Take the Espresso Train to a socially responsible breakfast | Gourmand and Gourmet

Take the Espresso Train to a socially responsible breakfast

Dishing up scrumptious breakfasts, irresistible sweet treats and smooth coffee from their cosy café and catering business in Nundah, Espresso Train is a great suburban gem before you even know it’s an entirely not-for-profit organisation. Formed to provide meaningful employment for people with disabilities and mental health issues, the café relies completely on their delicious food and cheerful service to stay afloat – and with over 10 years of service behind them, you can gather that they’re doing a pretty good job. espresso train 2 Just about everything here is made in house from scratch, using local, seasonal and ethical ingredients like free range eggs and Coolala Milk. Regulars know to come hungry when they stop by for breakfast – the team in the kitchen are generous as well as cheerful when it comes to their eats. Whether you opt for something classic like their bacon, egg, cheddar and BBQ sauce burrito or something a little more adventurous like the bacon stuffed raisin and peanut butter French toast, there will be no walking away with any room in your stretchy pants after dining here. The creative seasonal Sunday brunch menu is worthy of a weekend visit no matter what season you’re in, but on weekdays, it’s lunch that really draws the crowds. You can sit down to a house made beef burger (which can be made ‘naked’ or gluten free!), vegetarian haloumi wrap or vegan bean burger packed with semi-dried tomato, quinoa and chia seeds, that was created with the help of Alejandro Cancino from Urbane. Or just grab one of the fresh sandwiches, wraps and salads to take with you. Either way, make sure you pick up a slice of something sweet while you’re there – not that you’d be able to resist anyway! espresso train 3 The charitable team behind this café and catering business with a difference is Chef Steve Goodale, previously of Gunshop and Fundies and once voted Queensland’s best vegetarian chef, and manager Kirsty Leigh, who has spent decades helping hospitality venues become more sustainable environmentally, socially and economically. Their dedication to making Espresso Train a café that’s as much about people as it is about food hasn’t gone unnoticed – 2015 saw them walk away with the Australian Social Enterprise of the Year Award. Hit the counter and chat to the friendly baristas, wait staff, bakers and even kitchen hands (who all love a good yarn) and you’ll find out just what a difference this enterprise has made in the lives of a whole lot of community members. It’s not just the breakfast and lunch menu that keeps them busy though – the café also offers delicious catering for events. From breakfast burritos and Turkish sandwiches for those business meetings to flavoursome finger food and platters for cocktail parties – this really is a café that does it all. They even do their best to be a good value sustainable eatery with over fifty per cent of their power coming from solar. Talk about a cafe with a conscience! Find out for yourself how much better brunch tastes when it’s served up with a side of social responsibility and head to Espresso Train. You’ll find them at 46 Station Street, Nundah, open Sunday to Friday for breakfast and lunch. Words by Ranyhyn Akui Images by Judit Losh