Here at The Urban List, we love a small-scale Brisbane cafe that's independently run, where the offering sets out to be distinctive from the competition. It's good, and you can see the heart involved.
Which is why when we heard the team from Brisbane Boxing were adding a hole in the wall café to their burgeoning fitness empire, Box'd Espresso Bar (clearly rest is overrated for brothers Khuram and Kamran) we were intrigued. Particularly so, when we learnt Lee Dittmar, previously the chef at Sol Breads and also a pro boxer, had come on board as a business partner, and was sending out from the kitchen her wholesome food.
And delicious and fit fighting fare it is. Sure, everyone in this city does avocado on toast (AOT), but here you'll find yours served on super grainy bread and piled thick with the addition of dukkah, dill, and wait for it, orange. Move over lemon, there's a new preferred AOT citrus condiment in town, and Brisbane's best cafes are on to it. Note, their dukkah is super flavoursome, unlike some blends out there.
Delicious too are the Baghdad eggs — they're spiced, and accompanied by mushrooms and spinach. The bircher comes thick with nuts, seeds and grains, and the banana bread (there's an emphasis on fitness you see) is spiked with L.S.A meal, thereby intentionally upping the protein content, and bringing down the flour.
As for those not looking (or needing) to head down a cleaner eating orientated path? Easy. You'll be appeased with ridiculously good croissants, delivered fresh — and spread thick with jam, or toasted warm, and crammed with ham and cheese.
Just like their gyms, there's a real community feel to this Brisbane cafe. From the early hours, you'll find local families stopping by for a post school drop off coffee, and as the day wears on, those serious about fitness calling in for plates of food they know holds the right balance of nutrition (the brown rice and chicken bowl is a clear winner).
A word to the wise, Box'd Espresso Bar is growing in popularity by the day, so you'll really need to pick the time you visit — It's small and there's only one Lee Dittmar. You might wait a little for her food, but like all good things, they come to those who wait.
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Image credit: Amanda James