Sometimes the hype of a new place outweighs the quality of the food; and although we’ve all seen that good food alone isn’t always enough to cause a stir, there is no point going to a beautifully adorned cafe if the food is just short of bangers and mash.
The Shortlist is by no means beautifully adorned, in fact, it is warn down in an ironic and hip way. The tables are always full, the barista is faced with a long line each morning, but somehow, it doesn’t meet the hype I see on my daily commutes.
Upon entering it is a little disconcerting on what you are meant to be doing; not being greeted was a big tick in my naughty box, and then not being told to order at the counter while I had been sitting at a table was immensely rude in my books.
Finally when I had figured out the workings of this narrow little nook, we received coffee’s we did not order, and then our waiter took away our table number even though we were still waiting for food.
Alas, I never like to judge a place off insignificant details, but finally when my breakfast arrived (my friend decided not to order from the sheer confusion) it was pretty disappointing and bland. I ordered a potato and fetta hash, with oven roasted tomatoes and added $3 for Jamon. It also came with some undressed baby spinach, and was totally unseasoned.
I was chatting to the owner who seems very new in the game and she was lovingly apologetic and amenable enough for me to look past some of the more subtle misgivings. What I do not understand, however, is the way in which a cafe with medicore food, and barely decent coffee and barista staff, can have such a huge impact on the little suburb of Darlington. I’m sure any discerning cafe goer would not return here after their first visit.
The Shortlist – 258 Abercrombie Street, Darlington, 2008