The first day that Cornersmith opened, the cafe managed to smoke out everyone I know from their nearby homes. Most new places are slow to be discovered, but this joint was full-blaze packed from the start. Maybe it says something about the pent-up hunger for a good new place to get coffee and breakfast in Marrickville. And maybe it says something about the worthwhile things on offer at Cornersmith.
The cafe is run by James Grant (previously at Allpress Espresso and Mecca) and his wife, Alex Elliot-Howery (who makes the in-store preserves with her friend Jaimee Edwards; prior to this, Alex started Pigeon Ground with Agatha Gothe-Snape). On the garage roof behind Cornersmith, the couple keeps an urban beehive. The collected honey, so thick you could sculpt it, makes the short trip to your plate when you order the excellent Ricotta, Baked Peach, Almond Toast ($8) – the knockout sweetness of the ultra-cooked fruit is especially moment-stopping. Other great sandwiches that have appeared at Cornersmith include the Two Cheese and Pickle ($7), a melty merger of vintage cheddar, goat’s cheese and chilli-preserved zucchini; and the combination that sees Apple Jam and Goat’s Cheese spread on toast and sprinkled with sesame seeds ($8). There’s also a Mulberry Yogurt Shake ($3 for kids/$6 for grown-ups) to remedy any post-carb thirst.
These items have been part of Cornersmith’s limited (but excellent) selection since it started two Saturdays ago. Like most cafes at this time of year, it’s now on a break and its doors open again on Tuesday January 10, with a new menu and shelves restocked with home-made pickles and fresh-made condiments. So far, as a small-scale preview, Cornersmith has been doing brilliantly. Bring on the full-strength 2012 reboot.
Cornersmith, 314 Illawarra Rd, Marrickville NSW (02) 8065 0844. You can also follow Cornersmith on Facebook.