Owners David Cox and Jeff Wong (Huxtable, Huxtaburger, Bill's Bar, etc.) do their thing grandly at Nineteen Squares. There’s a small, tight menu with the boys’ self-confessed ‘world famous’ chicken sandwich being high priority – $9.50 gets you some gloriously fibrous sourdough with plenty of chook and rocket, a generous spooning of homemade aioli, plus a mass of avocado.
Coffee Supreme organic, fair-trade beans are whizzed into a palatable blend every day for the loyal St Kilda residents. You can also bury yourself in "one-pot wonders" – baked eggs in homemade salsa with chorizo and feta. The vegetarian adaptation is a garlic mushroom and eggplant deal, minus the chorizo.
The bread Nineteen Squares use is sourced from Fitzroy Street’s Baker D. Chirico with their basic toast and fruit toast being anything but basic. Rhubarb and cinnamon porridge also glows as a breakfast option.
For lunch try mini bacon and egg muffins (free-range egg wrapped in pancetta baked with a leaf of basil and spiced capsicum pesto served in an English muffin, or a piece of toast with chutney) and on Friday and Saturday nights there are cheap meat or veggie burgers. Adding to the charm of Nineteen Squares is the emergent collection of vintage teaspoons, sourced from its owners and regulars, hanging shrine-like on the wall inside. Donations welcome.