Big Yarraville excitement

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little4

 

Little Advi, 16 Ballarat Street, Yarraville. Phone: 9689 0004

For a lot of people, particularly those who live and work in the village, their Yarraville eatery has arrived.

As you’d expect, the food line-up at Little Advi, which has slotted into the premises of a former boutique on Ballarat Street, closely resembles that of the mothership, Cafe Advieh, on Gamon Street.

Equally as expected, though, there is no diminuation in terms of quality, freshness, affordability and service.

 

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The place looks gorgeous, with a lot of old wood, brick and tiling.

The staff area really on the ball in every way.

The menu (see below) has brekky, wraps, focaccias and a longish list of really appealing plates with fritter, falafels, skewers, dips and salads.

 

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I go for the large dips plate.

I pay $13.50 but it’s so generous that the small at $10.50 may have been a wiser choice.

The dips – eggplant, yogurt ‘n’ cucumber and eggplant – are so fresh they sing with flavour.

Even better, they are personalised in the Advieh fashion, making them delightfully original in texture and taste, especially when sprinkled with sesame seeds and chopped pistachio nuts.

With them – and olives and two very nice stuffed vine leaves – come two Lebanese pita breads, brought in, warmed and more than enough to go with the dips.

Little Advi is s breakfast-and-lunch establishment.

 

Little Advi on Urbanspoon

 

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Dancing Dog Diary No.5

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ddd51

 

IMPORTANT LINKS

Let’s Buy The Dancing Dog Pozible campaign – click here.

Let’s Buy The Dancing Dog Facebook group – click here.

Let’s Buy The Dancing Dog website – click here.

Real estate listing – click here.

DON’T FORGET – THE AUCTION IS THIS SATURDAY AT 1PM

 

Another meeting and more new faces.

This time we’re at the Dancing Dog itself.

 

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There’s a nice social vibe going with drinkies downstairs before we troop upstairs to discuss the campaign.

Many people – by no means are all of them in attendance tonight – have done a great deal of work in the past few weeks.

The progress is summed up in relatively brisk fashion.

Truth is, a lot of the angles and leads that have been followed have ended in a sort of no-man’s land because of the tight timeframe – even if the goodwill that has greeted the team’s inquiries and feelers has been near universal.

 

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For the first time, I hear the suggestion that, in fact, the building may go to a residential buyer.

“Plan B” options are discussed.

What do we do if the property is passed in?

Is there a life or a purpose beyond this auction, this building for this group of people who have come together so magnificently?

I think: Yes.

 

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Then it’s down to plans for the auction itself.

We’re all hoping for a strong community turnout to show our collective affection for the Dancing Dog Building.

But … much more of a warm celebration than a demonstration.

DON’T FORGET – THE AUCTION IS THIS SATURDAY AT 1PM

 

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Westie barbers No.3: Mai Hair Salon

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mai1

 

Mai Hair Salon, 3/119 Hopkins St, Footscray

Barbers of European or Mediterranean extraction are not the only places to obtain a cheap, great and enjoyable haircut in the west.

Far from it.

In the Vietnamese precincts of Footscray and further west, the options are many.

When I enter one of these emporiums in, say, Sunshine or St Albans, my arrival is often greeted with an effusive bubbling of Vietnamese chatter.

This usually translates, I have learnt, as something along the lines of, “OMG check out this dude with the crazy moustache”.

This doesn’t happen at Mai in Footscray, however, on account of me going there so often for so long.

Mai is not a barbershop, of course.

They do all sorts of do’s here, male and female.

But for my purposes, it’s perfect.

A smile, a welcome, “how you want your hair?” is the usual routine.

“Zero, all gone, very shiny.”

No problem – $8 including eyebrows!

Brilliant.

 

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Sandwich culture in the west

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Thanks to Jill Rowe of Spice Bazaar for letting us publish her entry in our guest post contest – it may not have won but we love it anyway!

Check out the Spice Bazaar website – and their wonderful cooking courses – here.

BTW, Consider The Sauce is also a big fan of the Sourdough Kitchen sangers – they’ve regular work lunch fare this tear.

*****

I remember my school lunch sandwiches with disdain.

My evil step mum would work her magic on creating something that couldn’t be eaten.

