Friday, February 13, 2009

700 posts, one giveaway

700 posts! Can you believe it? To celebrate we've got a double-barrelled treat for you. First up, let us take you on a 12-hour tour of Melbourne. Almost five months ago the Amateur Gourmet asked his readers how they'd spend a final 12 hours in their dearest city. Though it's taken us a little while, Michael and I have drawn up an itinerary and laid it out over 9 posts. We couldn't quite agree on everything so we'll be splitting up along the way and you can decide who to tag along with. Don't worry, we'll be converging for a damn fine dinner at the end of it. So lace up your favourite sneakers, stuff $50 or so into your pocket, sling a roomy bag over your shoulder and...

Are you back? Did you have fun? Now tell us, what hidden gems were missing from our last 12 hours in Melbourne? Usually we're simply appealing to your sense of generosity when we ask your advice, but this week your recommendations could win you this...

That's right, it's a copy of Veganomicon! Its chickpea cutlets, po' boys and black beans have wowed us, and as we've had only a couple of months with this book, we've no doubt that there are many, many more awesome recipes to discover within its pages.

So drop us a comment on your absolute favourite place to go, thing to do or food to eat in Melbourne. If your comment is not linked to a profile with an email address and you'd prefer not to give your email details publicly in a comment, then email us at wheresthebeef_blog[at] immediately after posting your comment. We won't share your details with anyone else and we'll delete our records of them once this competition's over. And it'll be over at midnight, Melbourne time, on Friday February 20. The winner will be drawn at random and announced on the morning of Saturday February 21 as I lounge, bleary-eyed, in front of Video Hits.

Edit 21/02/09: The giveaway is now closed and we've drawn a winner! However, we'd still like to know what you'd do in your last 12 hours in Melbourne - add your ideas below and earn our gratitude, if not a cookbook.


  1. I'm torn, but as a relative newcomer to Melbourne (two years, a mere nothing) I would recommend checking out one of the craft markets (arts centre and St. Kilda are both good) or cycling one of the awesome trails (Michael could do Merri Ck on his bike). Oh, and the bats at Studley park are pretty cool too--also could be part of Michael's itinerary.

  2. I'm exceedingly fond of Blush Foodroom in Flemington (or maybe Kensington), which was our go-to local for a good few years until we moved out :(

    The other one would be Sentido funf, a funky bar in Fitzroy - Gertrude St.

  3. One of the happiest days I ever spent was begun with breakfast at Rumi in Lygon St, Brunswick East. I can't remember what I ate (I think it was eggs baked in a tomatoey-chickpea thing) but that day was more about that company I kept than the food.

    I really wish Rumi still offered breakfast on a Saturday morning. Perhaps then I might be able to recapture the happiness of that day.

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  5. Someone was a fan of the Choose Your Own Adventure series me thinks :)

    Due to my love of sleeping in on Weekends til noon (and surfing the net until five), I'd agree to meet my friends in a carriage over at the Toff In Town where I'd order the salmon cured in Vodka and my friends would make fun of me for pretending to be so refined. Following would be a show in the bandroom next door (or if the season is right, a film up on level six). Following, one or twelve cocktails and conversation over at 1806.

    Congrats on getting to 700 posts!

  6. I don't want to win, since I already have it. I'm curious why are you giving it away anyway?

    Anyway just wanted to say that I loved your tour (i kept with you the whole way- sorry Michael). I loved the contrast of your lunch and dinner places and both are so awesome. I was thinking about having my birthday dinner at Shakhari this year but wasn't sure where to go for drinks afterwards maybe I should check out Markov place.

  7. Thanks, Kristy! The Veganomicon copy we're giving away isn't the one that Michael gave me for my birthday - there's a second shiny new one sitting in our lounge waiting for someone to give it a good home. :-)

    Markov Place could be the bar you're looking for. There are a couple more on Rathdowne St, and then a cluster at the Brunswick end of Lygon St... message me if you want some names and addresses.

  8. What, no bike riding? I'm outraged! Nah, great tour. I also really like the look of Markov Place, will check it out.

    So some of my favourite things to do in Melbourne include: riding out the St George's Road bike path to La Panella on a glorious sunny day; drinking great soy lattes, reading magazines and enjoying free wi-fi at Mag Nation; and sitting at Section 8 sucking down Coopers beer.

