Local Produce + Sunny basement cafe = Ways & Means and a great brownie

I have been unlucky over the last while in my brownie search. I think my ratio of disappointment to excitement has been slightly heavy handed in the wrong direction and for that reason I have avoided trying them for the last few months. Minus the one from the Grace Fitzroy. That one probably started back the positive trend. I finally had another good find the other day. Ways and Means is a small cafe tucked away in the government precinct of Melbourne. Boasting local produce as its claim to goodness I can also state that it is suitably priced for a cafe which boasts fresh local produce, as so many seem to think this as a reason to hike up ones prices. The sandwiches and quiches looked mouth wateringly tasty and their cakes more so and then to top it off, the brownie.

Ways and Means chocolate & hazelnut brownie

Ways and Means chocolate & hazelnut brownie

We had all met up to grab brunch/coffee going to see “Inside Out”, the new Pixar Film and I had been put to the task of finding a suitable cafe. My first choice more specialised solely on coffee and the girls werehungry so we moved along. The next had stopped serving brunch which is what they were craving so off we went. Thankfully, third time lucky and Ways and Means was the winning option. I had had a small bite to eat before I came so just wanted a treat but it was a hard decision everything seemed to be saying ‘try me’. Then I spied the brownies. I asked our server what the brownies were like and she replied enthusiastically that they are, “so Good! People come in solely for the brownies.” Well that won me and after a bite I understood completely why people came for the brownie. The right size – it is not over whelming and it is got the crunchy outside to chewy proportions on the mark. Not too sweet and a bit of hazelnuts thrown in for good measure.

The girls themselves went for the breakfast route and very kindly let me sample their dishes. Deborah had simple Phillippas Sultana and Orange bread with homemade marmalade which Paddington would definitely approve of and Fiona tried their homemade crumpets with whipped vanilla ricotta cheese topped with a mixed berry compote. It just sounds a treat and a half doesn’t it? We finished our coffees, multiple water refills and left satisfied discussing how we were so glad we had kept searching until we had found what we were all craving. Not to mention I had found a new brownie stop if ever I had a serious craving.

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