Container Cafe, 4/2 Roussos Place, Truganina. Phone: 0466 148 762
Across the great swathes of the industrial/commercial west, there seem to be cafes at least every couple of kilometres.
These days, all but the most rigourously old-school seem to make some effort to provide a variety of food.
Some of it is even healthy – salads and the like.
Still, some habits die hard and there are traditions to uphold.
Recently, at the cafe nearest to the Star Weekly Keilor Park office, I saw a trucky being served a mountainous bowl of extremely creamy pasta carbonara.
His pasta was topped, at his request, with a large amount of roast pork – and crackling!
And I reckon most of these hundreds of places would cop complaints if the stalwart potato cakes and deep-fried, nuggety-hard dimmies weren’t on hand.
Despite all this, I am nevertheless expecting something different from Container Cafe, even though it is set in the industrial wilds of Truganina.
This place is being run, after all, by the same crew responsible for the very cool Yarraville cafe Woven, which has been turning out fine tucker for a few years now.
But upon entering the place for the first time, what do I see?
Yup, potato cakes and dimmies.
Turns out, in this sort of joint in this sort of place, some things just have to done.
The Container Cafe lads came to this conclusion during research that entailed checking out the competition for many miles round – and just like that competition, they, too, will be opening at 5am.
But as I look around the “container”, I discover plenty of good signs that this is not just another tradie-style eatery.
For one thing, space dictates that there is no bain marie here – so most everything is prepared fresh.
In a heated display cabinet on the counter, there are Ka Pies!
And alongside the cafe-regulation HP Sauce is a range of hot sauces.
Finally, there is the Container Cafe menu (see below).
Plenty of carb/grease standards should they be desired – but plenty else besides, including a hot line-up of burgers and sandwiches with high degrees of Woven DNA running through them.
My southern fried chicken burger ($11.50) is a killer – maybe even the best chook burger I’ve eaten.
The thigh meat is crisp on the outer, and oh-so-very juicy and delicious on the inner.
My outstanding burger is completed with terrific rough-cut slaw, very good melted cheese and pickles.
The crinckle-cut chips ($3.50) are hot and fab, though a tad too salty even for salt-addict me.
The Cuban sandwich is another outright winner – superb value for $10 and getting extra points straightaway for being made with the appropriate, Cuban-style bread.
The innards are wonderfully gooey mix of melted gruyere, pickles, pulled pork and ham.
My cafe latte ($3.50) is beaut.
From what I’ve seen on two visits, Container Cafe is already a hit with workers in the surrounding area – and why wouldn’t it be?
In finer weather, though, I fully expect to see this place attract a wider crowd from a broader area.
There’s a heap of outdoor seating that will make Container Cafe a fine food destination and parking is a breeze.
And the food, and the attention detail and pricing, certainly take care of business in style.
Though you can get dimmies or potato cakes if that’s your go.
As well, as a post-lunch drive brings home to me, while residential Truganina is still some distance away from Container Cafe, and on the other side Dohertys Road, there is a lot of construction going on, meaning a lot more people looking for affordable good food and coffee.
And neither are thick on the ground in Truganina to date.
Container Cafe is open 5am-3pm Monday-Friday, though that could change depending on demand; EFTPOs facilities being installed this week.