I like lots of types of holes: blow holes, glory holes, plot holes, assholes and crotchless panties. You can now add the wall hole at Wall Two 80 to that list. Because it’s a cracker. It has that Balaclitzroy feel about it – the one where I’m not cool enough to be here but it doesn’t matter because I was eating on Carlisle Street 10 years ago when you were still getting detention for pulling Sally Berger’s hair and when Wall Two 80 was still a kosher butcher.
Balaclava’s seedy back streets are no longer just a place for hookers and junkies (no offense; I actually kind of appreciate the texture they add, especially that one time when I saw a woman break another woman’s nose with her kneecap). Instead, it has the makings of a mecca of brunching locations. The kind of place you visit on a Saturday morning and remark, “there are just so many choices, John, which one do you think we will look coolest in?”
Wall Two 80 is at the rear of 280 Carlisle Street, despite actually having possession of the Carlisle Street frontage. It boasts a wall (if you’re really smart, you may be starting to see the way the name came together) of street art that changes periodically, wherein there is a hole through which the coffee comes. Or at least that is my understanding. The last time I really stopped for any considerable time in Nelson Street (where the wall faces) was when there was still a Red Rooster there and bizarrely it always smelled a bit like urine.
Not that this place smells like urine. Far from it. I could smell the coffee and eggs from down the street and literally* floated inside like I was in a Hanna-Barbera cartoon. The menu boasts the holy grail of breakfasts: brioche with chocolate, orange and poached fruit. For those of you playing at home, that’s basically a cake with chocolate on it. For breakfast.
I am trying not to be a total pig and so ordered the coddled eggs with avocado, cottage cheese, fresh tomatoes and basil. Coddled eggs are like poached eggs, but they’re cooked in a metal ramekin, which gives them a fun curdly texture and an excuse to eat them with a spoon.
I like them because their name sounds like cuddled eggs, and that gives me a fun visual of little eggs wrapped in blankets while their mama eggs allay their every fear. After that had occurred to me, I started to create all kinds of scenarios for the eggs, and then occupations and then white collar crimes and I had even made it to child eggs’ middle names before realising my breakfast was getting cold and also I was letting the insanity overwhelm me.
The food did rather feel like cuddling. My coddled eggs were hot and runny and my toast was like a bed for silk sheets of mashed avocado. It wasn’t quite as tasty as I had hoped, but it ticked all the other boxes. I was happy in my hoodie until backpackers with iPhones sat next to me, at which point I scurried away.
There is an EFTPOS minimum of $20, so including my juice I was ‘forced’ to buy a chocolate brownie as well. If I hadn’t scoffed it before even making it out of the joint, I would have taken a photo of it for you. As it is, you’ll just have to take my word for it – it was delicious.
So thumbs up, Wall Two 80. It’s uncomplicated – just hearty, honest food and some hipsters.
* Not literally