Tuesday, April 15, 2014

French Baguette cafe, Footscray

So after noticing something new and shiney in Footscray, decided to go check out a new French Baguette place with some local chicks from Twitter.

I thought it a little odd to have a French cafe in footscray but to their credit they did have some western style looking baguettes (with ham, cheese and tomato) made up, but I opted for the vietnamese roll.  With pork and the other bits that usually go into the vietnamese rolls (this was my first so there was a little confusion when I was trying to order but eventually got there :)).

They have separate sections for ordering hot food, paying for the serve yourself food (pastries & cakes - bread top style), and drinks. They also had a wide range of food.  There was even an option of ordering pizzas!  They also had egg and bacon rolls which a couple of people from the table had.

The roll tasted awesome.  Really nice flavour to it and the bread tasted fresh. Bargain for $3.50.

I ordered an iced coffee but forgot the magic "vietnamese" word when ordering so I got a western style iced coffee.  They do have vietnamese iced coffee there if you order it properly.  Someone else I went with did the same thing as me too :)  Some of the drinks come with a fancy swizzel stick in them! Interesting that when one woman's drink got dropped off the guy tried to take an additional two numbers with him, but we sorted that out!

I also tried a strawberry tart.  The tart case seemed a little crumbly/soggy but overall it tasted nice.  I probably would try something else or avoid dessert like I should :)

It's a decent sized place with outdoor seating, indoor seating and we spotted seating upstairs.  The place was kid friendly although maybe too kid friendly with a little kid behind us screaming his lungs out whilst whoever was looking after him ignored him.  The kids who came in our group though were awesomely behaved :)  Next time I'm looking for a roll or coffee and cake I'll head back!

For Lauren's more experienced review (and correct terminology for the rolls) check out:

French Baguette Cafe
Cnr Albert and Barkly Streets, Footscray

Cafe Giraffe

Whilst hunting for food places to try for our Friday work lunch found this article on Cafe Giraffe:


So quirky looking - just had to go try it.  The front room is where food gets prepared (and where you order) with the back room being the room featured in the broadsheet article.  The tree in the back looks real until you have a close inspection but very cool.

There were also a bunch of interesting items around the room - such as a variety of salt and pepper shakes, a polar bear wine holder (which I have at home), and heaps more on shelves, on the wall and piled towards the back. The tree was also decorated with items and notes. I'd like to say I took this photo intentionally blurry to protect the identity of the people dining there... or y'know to be arty.

When we walked in we were handed 2 menus and told to order at the counter.  One ended up being the food menu, the other the drinks and dessert menu so they have quite a range.  It seemed a little odd that they had asian dishes and pasta but I don't think it would have been a traditional italian style pasta after having the lasagne.  The "kitchen" equipment seems pretty basic but they do a good job with it.

My work buddy ordered the shepherd's pie with salad, and I got the chicken lasagne with salad.  The shepherd's pie had a choice of salad or mash, which I thought was a bit odd as it's not shepherd's pie without the layer of potato on it.  But turns out the shepherd's pie with mash, came with potato on top of the pie, and mash on the side (as one guy ordered on a nearby table).  The contents of the pie seemed pretty similar to my lasagne in that it was grated vegetables and meat (not in obvious chunks).

The filling tasted sweet in both of our dishes.  Unfortunately my lasagne failed the "is it hot in the middle test" which a lot of places fail at.  But the staff were apologetic and quickly heated it up after I took it out to them. The salad looked and tasted very fresh and the iced mocha I got was nice.

I forgot to check in to Foursquare before my meal but the tips for this place include the chicken and vegetable pie, creme brulee and the chocolate pudding. The chocolate fondue sounded pretty tempting.  The staff here are very friendly and the food was cheap in comparison to other city venues.  I paid $8.50 for my lasagne and salad and was full after eating it.  If I went back I'd try something else though.  I wish they had some music playing in the back room.  It initially felt awkward carrying on a conversation as the room was so quiet - although that didn't stop the table next to us who proceeded to have a video chat with headphones on on their phone.  I missed that they had games available to play (just having re-read the broadsheet article).

Cafe Giraffe
302 Little Lonsdale 

Paco's Tacos

On a nice sunny day I had a hankering for Mexican when heading to lunch with a friend so she suggested this place:


It's set up outside Movida, prices are not cheap but on par with other mexican in the CBD and the mexican food trucks.  The quality of the food is good though.  I think they might be owned by Movida or at least have a close relationship with them. They have a few tables under shelter, and other tables scattered around the courtyard, some with umbrellas.

Their nachos are really quite filling.  The tacos I would need a few to feel satisfied.  Last time I went I ordered a small nachos and two tacos (chorizo and prawn).

This was more than enough food for me but also an expensive weekday lunch. As you can see by the photos the food looks quite healthy.  Everything comes out in baskets which is cute too.  I like that it's outside so you can especially enjoy it on a nice weather day although last time I went I had smokers lighting up next to me. Thankfully they wandered away from their table and I could enjoy my lunch smoke free.  I wish Melbourne had non-smoking outdoor cafe areas. Completely unrelated to this place - just a general whinge :)

Here's some previous dishes that I've eaten:

Staff are friendly, even asking if I enjoyed the food as clearing up the baskets.  Just get their early to try to beat the queue to order food and secure a table.  They do serve alcohol here - but I remember the margarita being pricey (though I'm sure they use a higher standard tequila) so have only had it once. Very tasty food.

Pacos Tacos
Lvl 1 500 Bourke St (up the stairs from Little Bourke St)