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Inside Industry Bakery

Quickie Restaurant Review: Industry Bakery in Emmarentia

A few weeks ago I organized an Internations coffee gathering at Industry Bakery in Emmarentia. I had been to Industry briefly once before, but didn’t sit down to eat. This time I ordered a couple of coffees and a full breakfast, so I thought I’d give the place a quick review in 400 words or less.

Inside Industry BakeryInside Industry Bakery.

Before this recent visit I already knew that Industry has a pleasant atmosphere (I love the industrial feel of the interior) and good coffee. But I was surprised by the interesting breakfast menu. Unfortunately I forgot to take a photo of the menu and now I can’t find it online, so I don’t know the exact description of what I ate. But it was innovative and tasty.

Industry Bakery breakfast wrap with eggI wish I could remember exactly what this breakfast dish is called. It was a burrito-like wrap, which tasted sort of like a thin crumpet, with a spicy egg mixture inside. 

Industry Bakery chocolate pancakesThe man sitting next to me ordered these beautiful chocolate flapjacks, which contain no sugar and are therefore “Banting-friendly”. I didn’t try them. The man said they were good but could do with a little Banting-unfriendly sweetener. Either way, I love the look and would probably order them solely based on their Instagrammability.

Industry bakery cappucinoAn Industry cappuccino. I believe Industry gets its beans from Bean There Coffee Company.

Industry Bakery tableBaked goods for sale at Industry.

Industry Bakery challah breadThis challah bread looked delicious but for some crazy reason I didn’t buy any. I’ll give the baked goods a try next time.

My Take on Industry Bakery

Quick takeaway from my Industry visit: Great coffee, innovative menu, convenient location (right off Barry Hertzog in the quirky shopping center with Wimpy and District Six restaurant), hip and comfortable atmosphere. Also, Industry is certified halal — a bonus in a community with a large concentration of Muslim residents.

Inside Industry BakeryOur Internations group at Industry Bakery.

I like it there and I’ll go back. If I’d known about Industry last year when I wrote my “Best Breakfasts in the Jozi ‘Burbs” post, I might have included it.

More 400-word quickie restaurant reviews coming soon.

Breakfast in the Jozi ‘Burbs: My Top Five Picks

I’ve been meaning to write a breakfast installment of my Jozi Top Five series forever. It’s a tricky one though because there are so many restaurants to choose from. Breakfast is big here and a huge percentage of Joburg restaurants open for breakfast. (On the flip side, a large percentage of Joburg restaurants are closed for dinner.)

I don’t make it out for breakfast very often, as I’m hungry in the morning and usually too impatient to leave the house, go to a restaurant, place my order, and then wait for the food to be served. And when I do commit to going out for breakfast it’s usually somewhere close to home.

So my list of top breakfast spots is unabashedly biased toward my own neighborhood: I’ve included picks in Melville, Milpark, Parkview, Parkwood, and Parkhurst. The list is by no means comprehensive, but hopefully helpful for those who frequent Joburg’s inner suburbs.

1) Salvation Café
44 Stanley Avenue, Milpark

I can’t believe I’ve never written about Salvation Café before. It was one of the first Joburg restaurants I ever ate in — I had lunch there on my maiden visit to Joburg in 2008 — and I’ve been at least 25 times since. Salvation Café is in the courtyard of Milpark’s renovated 44 Stanley complex, with great indoor and outdoor seating, and many locals argue that it has the number one breakfast menu in town.

My only complaint about Salvation Café — which is actually a problem for all of the restaurants listed here — is its opening hours: Tuesday-Sunday until 4:00 p.m. (kitchen closes at 3:00) and breakfast served only until 11:30 on most days. For some reason breakfast ends at 11:00 on Sunday, which I find maddening because I always seem to arrive at 11:02.

But I digress. Salvation Café’s food is fantastic. I went for breakfast last Sunday (with my blogger friend Vincent, who also wrote about Salvation Café recently) and ordered the breakfast duo — a combination of French toast and eggs Florentine. It was the best breakfast I’ve eaten in months.

