I went to Pearl Café the other day. It was cold and rainy and the place’s attempt at belle époque charm warmed me and made it an almost perfect venue to have a late lunch (around 3pm).
We’d missed regular service, but the small all-day menu is written up on a chalk board at the back of the cafe. It had four or five items on it and this is probably the extent of the positives. (Other than the carafe of wine which was tempranillo which is nice choice and was quite nice for $10)
Unfortunately they lacked the only thing on the menu that I had the desire to eat (a duck sandwich) and my current policy of trying to avoid tuna (due to overfishing pressures - yeah I get it, it’s a bit dumb and hypocritical for a hedonist like me to be conscious and judgemental) immediately took one of the items off the menu (I should clarify that the presence of tuna on the menu is not a negative in any way at all) however that left a waldorf salad and the hamburger that I got.
Two things people; mustard works with hamburgers if it is balanced with other flavours, but there aren’t many things that taste worse than a mouthful of pure mustard and not the mild stuff but the more serious stuff (albeit good quality).
And if you make a hamburger that is impossible to pick up, give the person an appropriate knife, you don’t see bread knives with little serrations because bread is tough to cut with a little old dinner knife. I should have started by describing the hamburger instead of just leaping in with critique, but I like it this way.
Anyway so the hamburger was covered in melted cheese (a good thing) with mustard and some other stuff which I can’t remember due to the massive mustard presence I think there were onions and pickles, but it’s hard to tell. It also came with a tiny bucket of shoestring fries. A few problems, other than the ones I’ve already mentioned, hamburger patties need to hold together, they shouldn’t disintegrate entirely under the pressure of a knife and they shouldn’t taste like dodgy mince like the ones I make at home.
I don’t know what else to say, I find it unusual that the wine is served in tumblers. I know it’s probably what they do in Spain or France, but as an Anglo Australian it just makes me feel like I’m drinking from a jam glass in someone’s lounge room.
That’s all I really have to say, I would go back to see if it’s just an anomaly, however it is in that strip full of restaurants at Woolloongabba and I would probably just go elsewhere.
One more thing before I go; really bright lights mounted in the floor look great from the outside, but are really annoying when you’re trying to eat and talk.
Pearl Café is open during the day and night Tuesday to Saturday and their prices are around the $20 mark for mains (my food cost $22 if I remember correctly) the wine cost $10 for a 250ml carafe and was actually quite nice.