We really are spoilt for choice in Onehunga. The cafes are great and yes--- I am going to tell you about another one and it only seems fair that I eventually get around to them all. Only then can I start to attempt some sort of ranking system. Today’s establishment is the ‘Library Café.’
One good thing about all of the old buildings in Onehunga is that they can be used and protected by the continued use; usually something that they were never designed for. The Library café is in the old Carnegie Library, an early 20th Century ‘Post-Victorian ‘style building that must rank as one of the best known constructions in Old Onehunga. I love its graceful entrance and ornate façade. It has an air of solidity and permanence that can only continue to add charm to the main street. Along with the neighbouring Columbus café (I shall visit that one too soon), it is conveniently placed near the new Onehunga railway Station, something that both should push to attract new non-driving customers. What a lovely way to start a day of shopping at the nearby DressMart.
The Library café presents a range of ‘rooms,’ from which one can choose to sit, depending on your mood or how you want to spend your time. If you want to get away from the kids’ area out the back, then go on through to the quieter sanctum with all the books. It would be so easy to sit for ages, reading some of the books on offer, or just soak up the ‘Old World’ atmosphere. Perhaps you would prefer a street scene, out the front under the umbrellas, or to stay inside in yet another area, where you can watch the comings and goings while you enjoy your breakfast, lunch or dinner (on a Sunday night). We were there for breakfast, but we checked out the menu for lunch for future occasions.
We had plenty to choose from and were pleased to see that they had gluten-free options and seemed top pride themselves on the quality of the ingredients. I have often been disappointed at other places, when the bacon or eggs appear to have come from the low budget end of the food scale. Mind you, I would place the Library Café’s prices at the higher end in Onehunga. That is not a criticism, because the end result is well worth the slightly extra you pay.
There were four of us again and we were very satisfied with what we had ordered. I had ordered the ‘Big Breakfast,’ (I can hear you saying--- what about all that opinionated stuff you write in your Fat Bugger series blog? --- go check it out) and we didn’t have to wait long. All four meals came out at the same time, along with our coffees. I could have ordered the ‘Healthy Big Breakfast,’ which avoided the bacon and eggs, but still looked scrumptious. It had smoked salmon, spinach and avocado.
We ordered an extra coffee, which tells you that the coffee was well made and used excellent beans. I think I saw some packets of Ozone coffee beans for sale, but I’m not sure.
Now, in case you are wondering why I ordered the Big Breakfast, (beautiful crispy bacon, poached organic eggs on sour dough bread, mushrooms cooked to perfection, without leaving a greasy feeling, little squares of potato hash, grilled tomatoes and two small tasty sausages) then here’s the reason. I took Perdy along. For a Jack Russell to sit politely for 40 minutes there needs to be an attraction. I think I may have eaten about 60% of my large meal--- she ate the remainder. Every few minutes my hand would disappear below the heavy concrete table and a little slightly wet snout would press into my hand and gratefully receive the offerings. If any of you are put off by my possibly less than hygienic behaviour, then I better not tell you what I let Perdy do if she senses a cut or an itchy mosquito bite on me legs or arms. Suffice it to say that she isn’t called ‘Nurse Perdy’ for nothing.
What about the staff. So far, I haven’t found lazy, slack, rude or any other form of negativity in the staff at any of the cafes I have visited. I will most definitely let you know if and when I do. Once again, we were served by people who cared about their work and the produced they served up. We did not have to wait long and anything we asked for (like extra black pepper or drinks) came quickly and with a smile on the face of the waiter. For the money they are paid, perhaps one could understand if the café staff were a little ‘off-hand’ at times, but not these employees. They had a real sense of pride in their work. So they should. I will find it hard to drive past the Library Café, even if it is to visit other cafes in the area that I have enjoyed. Get on a train and come to Onehunga--- you won’t be disappointed!