Whilst in Christchurch I visited Joe’s Garage in Riccarton a couple of times to brunch and coffee – I’ve been to the Joe’s Garage in Wellington before, but only ever for coffee.
The fit out of the venue is garage themed, with features such as spanners as the door handles and a neat industrial feel to the place.
The Riccarton branch also must be right on the police route, since we had a number of officers coming in to get coffee on both occasions - I guess the flat white is the NZ equivalent of donuts. :-)
I had the big vegetarian breakfast on my first trip, which was very filling, although I’m a little off-put by the fried egg. Apparently Joe’s will only do scrambled or fried eggs, not poached.
I tend to find a fried egg with my breakfast is just a little too tough and greasy; scrambled eggs are quite a heavy meal in their own rights, so the lack of a poached option is a bit of a let down really. Considering pretty much every other cafe in New Zealand can do poached eggs quickly and efficiently, I struggle to see why they’re avoiding offering this particular item.
Joe’s has a pretty delicious looking lunch men, but sadly very little is vegetarian friendly – which is a shame, it wouldn’t be too hard to add a good vegetarian burger option to the list, or a vegetarian version of their burrito.
A special hat tip to the chips, rather than the generic fried packaged fare, Joe’s has cooked them in the just the right way to get the great balance of crispy outside and soft inner. For something seemingly so simple, far too many places mess up with making good chips, so really pleased by Joe’s.
Overall, Joe’s Garage has pretty decent meal options, but for a vegetarian, the lunch menu is pretty weak and whilst the breakfast is enjoyable, I think they lose out compared with some of the other breakfast places like Drexels which is only a 5min drive away and has a lot more vegetarian friendly selection.
Having said that, meat eaters will probably really enjoy their lunch menu, I do admit to moments of envy over my companion’s delicious looking burger, so if you’re not worried about satisfying vegetarians, it’s worth giving a shot.