Earlier this summer, a writer for The Atlantic tweeted a photo of her extremely disappointing avocado toast, a $22 disaster that she’d had delivered to her New York City apartment. In addition to admittedly paying a ridiculous amount of money for avo toast, Taylor Lorenz was was less-than-delighted to find that most of the mashed avocado had skidded off the bread, and had accumulated in the corner of the to-go box. She paid $22 to reassemble her own expensive breakfast—which seems insane to the rest of us, but the owner of one Australian cafe is probably wondering why she had a problem with that.
Two days ago, freelance journalist Jess Maguire Instagrammed a picture of the AUS$18 ($13) avocado toast at the Kettle Black in Melbourne, Australia, because she didn’t expect to have to mash the avocado and spread it on the toast herself.
“I’m not sure you guys will ever fully understand the level of annoyance I felt being handed this alleged ‘avocado toast with feta’ breakfast that cost $18 today,” she captioned the photo. “‘Pretty deconstructed, isn’t it?’ I dryly remarked to the waitress, to which she smiled enthusiastically and nodded. What fucking next, being handed an avocado seed and told to farm the land and grow my own crop over several years before returning to the cafe to finally enjoy my breakfast?”
“For that money I didn’t think I’d assemble the dish myself,” Maguire told news.com.au. “It was funny, but a ridiculous dish to serve. I prefer my food constructed and I made the assumption that’s how it would be served.”
The Kettle Black’s menu describes the breakfast item as a “seasonal avocado with citrus, toast and local kelp salt,” with the option to add a small piece of feta cheese for an additional A$4.50 ($3.25). What the menu doesn’t mention is that those ingredients will arrive at your table unassembled, like some kind of Omega-3 heavy IKEA nightmare.
Based on some of the cafe’s online reviews, other customers have been surprised by the presentation, with varying results. One TripAdvisor reviewer called it “cute,” while others complained “I COULD HAVE HAD THAT AT HOME for free,” or said that they “didn’t appreciate” mashing their own avo.
“I was so speechless when I was served avocado toast,” a woman named Sara H. wrote on Yelp in March. “I have no idea why it was served this way—deconstruction? Leaving to the customer to prepare it the way she wants? I was so displeased at having to pay so much money for something I expected to be smashed and spread for me instead of doing the work myself.”
But cafe manager Tim James isn’t fazed at all by the criticism, and says the avocado toast is one of The Kettle Black’s most popular menu items. (That may be true, but now we’re curious how many people order it a second time.) “This is how we have served it from day dot, which is four years ago,” he told news.com.au. “It’s half an avo in the skin, which pays homage to the avocado and the farms.”
Um, what would we have to do to get a meal that pays homage to the kitchen staff and their ability to put an avocado on bread?