Tuesday, 13 February 2007

back home.

And another whirlwind tour of the big smoke is complete. It was a pretty fun weekend; I got to hang out with lots of my friends - Tom, Heidi, Molly, Lukey, Sam, Annalise, Josh, have I forgotten anyone? As usual, I mostly ate. And now I realise (yet again) where all my money went so quickly.

We went to a couple of repeats - Yu'u and Butterfly, which I've covered before here. The only thing I can really add is a little more detail about Butterfly - this weekend I tried their home-made baked beans, and their fruit salad with yoghurt and honey. Both were a little pricey, but absolutely superb. Their range of drinks, however, is minimal. I had not realised this before.

We also tried the Moroccan Soup Bar in Fitzroy North, which was totally amazing. For $17.50 you get a mini-banquet of starter dips with pita bread, then vegetable based tagines and salads, and some tiny Moroccan sweets and coffee or mint tea. The place was completely packed, but it has to be said, a little eccentric. We ordered by explaining that none of our party had food allergies, and averaged our table's hungriness to a 7.5/10. Then the food came. I think the eccentricity possibly comes from the proprietress, who was lovely, but who seems like one not to mess with. Thus, make sure you book, and don't be surprised if you have to wait for your table, or get kicked out promptly when you're done. But don't worry - the food is completely worth it. Particularly the yoghurt chickpeas with paprika. Who knew it would taste that good? Well, actually...I did, which was why we went back. So good, so tasty. Oh, and by the way - it's unlicenced and cash only. These things are good to know.

On Saturday, Tom and I indulged in some take-away Plush pizza. On this occasion we had the 'potato swoon', and a small garlic side pizza. This delivery-happy vegetarian pizza is really good. Perhaps not quite as good as the Good Life, but certainly the best I've found in Melbourne, especially as a take-away joint rather than eat in. They have some interesting flavour combos (I recommend the Aztec and the Ben's Special), and it definitely falls into the category of 'gourmet' pizza, but is kind of at the middle price point. Our special which included one large pizza, one 'side order' pizza, a 1.25L drink and delivery was $25, and was about the right amount for two reasonably hungry people. Yum. Living in posh suburbs has its perks. Like better options than Pizza Planet.

On pizza, we also went to the Lucky Coq, on Chapel St in Windsor. It's kind of a funky (if a little crusty - think mood lighting for a reason) bar, with mismatching couches and tables and interesting bathrooms. The pizzas on weeknights are all $4 and I tried the peperonata (capsicum) one and had a little bite of the Caesar salad pizza. I must say they were both very good, especially for such a bargain price. Others on our table had the lamb pizza, and the pepperoni, both of which looked tasty too. I've been to the Lucky Coq's sister restaurant, Bimbo Deluxe on Brunswick St, before and had some bad experiences with oily oily pumpkin pizza, and overly strong and salty blue cheese. But this experience was very pleasant. Be warned though - the cheap pizza prices are balanced out by expensive drinks. This is called a loss leader. Stick with me kids, and you'll learn plenty. (Thanks Tom).

The other food-related adventure was a trip to organic superstore Macro Wholefoods. This is a big organic store on Bridge Rd, Richmond, about the size of a regular supermarket. I think there are other versions of it in Sydney too. This place was heaps of fun - they have a fresh fruit and veg section, a booze section, a take-home gourmet meals counter, a cafe and then just the regular supermarkety bit. Tom-ace and I managed to spend $50 whilst attempting to be very restrained. Well, I guess it's bound to be pricey when they give the chickens shiatsu massages and water the wheat with Moet. That's what they do to make it organic, right? Well, this place is definitely a money spinner, but they also have lots of great stuff. We bought some chilli flavoured linguine, some brown risotto rice (this by the way takes about three times as long to cook and doesn't taste much different), the Dagoba Xocolatl hot chocolate I'd been searching for, as well as some beer, and a few other drinks as per the rule. One beverage was a complete winner, but I'm saving it for another post. The other, straight raspberry juice (!!!) was actually surprisingly nasty, and I think it was what gave me Sunday's funny tummy - I realised too late it was past the use by date. And at $6 for about 200ml, that was really annoying. But actually I think it would've been kind of meh anyway. Some things are just better whole.

The only other newsworthy event, was that we went down to the St Kilda Fest (nasty, crowded, sandy, windy), and I bought a cute pair of ceramic stud earrings at one of the stalls from this man. We'll call him Mr Klei because I don't know what his really name was. Anyway. Mine are white with little green leaves and flowers. So! Cute!

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