George Jones Eatery, 15 Pascoe Street, Pascoe Vale. Phone: 9304 2917
One of the most pleasurable times of the CTS week is Saturday lunch.
Chores and blogging done, it’s time to hit the road, coffee to go and cool tunes rocking both the car and us.
Such Saturday outings regularly involve travel beyond the bounds of the western suburbs, even given the geographically generous drawing of those boundaries in the world of Consider the Sauce.
And quite often, those Saturday outing involve a romp up Pascoe Vale Road, those outings almost always ending up in Coburg and Sydney Road.
Today, though, and for the first time, we are headed to Pascoe Vale itself.
We’ve been invited to dine at George Jones Eatery (see full disclosure below), and for that we end up being very grateful as without that invite this fine establishment may have escaped our attention for, well, pretty much forever.
George Jones Eatery has been open for about 12 weeks and is already a bona fide hit.
I could be glib and imply that’s because of a lack of dining options in Pascoe Vale.
I’m sure the locals around here are grateful for its presence but the truth is George Jones Eatery would be hit wherever it went.
The room is big and divided up into a variety of sections, some with communal seating.
When we visit we’re told it’s a less-busy-than-usual Saturday yet the place is still hopping – and despite that, the noise levels are fine.
The staff members are many, working hard and very good.
Best of all, from a punter’s point of view, is the menu (see below).
George Jones Eatery is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with a separate though not much different list for night-time.
But here’s the thing: The lunch menu – ranging from breakfast with many appealing dishes through to a kids menu, a handful of lunch mains and another handful of burgers (with chips) – features just a single dish priced beyond $20.
That there is right smart pricing – the kind that goes a long way to encouraging repeat visits.
Bennie goes with the soft-shell crab burger with kewpie tartare, coleslaw and citrus dressing ($17.90).
If, somewhat inevitably, he ends up rather wishing he’d plumped for one of the meatier (chook, mushy, cow) burgers, he enjoys his nevertheless.
He should know by now that soft-shell crab – in any guise – is akin to chicken feet: It’s less about the ostensible Crab Prince and more about his courtiers.
Going by the tastes I am offered, this burger and its crab are lovely things, the Asian seasonings coming through strong.
The chips come in a huge serving – more than enough for his dad to eat of them freely – and are excellent.
My seared yellowfin tuna with green beans, “heirloom tomato”, kipfler potato and romesco salsa ($21.90) is a nifty, delicious take on salad nicoise.
The gorgeous fish is barely seared, rimmed with black sesame seeds and served at room temperature.
The salady attendants are very good and all in perfectly complementary proportions.
Best of all, in terms of my own personal preferences, there is a total absence of the usually ubiquitous capers.
We order two desserts, one a special, the other from the regular menu.
Choc tart surprises us – instead of the expected gooey filling cupped in a pastry base we get what seems to us more like a block of fudge.
It has fine, deep chocolate flavour and the raspberry sorbet, salted caramel sauce and honeycomb are beaut.
But banana parfait with salted peanut caramel, chocolate mousse and choc rice crisp ($13) steps up to another level entirely – this is a momentous dessert!
The mousse is mindblowingly intense in terms of chocness and the parfait has a tangy edge that seems almost citrus in nature.
All is rich, sexy and memorable.
(Consider The Sauce dined at George Jones Eatery as guests of the management and we did not pay for our meal. We chose from regular menu and had no restrictions placed upon us in doing so. George Jones Eatery management neither sought nor was granted any input, oversight or pre-publication access to this story.)