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Joe Black, Surry Hills

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A foot injury incurred from the mere act of stand­ing up after seated for a long peri­od inflic­ted so much dam­age that it saw me house­bound for a week, then grin­ning and bear­ing it for anoth­er two weeks (and count­ing). Daily life can be dan­ger­ous, I tell you!

So with lim­ited mobil­ity in mind, we ended up at Joe Black, a con­veni­ent cafe loc­ated close to Museum Station.

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To start, we try the Expresso Coke aka Rocket Fuel ($6), a cola with cof­fee and ice. N and I were glad to have T’s cof­fee lov­ing self in tow, as we’d both wanted to try this bever­age but between N’s dis­taste for cof­fee and my hyper­sens­it­iv­ity to caf­feine, some­thing so highly caf­fein­ated would not have been a wise choice.

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To our sur­prise, we all enjoy this immensely. It’s pleas­antly refresh­ing — the iced cold cof­fee and cola — yet creamy without the addi­tion of milk due to the fizz of the cola. The fla­vour is rich and remin­is­cent of a sar­sa­parilla with dialled back liquorice notes. The sweet­ness of the cola coun­ters the bit­ter notes of cof­fee that N dis­likes.

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We fol­low with an Organic Coconut Water Cold Brew ($6), a single ori­gin made overnight with coconut water. The coconut comes through as a round fin­ish to the cof­fee, but doesn’t add much to the taste of the body of the cof­fee. I don’t par­tic­u­larly prefer it over an ordin­ary cold brew.

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N and I had the Stormin Norman ($12.50), a slice of sour­dough toast with diced Spanish onions, cherry toma­toes, avo­cado, topped with two poached eggs.

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Oozy eggs are the first sign of a good meal, and here they were per­fectly runny sit­ting atop a gen­er­ous help­ing of avo­cado and cherry toma­toes. Indeed, I had more top­pings left over than bread, and I always enjoy that! They were light on the use of onions, which I’m not a fan of and find can over­whelm oth­er fla­vours The pro­duce was fresh, with the salad fresh and crisp.

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T goes for the Pork Belly Sandwich ($12.00) a pan­ini with house­made slow cooked pork belly grilled, tomato and greens and soy-ginger sauce. He enjoyed the crispi­ness of the pork belly immensely.

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Various art­works adorn their walls, this one being a quirky take on the Sydney Train net­work. Old, dusty volumes of the Commonwealth Law Reports also adorn the shelves, although that’s only inter­est­ing to someone who deals with volumes of old leg­al mater­i­als on a daily basis.

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The staff at Joe Black could not be more wel­com­ing to old- and first-timers alike. They are warm, friendly and keen to share anec­dotes from their time serving cus­tom­ers.

Joe Black is loc­ated at 27 Commonwealth Street, Surry Hills NSW 2000