I’d been to other Benders cafes that this app rated highly, only to grow suspicious of the type of people that were supplying the ratings. But this one is different. El Gordo made the best batch brew filter (black of course) I have had in a long time. Don’t ever let your barista leave! The cakes were excellent as well. Next time I’ll be here for breakfast.
Ambiance was great with the situation in a narrow laneway and the small area of the cafe was appropriately decorated in a Spanish style. Our shared tapas dishes we had for lunch were very good as well. However the coffee did not quite live up to the rest being rather mild and lacking the touch of bitterness I like. Still worth a try.
Everything about El Gordo was so promising - the beautiful little laneway, such a surprise in Bendigo's often bland retail landscape, the warm friendly welcome and excellent service, the "No. 1 in Bendigo" rating... Pity the coffee let it down - my espresso was bitter and thin, my partner's latté no better - these were not terrible coffees, but they were not good either. Ok, a top café should never let its standards drop, and I frequent several places in Melbourne and even a couple in nearby Castlemaine where I have never had a bad coffee - so to be fair I went back to El Gordo a few days later to try again. Sadly, the two espressos were not even as good as the first time. The search continues... I have yet to have a really good coffee in Bendigo, but I have many more places to try.
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