  9. Defiantly a great tour! Since moving to the northern suburbs a few years ago, these have become some of our favorite places to visit.

    An interesting place to visit is herring island, 4km up the Yarra from the CBD. There's a boat that operates on weekend during daylight savings and it's a great pace for a BBQ and to check out some art

    It's been great to find and read this blog (only finding it a few months ago). I'm slowly working my way through the restaurants and recipes on the blog.

  10. Nice post guys!
    Sorry to say Michael, but I seemed to stick with Cindy the whole way through, too! Must be the ladies love for shopping I reckon :)
    One of my favourite things to do and something I've done consistently since moving to Melbourne is sitting on the lawn of the State Library with a few friends (usually on a lunch break from uni) digging into tofu curry don from dondon. When the sun is out and the grass isn't burnt to smithereens (as it is now) it is such a pleasant way to lunch.
    Don't forget afterwards to stroll down Swanston St to Arthur Daleys Discount Store to look at the weird and useless things that you would never actually spend money on (I once found about 10 fake leather cowboy vests all in the same size- awesome!)

  11. Love the post - I cheated and went with both of you as I couldn't decide!

    I love the Abbotsford Convent and Collingwood Children's Farm especially when the markets are on. I often also go to Lentil As Anything on a weekend for the buffet.

    Also love walking/riding/sitting along the Yarra River.

    The other day I went to a new vegetarian place on Smith Street called Grumpy's Green (you guys should check it out!). The setup and food was great and there was an awesome selection of yummy local beers on tap - I'm looking forward to going back!

    I would also have to include a random tram ride somewhere as one of my favourite things to do in Melbourne.

  12. I too followed both paths!

    I agree with you on LOTF and Shakhari. Other favourite things are browsing Book Affair (Elgin St, Carlton) for second hand books, strolling through the Degraves subway and Retrostar on Swanston St, and then Fairfield Boathouse for afternoon tea, a walk or a paddle down the Yarra.

  13. What a fabulous idea!

    My favourite breakfast place is not a special veg*n place, but they way they make me muffins, baby spinach, avocado, tomato, onion and mushrooms cooked without dairy, with a large soy latte, places them top of my breakfasting list every time. Vibe Cafe on Smith St, just next to grumpy's Green, make regular appearances in my Sunday mornings.

    I second Lisa's vote of La Panella; not only do you get to scoff items usually unvegan (*ahem* donuts; last time I went a large jam one survived less than ten minutes whilst I was driving!) but they are also ridiculously, unbelievably cheap and would fall easy-peasy within the $50 budget (and LOTR - they are truly an addition of excellence & wallet-easiness to the feral corner of Elizabeth and Flinders. I love them. A lot).

    While we are on Flinders St, I might also note Habib Wholefoods for coffee and vegan muffin combo deal.

    Also, as Cindy and I have discusse at length, I would make a stop at Allergy Block in Elgin St, and probably blow the whole $50 on Tofutti Cuties and Tart'n'Round sweeties!

    What an awesome idea guys - I love it :)

  14. What kind of choice is bird-watching and shopping?? Followed you to the top of the tower too. Great post :-)

  15. Loved this idea. I've been trying to think what I'd do for 12 final hours, and I just can't think of a thing.

  16. What a great post with an awesome journey!

    I've got no idea what I would do in my last 12 hours. Hmmm let me think, it would probably involve a bit of beach action in the morning, nothing better than the warm sun on your skin and the cool sea breeze to kick up your appetite, followed by lunch at bistro vue....I havent eaten here before, but if its my LAST 12 hours I just HAVE to eat there, I'm not sure what I would do in the afternoon, but I would definitely have dinner at claypots in St kilda, for awesome seafood, and finish it off with a drink at der raum. Yeah...that will do.

    and once again guys.....GREAT POST!

