Breakfast at the University Café , 257 Lygon St Carlton
The breakfast menu is the standard array of healthy muesli, porridge and fruit, hearty cooked breakfasts, and a couple of sugary sweet options, with prices hovering around $10. I couldn’t detect the promised cinnamon in my ricotta pancakes, but they were light and cakey with a generous serving of stewed apple and rhubarb. The food appeared quickly and our waiter courteously stopped by twice to check whether we needed anything, even though the café was quite busy. Definitely good value, even though the menu doesn’t offer any surprises.
Afternoon treat at Brunetti, 194—204 Faraday St Carlton
Our friends Krusty and Jason introduced us to Brunetti when we visited last December, and I was itching to return. This is a huge, bustling establishment with more cakes and espresso machines than I have ever seen in one building. I ordered the relatively modest Sacher, a chocolate and hazelnut biscuit. The chocolate cream centre was divine, but overall I thought the biscuit was too sugary. There are likely to be many future posts regarding Brunetti as I attempt to document its size, energy and variety, and steadfastly sample its desserts.
Dinner at Los Amates, 34 Johnston St Fitzroy
This Mexican kitchen prides itself on traditional rather than Tex Mex cuisine, and the menu includes several funny commentaries on the authentic way to enjoy their food and drinks. We tried our Mexican beer with salt on the rim of the glass and the juice of a lime. There was a good range of vegetarian appetisers and entrees, and three mains priced from $14-19. Then we hit an option we couldn’t pass up: the vegetarian platter for two.
(A comfortable and warmly lit restaurant means uncolourful photos, unfortunately.) With two salsas, guacamole, and sour cream we were able to spice up or cool down every morsel to our taste. We enjoyed trying preparations that extended beyond the usual burritos but found that the bean, mushroom and mixed vegetable fillings didn’t have distinctly different flavours. We cleaned the platter easily, but I was sufficiently satisfied that I didn’t order a spiced hot chocolate afterwards.