After opening in late August the Mexican restaurant/cafe, Frank and Blanco, is definitely livening up things in Sutherland.
The bold menu is not for the faint-hearted. So bold, I thought this little establishment would be much too spicy for me. While they are a Mexican restaurant, the coffee is as much a star of Frank and Blanco as the themed dishes.
The White Horse roast began as an in-house brew in a small, yet immensely popular espresso bar of the same name in Sutherland. Over the last few years, I have seen the espresso bar packed with people at the Sutherland Annual Aroma Festival, choosing White Horse over the coffee chain giants.
Admittedly it took me a while to try their brew, based on their reputation for making a bold and strong roast, as I prefer my coffee on the smooth and foamy side. Once I sampled the famed coffee ($4) however, I noted that while it was full-bodied, it was not as strong, or bitter as I had imagined.
Chill out on those hot Summer days.
As an advocate of iced coffee ($4) I felt it was a must to sample what Frank and Blanco have on offer. The iced coffee here is smooth and creamy and tastes a bit like a milkshake. While the iced coffee is tasty, I prefer mine a little thicker - so I’m less likely to chug it down as fast.
If you're not after a fiery meal, Frank and Blanco’s little glass display case will still tempt you inside for a short break, or morning tea with friends. The offerings in the display case are kept fairly simple, the star being the various cinnamon scrolls.
Sugary delights to go with a morning coffee.
Scrolls seem like an odd choice for a Mexican café, but either way, the sweet doughy goodness was tempting. There are multiple flavours on offer, from the basic cinnamon scroll ($5), dusted with icing sugar to variations like cookies and cream and double chocolate ($6). A $7 coffee and cinnamon scroll package is also available everyday. I was happy to find the basic cinnamon scroll was not buried in the icing sugar as is sometimes the case, and while the dough was a bit thinner and less fluffy than I'd have liked, the scroll was still a pleasant morning treat with my coffee.
These home-made chips have a spicy secret.
While visiting Frank and Blanco a second time, I got to sample the home-made beer battered fries ($7). The Frank and Blanco home-made fries, with a light rock salt seasoning are absolutely perfect. The fries come with a little pot of spicy siracha mayo, which I also love, although I think that a 'spicy-scale' could be great here, as the menu doesn't really cater for those non chili lovers.
Good things come in small packages.
Frank and Blanco is an intimate restaurant, modernised with trendy furniture and fixtures. Stool seating out front laps up the natural sunlight and towards the back, booths and tables make for a more intimate arrangement. The service here is good, and although I'm not a fan of spicy food, I'd definitely be back to Frank and Blanco for a delicious full-bodied coffee and some morning tea.
Where 790 Old Princes Highway, Sutherland.
Cost: Coffee from $3, food from $5.
When: Monday-Saturday: 7am-late, Sunday: 8am-5pm.
Good for kids: Yes.
Take away: Yes.