita, and a raw grated zucchini with olive, parmesan and barley offering – both definitely beat a greek or caesar from any food court. Wash it down with a raw cashew-milk smoothie. The strawberry one had a fresh, strong real-fruit taste.
Sadly, like many CBD cafes, it is not open on weekends, and the winebar side of things yet to show its face. Felix is young on the scene and we can't wait to see this venue evolve into a Brisbane staple, we feel it has what it takes.
*We'll leave the muffin/cake/cupcake battle for another time.