Based on the food and prices I shouldn't like Jerry's Milkbar as much as I do. While the food is certainly better than your average suburban café its hardly the best or cheapest in Melbourne. But every time I visit I always leave thinking that I must revisit soon. Why do I like it so much? It's because the setup and staff mean that every time I leave its in a better mood than when I entered.
From the outside Jerry's looks like another suburban milkbar, somewhere to get bread, milk or the papers. A few very basic tables out the front, painted name peeling off the brickwork, the only thing which gives it away a bit is the 1950's magazine covers pasted next to the window.
Inside is very different though. Rather than a few shelves containing a small selection of biscuits and household goods inside has counters behind which reside a selection of sandwiches and pies, cakes and old school lollies (does eating bananas count of one of my five serves of fruit and vegies for the day?). A few tables to sit at, glass mirrors along the wall, lots of things to catch the eye complemented by good music at an appropriate level for talking. It's nothing spectacular or amazingly comfortable but it's an interesting place to eat or read the paper.
Out the back is a courtyard which is even better. Bright and cheerful with lots of shade and a tree to sit under on a warm day, the setup is clean and simple with a play area in the corner. Surprisingly enough, despite appearing extremely basic the seats at the front can be almost as nice a spot to seat. Elwood has some really nice tree-lined streets and it can be pleasant just sitting out there watching the world pass on by.
Menu selections are fairly limited. The savoury crepe comes with cumin spiced scrambled eggs, avocado, spring onion and coriander with sweet chilli sauce. Mine was a workmanlike effort, the crepe light and abit different to your average eggs on toast. However the eggs were somewhat overcooked and the dish as a whole could have used a bit heavier use of the spices.
Better was the Canadian breakfast. This normally comes as two buttermilk pancakes with maple syrup, bacon and fried eggs but I swapped the fried eggs for scrambled. Jerry's avoids one of my pet hates with maple syrup by serving it in a small jug on the side allowing you to adjust the sweetness to your own tastes and avoid drowning the pancakes. Not the best pancakes and bacon I've had but not the worst either, with the pancakes and egg fluffy and the bacon quite lean.
I also usually go for the chocolate milkshake in the metal container. Undoubtedly the best way to drink a milkshake.
The last thing that I really like about there is the staff. Very friendly and efficient, the most outstanding thing about them is the wealth of Latin American accents. I'm not sure if a genuine South American accent or at least one good enough to fool me is an essential requirement for employment here, but it sometimes seems that way.
A very enjoyable local spot for breakfast or lunch. I've never had a bad meal or experience here. It may be a personal thing but it just has a vibe I really like.
Food - 7
Service - 8
Ambience - 8
Price - 7
345 Barkly St
Elwood VIC 3184
Tel: (03) 9531 3078