LOOSE CHANGE LUNCH

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Feast a fortune,

PAY A PITTANCE! 

Our regular instalment in the St Kilda Bites food review feature continues, where our food critic Oakley Hunter shares her relentless search for great value, high quality local lunch dining. Here are two more in the St Kilda area worth mentioning! She enjoyed another experience in the lovely, quiet suburb of Elwood, this time on Barkly Street. It now boasts some wonderful little breakfast and lunch cafes. She also unearths a jewel in busy Acland Street.

 

ANTIPASTO DELICATESSEN AND FINE FOODS

 Shop G8 Acland Court, 56-158 Acland St. St Kilda

Ph: (03) 85989380

St Kilda community, why have you been keeping the last authentic deli a secret from me? I discovered the deli after I had ducked into Acland Court to seek refuge from the rain that was chasing me outside. All the locals know it! – It’s the ‘go-to’ place. Everybody meets here over a coffee, a focaccia and the daily paper.

Unpretentious, warm and charming, Antipasto Delicatessen and Fine Foods is a quaint venue packed with antipasto items, continental foods and everything good. There aren’t many community places like this anymore, the kind where you can get quality homemade gnocchi or family lasagne, as well as a handpicked selection of Australian and international cheeses, ciabattas, olives, salamis that aren’t your run-of-the-mill supermarket variety.

I love how these old earthy delis make you feel fancy; as though you stepped into Vogue Living, or you’ve just found the store where Nigella Lawson solemnly gets her groceries, and if you buy any ingredient, suddenly you’ll have gained her sexiness and skills in the kitchen. I knew that however much I wanted to buy the goose fat and cook something from master chef, I didn’t have the time or skill, so I opted for an eat-in meal.

I prowled the store, trying to decide between the home made soups (prepared fresh daily in-house), the quiches, the focaccias, croissants and of course the pies, piadinas and sausage rolls, all distracting me from my pretentious side that told me to buy French jams. I settled on the quiche with salad ($7.90), because the owner, Paul Alessandrini, had one fresh baked from the oven. Paul likes to keep his lunch menu fresh and under $10, so the deal is a steal – but I bet you anything you can’t walk out without some quince paste and the urge to cook something Italian.

 

JERRY’S MILK BAR                                                                                       

345 Barkly St  Elwood

Ph: (03)95313078                                                                             

jerrysmilkbar@bigpond.com

You can feel that old school, laid back charm drawing you in just from looking at the proud billboard with red writing announcing ‘Jerrys’ on the side of Barkly street. I had to pull over and investigate! The heritage building is filled with cherry red stools, primary colour chairs, old 50′s Coca-Cola ads and a golden pressed tin ceiling. I couldn’t help but feel like I was back in primary school when my grandfather used to take me to the milk bar to get lollies. Jerry’s is a nostalgic favourite recognised by many a loyal local, and you could tell by the way owner Andrew Harris greets each of his customers by name, shakes their hand, asks them about their kids or their recent holiday to Sweden or if they’d like their ‘usual’.

The menu has everything from sweet-treat three stack pancakes and milkshakes, to healthy egg whites and fresh juices, all of which you pay a pittance for. The jovial feel of the place put me into a happy-go-lucky, fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pant kind of mood and I asked Andrew to pick me something delicious. I don’t know how he did it (because he’d never met me before), but he had ordered my ‘usual’ – smashed avocado and feta on rye with two poached eggs and roast tomatoes at $18. That, as well as a ‘Barbie juice’ ($6.50) put me in brunch heaven.

Everybody loves Jerry’s, and there’s a reason why….. It’s the kind of place that leaves you happier than when you walked in - and I had a wide grin across my face on my way out the door, to attest to this!

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