This venue looks great and I’m annoyed that I didn’t take any photos of it for you all! It’s in the heart of an industrial area and is inside a big shed. The counter & kitchen are tucked inside a shipping container with doors & windows cut out. Outside the barrista station hangs four giant industrial lamps; throughout the rest of the shed, light globes hang with rolled up paddock-style wire fencing wrapped around them as makeshift light shades. The tables are long, wooden and rustic looking and they’re paired with metal chairs.
The coffee at Brewhouse is absolutely terrific. It’s strong and creamy; absolutely top notch and some of the best available in Bendigo. Fortunately, you can purchase a variety of their roasted beans to take home. I highly recommend them!
The menu, however, is sorely disappointing – especially if you’re a vegan. There’s one vegetarian option (a turkish roll with grilled veggies) which I suppose you could order, but you’d have to ask for it without the haloumi and make some changes to the salad or omit it altogether. This option was pretty boring to me, so I started asking lots of questions (though evidently, I didn’t ask enough). On the specials board, there was a veggo breakfast advertised with your choice of four toppings. Unfortuantely, the base of this breakfast is 2 eggs on 2 pieces of toast. So, I decided to try another approach – maybe I could make my own meal out of several of the sides.
I asked about the chips – they’re vegan, but they’re also pre-packaged and frozen, with more ingredients than a deep fried potato should have (and let’s face it – if I wanted frozen chips, I could get them a lot cheaper at the supermarket). I was really disappointed by this, as I was all geared up for some special, hand cut chips – but I ordered them anyway, since my choices were already severely limited. I also tried to cut these guys some slack, considering the size of their kitchen and staff.
In addition, I ordered the braised beans (which were nice, but not amazing), some avocado and the side salad. I specifically asked if the side salad was a “standard garden salad” and was told “yes”. No. No, it definitely wasn’t. What appeared on my plate was a Greek salad (with feta in it), drizzled with a honey/mustard/mayo dressing. There was at least three ingredients in it that I couldn’t eat, so I sadly scraped it off onto Mr. AA’s plate and ate the epic portion of carbohydrates pictured above while sulking. I left feeling heavy and annoyed.
In most cases, I expect to have issues when eating out. I try not to judge menus based on my dietary requirements because let’s face it – the word “vegan” is foreign to A LOT of people and I’m not in denial of that. I’m understanding. But in this case, I was especially disappointed because I’d been in touch with these guys earlier this year to express my excitement and enouragement about their kitchen opening. I’d made a point of introducing myself and said I’d come back to review their venue when the kitchen had opened/settled and hoped that they’d make a vegan option available on the menu. Sadly, this didn’t happen.
If you need a vegan meal, don’t bother. But if you want a fabulous coffee, you’re in the right place.