Care for a haircut with your sandwich? Enter Captains of Industry, a gentleman’s outfitters that doubles as a cafe. Sitting up a flight of rickety stairs, Captains of Industry is an oasis of calm overlooking the bustling Elizabeth Street, where you can put your feet up and grab a home-made lemonade.
Being a gentleman’s outfitters, the waiters are of course achingly well-dressed, if loafers and suspenders are your type of thing. But appearances can be deceiving, for they can also make you a mean sandwich, and probably give you a haircut at the same time too.
|Mocha ($3.5, one size)|
But first, coffee! Ethan’s Mocha ($3.50, one size) was a welcome departure from your usual sugar-saturated beverage. A Melbourne-Strength (to all your non-Melbourne readers, that’s very strong) coffee with a lovely chocolate overtone, I thought it was very good indeed. If all cafes served their mochas like this, my ‘usual’ may no longer be a flat white.
Water was served in tin (???) mugs, and whilst some might find it a tad too grungy, I loved the old-fashioned-ness to them.
It didn’t take Ethan long to decide that he wanted the B.L.A.T. (crispy bacon, cos lettuce, avocado, tomato, house mayo, and HP sauce on a fresh baguette, $12). This was a man’s sandwich through and through - a crusty baguette was stuffed full with crispy, salty bacon, as well as a thick, creamy mix of avocado and mayonnaise. There was only a mandatory amount of lettuce and tomato, but to this day I’ve never heard a man complain about that.
|Reuben Sandwich ($13)|
I had a harder time deciding what I wanted, but in the end I had the Reuben Sandwich (slow cooked corned beef, melted Swiss cheese and winter coleslaw on 7 grain loaf, $13). Now don’t get me wrong when I say this but, the bread was possibly the star of the sandwich. Not that there was anything wrong with what’s between the bread; in fact, it was quite delicious, being all crunchy and fresh. But the bread was was soft to the point of moistness, and choc-a-bloc with nuts and seeds, well, how can you compare with that?
Captains of Industry makes you feel like you’ve stumbled upon a hidden gem. I don’t know about you, but I could lounge here for hours with nothing but a good book, and their refreshing rose-hip cool orange ice tea ($4) for company.
Rating: 14/20 – hidden gem