1000 Pound Bend – Melbourne CBD

#OccupieFitzroy Followers,

An FYI before I begin – I’m considering adding the audio widget to this blog. I figured MySpace was long ago, enough so that it must be considered completely ironic. I might put on Kanye, because this blog is all about… THE NORTH SIDE (PLEASE HIGH FIVE ME RIGHT NOW).

Anyways, I am writing about 1000 Pound Bend on this fine evening.

photo 1

THIS GUY…

This venue is definitely one of my CBD favs – it transcends the ever important boundary of cafe/late night bar, so it’s good to know there’s always something awesome open. The food tastes pretty fucking fantastic, however after brunching hardcore for some months now, I’m beginning to understand the value of originality in a menu. Also, their coffee is not *actually* the best I’ve ever had, although it’s still worth paying your $4 for a soy latte.

And the place is fucking hip.

Tucked inside an old warehouse space down Little Lonsdale St, this place is just oh, so Melbourne.  I find it particularly cosy during the winter months as it’s sufficiently heated, and an awesome place to have after dinner drinks while remaining considerably chilled. Everything’s a bit grungy and they have cool art. The staff haven’t exactly been the friendliest in my experience, but hospitality tends to do that to people. This hasn’t deterred me.

FUCKING DELICIOUS YET UNORIGINAL

FUCKING DELICIOUS YET UNORIGINAL

This place is functional enough so that its taking itself seriously becomes an afterthought. It’s not claustrophobic, there’s constant free wifi and places to plug your laptop in if you want to be productive. Therefore, it ticks all the boxes that an awesome venue should. It’s very essentially Melbourne, but it’s not exactly… humble. When your mum asks you what hipsters are, please take her here, and feed her tasty, non-conformist cider while listening to Lou Reed (RIP).

Occupie Metrics:

Door to Beard Index:  Everyone here LOOKS like they’re participating in Movember but Movember isn’t underground enough.

Coffee: It’s fine, but there are better places in the CBD to get your fix.

Noms: I could make most of this at home, and it could do with some more vego options. But the ones that exist are excellent. HALOUMI BURGER, DO IT.

How poor will it make me? It’s fine.

Is it instagram worthy? It certainly is! But it’s’ high competition. If you want to stand out there, invent a witty hashtag or some shit.

Final thoughts: URBAN SPOON DESCRIBES THIS PLACE AS ROMANTIC, I DON’T UNDERSTAND. They’re rated a measly 72% on UrbanSpoon, but perhaps there were some UrbanSpoon down voting wars happening because I know that happens (thug life, yo). Defs check it out though.

And to finish it off…

YEP, THIS IS ACTUALLY A THING #NORTHSIDE4LYF

-Maddy 

1000 Pound Bend on Urbanspoon

Three Bags Full- Nicholson St, Abbotsford

Firstly, it’s been a while since I graced the Occupie Fitzroy page with any new words, but shit’s been cray the last month. I went to Burning Seed, I LOST MY JOB (WAH), I graduated (YAY), and life has consistently been reaching epic levels of insanity, but DON’T YOU WORRY. Occupie Fitzroy has not been forgotten.

Secondly, I AM INCLUDING A NEW OCCUPIE METRIC, ‘is it Instagram worthy?‘. It speaks for itself, and it’s an important factor in selecting a dining location.

I wish to write about a magical place. It’s a wonderful cafe tucked away in a suburb everyone forgets about, Abbotsford. It’s name is Three Bags Full, and it’s amazing.

Check out the sweet depth of field my iPhone achieves! I’m impressed.

I visited Three Bags Full on a wonderful Saturday morning, with two of my favourite people, Thomas and Jodi. I get the impression this place is always busy because it’s always awesome. We got seated in a light filled, dining room-esque little spot full of amazing art. A guy took photos of his food with a telephoto lens and we lol’d pretty hard.

I ordered an amazing sandwich type thing. It had pumpkin, goats cheese, roquette & caramelised onions, kind of what I eat on my pizza most weekends. It was amazing, as was the coffee. The service was great. What can I say… I have no harsh words about this place, and it’s kind of obvious I need another set of adjectives to draw from.

