Once seated at the table, my keys slip from the table to the floor. As I bend to pick them up, my fingers become smeared with a mixture of butter and salt, which suffered the same fate goodness knows how long ago and is now proud to call the linoleum home.
I glance around to see the same story under every other table – this place really needs a good mop.
Feeling slightly icky, I get on to ordering.
My Occasional Vegetarian, But Easily Pressured Into Eating Meat friend orders the scrambled eggs on toast with fetta.
Slightly gluggy, the eggs do the job on their own but really come out of their shell when combined with the fetta, which holds the creamy saltiness characteristic of high quality produce and becomes the glue which adheres all the flavours together.
The toast is warm, crusty and authentically sourdough – I wonder if it is baked on premises. A smattering of potatoes ups the carb quotient to ‘Alarming’ for this dish – not one I’d be caught dead eating, but luckily most boys I know don’t care about that sort of thing.
Always one to go for big breakfasts, I gamely order the Brewers Breakfast with poached eggs, baked field mushrooms, kale, lamb merguez sausage, avocado and sourdough.
I have low expectations after the whole floor incident, and when the dish is placed in front of me, I am slightly mollified.
It is when I bite into the sausage however that the sun beams on my tastebuds; pummelled with garlic and a hint of spice, this sausage is the kind of nirvana one experiences at 4am Drunk Souvlaki time; a sacred space which I never thought I’d experience sober at 11am.
I force my Occasional Vegetarian, But Easily Pressured Into Eating Meat friend into taking a bite. He agrees – this bish is on point. (Blame Instagram for that last sentence).
Funnily enough however, after you reach halfway and the dish cools, the meat almost becomes oppressive – the garlic is all of a sudden unctuously overbearing, leaving the palate desperately searching for some form of relief which surfaces as a messiah in the kale, cutting the greasiness.
Having said that, it still gets points for charming the pants off my tastebuds on first bite.
The mushrooms do little to rouse the palate however the eggs are poached perfectly and form a satisfyingly gooey paste when mixed with the avocado.
Light green splashes mixed with light wood and occasional hanging plants, a feature Bonsai plant and fresh herbs on display give Union St Brewers an environmentally conscious, if not slightly mountainous vibe.
The music is loud, overwhelmingly so, that I have to strain to hear my brunch buddy (and it’s not like I’m one of those terribly unhip fuddy-duddies who dislikes boom boxes).
The staff are a little confused at times, not sure of who has ordered what and leaving our juice sitting sadly by itself in a corner for 10 minutes before noticing it hasn’t been served yet.
As a cafe, the fare at Union St Brewers is good enough; as a hangout joint, the chilled-out atmosphere game is strong (OK, deleting my IG account NOW).
Service: 6, Food: 7
Union St Brewers is located at 34 Union St, Brunswick.