Black Elk Espresso, revisited

Without a doubt, there is a LOT of buzz about Black Elk Espresso in Carnes Hill.

It’s been made obvious by the sheer number of people that have been there on my last 3 visits to the cafe, but also indicated by their popularity on social media.

And I get it. I really do.

We have been deprived of cool cafes out in South Western Sydney.

There is stuff out here but when there is a dense residential area like the pocket that is Hoxton Park and Carnes Hill – if anything NEW opens up we get EXCITED.

I still remember the day Big W opened in Carnes Hill (showing my age here)…it was a big deal guys.

So imagine now, in the days of Instagram when a cafe finally pops up in your hood and has the promise of all-day breakfast and drool worthy insane milkshake dessert. Everyone wants to be seen there.

So after that first visit to Black Elk (click here to read about the first visit) , we decided – yep – this is it. We finally have a local. Too bad every other person in the 2171 postcode thought the exact same thing.

My second visit to Black Elk one month after the official opening, we were seated without having to wait.

Black Elk Carnes Hill Cafe Coffee

This is when I realised that their breakfast menu is different on the weekends. On the weekends they don’t have the Jamon Eggs or the Nutella Hotcakes. Fair enough call because the weekends are so much busier for these guys. It’s best to focus on just a few meals.

Weekend Menu at Black Elk Espresso (click to enlarge)

I had the eggs benedict:

Breakfast Black Elk Espresso Carnes Hill

And the husband had the Hangover breakfast burger

Breakfast burger Carnes Hill Black Elk Espresso

The food itself was fine for our second breakfast at this cafe.

What was distracting though was the wait time we experienced for our food. We waited at least 40 minutes for our 2 meals.

However when we got up to pay afterwards, the owner served us at the register and apologised right away about the wait time and said they were still training staff  so things were a little slow.

A month after the 2nd trip, we visited again on a weekend. This time for lunch. And I was thrilled and somewhat surprised to see just how busy the cafe was at 1pm. They were doing well. Really well!

We were impressively seated right away once again and were told straight-up that they had run out of burger buns. If we wanted burgers, they would be served on sourdough.

Another thing that impressed was that we were told straight up that the wait time would be 20 minutes for food. It’s nice to be told upfront just so you can be prepared. But it’s also another thing to actually be able to deliver on this.

After sitting down, I noticed that no-one had food at their tables. Everyone was just sort of looking out towards the kitchen. And I could only see 1 plate being bought every 5 minutes or so. Uh-oh.

We ordered a delicious strawberry milkshake while we waited for the 20 minutes to pass.

Half an hour later our food still hadn’t arrived. And as we looked around we saw several diners walking out after complaining that they had waited over an hour for food. Some others were only told about the burger bun situation after they had been seated and they walked out too.

Eventually after waiting just under 1 hour, our food came out. I know it was just under an hour because by then my husband had said “1 hour and I’m walking”, and I hate walking out of anywhere so I was hoping our meals would cut the 1 hour wait time.

Black Elk Espresso lunch Carnes Hill

The fries with the Mental Lentil “burger” was delicious but that’s about it. Even though they had told us upfront that they were out of burger buns, the meal was quite disappointing. Especially when we still had to pay full price. It would have been somewhat of a nice compensation to have to pay less when you are not offered the full product.

Black Elk Espresso lunch Carnes Hill

My haloumi salad had no faults though apart from the wait time. Wish they had under-promised and over-delivered with the wait estimate.

Even though this hasn’t been a particularly positive review, I’m still willing to go back to Black Elk Espresso. But I’ll go back in a few months when things settle down for them.

I think that perhaps they hadn’t realised the huge demand out this way for decent cafes.

So if you haven’t already visited, perhaps wait. Let them fine tune. Let them work out what works for them and then visit. These guys have so much potential.

Let’s just wait it out a little Western Sydney.

Have you been to Black Elk yet? Do you live somewhere surrounded by cools bars/cafes?

Black Elk – 600 Kurrajong Rd, Carnes Hill NSW 2171

2 thoughts on “Black Elk Espresso, revisited

  1. That’s the perils of a popular joint – the wait times and possibility of them selling out of things. Oh and also line-ups. Glad you enjoyed the food though! My SO is really impatient… I’m fine waiting but he would walk out for sure. 😛


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