Words and images by Chloe De Gennaro
There is a curious café that I have passed many of train rides to and from the city. The Loose Caboose is a reconverted railway station located at the Bowden train stop. The front entrance can be found when driving in from Port Road, on the opposite side to the Adelaide Entertainment Centre. The interior of the café has a refined old-timely, hipster feel, as the structure is refurbished from the original building. While waiting, customers can look past the counter and into the bustling kitchen where cooks are busy preparing their meals.
Around the corner on the left is the indoor seating area; there are little rustic-looking wooden dining tables placed around a fireplace, and a booth along the windowsill that looks out at the train tracks. There is also an outdoor dining area that’s visible from the entrance, and diners can look out the glass panelling onto the tree-lined street. From the seating arrangement it is evident that the café only caters for small groups of people. Outside tables only held around four people, however inside would cater for slightly larger groups. It was also noted that the larger tables were reserved, so group booking is essential.
The menu caters for ‘all day brunch’ but the kitchen closes at 2:30pm. There are both sweet and savoury options available and range from light serves to more filling meals. The menu is concise and simple, no fancy words or lingo, which made it a lot easier to order. There was also a large emphasis on the ‘Loose Caboose’s famous coffee’ with various brews to choose from. Customers also have to option of choosing from assorted teas, smoothies and other hot and cool beverages. All the items on the menu were fresh, contemporary meals and it was hard to decide on just one as they all sounded so delicious.
I decided to order the ‘smashed avocado’. It came served on two large slices of toasted housed-made sourdough bread, and was loaded with smashed avocado, topped with pickled peppers, curled fennel, and a sweet beetroot puree. It was garnished with fresh green herbs, olive oil and the best part: a perfectly poached egg. My fork slid right through the egg and the yolk instantly oozed out, which is the most exciting part of any good brunch. The presentation was outstanding, visually beautiful, and even better to eat. The food was a modern twist while the cutlery was quirky and retro. My beverage of choice was a soy iced latte, and it was truly one of the smoothest coffees I have ever tried, and that’s coming from an avid coffee drinker. The menu truly reflected the café’s overall appearance and works hand in hand to make for an excellent brunch experience.
Location: 21 First St Hindmarsh SA