Brisbane to Frisco: The Aussie Grind cultivates community, diverse menu

Lui (left) and Angie Monforte are the owners of The Aussie Grind. (Elizabeth Ucles/Community Impact Newspaper)
Lui (left) and Angie Monforte are the owners of The Aussie Grind. (Elizabeth Ucles/Community Impact Newspaper)

Lui (left) and Angie Monforte are the owners of The Aussie Grind. (Elizabeth Ucles/Community Impact Newspaper)

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The piccolo latte (left), the chai latte (bottom) and the flat white (right) are the Grind's most popular coffees. (Elizabeth Uclés/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Fish N' Chips is the Grind's most popular lunch dish. (Elizabeth Uclés/Community Impact Newspaper)
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T.A.G. Big Breaky is the Grind's most popular breakfast dish. (Elizabeth Uclés/Community Impact Newspaper)
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The Aussie Grind does not offer Wi-Fi—a move intended to promote conversation in the restaurant. (Elizabeth Uclés/Community Impact Newspaper)
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The Aussie Grind offers carryout and dine-in service. (Elizabeth Ucles/Community Impact Newspaper)
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The Aussie Grind offers lamingtons, an Australian pastry. They are vanilla butter cakes rolled in chocolate and coconut. (Elizabeth Uclés/Community Impact Newspaper)
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The restaurant is located on Preston Road. (Elizabeth Uclés/Community Impact Newspaper)
Angie and Lui Monforte always loved visiting Texas, but they had a hard time, they said, finding food similar to what they ate in Australia. This led the husband-wife duo to bring a slice of Australia to Frisco with the opening of The Aussie Grind last year.

The Aussie-style brunch cafe offers breakfast, lunch, desserts and an assortment of coffee drinks.

The menu is nearly identical to a restaurant the Monfortes owned in Brisbane, Angie said. Once the lease for that restaurant ended, the couple said they sold everything they owned and headed to Frisco.

“Part of the immigration process is you’ve got to invest everything yourself,” she said.

The Monfortes did market research for the restaurant before their move, they said. Once they focused on the Dallas area, they saw how “dynamic and diverse” Frisco was, Angie said.


Lui said they work to stand out by remaining an independent business, which he said has allowed them the time to foster a tight-knit community. That desire to distinguish themselves is also why the restaurant does not offer Wi-Fi, Angie said.

“You’re walking into a hub where people are chatting about who sold the house down the road and, you know, who goes to school with who,” Angie said.

Not franchising also allows the Monfortes to take liberties with the menu, Lui said.

“You have to be an individual,” he said.

Changing the menu works well given the nature of Australian food. Angie said the cuisine is inspired by others around the globe. For instance, for one dish, The Aussie Grind takes gnocchi, an Italian pasta, and transforms it into a breakfast salad.

“The Australian way of eating is grabbing each nationality and making a twist,” Angie said.
By Elizabeth Ucles
Elizabeth is the reporter for Community Impact Newspaper's Frisco edition. She graduated from St. Edward's University with a degree in Writing and Rhetoric with a journalism concentration and a minor in Spanish in May 2019. Elizabeth covers public and higher education, development and transportation.


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