Dave's birthday! After a few drinks at the Rose & Crown, we jumped on a train at Guildford and got off with a little trepidation at Midland. None of us had any idea where we were going (except James, who has a really freaky ability to guess just about anything and had managed to somehow guess this, too! Feel for me trying to surprise him on his birthday next week!). All we knew from the facebook invitation was that "...at 8pm, we will be whipping everyone into gear and ordering you to shuffle to a SECRET DINNER LOCATION. Bring enough money for the train kids, because we will be going on a perilous group trip to a 'world of wonder' (Dave's words). Let's just say you should get ready for some hot, homely, hearty, wholesome food..." Needless to say, we were pretty excited!
As we wandered through the suburban backstreets of Midland, we began to wonder whether we were going to someone's house (because what else could there be here?)...and then we stumbled across Cafe Mueller and realised that in a way, we were right. It looks just like the other houses on the street and in many ways going here feels just like going to a friend's place for dinner. There is only one meal on offer, the owner himself serves you and casually asks if there's anything else you'd like, and after your meal you can wander off into one of the many other rooms in the house and just chill out. Some of us relaxed on some couches by an old stove and read from the stack of magazines on the coffee table, while others holed up in a tiny lounge room watching soccer on the tv. It felt like we had stepped into another world and time was sort of suspended - I think paying the bill took about an hour but nobody minded much because we were having such a nice, relaxed time.
The place is covered floor to ceiling with all sorts of kitsch artwork and collectibles (as you can see in the photos), including an enormous portrait of Katharine Hepburn and a tiny photo of a teen aged Tom Cruise, as well as a lot of other weird and wonderful pieces!
Our meal was absolutely delicious, too! Probably the highlight was the homemade bread, which we devoured by the basketful! The beef soup we had for entree was amazing as well, as was the beef and potato main. The food is German with a French influence and according to our friends Dave and Jill, who have been there several times, other dishes on offer include schnitzel and curry. The prices are ridiculously low (I think mains were something like $15) and it's free to BYO. Mostly it was the welcoming and relaxed atmosphere that made this place so special, though.
Thanks for a great night, Dave!