The avocado discourse has reached America — that is to say, an Australian property mogul said that if Australian millennials were more like him, inheriting $34,000 instead of frittering their earned income away on smashed avocado on toast at $19 a pop, we’d all be able to afford houses.
Naturally, Americans assumed it was about them.
I have no time for this nonsense, but I do have time for smashed avocado. So I took a tour of brunch menus, comparing and contrasting their avo offerings — and I found them distressingly limited. Has the smashed avocado had its day? Are we all buying houses now?
But first, a word from our penguin
No Award started because of how frustrating we find having our yelling constantly co-opted by American discourse, and HERE WE GO AGAIN. You know, when Time and NYT are tweeting about Aussie stuff, their hot takes are going to be wretched.
These articles we have been suffering through for EIGHT WHOLE MONTHS NOW (since October thanks to that boofhead Bernard Salt) are aimed AT US. They are aimed at AUSTRALIAN millennials. Our housing bubble is radically different from the US housing bubble. Our avocado costs are radically different from US avocado costs (if you can buy an avo in Australia for less than $1.99 you should tell me immediately). The US stole avocado on toast from us (after we stole it from someone else, I forget who, which is so telling) so to them it’s still a fancy thing (?? idk I’m just yelling about everything now).
Of all the Aussie things to get disseminated in the USA, I can’t believe how angry I am about this avocado thing. They’re not even completely misunderstanding it! They’re understanding it JUST ENOUGH to make me mad!
ALSO who here thinks avocado is a super fruit? NOBODY, wtf, Time. Step off my Aussie work boots pls thank.
And now: the part with food
Your classic smashed avocado is avo and feta with a squeeze of lemon on toast. You can fancy it up with some pomegranate seeds, or vegan it down with scrambled tofu instead of feta. You can pile the avocado and feta on a giant slab of fresh sourdough, or, for a surcharge, on a tiny sliver of gluten-free bread. The world is your oyster. (You could definitely serve it with oysters.)
Here’s what I found in the brunch menus of Melbourne:
- Green Refectory – Brunswick
One of my all-time favourite brunch venues, serving enormous yet inexpensive meals and amazing vanilla slice.
Curiously, they don’t serve avocado smash as such — but you can get eggs on toast for $8-$10, and add avocado for an extra $3.
- A Minor Place – Brunswick
AMP doesn’t do avocado smash either, but you can get a bagel with avocado, dukkah and lemon with dill and caper cream cheese for $11.50. Or you can get a bagel with avocado and brie (along with fig chutney, rocket and an egg) for $14.50.
- Minimo – Brunswick
Back when I lived in the Inner North, Minimo was my local — more expensive than Green Refec, but closer to home and less crowded. They change their menu often, but right now, for $18.50, you can get an “avocado bruschetta”: avo, poached eggs, fresh basil, cherry tomatoes, pesto, lemon and olive oil on fresh bread. You can add feta for $1.50, or remove the eggs and take the price down to $16.
- Wide Open Road – Brunswick
I think WOE has the same owners as AMP? Anyway, they do an avocado, pea and goat feta smash for $17.50, which I can only assume is a nod to the pea guacamole anti-fad of a year or so back, and also an abomination. Just say no to peas with avocado.
(Does $17.50 seem like a lot for avo smash? Don’t worry, that includes poached eggs.)
- CERES (Merri Table Cafe) – Brunswick
Apparently the house-made crumpets at CERES are so good, they don’t even need to serve avocado anything! But they do a vegan pho, if that’s your type of thing.
- Smith and Daughters – Fitzroy
How cool is Fitzroy’s premiere hipster vegan cafe? They don’t serve avocado at all. But for $18, you can enjoy mulled wine-soaked French toast, served with poached quinces, quince syrup and cinnamon cream.
- Breakfast Thieves – Fitzroy
I’ve never been here, but they don’t serve avocado smash either. What is this nightmare!
However, for $10 you can get eggs your way on hot buttered toast, and for an extra $5, they’ll throw a bit of avocado on the side.
- Westerley – Kingsville
This one’s in my area, and they will charge you all of $12 for a smashed avo. (And you should go there, the coffee is great.)
- New School Canteen – Fitzroy
This place was Steph’s go-to hangover cure until they stopped opening at 7am, which is a travesty, because they’d sell you potato cakes with your toast. The ‘Holy Moly’ is avo, goat fromage frais (or almond feta), heirloom tomatoes, chillis on ‘ancient grains’ toast. It’s $17.50 for this, and experience from Steph says that it’s heavy on the tomatoes and light on the avocado, which is not how to serve an avo.
Is the smashed avo on its way out? Has it been driven away by the same of being scapegoated for an inflated housing market and stagnant wages?
And isn’t it possible — nay, likely — that the real driver behind the cost of an avocado smash is the egg? HAS THIS BEEN A RUSE ALL ALONG? ARE WE BUT PATSIES IN THE HANDS OF BIG CHICKEN?