I like to call this misadventure The Case of the Invisible and Free Apple Juice. Because I know I ordered three of them – confirmed by my little companions – but they never arrived, and no one ever mentioned them again, even when I paid my bill. So where did they go?
Parkdale is a funny little place. Whenever I think of it, I see the main strip in Mentone and think that is Parkdale, but it isn’t. Parkdale has a Pizza Hut and Parkers Cafe and that’s pretty much it. In some ways, that makes it a really nice spot to sit and eat, so we did, after I reverse parallel parked right out the front and nearly killed several people.
Parkers Cafe has the option of outdoor seating in the same way that Future Music Festival has the option of coked-up hipsters. It’s more or less the only option. There’s enough seating inside for maybe ten people, and because of the way the interior is laid out there’s a fun bottleneck that forms exactly where wait staff need to take hot coffee. It also happens to be right at the location of the colouring-in sheets for the wee children (that is, the ones who would prefer not to be coated in boiling caffeinated water). The end result is a fun game of Dodge The Child Without Spilling Anything Or Yelling. My kids loved it!
Luckily for us, pancakes happened to be the daily breakfast special. We explained to the very nice waitress that we were on a “pancake tour of Melbourne” (Lily said ‘JUDGING BREAKFASTS’ and cackled like the devil incarnate) and she kindly offered to have the one serving divided into three separate dishes, which I thought was a bit nice. For those of you playing at home, it was at this point that we had a conversation about what kind of juice was on offer, and also when I ordered some.
The pancakes arrived in almost no time at all, and they looked darling. The three of us had identical miniature serves – one thick pancake topped with berries, syrup and icecream. But Lily said it best when she exclaimed, “Mum, why does this pancake taste kind of like bread?” She was right – it was dry, crumbly and generally pretty ordinary. I didn’t finish mine, so it was lucky I had my little band of adventurers to pick up my slack. They will eat anything remotely pancake shaped.
At $16.50, it was reasonable value when divided into three individual serves, but it definitely wasn’t worth the investment for just one person. And then there was the apple juice that never arrived, which of course we weren’t charged for as it seems that the conversation never took place at all.
As you may be able to gauge from my underwhelming post, I was underwhelmed by Parkers Cafe and probably won’t go back.