It definitely falls into the category of ‘awesome yet typical Melbourne cafe’, so if you’re happy to frequent those then this is definitely a place to check out. I’m not sick of this category yet so I will always rave about them, yet I can understand why someone may want to dine somewhere with a bit more flare.

Occupie Metrics:

Door to Beard Index: Three Bags Full is located in Abbotsford, which is kinda the classier version of Collingwood (for families & those afraid of junkies). The beard index was comparatively low.

Coffee: It’s great, but there are few places in Melbourne’s inner north that aren’t.

Noms: Eat them. Could do with more vegetarian options though.

How poor will it make me? It’s on the upper end of reasonable.

Is it instagram worthy? Your stunningly plated meal will look amazing with a rustic, red brick backdrop. Go hacks.

Final thoughts: It’s been a while since I went here so my memories are fading, but it was lovely. Go there.

-M

Three Bags Full on Urbanspoon

Vegie Bar- Brunswick St

I absolutely adore this place.

If it wasn’t for Vegie Bar, vegetarian food just wouldn’t be  cool. Enthusiastic carnivores would have NO CLUE what can really be done with tofu and veggies. Brunswick St would probably become a wasteland because I’m convinced that 90% of its traffic is going to or from this sublime venue.

I’m surprised to read that it only has an 87% rating on UrbanSpoon. But as I learned by reading the comments, some of those twats don’t seem to realise that this is  the most popular restaurant in the north-side neighbourhood, and a short waiting time in a cosy and immaculately decorated court yard may be required. What the fuck ever.

image-15

Yeah, nom. Raw stuff.

This place never fails to impress me. I went through a huge mi-goreng phase here some years back, but this time I ordered the faux-chicken wrap. I find faux chicken to be a bit hit or miss at times, but these guys definitely get it right. It was only $9, and the portion size was spot on, despite many of their other meals being quite enormous at times.

I always find the service here very decent, but typical of a restaurant that is probably 50% over capacity at all times. I’ve always been met with friendly (and attractive) wait staff who are helpful at all times, but it seems that other patrons expect to be waited on hand and foot, and are frustrated when this does not occur. The moral of this story: Vegie Bar is busy for a reason. Be thankful that anyone is providing you a plate with this glorious food on it, and if it doesn’t suit you, then take yourself and your platinum credit card back to fucking Chapel St.

image-16

Everything looks cool!

Door to Beard Index: Absolutely everyone comes to this place, because it is that amazing. Beards included.

Beer: They have a wunderbar selection of ciders and beer. I would like to drink more of it.

Noms: This is probably the most popular restaurant on Brunswick St, and for a very good reason.

How poor will it make me? I used to think this place was expensive, but compared to most brunch meals, it’s very well priced.

Final thoughts: This place is always busy, and I’ve always had to wait a while for a table. These waits usually include a cosy drink at their courtyard bar, listening to some very decent music. Definitely an all time fave.

-M.

Vegie Bar on Urbanspoon

Hairy Canary- Little Collins St

First mistake of Hairy Canary. Using the word ‘hairy’. Gross.

image-9

Despite its hairiness, I was excited to visit this place. My life long friend Caz suggested this as a good-bye dinner before her trip to Europe (everyone is leaving me and I’m sad!). It has a decent rating on Urban Spoon, and it’s cosy. The bartenders were young and charming, and we landed an awesome people-watching spot looking out onto Little Collins St.

image-11

I was happy to be visiting somewhere a bit different to the standard Fitzroy cafes. However the issue with this place is definitely the price. I generally have very little money. But whatever, I decided tonight I would #YOLO this shit up and order something from this double-dollar-signs menu.

image-12

This is Caz, pre-cheeseboard and excited about the menu.

We got to Hairy Canary, hoping for some yummy tapas and a decent wine. We were immediately greeted with handsome, charming (English) bartenders who got all cute when they forgot what the specials were. There were 2 vegetarian options in my price range; eggplant chips and a FUCKING CHEESEBOARD.

