Tuesday, January 23, 2007

23 January, 2007: Gertrude Street Grub - Trippytaco

Welcome to an exciting* new regular** where's the beef special - Gertrude Street Grub. Cindy and I usually sort out enough leftovers from our meals to provide ourselves with weekday lunches. Having house guests in the last few weeks however, has resulted in much fewer leftovers and many more trips out to buy lunch. I've discovered some pretty great places and have decided to put together a weekly*** series of posts reviewing lunch places around Gertrude Street (where my office is) and the southern ends of Smith and Brunswick Streets.

The lucky first place (and, in truth, the inspiration for this entire series) is Trippytaco. From what I understand, Trippytaco started out as a caterers who ran food stalls at Meredith and other Victorian festivals (although surprisingly I don't remember them being at the Hispanic Festival). They've recently set up a shop on Smith Street in Collingwood where their vegetarian Mexican food is on sale all year 'round. The menu is small - a couple of breakfast options, tacos, a burrito, nachos and a few sweets. For a bit of variety, the blackboard usually has a special on it, and the menu suggests that taquitos are 'coming soon'. The room matches the menu for size - a few small tables scattered through the back and a couple out on the footpath, with the kitchen right in the front next to the cash register. But all of this is unimportant, what really matters is the food. I've sampled a fair chunk of the menu already, and it's all been fantastic, but the focus of today is the tacos.

Based on homemade soft corn tortillas, these tacos are bursting with fillings (black beans, salad, salsa and cheese - although there are vegan alternatives) to the point where folding them into a taco shape is impossible. Black beans are hard to find, so the generous serving was particularly welcome, while the fresh, grated beetroot and avocado were tremendous additions to the standard lettuce/salsa/cheese fillings. With two kinds of Mexican hot sauce on the table, friendly staff and an all-veg menu, the only disappointing thing is that this place isn't full to bursting with appreciative customers every lunch hour. Hopefully the clientele will grow, 'cause now I've discovered it I can't imagine surviving without it.

Address: 48 Smith Street, Collingwood 234 Gertrude St, Fitzroy
Ph: 9415 7711
Price: $4.50 - $9.50

* May not be exciting
** Will almost certainly not be regular
*** Monthly

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