Ports Diner Roadhouse, 420 Footscray Rd, West Melbourne. Phone: 9689 9975
As most Consider The Sauce visitors will know, cool late-night options are a tad thin on the ground in the western suburbs.
So when the midnight hour munchies strike, I habitually head for the relatively close and comforting charms of the Embassy Taxi Cafe in Spencer St.
However, there is a slightly closer alternative, one that promises to provide a similarly distinctive transport-related fast food fix – and the time to take it for a road test it is now.
This place doesn’t keep anything like the 24/7 opening hours of the taxi cafe, but I figure it’s worth a shot just to enjoy another unique Melbourne dining experience.
In the night-time shadows of the Citylink/Bolte Bridge, and with the ridiculous Big Wheel in the background, I pull into the vast parking lot.
There’s a lot of trucks here – and I’m pretty sure there always is.
As several come and go, I finally find a parking spot, next to another small car, where it seems there is a good chance my vehicle will not be crushed like a bug by some reversing behemouth.
Inside the prefabricated building I find your typical diner set-up, spick and span, and with press coverage of the joint on the walls and copies of Big Rigs newspaper at hand.
There’s plastic containers of that night’s Chinese and pasta dishes in the bain marie, but I – of course – go the burger ($7 with bacon and onion) and chips route ($3).
Unfortunately, it’s all rather drab.
The burger patty is quite large, but appears to be a generic supermarket model. Certainly, it’s devoid of flavour or allure.
The rest of the burger is similarly unmemorable.
The chips are plentiful, hot and crinkle cut. They’re just OK, but are nevertheless the best of my meal.
No matter – I’ve enjoyed checking another personality-laden, one-of-a-kind Melbourne eating experience.
I’ll even consider returning – maybe for a steak sandwich or souvlaki.
After all, when the late-night munchies strike, a man’s gotta get truckin’ …