By the time lunchtime arrived, the filling of warm plastic cheese, wilted lettuce, congealed chicken slice and soggy tomatoes had turned the white bread into jelly – nobody was surprised to see it in the bin.

Oh mum, you tried!

Sometimes I would buy a bread roll and a packet of chips from the canteen – definitely no discernible health benefits but at least it was crunchy.

More satisfying were the after school versions we made ourselves.

Fresh white bread, with exactly the right amount of butter and Vegemite

It was a science.

 

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Food is memory and I bet many South Americans remember their version with mother love.

It’s fresh white bread, a single slice of cheese with a slathering of mayonnaise – I’m sure this is their version of our Vegemite variety.

This humble looking, but tasty, sandwich was enjoyed at La Morenita and it did remind me of those Vegemite days.

 

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Nuevo Latino’s “midnight sandwich” is full of delicious pulled pork, crunchy pickled vegetables and mustard – totally addictive.

Think – delicious weekend roast leftovers, and after watching the soccer on a Sunday evening you start to get peckish.

Of course, you want  a midnight sandwich. It’s enough to carry you through to the next morning.

 

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Then there are the “sandwich-like” papusas, also served at Nuevo Latino.

These crafted corn discs ooze the meltingly delicious cheeses that make up the filling.

Peel one apart (it’s how you tell a good one), fill with a little curtido and sauce, fold together and eat like a Salvadoran.

Forget that diet for today!

 

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Inside Little Saigon market hides a Vietnamese treasure (well there are lots of treasures here but here we are talking about bread and sandwiches).

IMHO this is the best version of banh mi.

At Nhu Ngoc bakery, ask for the “combination on a tiger roll” and you’ll know what I’m talking about.

 

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So I was searching for the “perfect sandwich” – and I found it at the Sourdough Kitchen in Seddon.

One made with fresh sliced sourdough bread, highest quality sliced ham, perfect pickles, bitter fresh rocket and a home-made chutney.

Wow!

If my mum could have made me a sandwich like this, I would have eaten lunch every day.

Meal of the week No.7: Kebab Surra

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surra41

 

There are three – THREE! – new restaurants of the Afghani/Iranian/Persian persuasion CTS is keen to get cracking on …

In the meantime, Footscray’s own, Kebab Surra, has become a regular since our initial write-up.

I’ve become used to getting a most welcome bowls of lamb/barley soup with my meals here.

That isn’t forthcoming when I order chela kebab ($14) – but that’s OK because what I do get is terrific.

Nice rice.

Two sublimely juicy, meaty skewers of marinated chicken; no such thing as too-dry chook breast meat here!

Tangy yogurt with cucumber and dried mint.

Most excellent fresh bread – like a cross between Turkish bread and naan.

Chewy and excellent.

And – instead of the usual mixed salad – a much more finely diced effort in the Indian style.

No wonder Kebab Surra has become a very firm favourite of Joe.

 

Dancing Dog Diary No.4

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ddd43

 

IMPORTANT LINKS

Let’s Buy The Dancing Dog Pozible campaign – click here.

Let’s Buy The Dancing Dog Facebook group – click here.

Let’s Buy The Dancing Dog website – click here.

Real estate listing – click here.

 

Consider The Sauce is unusually late in getting moving this Sunday – time to go!

Besides, the great and extensive work some of my #letsbuythedog colleagues and friends are doing is making me feel like a bit of a malingerer.

 

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First stop is Officeworks to get some flyers run off.

They’re pricier than I expect so cut back on the number I hoped to buy.

 

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First order of business is to get my wheels suitably adorned – then it’s off to Footscray.

The only firm idea I have is to tape flyers to the lamp posts in the neighbourhood surrounding the Dancing Dog building itself.

 

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But first – of course – lunch: pretty good Somalian meat ‘n’ rice from Jazeera Cafe in Paisley Street.

 

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Back at the Dancing Dog Cafe itself, things take a heartening turn that seems emblematic of so much that is happening with this campaign in terms of support, friendship and community bonhomie.

Jo, one of two Dancing Dog staff members on hand, makes me a brilliant cafe latte.

She grabs a handful of flyers to put in the nearby university and at Footscray City Primary, where her kids go to school.

