The jokes about The Pour Kids really write themselves: ‘poor kids can’t afford breakfast’, ‘I try not to eat around poor kids’, ‘I was happy to pay for breakfast this morning and donate to some poor kids’. I had them all drafted before I even left home. But when I arrived, I was struck down by the incredible adorableness therein and scrapped all of them. Ergo, I don’t have any funny jokes, but I do have a smug satisfaction in my belly.
I’ve always loved the sound of ‘Winter Street’. There’s a street sign pointing down the road with ‘Winter Street Eats’ on it, and although the original cafe is no longer there and it was really just a place that poured canned soup into a Styrofoam cup, the name of it always made me think of a kind of wonderful snowy street festival with vats of curry and stew and people gathered around a bonfire. That mental image may have had a small degree of impact on how much I enjoyed The Pour Kids, though in reality it really can stand alone as an eatery wherein everything is completely darling.
For example, the menu is darling. The dishes are named with hilarious puns and have intriguing mixtures of flavours. I eyed the deep fried poached eggs with chorizo and feta longingly, but sensibly opted for the Smash and Grab – bruschetta of smashed avo, marinated Danish feta, rocket, slow roasted tomatoes and balsamic reductions. My inner vegetarian has emerged after so many weeks of ham, ham and sides of ham.
And the wait staff are darling. Though they did stand quite close together at the counter and probably say things about me and how I had awkwardly perched on the high stool but was too embarrassed to move to a chair of a more reasonable height. Or other similar water cooler conversation.
Speaking of which, the tables and chairs are darling. They are all different colours, as if someone has plucked them from hard rubbish and helped homeless children to paint them by hand. And there are darling sugar receptacles and darling salt and pepper grinders and a darling yellow espresso machine.
Unlike some other places I’ve been, the smashed avocado at The Pour Kids is a proper meal. The bread is from Knead Bakers in Hawthorn, and it is a thick pillow of gluten-rich brioche atop a river of the sweetness of balsamic vinegar and the tartness of feta. I cruised down that river like a person possessed, chewing loudly and flapping wildly with each bite until the other patrons told me I should probably leave.
And I did leave, because I had work to do and it was getting close to peak school zone times and there’s nothing worse than getting caught up in that heady SUV cavalcade. But I had a smile on my face, because this is, to date, the best smashed avocado I’ve experienced, anywhere, ever.