28 February 2024

Soak in sunshiny SoCal cafe culture at Catbird

| Lucy Ridge
French Toast, berry smoothie and burrito.

The Valencia French Toast is a very tasty dish. Photo: Lucy Ridge.

Southern California-inspired cafe Catbird opened in the Griffin Building in Parkes in early February serving a brunch menu bursting with colour and flavour. Founder Taylor Wright has brought a taste of sunshine from her home in California to Canberra.

The menu is a grown-up, contemporary take on SoCal dining, focusing on fresh flavours and healthy meals (or, at the very least, meals that pretend to be healthy).

I visited with friends for Sunday brunch before wandering down to the lake for a stroll.

Coffee in aqua coloured cup next to pink menu with Catbird logo

The fit out at Catbird is lux and comfy. Photo: Lucy Ridge.

There is a serious selection of breakfast burritos that can be made as a one-hand, two-hand, or bowl. The Farmers Market burrito is a wholesome way to start the day with mushrooms, spinach, avocado and egg. The different available salsas are tasty, although the hot sauce was missing the promised spicy kick. The Cowboy Burrito is another very tasty option with spicy cheese sauce and black beans.

The rest of the menu pays homage to Cali-icons like the Trabuca egg and bacon roll and Bel Air avocado toast dish. The Valencia French Toast is beautiful and super tasty. Made with fluffy brown bread, the dish is zingy with fresh orange and sweet with meringue.

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There are several different smoothies on offer, like the Cherry Berry Banana or the Spicy Mango, a deliciously thick drink made from blitzed mango with Mexican Chimoy sauce. It’s the perfect mix of sweet, sour and spicy, and a great option on a hot day. Other cold drinks include strawberry lemonade, house-made iced tea and an intriguing-sounding orange creamsicle.

There’s also a kids menu with smaller, simpler versions of menu items. The junior french toast was a big hit with the toddler at the table, who also enjoyed a berry smoothie.

Mango smoothie with chilli sauce in front of pink menu with Catbird logo.

The Spicy Mango Smoothie at Catbird is the perfect mix of sweet, sour and spicy. Photo: Lucy Ridge.

I’d be keen to return to taste the lunch menu: think fresh salads with green goddess dressing and made-on-the-spot turkey club sandwiches or a loaded Cubano.

The brunch menu is mostly vegetarian, with the option to add bacon or chorizo, and there are plenty of vegetarian and vegan options on the lunch menu. There were also a few tasty treats in the pastry cabinet.

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The split-level cafe features large booths downstairs and plush couch seating upstairs. The double-height ceiling gives the space an airy, bright quality with a palette of cool-toned blues and greens with pink highlights. It makes for a very pretty backdrop, and while the meals are definitely Instagram-worthy, first and foremost, they are delicious.

Catbird also caters to office or party events.

Catbird is located in the Griffin Building at 44 Constitution Ave, Parkes. They are open from 7 am to 2 pm seven days a week. Visit the Catbird website or follow them on Instagram.

Original Article published by Lucy Ridge on Riotact.

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