 

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Then two of my #letsbuythedog compatriots – Viki and Chela – arrive.

Viki, too, grabs a bunch of flyers.

They’re here for the regular Sunday Westword poetry bash – so I leave a bunch of flyers for the gathered poets, too!

 

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It’s clear my supply of flyers will be gone in the next day easily just through the normal course of living and working in the inner west.

How cool is that?

 

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Supa fun, super burgers

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supa12

Supanova, Melbourne Showgrounds.

Supanova is a celebration of pop culture, and – more specifically – all things comic, scifi, fantasy, gaming and more.

Bennie and I attended in 2009 and had a fine time.

Back then we did some planning, taking banh mi and a big bottle of Coke.

This time around, it’s an impromptu day and we suffer for that.

For starters, while Bennie reckons the entrance fee is $30 it’s actually $40 on the day.

Plus $10 for parking.

So we’re up for almost $100 before we even get in.

As well, it seems Supanova has grown A LOT in the intervening years.

Even after nearing the showgrounds, it’s takes almost a full hour to secure a parking spot.

 

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Then it takes more than half an hour to work our way to the front of a ticket queue that stretches for about 400 metres.

Of course, we can’t blue about this too much as we could depart at any point – no one is forcing us to endure this bullshit.

But, heck, we could’ve just about walked from Yarraville and gotten in quicker.

 

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There must be a better way – especially for an event that costs so much to enter, only for patrons to be greeted by more queues – for food, autographs and photo ops – and many, many more ways to spend more money.

And after all, if you’re going to attend such a party, there’s no point in doing so if you’re going to be a complete tightwad about it.

 

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Anyway, we persevere and get there in the end – but by then I’m plenty cranky and exasperated.

What to do?

Eat!

Instead of standing in line for any of the in-house offerings, we don our wrist bands and head around the corner to Zigzag Burgers ‘n’ Salads.

Since our initial visit here, I’ve been back once by myself and am very happy to return once more.

 

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Our burgers are excellent and the hand-cut chips are better than before.

Zigzag is now our official go-to burger joint – yep, above and before 8bit, food trucks and any place else you care to mention.

 

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Thus fortified, we enter re-enter Supanova with glee and enjoy a giddily fantastic few hours.

The main hall has many hundreds of stalls and I’m thrilled.

Unlike Bennie, I’m not really into to comics and gaming but I find plenty to keep me entertained.

For starters, I’m delighted to see more books than I recall from our previous Supanova outing.

 

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I’m supa happy to meet Justin Woolley, buy his book, a rather darkish fantasy/speculative fiction outing called A Town Called Dust, and get it autographed.

I have a longish and fascinating chat with Justin about book blogs, their role in book promotion and the inevitable spectre of corruption that can arise.

Very interesting!

 

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A little further on, I buy another book by another Melbourne author, get it autographed and enjoy talking with its author.

Steve P Vincent‘s Foundation is a ripping political conspiracy thriller – I’m up to page 100 and loving every word of it.

Steve is an Ascot Vale local and is fully familiar with the fantastic food of Safari.

How cool is that?

 

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Bennie, meanwhile, has bought some vintage comics and is eager to get a poster by Tony Moore, who was responsible for the artwork on the first six issues of The Walking Dead, which my lad only recently inhaled.

He gets his poster, has it signed and has a pic taken with the artist.

How cool is that No.2?

 

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This ease of access to Supanova guests – buy the product and get a chat, an autograph, a photo at no extra cost – is a vivid contrast to the cavernous hall in which the event’s superstars (none of which I’ve heard) do their thing.

Here punters are herded like cattle, wait times seem very long and the prices for autographs and photos averages around the $50 mark.

Stuff that!

 

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Back in the main stall hall, I am happy to take in some sports activity to fill in for the fact I’m missing out on my usual Saturday arvo soccer and/or league.

 

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After several hours, Bennie and I are getting leg weary.

We’re almost done but it’s still a gas to wander around checking out our fellow punters and the extreme efforts so many of them have made to get into the spirit of things.

 

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Supanova may not press my music and food buttons but to a large degree, I realise, these are my people.

Kenny – 58 going on 18.

 

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