Artie & Mai brings new life to Albion, Brisbane

I don't want to cause traffic chaos, but you really need to look around when you are driving through the busy Albion strip of Sandgate Road in Brisbane.

Virtually opposite boutique bread shop Brewbakers, Artie & Mai is casual cafe with a range of offerings running through the day all week, with night dining from Wednesday to Saturday. 

It's got the 'I've been here forever' coupled with 'pared back industrial' look which is wildly popular at the moment.  While a few soft furnishings would go a long way to dampening the high noise levels, it's a comfortable atmosphere helped along by efficient and friendly staff.

The dinner menu has lots of choices including small plates with apple cider pork belly bites which I was unable to resist.   There's also garlic prawns, grilled haloumi, spanish meatballs, spiced lamb skewers - plenty for everyone.

Pizza options (available after 3pm)  extend beyond the ordinary with butter chicken, pineapple, red apple and baby spinach or caramelised pear with butternut pumpkin and blue cheese as interesting choices.

Our charcuterie plate arrived looking full and inviting along with the apple cider pork belly bites.  Will I ever have enough pork belly?  I hope my fascination with this cut runs out soon.

Mains ordered included  a lamb shank slow cooked and served with a rosemary jus and mash and the coffee crusted 400 gm beef striploin on the bone which I shared with K2. Large plates are priced between $24 and $30.

Although there were several choices on the sweet stuff menu, for me there was no option but to have the Mars Bar Cheese cake.  It lived up to all expectations and was a dessert that shared well.

Artie & Mae is fully licensed and only stocks Australian craft beers but there Australian and New Zealand wines and a few European wines as well.  If that doesn't suit there's a cocktail list and hard spirits available.

The day menu runs from 7am to 3pm so you can have breakfast at lunch or lunch at breakfast, depending on your whim.  The menu covers everything from muesli with poached pears and yoghurt, organic of course, to green pea and ricotta bruschetta with poached eggs with prices ranging from $11 to $18.

There's also a breakfast feast menu for a minimum of eight people, advance booking, for the garden room, $30. This a three course option so you'd better be hungry to order it.

Bottom line:  Well-priced, well cooked suburban food.
Best tip:  They also do takeaway if you are lucky enough to live close by.

Kerry Heaney

Disclaimer:  Ed+bK paid for this meal.