Brio Espresso and Juice

36 Vernon Terrace Newstead, QLD 4006

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Opening hours Open every day 7am-5pm
Features Outdoor seating
Prices Moderate (mains $20-$40)
Phone (07) 3852 6165

I think there could be nothing better to eat for breakfast than huevos rancheros.

There’s eggs for deliciousness, breakfast-ness and protein. Fried corn tortillas for crunch and a carbohydrate that’s not bread. Tomato salsa for spice and freshness. And hopefully some avocado and a bouquet of coriander. I’m only guessing, but if I were Mexican this would my favourite nostalgic comfort food.

Happily, Brisbane’s recent Mexican surge has seen huevos rancheros popping up on the occasional menu. One such place is Brio, a cafe in a strip below one of the Teneriffe woolstores, that’s become such a victim of its own popularity it’s recently had to add a bar with extra seating on its deck to accommodate the underfed crowds trying to get a table.

They serve a good huevos rancheros - fried free range eggs on toasted flour tortillas with salsa, refried beans, chorizo and guacamole. The toasted flour tortilla is probably healthier than a corn tortilla fried the traditional way but it’s also unfortunately quite dry. It would be great with a whole lot of tomato salsa to swim in, rather than the rather meek chopped peppers salsa it comes with. But overall it’s a far better way to start the day than the same old poached eggs on toast, even if, at $16.90, is about as much as you’d want to spend on breakfast.

The breakfast pork sausage ragu ($14.90) is seriously substantial, substantial as in you need to go and till a field or tan a hide after eating it. It’s a plate of really fantastic ragu, with poached eggs ready to be split open and run silkily over, and mopped up with sourdough.

I need to go back (when I can get a table) to try their breakfast Nepalese potato curry with rice bread, or Spanish sardines with puttanesca sauce on ciabatta. Lighter eaters might be tempted by the crepes (‘suzie’ or berries, Nutella and marscapone) or eggwhite omelette, something I have never desired to eat, but with matured chedder, avocado and roasted tomatoes, is probably not bad at all.

And late-sleepers rejoice - the breakfast menu is available literally all day, until closing time at 5pm.

Brio’s full name is Brio Espresso and Juice and they do both very well - the former is Genovese, smooth and strong and consistently good, while the latter comes in numerous forms (frappes, granitas, smoothies and juice).

Of most interest to me is the enticement of a ‘BoozeJuice’ (available after the not-too-square time of 10am), and the blueberry, grapefruit, apple and ginger with a slug of Aperol ($6.95 for the juice, an extra $5.50 for the shot) kicks off a very lovely Sunday indeed.

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