Tag Archives: Melbourne Restaurants

Things to do in Melbourne when you’re walking (part III)

Melbourne is a city that I fall into with open arms. There is so much to love, so I just had to make one final post on some of the places that I have been frequenting on my travels. These places are all on the must visit list:

Mamasita: This place does Mexican food like no other (outside of Mexico that is). It’s gluten free, eco-friendly and boasts fresh, authentic flavours. The line to get in to Mamasita says it all… In a taqueria, it is hard to go past the tacos and believe me, they are good. I started with the Street-style chargrilled corn with queso, chipotle, mayonnaise & lime and the Totopos con guacomole, then sampled the de Pescado (grilled fish taco with lime, achiote paste & red onion salsa), the de Res y Chorizo (braised beef & chorizo taco with coriander & onion) and the Frijoles con nopales (baked black bean taco with cactus, picode gallo & queso fresco) and washed it all down with the Modelo especial. Meal of the trip!

Basement Discs: If you are a fan of folk, country, jazz, blues or world music, then this is a record store you need to visit. And best of all the store owners Suzanne, Rod, Pat & Mikey are all brimming with musical knowledge and are eager to help put you on to some new sounds. The other great thing about this store is its regular in-store concerts. On Friday we were lucky enough to catch Collard Greens & Gravy launching their new album Juke Joint Boogie. The shop was hopping with smiling faces making the most of their Friday lunch hour. Here’s a sample of what the band are all about:

Jungle Juice Bar: Small in size, but big on character, the Jungle Juice Bar is located in Centre Place Laneway. This place does an amazing variety of juices that are a perfect way to kickstart the day and they also do a mean New York style bagel. Their menus are housed inside pre-loved Little Golden Books and the crew that staff the place are always up for a good time. Just this morning, the owner was goofing around with a severed hand (fake of course), leaving it out to see how the customers responded. Reminds me of The Alibi Room before it was chromed…

The Paperback Bookshop: Another one of my favourite bookshops in Melbourne, this place is also small in size, but the shelves are well stocked with poetry, journals and other literary delights. A great place to lose an hour or more just browsing and chatting to the staff but it is very hard to walk out of without something tucked under your arm, but then again… that’s not a bad thing! I now have a job ahead of me finding space for all my new acquisitions from the two weeks away.

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Things to do in Melbourne when you’re walking (part II)

Today I had the pleasure of spending a bit of time on the 3RRR airwaves with Alicia Sometimes and Jeff Sparrow, talking poetry in Brisbane, the mighty QLD Poetry Festival and the state of poetry publishing in Australia. And as Alicia knows I love my music, we also talked musical influences and I read my poem, January 29, 2009 for the late John Martyn. Aural Text really is a great promoter of all things poetry, so I recommend you get online and listen to the podcasts and if you can work it into your week, don’t forget you can livestream it each Wednesday.

On the way there and home, I continued my pilgrimage to many of my favourite Melbourne haunts. Today I visited:

The French Lettuce: Voted by The Age as baking the best vanilla slice in Melbourne and for mine, they are on the money. Served with a generous dollop of rasperry sauce on the side, this is one heavenly dessert. Don’t balk at the $5 price tag… it is worth every cent.

Alice’s Bookshop: For secondhand poetry, this store is hard to go past. Today I picked up a gorgeous copy of Kenneth Patchen’s ‘Hurrah for Anything/Poemscapes and A Letter to God and a pristine Black Sparrow Press edition of ‘Without Music’ by Michael Palmer. So many other books there that I also wanted to take home… another time.

Polyester Records: Another great independent music store that boasts an extensive catalogue of Australian and overseas artists. For me you know you are on to a good thing when they stock artists such as Tren Brothers, Vic Chesnutt, Uncle Tupelo and every album by The Necks.

Polyester Books: Dubbing itself the world’s freakiest bookstore, Polyester stocks literature, art books, film, mags & zines from the edge. If you are looking for a bookstore that holds the censorship laws in the contempt they so richly deserve, then look no further than Polyester.

Horton Books: This place specialises in quality remaindered books… and I emphasise quality. A really great Beat Literature section, some fine poetry and a large number of art books. And did I mention that most of the books in store are about half the recommended retail price? Well worth checking out!

Pellegrinis: What do I say… this place is a Melbourne icon and has been since the 1950’s. Every time I visit Melbourne, I always stop in for the spaghetti bolognaise. It is without a doubt the best I have ever eaten.

Tonight, I am off to Poets Stripped Bare, feat. John Tranter & Lisa Gorton sharing insights into their creative process and reading a selection of their work. Very much looking forward to it.

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Filed under discussions, events & opportunities, poetry & publishing, who listens to the radio?