"Someone" has a lot on his plate. "Someone should do something!" we cry at the TV, helpless in the face of a crisis. "Well, someone is responsible", we say with crossed arms to talking heads on the radio. Wandering the streets, we bleat plaintively, "Someone should open a cafe". Well, someone finally did, and it's a good 'un.
Maples Cafe is right in the middle of Footscray's CBD where a tired shoe shop used to be. It's neat as a pin inside and serves Genovese coffee and a small but super fresh range of sandwiches and focaccias.
Smooth, dark roast, well-made Genovese coffee, $3.30 for a latte. The original resident of this building was the Maples furniture store. I started explaining this to my mother who sighed good-naturedly, "Oh, I know Maples! They were everywhere! If you needed a table, you went to your local furniture shop down the road, and then someone would deliver it. No Ikea in those days".
Roasted vegetable foccacia, $7
Ah, the sandwich fashions of Melbourne. I can remember as far back as Schwob's bread, then foccacias were all the rage. Now it's all panini and piadini. This was retroliciously good. Juicy grilled zucchini chunks, tender vinegary capsicum, mild pesto and the toasted bread just perfectly licked with oil to give crackly edges.
Across the road we spotted these letters which originally read EDMENTS. "Edments jewellers," said Mum wistfully. "There was one in every suburb." Footscray's changed a lot and it keeps changing, a process which I find exciting. I'm really delighted Maples is here, bringing a fresh presence to Nicholson Street Mall.
You can read more about Maples in Footscray Life magazine, as well as lots of other great news and interviews.
Check out Maribyrnong Council's Footscray heritage trail brochure here.
Cnr Paisley Street and Nicholson Street Mall, Footscray
Phone: 9687 7738
Hours: Mon-Fri 7.30pm-4.30pm
View Footscrayfoodblog reviews in a larger map