In Brunswick Street in Fitzroy you’ll find Stagger Lee’s. An eatery with a bit of edge. Stagger Lee is a bit of an urban legend, you could be familiar with the Nick Cave song of that name or the original story. Stag Lee, or Stack Lee was an African American pimp living in St Louis in the 19th century. He became known as Stag for his solitary behaviour and was famous for his shooting of a fellow underworld figure in a Saloon to recover his Stetson hat. He went to jail for his crimes, and his act and name became a part of folklore, appearing in a song as early as 1893 and immortalised by over 400 versions since. Why name a cafe after a man who committed a violent murder? According to Stagger Lee’s they wanted to inject a bit of bad-ass into Fitzroy, and ensure that people would never take another pimps hat!
We’re all for bad-ass breakfasts and Stetson hats, so we decided to give Stagger Lee’s a visit! Inside the cafe has a bit of a saloon feel, but is mostly just comfortable and light. We loved the brick and wood walls, the airiness and feeling of space and light. You’ll need to wait to be seated, but the service was quick and our drinks orders were taken immediately as we sat down. Stagger Lee’s do coffee a little differently. They serve Proud Mary’s coffee, but instead of offering a blend all you’ll get are single origin beans. Their brew was creamy and rich, with a lovely mouthfeel and a little bit of latte art. It was served at a perfectly drinkable temperate straight to the table.
Their menu is full of seasonal goodness with a focus on refined comfort food. Our first choice was the Mexican Eggs. We’re always a fan of a good Mexican breakfast and a bit of spice. Stagger Lee’s offering had all the flavours you’d expect; chatted tomato, a lime and coriander salsa, avocado and creme fraiche. It was served with extra hot sauce on the table for an extra kick and a cabbage and horseradish salad on the side. We also went for the Willy Wonka Waffles, because we’re fans of both alliteration and also waffles are kinda great. This really was a marvelous and fantastical dish we were promised! The waffles were light and crispy, perfect with the huge array of topping like honeycomb ice cream, sea salt chocolate, popping candy and jellies. This was a dish that was an explosion of texture and temperatures. It excited the palette with flavour, the richness of the chocolate, the light and bright freeze dried raspberry and the crunch of honeycomb. Contrasted with the smooth shock of the cold ice cream and the bounce and crackle of the popping candy. It was nothing less than an absolute delight to devour.
Stagger Lee’s have something pretty special and delicious going on. Fans of ‘dessert for breakfast’ simply cannot miss their amazing waffles!