Named after chef-owner Robin Neabes’ inquisitive daughter Lucy, Curious Goose, located smack bang in the middle of Sydney Road’s two-dollar shop district, is a spacious double-fronted café that sits somewhere between family friendly and Instagram chic. The weekends may get busy, but on a quiet mid-week morning, you should have your pick of the two long tables for spreading out with a newspaper and catching the morning sun.
The Goose offers straight down the line wholesomeness, including somewhat twee fowl-themed paraphernalia and an orange and sultana loaf with roasted fig jam that's deliciously pious. They're flying the old 'big breakfast' flag too with streaky bacon, white bean braise and grilled chorizo – probably more your speed if your plus one is a hangover.
Coffees arrive quickly with a bio as descriptive as a Russian mail order bride website. With Steve and Trevor Simmons of Penny Farthing fame providing the beans you know you’re in for a thick, full-bodied cup of puritan’s crack worth doubling back at lunch for. Or dinner for that matter – the crew have just swung open doors to Hava Gander out back where you can get a fat fix of pizza, pide and jugs of Otway beer in the garden from Wednesday to Sunday. And if the lunch piadina’s anything to go by, we’re in.
Toasty and filled with pulled braised lamb shoulder, pickled zucchini and shaved apple coleslaw it's appropriately labour-intensive (when you’re paying someone to cook, you want your money’s worth in sweat), and the slow cooked meat is soft enough that you just know someone in the kitchen had to get up early. Flavour-town (population: this piadina) can get a little soggy in places, but it’s structurally sound enough to tackle with steady hands.
Brunswick needs another café like the internet needs another cat meme, but coffee this good is worth cycling across a couple of suburbs for.