Wine and cheese – yes please! Wrap your mitts around a gourmet toastie from Mermaid’s newbie Cheese Me Baby
A mantra we Gold Coasters tend to live by, particularly as we head towards the steamy months, is that happiness is best served melted. And that’s precisely what you’ll find at Cheese Me Baby in Mermaid Beach – gooey, melty happiness in sandwich form. Sitting pretty on the corner of the Gold Coast Highway and Tamborine Street, in the same complex that also houses Poké Poké, Goccia Italian and Som Tam Gai, the converted container kitchen has transformed a previously underutilised grassy knoll into a vibin’ coffee slinger. Let’s be honest, they had us at wine and cheese but there’s plenty more to love about this nifty newcomer …
Although it’s the talk of the town, the Cheese Me Baby story actually begins at the city’s weekly farmers markets, where locals would congregate religiously to get their mitts on one of the gourmet toasties before they sold-out. Through peak periods and ‘unprecedented’ times, through rain and heatwaves – the Cheese Me Baby crew was there grillin’. After witnessing the kind of community interactions that transpired over toasties, it became clear that Cheese Me Baby was more than a market stall – it had the power to bring people together and so, a more permanent outpost was sought. As it turns out, the perfect venue wasn’t a venue at all, but rather an opportunity to transform a corner space into a thriving community-centric locale. There are a handful of stools and tables spilling onto the sidewalk surrounding the shipping-container-turned-toastie-dispensary but the intention is to create the kind of environment where you can roll out a rug and kick back on the grass, if that’s more your style. At its heart, Cheese Me Baby is a place for the people. It’s designed to be easy and unpretentious, so you can roll up (literally, there are bicycles everywhere) for a coffee and a baguette or sprawl out in the afternoon sunshine with a wine and a plate of cheese – the kind of laid-back village vibe that makes the Gold Coast so darn special.
Cheese Me Baby offers a continental European menu that is intended to be fairly unstructured. Things will change regularly based on what the crew can get their hands on at the markets, but for now hungry hoards can tuck into a couple of light bites including house-made banana bread with whipped ricotta and salted-caramel sauce and flaky, buttery croissants with jam and butter. The toasties are the stuff of turophile’s dreams with decadent, cheesy fillings wedged between two hefty slabs of thyme-and-garlic buttered sourdough from Pixel Bakehouse, which can also be found at the weekly Palm Beach Farmer’s Market and HOTA Markets (are you sensing a theme yet?). There are a handful of mouth-watering fillings to choose from including a seriously tasty Three Cheese, which comes with a side of house-made tomato soup for dunking, a mushroom for meat-free mates as well as a mighty Crackling Pork, which is loaded with slow-roasted pork belly, crisp, salty crackling, roast fennel, apple matchsticks, rocket, a thick layer of creamy aioli and a mouth-watering three-cheese blend. Rounding out the selection of bites is a couple of tartines and a picnic box, which is brimming with Adelaide Hills double-cream brie, Nimbin Valley blue, Persian fetta, truffle salami and other such niceties. As for the drinkables, Burleigh’s Social Espresso is pouring through the coffee machine from early morning alongside cold-pressed juice and Adaptogenic Hot Chocolate from Byron Bay’s Social Alchemy. Those in the mood for something a little stronger can peep a tightly curated selection of sips from Mermaid’s own SOMM Wine Store, with the intention to roll out Sunday sessions and even chef pop-ups in the near future.
If you fancy an easy, uncomplicated bite in the sunshine, roll over to Cheese Me Baby’s Stumble Guide for opening days and times.
The Stumble Guide is our comprehensive Gold Coast dining guide with more than 870 places to eat, drink, shop and play.