Salvation Cafe breakfast

The Salvation Café breakfast duo. You can also have it with eggs Benedict.

Salvation Cafe sandwich

I’ve been looking for an excuse to post this photo of a haloumi-chickpea sandwich, from the Salvation Café lunch specials menu in March 2012, for years. So I’m doing it now even though it’s off-topic. 

2) The Service Station
Bamboo Shopping Centre, Rustenberg Road, Melville

The Service Station is a Melville institution and my go-to breakfast spot, less than two blocks from my house. I love the Service Station for its corner location in the Bamboo Shopping Centre, its big glass windows, and its sunny, locals-only vibe. The Service Station has expanded recently, alleviating the crowds that used to plague it on weekend mornings.

I usually order a veggie omelette — stuffed with fresh produce — in an effort to be healthy, although the French toast and the flapjacks with banana and bacon are spectacular. The Service Station is also known for its coffee although I find it just okay.

Service Station breakfast

Scrambled eggs with salmon, another Service Station favorite.

3) Nice on 4th
37 4th Avenue, Parkhurst

I usually find Parkhurst too trendy; its restaurants are always packed to the rafters with impossibly well-dressed people. Nice on 4th is an exception though — it’s toward the end of the 4th Avenue strip and has a quaint, quirky vibe that I like.

Nice’s signature breakfast dish is its egg basket: a basket made of toast and filled with poached eggs, bacon, and other yummy things. I can’t find my photo of the Nice egg basket but trust me, it’s adorable and delicious. Nice also has an independent book store next to the restaurant where you can sit and order food.

Nice restaurant coffee

I wish I knew what happened to the photo I took of Nice’s breakfast. Anyway here’s a shot of a cappuccino in the bookstore.

4) Croft & Co
66 Tyrone Avenue, Parkview

Croft & Co used to be an upscale clothing shop and the website still indicates this. But don’t be fooled; Croft & Co is one of the best restaurant/coffee shops in Joburg. I don’t know what the Croft & Co chefs do to their scrambled eggs but I hope they never stop doing it. Croft & Co also serves delicious fruit juice — the “green juice” is my favorite.

Croft & Co has a really nice atmosphere (a bit Parkhurst-like but not too bad) and fast, free wifi, although I’ve heard they just changed to one of those hourly internet voucher systems. (Boo.) The eggs will keep me coming back though.

Croft and Co scrambled egg breakfast

Croft and Co’s signature scrambled eggs, mushrooms, and tomatoes — simple but scrumptious.

Croft and Co Green juice

Croft’s mysterious green juice.

5) Park Café
Corner Jan Smuts and Wells Avenue, Parkwood

The Park Café is hidden on the lower level of the Parks Shopping Centre, a tiny complex on Jan Smuts Avenue. You have to make a conscious effort to find this place, which is why it took me so long to go. But Park Café is such a nice little secret. Despite being in the bottom of a shopping centre, it’s bright and cheerful — busy but not too busy. Park Café has the best coffee of all the places I’ve profiled here, and a unique breakfast and lunch menu. There’s also a small spa next door (a pair of sisters own the café and the spa) that does great manicures and pedicures.

Park Cafe bacon breakfast

Park Café’s “Bacon and spicy tomato express”.

There you have it: the best breakfasts in my corner of Joburg. If you have a favorite (or favorites) that you’d like to share in your own Jozi neighbourhood, feel free to comment.

Good Breakfast, Bad Photographer

Today I attended a “Jazz Breakfast” fundraiser on the roof of a vacant building in Melville, to raise money for an upcoming poetry festival at the Melville Visitors Centre. The weather was splendid, the view was sensational, the conversation was pleasant, and the music was lovely. It was a perfectly enjoyable — and blog-able — morning. I had a blast taking photos.

View of the Joburg skyline from the roof of the old Nike shop on 4th Avenue in Melville. Tables ready and waiting for jazz breakfast revelers.

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