Gertrude Street blogged and a beautiful new blog discovered

I came across the gorgeous blog of Melbournienne Lucy Feagins.  She has done a great job blogging Gertrude St.  The beautiful photo of Amor y Locura above is hers.  I find so few blogs that I really want to read these days, but this is one of them. It’s so what blogs should be like: journalism without the corruption.  And with good photos.  Good blogs need good photos.  Free and ad-free.  But hers even boasts hand-drawn maps to die for.

Apart from Gertrude St, it has much of interest to whatever remains of Abbotsford Blog’s readership after its sad neglect by me.  For example, her posts on:

But then just about everything else is likely to be of interest.

Watson & Di Palma’s, near the ‘wood Kinderbauernhof


Matt Preston ate 150 pizze before committing the article “Melbourne’s Best Crusts” to print in The Age two and a half years ago. And so I learnt that Watson & Di Palma’s is a chain store, the youngest kid in the unhappy company of Hawthorn and Kew sibblings. The  Hawthorn store made it into the “Other Names Worth Mentioning” category, well below Abbotsford’s E-Lounge which got its own write up (deservedly so). I ate dinner at the Abbotsford place last night, and had a good meal for not too much by ordering entree sizes. Pizze are from $10 to $13.50 for a small, and from $16 to $18.50 for a large. Secondi are from $23.50 to $28.50, and pastas from $13.50 to $16.50 for small and $17.50 to $22.50 for mains.
Continue reading “Watson & Di Palma’s, near the ‘wood Kinderbauernhof”

I went for a walk to the Yak Speakeasy

The Yak Speakeasy has closed and I never got round to going there. Bars can be like that in Melbourne. But I met the new owner, Michelle, who’s going to preserve the place as an accoustic and country somethingorother venue, adding food. It opens in either a week or a fortnight. Meanwhile, I was pleased to take this photograph of some palm trees, full of the beer of the month from Piedmonte which accompanied my Badabing at Ladro after a bout at the Elm Family Hotel on Spring St — what a find, more anon — with my friend with the initials ABC. He is a departmental mandarin who the other day sent me on Her Majesty’s post a xerox of a little essay by Luis Bunuel about his favourite bars. Expecting twins, his account of our adventures will be published on Monday, providing it gets through the legals.

A day of unhealthy eating on Johnston St: Bomb, Ilk Bar, Kooshi

Yesterday my curiosity about this place prompted me to detour from my otherwise rigidly fixed route to work on my bike, in my suit. It doesn’t exactly leap out at you when driving past as the missing breakfastry of Abbotsford, and even after peering through this window last Sunday when it was closed, its true nature did not reveal itself, but Bomb Cafe & Bar, as I have discovered it is known (229 Johnston St, not far from the corner of Hoddle St, 9486 0699) is a great spot. Like so many long thin places on Johnston St, a small front section gives onto a middle room and then a magnificent back yard graced by a large peppercorn tree. The hot breakfast menu looked promising, the people behind the coffee machines engaging, but I had a pastry with custard and raspberries with my coffee. Steak, red wine, and salad followed by cheese and walnuts at Vue de Monde didn’t really help at lunch. Continue reading “A day of unhealthy eating on Johnston St: Bomb, Ilk Bar, Kooshi”

Books for cooks; the history of pizza

A Neapolitan margherita

Books for Cooks is a beautiful double-fronted Gertrude St shop full of 15,000 cook books and books about food and wine more generally. Its proprietor Tim White spent a decade at what is generally regarded as Melbourne’s leading law firm, Mallesons, and is not the most ebullient shopkeeper in the world, but his and his wife Alison Schulze’s labour of love is undoubtedly our gain. They have a newsletter which you can sign up for at the website, and their bookmarks are useful for having metric-imperial conversions set out in a fashion helpful for consultation mid-recipe. They’re open 7 days, 10-6 p.m. (11-5 Sundays) and their number’s 8415 1415.

Here’s an interesting Age article about the Australian cookbook publishing market.

I bought a translation of Nikko Amandonico’s La Pizza; The True Story from Naples and learnt that the two truly authentic Neapolitan pizze are the marinara and the margherita, but marinara has no seafood at all. Elsewhere in Italy, the marinara is often called Napoletana. It owes its name to “the times when fishermen, after a night at sea, would stop off at the bakery and, extremely hungry but in a hurry to get home, would ask for a pizza that was light and quick” — tomato, garlic, oregano, and oil. Continue reading “Books for cooks; the history of pizza”