A sizable chunk of my working life was spent working on a metropolitan Sunday newspaper.
That meant 12-hour slogs on Saturdays and perpetual irregular weekends of Sundays and Mondays.
So my current working regime – hard yakka with Star Weekly on Mondays and Tuesdays, two days “off”, Fridays back at Keilor Park, then the weekend – seems like a miracle.
Not, mind you, that I am idle on those mid-week days.
Far from it – I get out and about, usually cramming so much living and blogging and food stuff into two days that it always seems a surprise when I return to my regular gig.
It can be a bit disconcerting but I do love it all.
This week’s Wednesday, for example, involved a morning blog post followed by a journey to Camberwell to meet and talk with a cafe owner disgruntled and dismayed by approaches being made to him by Zomato (and by the nature of those approaches), followed by a haul to Royal Melbourne Hospital for a blood test and then a visit to Williamstown for more food business.
Post-Camberwell and pre-test, I pull into Rathdowne Street looking for somewhere to have a quick lunch.
Upon stepping in Tre Bicchieri (623 Rathdowne Street), I grin with delight as the memories flood in.
This was a frequent lunch spot for me when a regular part of another weekly routine involved a weekly radio show on PBS.
Gosh, it’s a sweet place.
The staff are happy and fully into their work.
Even better, it manages to be oh-so-classy yet at the same time relaxed, welcoming and absolutely non-hipster.
I wish it was in the west.
The general vibe – and much of the produce stocked on the shelves – seems to be Italian.
But the menu (see below) is broader than that.
From the specials board, I choose corn fritters with spinach, avocado, poached egg and zaatar ($18.50).
As with most such constructions, it eats bigger than it suggests upon visual appraisal.
It’s all top quality, though I’m not persuaded that the zaatar – denoting, in this case, the Middle Eastern seasoning mix of sesame seeds, oregano and more, rather than pita bread baked with the mix on top – is a good match for the salmon.
But the smoked fish does go beaut with the wilted spinach underneath the extremely corny fritters.
I’m eager to be back on the road and taking care of business so don’t linger over a coffee.
But the cafe latte roadie I depart with is perfect.