Saturday, October 19, 2013

Grub Food Van

Gertrude St Grub

October 15, 2013

I've fallen into a bit of a lunch rut lately. A delicious Sonido-based rut sure, but a rut nonetheless. So with a quiet day at work and no packed lunch in my bag, I branched out and finally visited Grub Food Van. I've been intrigued by it for ages - it seemed like a kind of hipster vortex: stationary food van, ping pong table, Fitzroy back-street - all the boxes are checked.

As pretentious as that might sound, there's something really wonderful about the setting. You wander in past a very stylish old van (closed on the day I visited) into a glorious covered greenhouse area. There's a ping pong table, plants everywhere, mismatched tables and bright colours. It's stunning.

I nestled in amongst it all and perused the menu. There's a reasonable smattering of veggie options: porridge with dates, coconut, banana, brown sugar and butter ($12), mushroom and prune ragout with parmesan polenta cake ($15), cannelini, butter beans and chickpeas in tomato sauce ($12), a veggie tasting plate ($16), mushroom burger ($10) and a vegetable tagine ($17). Vegans will probably struggle (although the tagine might be okay).

I ordered the avocado, chilli and lime parfait with tomato salsa, manchego and housemade seeded tortilla ($14).

This was just okay - the avocado was a super smooth paste with just a hint of lime and chilli. The fresh salsa was excellent, but the tortillas didn't really rock my world. They were crispy and a bit dry, which made them easy to eat, but if you're going to make your own tortillas, you shouldn't hide their freshness like this.

I headed back for a cheeky pre-work breakfast on a glorious morning and the sun-filled greenhouse was just as lovely. This time I ordered the vegetarian board (boiled egg, cheddar, marinated veggies, avocado, salsa and relish, $16).

This was more successful - the cheddar was the key ingredient, sharp and crumbly and combining perfectly with each of the other ingredients.

I'm a Grub convert - the food hasn't blown my mind, but it's fresh and tasty and served in such a lovely space. The staff are friendly and the coffee's decent - definitely somewhere to seek out when Melbourne turns on some decent weather.

Everyone loves Grub - there are completely positive write-ups at Suchgoodlife, Howie's Melbourne Food Blog, MEL: HOT OR NOT, Miss Jessica Louise, urban kaleidoscope,where food is, i am, Decorating Mumma, Cope's Curiosities, Popcorn & Toast, Sharking for chips and drinks and dear melbourne, while Temasek and Gourmet Chick feel more like me - the setting is incredible, but the food isn't world-beating.

Grub Food Van
87-89 Moor Street, Fitzroy
9419 8991
veg dishes $7-$17

Accessibility: There's a couple of steps down from the street to the food van area, and things are a little crowded between the driveway and the greenhouse. You order at the table and pay at a low register - I didn't visit the loos.


  1. As a diehard snacker when it comes to meals, that board looks AWESOME.

  2. I had a really delicious toastie there some months back - from memory it was eggplant based and I loved it! Haven't been for breakfast yet, but I would imagine it would be nice on a summer morning

  3. I've always been meaning to pop back to Grub St, as I really enjoyed the one visit I made there - as you said the space is lovely to sit in, I felt very welcomed as a lone diner, and I had a sweet breakfast of either French toast or pancakes (memory is slightly dim) that had a lot of poached fruit going on that was really delightful.