Monday, February 22, 2010

February 15, 2010: Grumpy's Green II

It's kind of weird to review Grumpy's. All we've posted thus far is a quick write-up of a lunch that I had there many moons ago. In the meantime we've spent probably 15 wednesday nights there as part of the infamous Dyslexic Brians trivia ensemble, veering between glorious gold and shameful, shameful bronze (or worse!). Mostly we eat stuff that shares well: nachos (pretty good), chips (up and down) and pizza (#6 with the jalapenos is the best). Grumpy's does this kind of junky vego pub food pretty well and, while we initially made various attempts to blog our trivia eats, we've never actually managed to take good photos and put pen to figurative paper.

Now, finally, we've been back in a more blog-friendly situation - a Monday night pub-club outing. The courtyard is beautiful on a summer evening - shady but warm and spacious enough for a crowd of eight to slot comfortably into a table. It's a treat ordering off a totally vego menu, so Cindy and I decided to have a starter to share - stuffed button mushrooms with a parmesan crust ($7). These cute little guys were crispily fried, cheesy and tasty. Not a taste sensation, but a pub snack that we happily devoured.

I decided to order something that we'd never try to share around the trivia table: eggplant parma ($13.10). The sauce and the crumbing were pretty spectacular, but the whole thing was smothered in too much cheese even for my tastes.

Cindy smartly ordered something a little less fried: the spicy chickpea tortillas ($12), stuffed with lettuce, chickpeas and tomato-y sauce and served up with avocado and sour cream. These were a refreshing break from the deep-fried dishes I tend to order but didn't really get beyond meals we can easily make at home (and have a lot of work to do to match the wonder of Trippytaco up the street). Still, it's a hearty meal at $12.

Despite the ambivalent tone of this review, I really love Grumpy's: it's a sprawling comfortable space, the staff are friendly, there's all kinds of great beers on tap and the whole place is veg-tastic. They've even improved their vegan-friendliness since the early days, with quite a few things to choose from across the menu (not that you'd know from what we ordered). They're also on top of coeliacs' issues, with loads of gluten free options (including some pretty decent pizza bases). If you're after a great dining experience it's not the ideal venue but if you want a casual pub night out, you won't go too far wrong at Grumpy's.

Read about our previous trip to Grumpy's Green here.

Other reviews of Grumpy's can be found at Melbourne Bits and Pieces, This is Weeny, Veganik, Fitzroyalty, Melbourne Brunch, The Daily Veg, and Melbourne Vegan.


  1. sounds like another one to put on our list - that courtyard looks like it has good light for blogging photos - and the food looks good but I really want to go because I love the name - though I am sad they missed the chance to call it the Grumpy Green Giraffe :-)

  2. Those courtyard photos make me miss Grumpy's previous incarnation, Exile on Smith St. Sigh.

  3. I might go there with Kristy one day! But you know, Trippy Taco and Las Vegan are only strong throw away.

  4. Oh, for weather one can comfortably be out in at night! That is a heck of a lot of cheese on your dish, though... but it looks like it could maybe have been peeled off a little, like an unwanted cheese blanket on a hot summer's night (which I spectacularly miss)?

  5. Johanna, I think Gurmpy's would suit you nicely - definitely one to put on the list!

    We didn't ever go there, Liz, but a few of our dining companions on this night we recalling its previous incarnation too. :-)

    Yeah, Toby - I'd prefer Trippy Taco for a meal, though I like the bar snacks and atmosphere here.

    Hannah, these summer nights are slipping away - it's getting dark a little earlier and I'm dreading having to turn our clocks back!

  6. Thanks for the link back guys - I love Grumpy's too! And if I was better at Trivia... I'd probably live there!