Todd and Pup is a cafe that was one of the ones to emerge on the south side as Brisbane started to develop a cafe culture. There were few on the south side back then, if you were talking about anywhere further south than South Brisbane. It has managed to gain a bit of a local following, and though it took us some time to find our way there, Moorooka being out the our usual travel paths, but we eventually did.
Located in the middle of a row of shops, the black and white sign in modern font can be easily spotted from the road if you know what you are looking for. The astro-turfed outside area, with cafe umbrellas to provide some shade make it even easier to find. (The Pup in Todd and Pup indicates it is pup-friendly, of course.)
It was not too busy when we went in late on a weekend morning, and we were told by staff that we could sit wherever we liked as we went through the door. It has an industrial look, with polished concrete floors, wood paneling on one wall and service counter, and storm grey paint on another wall. Paintings of food ingredients on the wall and hanging potted plants add touches of colour. Lights suspended in a radial pattern from the middle of the ceiling create another feature of interest. The black metal chairs with wooden seats, and the black-topped wood laminate tables continue the industrial theme.
Menus and room temperature water were brought to us soon after we decided where to sit. The menu was a little different from what was listed on Zomato, updated for the 2017-2018 changeover. This did mean that we had some difficulty picking dishes, as the menu we had been expecting had been a bit more interesting. The Potato Hash dish looked appealing (pan fried potato hash, Bertochhi bacon, fried eggs, tomato chilli jam), but then we were told that they had run out of the potato hash. We eventually settled on the Breakfast Shrooms and the Chicken Burger. And caffeine orders, of course.
The flat white had the right microfoam texture. Unfortunately, it was over-extracted and a little bitter.
The soy iced latte similarly had over-extracted coffee as its base, so had a bitter background note, and not much nutty depth of flavour.
The Chicken Burger was brought out on a wooden board. As listed, it had buttermilk fried chicken, smoked bacon, Jack cheese, lettuce, and aioli on a brioche bun. The chicken did indeed have a crunchy coat. There were only thin pieces of it in the burger though, rather than a robust fillet. The Jack cheese and bacon gave it tasty moreish saltiness. There was enough aioli in it to keep it from being dry, without making it all too soggy. It was a good burger, but very expensive for what it was compared to what you get elsewhere. It was $17 for the burger alone. To add a small side of chips to the burger would have been $5 more.
The Breakfast Shrooms 2.0 was listed as having truffled goats cheese, garlic buttered shrooms, poached egg, sourdough, and thyme oil. We were quite underwhelmed when it was brought to the table. There was just the one piece of toast. There were mushroom pieces on it, but they were certainly not heaped or overflowing. They were tender, but not abundant. The toast had a garlic butter on it, slightly salty and aromatic. The goats cheese was not slathered on, but present just on some sections. The poached egg had a runny yolk. It was quite tasty, but again, overpriced at $18 for the serving size. One would expect at least half again of what was presented. (for comparison, see the Truffled Mushroom dish from Kith N Chow.)
Another negative we discovered only after the food was brought out was the many flies that found their way in through the open door, and persistently troubled us through our meal. Yes, it is summer, but eateries should be anticipating the problem and have some means of at least trying to keep them out.
Overall, Todd and Pup has quite a nice space, flies aside, and serves up some tasty food. Waitstaff were cheerful and friendly. Either the pricing or the serving sizes need work, however, and given what you get for similar prices elsewhere, we are not currently in a hurry to return.
Setting: 1/2 (they have thought about the design of the place, but the pesky flies detracted from the eating experience.)
Price point: $15 to $19 for anything more substantial than eggs on toast or an acai bowl.
Value: Poor. Expensive for what you get and where it is.
Address: 398 Tarragindi Rd, Moorooka
Phone: 07 3892 6691
Website: Todd and Pup