  17. Thanks for a great tour round some of my favourite Melbourne spots, and for introducing me to some new ones!

    I've recently moved away from Melbourne, and due to work travel often find myself back for a very limited time. Some of the places I DO try to cram into 12-24 hours in Melbourne include:
    -Shanghai Noodle House in Tattersalls Lane, off Little Bourke St. The vegie dumplings have converted serious carnivores to (temporary) vegetarianism.
    -Thalia Thai, in Lygon St, just north of Brunswick Rd. Their vegie pad thai is just wonderful!
    -the Corner Store Cafe (100 Scotchmer St, North Fitzroy) does a wonderful brunch on Saturday mornings. Great coffee, perfect scrambled eggs, and home made baked beans.

    mmm, I think I need to schedule another meeting in Melbourne soon!

    Thanks again,

  18. Great tour and congratulations on your 700th post! The last 12 hours is such a hard question for Melbourne - so many good places to visit - glad to see CERES and shakahari in there!

    I think I would need to go to one of the fine bakery cafes (babka or dench or sugardough spring to mind) and the Vic Market and a picnic somewhere like the botannical gardens in front of a movie or some shakespeare! Also maybe some asian (vina bar). But I would probably run out of time for all the things I would want to do - admire your rigour with the time in your tour!

  19. Loved reading the 'choose your own adventure' day in melbourne ;)

    Being from Brisbane, and having regularly travelled down to Melbourne on holidays, sometimes i really did have to jam everything in to one day.... So this should be easy to answer, but since living here for over 2 years now, lots of contenders have sprung up... This is just one of my days...

    I'd wake up, walk to Las Chicas and order the yummiest breakfast I have ever tasted - the home made baked beans on pumpkin and polenta bread, with spinach, and a hash brown on the side (insted of the egg). this would be washed down with a bloody mary. I'd then walk down to Beyond The Pale and browse through their amazing display of Music tour posters, buying a few to decorate my house.

    I'd then head into the city, and jump on the city circle tram - providing I can get a seat by the window. I never get tired of seeing this amazing city, and doing the full loop of it every now and then always gives me a chance to keep up to date with what's happening around. after the hour or so trip on that, i'd wander up to Curtin House and have a few beers on the roof top bar. By now my hunger would be kicking on, so I'd jump on the 112 tram and head to the Vegie Bar for their delicious Mee Goreng. I'd then wander along Brunswick St, window shopping.

    In the evening, i'd stop off at a deli, grab some beautiful antipasto stuff, my boyfriend, some wine, and head in to the Moonlight Cinema in the botanical gardens to see whatever was playing that night. Once that winds up at 10:30ish, i'd then make my way over to the Ding Dong Lounge in the city to catch one of my friends bands performing.... winding down an incredible day in this wonderful city with some good friends, some good tunes, and some cold beer.

    We really are lucky to live in Melbourne!

  20. Congratulations on your 700 post!

    One of my favourite places to eat in Melbourne is APTE, a small cafe in Alphington. My ideal day would be a Sunday (with no work), the papers and their banana bread - delish! If I was feeling energetic, a wander down High Street would follow, or a film at the Northcote Cinema. Perfect!


  21. This just makes me terribly sad that I don't live in Melbourne (yet), and I do hope that doesn't disqualify me! Hopefully I can still stick my two cents in - in my 12 hours, I'd love to squeeze in a meal at Chocolate Buddha in Federation Square!

  22. The two places in Melbourne that fill me with unholy glee are the Vic Markets and Movida Next Door.

    I just love, love, love the Vic Markets - just love all the food there. And who can pass up borek for breakfast?

    As for MVD I'm a sucker for small plates of food and big glasses of good wine. Just had many a good time plonked at the bar with a friend eating eggplant chips and chatting with the bar guy.

  23. Oh my goodness, I can't believe I missed this! (Hayley, stop living offline, the internet is far more exciting).

    If I only had 12 hours left in Melbourne, I would hope that I had access to some kind of TARDIS because that is the only way I could possibly fit in absolutely everything. Food alone: Breizoz, Trotters, White Lotus, Las Chicas, Ripe up in Sassafras, gelati from Gelobar, pretty much everything on Northcote's High Street...and that's not mentioning the galleries, the music gigs, discovering laneways, getting blissfully lost in Readings, or just strolling the streets and noticing the subtle changes from suburb to suburb.

    And Michael? I totally went with birdwatching!

  24. We knew you'd appreciate the birding, Hayley. :-D

    Thanks for playing along, even though the competition part is done.