On my recent visit to Brisbane, several days before those devastating floods ripped through the region, I made sure of stopping by the Campos cafe in The Valley. It was kind of on the way to where I was going so jumping off the airport train at Brunswick Street was no great set-back and being so early in the morning, let’s say 8am, I was in dire need of another coffee and a little something to nibble on after my breakfast in Sydney two hours prior.
Campos is a coffee I’m all too familiar with. The original cafe is just up the road from me in Newtown, Sydney, and the more recently opened Don Campos in Alexandria is an equal distance away so I can’t help but feel a little spoilt for choice as I don’t have too far to walk to sit in for a cuppa or grab a kilo of beans to use at home.
The Valley is just as I remember it from my teenage years living in Brisbane. It’s gritty, industrial, a little seedy, and by the looks of it there’s a bit of yuppy money moving into the neighbourhood.
Campos sits in a warehouse off the main drag, down a little passage between buildings. The bulk of the cafe is located inside in air-conditioned bliss and I’m chuffed by the way they’ve utilised the narrow passage at the entrance by scattering a variety of tables over astro turf and using padded milk crates topped with coffee bean sacks as seats. There’s a bit of a country vibe going on with the use of corrugated iron on the walls and the healthy stream of Campos devotees says to me it’s not just hoards of Sydney folk that have succumbed to the bean down in the big smoke. This little Sydneysider just had to make Campos his first caffeinated port of call on this visit to Brisbane.
Breakfast is something I seldom go out for and when I do I never have pancakes. I think it was the combination of my first gutsy flat white ($3.5) and the thick Brisbane humidity that made me go for the ricotta pancakes (17). Bloody hell these things were three storeys high! Each pancake is an inch thick, light and fluffy and topped with blueberries, syrup and cream. The waitress says people usually struggle to finish it but I’m happy to say I ate every last crumb. Time to adjust the belt and order a macchiato (3) to wash it down before getting back to the train station and head out to the ‘burbs to be picked up by the mother.
As for the floods that made these guys sand bag like crazy and relocate the machinery to safer ground, the river decided to stop at the front door. Talk about being lucky.