The Cheeseboard was $28. Yes, twenty eight fucking dollars. Caz and I decided to split it, thinking (like any normal person would) “it’s $28 worth of cheese, this should be a riot”. I got excited and ordered a Chilean red wine. An eclectic array of tunes ranging from Jose Gonzalez to ‘I think I wanna marry you‘ were playing in the background. The lighting was warm, we were feeling grand.

image-10This is what $28 worth of cheese looks like.

Our cheeseboard arrived, and we took a minute to recover from that charm of the English wait staff.  Then we looked down and felt nothing short of underwhelmed.

It tasted delicious, as any cheeseboard does. But I think they just took the scraps from last night’s soiree and chucked some strawberries on top. Call me old fashioned, but when I pay money for food I’m used to receiving something in return. Regardless, we basked in the glory of sophistication for a moment, but were quickly greeted again with hunger and an even emptier bank account. Boo.

The wine was amazing, partly because it was from Chile and partly because my usual array of cask wines have set the bar low.

Occupie Metrics:
Door to Beard Index: The beards exist, but more so in a ‘refined old man’ kind of way, than a ‘hungover and unshaven while riding a fixie’ kind of way.

Wine: Yes.

Noms: The eggplant chips may have been a more satisfying choice.

How poor will it make me? This is not an appropriate option for those light on coin. Buyer beware.

Final thoughts: It was cold outside, and this place was warm and inviting. It was fine to spend an evening here but I wish they were a bit more adventurous with their portions, and I wish I had more cash to spend on Chilean wine.

Hairy Canary on Urbanspoon

-Madeline

The Knife Shop- Wellington St, Collingwood

I have very mixed feelings about this place. It’s the closest cafe to my house, so it’s my go-to caffeine venue. I’ve also eaten some  decent meals in my time there. There is something a bit disjointed about the vibe though; it’s a knife shop as well as a cafe, and the chi of the entire place is kind of off. As a result, it’s become the CBF place, rather than the ‘this place is definitely awesome’ place.

image-7This is Thomas ^^

This place has some pretty funky decor that reminds me of my grandma’s old house in the country. I enjoy the clocks and chequered tiles. I didn’t enjoy my food though.

Disclaimer: I was hungover as fuck when I visited this place. Usually when you’re hungover, things aren’t that awesome. I was stuck in that limbo where eating is the most repulsive thing imaginable, but would also be the only thing to perk me up. And I probably ordered the worst thing for a hangover- a dodgy omelette.

image-8I enjoyed the toast.

I had to walk all of 5min to get to this place, and god damn I was feeling sorry for myself. My soy-chai latte was decent enough to bother paying for, but I’ve always found the service a bit awkward, like I’m interrupting the wait staff’s happy-friendship-hangtimes just  to order some sub-par eggs. The highlight of this meal was the soggy toast that was kind to my stomach. Thankfully Thomas could finish off the tragic remains of this meal, so it didn’t go entirely to waste.

Occupie Metrics:
Door to Beard Index: I wouldn’t call this place entirely ‘hip’. It’s an at-times-kinda-ok cafe that happens to be on Wellington St. DTB index is low.

Coffee: Their coffee  doesn’t suck.

Noms: They do a haloumi salad that seems decent. However my noms experience was not kind.

How poor will it make me? The quality-cost ratio is off. Just stick to the caffeine and you won’t be as disappointed.

Final thoughts: I do feel I’m being overly harsh, but my experiences here have always been ‘ok’, or ‘I just want coffee now’. Urban Spoon rates them 73% positive. I’d say that’s accurate.

-Madeline

The Knife Shop on Urbanspoon

Bluebird Espresso- Johnston St, Collingwood

I’ve decided to create an #OccupieFitzroy hall of fame. Bluebird Espresso will be in it.

image-2

This place is little, and easy to miss. It’s down the dodgy end of Johnston St (near my house), nestled amongst a sleazy backpackers hostel and some tiling stores. For anyone that knows Johnston St, if you’re not on your way to the Convent then this is the place to start giving up. Unless you’re going to Bluebird of course.

