16 May 2024

Stella’s by the Lake: tasty brunch spot for dogs and their humans

| Michelle Taylor
man and woman outside a cafe

David and Ashlinn Reid are the father-daughter team at Stella’s by the Lake. Photo: Kazuri Photography.

Sometimes, you just stumble across a suburban gem. This is how we discovered Stella’s by the Lake.

My son and I choose this cafe for our pre-lake walk brunch because of its views across the lake.

Once we take our seats outside, two things grab our attention immediately. First, Stella’s welcomes dogs like no other cafe we’ve ever come across: comfortable turf mats, water bowls and their very own doggy menu. Second, the cafe manager is incredible! Attentive, knowledgeable and exuding warmth to all.

David and Ashlinn Reid are the father-daughter team behind the concept of this dog-friendly cafe. David brings over 35 years of cheffing experience to the team. He and Ashlinn have worked together since she was in year 9.

“We already knew we could work well together!” he affirms.

iced latte

My ice-cold, refreshing iced latte! Photo: Kazuri Photography.

“Our cafe name pays homage to our dogs,” Ashlinn explains.

“Stella was one of my staffies.” She points out the doggy portion of the menu overhead, which declares, ‘Made with love by Stella and Tank.’

Tank was her second dog.

Both dogs have passed on, yet their legacy resonates in the doggy menu and Stella’s vibe.

Stella’s is unique in the regular dog meet-up events it hosts, including day-out catchups for different breeds. These have proved very popular and require a booking. David and Ashlinn hire a professional photographer to capture images on the day, which are then available for free for all attendees.

The team creates the doggy menu in-house. Ashlinn says that the peanut butter and chicken donut sells like hotcakes, and dogs love the puppachino, too. You can ask for the puppachino to have bone broth added.

As for the human menu?

“People love our eggs benedict and smashed avocado, and we do a rosti and halloumi stack,” David says.

“Our Tank breakfast roll is like a tradie breakfast burger: hash brown, sausage patty, bacon, eggs and onion. It’s really popular,”

Stella’s Nourish bowl with beef (I added the halloumi). Photo: Kazuri Photography.

After a lengthy peruse of the menu, I order Stella’s Nourish bowl with beef and added halloumi. A tender slab of pumpkin roasted in Japanese spices, quinoa, generous dollops of smashed avo, poached eggs, heirloom tomatoes, strips of fried beef and toasted corn encircle a dish of pesto aioli. I chop everything up and mix it all together. The flavours work well together, although I drowned out some of the individual flavours by adding entire dish of aioli which, I’ll concede, was unnecessary.

My son does not share his savoury tacos, but he assures me they are delicious. What is not to love about tortillas loaded with cheese, smoked grilled chorizo, scrambled egg, hash browns, avocado and roasted corn drizzled with shallot, coriander and chipotle aioli?

Tortillas loaded with cheese, smoked grilled chorizo, scrambled egg, hash browns, avocado and roasted corn. Photo: Kazuri Photography.

Stella’s by the Lake is located at 1 Beissel St in Belconnen. It is open seven days a week, from 7 am on weekdays and 8 am on weekends.

Follow Stella’s on Facebook and then keep an eye out for their Day Out events, posted on their social media and Facebook groups that focus on specific breeds (the Husky and Malamute Day Out is scheduled for 18 May).

Original Article published by Michelle Taylor on Riotact.

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