To begin, I ordered a coffee and it came out almost cold. Well, cold for my standards. But I was here for my regular Friday morning brunch, so I was happy to take it easy and see how it went. The menu looked amazing, and there were some really incredible vegetarian options (which can sometimes compensate for cold coffee).

image-3

I ordered garlic butter mushrooms on on cheesy potato puree, with poached eggs and roquette on toast. All of a sudden I didn’t give a fuck about the cold coffee because I had died and gone to heaven. This meal was like sex. On toast. With some sunshine and rainbows. I still dream about it, and I would happily drink all the cold coffee in Melbourne if it meant I could eat this more often.

image-5This was my meal, midway through. Note how delicious it still looks.

I’m not usually one to order sweet breakfasts, but Chloe always does. She ordered French Toast. I can’t remember exactly what was in it other than salted caramel somethingarather, and some banana. But it looked fucking tits. Again, didn’t give a fuck about the cold coffee. This was just too good.

image-4

Again, take note of the half eaten meal and how fucking appetising it still looks.

Occupie Metrics:
Door to Beard Index: This place is still in the ‘I knew about Bluebird before it was cool’ phase. The dodgy end of Johnston St is quickly becoming less dodgy, but Bluebird is still in its ‘not too cool’ phase. It’s always busy on weekends, and it’s full of hipsters. Therefore, beards. I rate it: 1 step.

Coffee: Would be good if it was warmer, but Chloe didn’t mind it so much. I wouldn’t go here *just* for the coffee, considering how much great coffee there is in the area.

Noms: FUCKING INCREDIBLE, HOLY JESUS. EAT IT NOW.

How poor will it make me? Normal Fitzroy/Collingwood poor, and a bit too poor considering it’s the dodgy end of Johnston St.

Final thoughts: This place is a big deal: I could forget about the less-than-average coffee because their food was just so, incredibly tops. Urban Spoon rates them at 4.5 starts. I would rate them 9 if I could (10 if they did hot coffee).

Check out their Facebook.  Fall in love with Bluebird Espresso.

-Mads

Bluebird Espresso on Urbanspoon

Slowpoke on Brunswick St

This place makes me happy even just thinking about it!

I visited Slowpoke last Friday, which was also MY BIRTHDAY! I was already in a good mood, as one often is on their birthday, and I was lucky enough to be blessed with brunch accompanied by two of my favourite people in the world.

The sun was shining, I was feeling the love. This place was a good choice. As was my meal!

slowpoke01

Baked beans with goats cheese, toast, and a ton of herbs. Bliss.

I FEEL LIKE I SHOULD WRITE THIS ALL IN CAPITALS JUST TO EXPRESS HOW I EXCITED I WAS BY EVERYTHING, but I shall refrain. This place just has totally positive vibes about it, and the staff are really friendly. It was cold outside, but I was cosy. My other friend Jodie came to say hello WHICH MADE ME MORE EXCITED. It was my birthday, and everything was wonderful!

slowpoke02

This is Thomas eating brunch! ^^

The menu was simple, which was good. Thomas ordered Avocado Smash, and it looked incredible. It also had chilli in it, I never thought that could be a thing! I then ordered a cup of tea after my meal because I got really excited and ate it too quickly, and that was also amazing! Everything was awesome!

image-1

I then got to work to find these bad boys freshly baked, sitting on my desk.

image 02Then, two of my bosses (and Thomas) did their own rendition of Happy Birthday. It was a god day.

I’m aware these extra birthday details are unnecessary in the scheme of #OccupieFitzroy, but I really don’t give two shits and want to share the awesomeness that was, my birthday.

Occupie Metrics:
Door to Beard Index: Being the perfect Brunswick St cafe, it was high. Possibly even 1 step.

Coffee: Smooth and delicious.

Noms: AWESOME. Eat all the things.

How poor will it make me? Standard amount of poor. 

Final thoughts: On any other day, this place would still have been pretty damn excellent. Check out their Facebook page!

-Madeline

Slowpoke on Urbanspoon