Open House Melbourne is on this weekend and learning our lesson from previous years, we decided to choose only a couple of venues, rather than trying to see everything and becoming tired and emotional!
At 8.15 am we queued up at the beautiful Block Arcade in Collins Street for tickets for a guided tour of the upstairs levels. It was just fascinating, with stairs and passageways, outside walkways, a funny little phone box and beautiful leadlight windows and woodwork. And as usual, I forgot to take a picture! Doh! Then we went to the Capitol Theatre, only find that they are only open on Sunday. Doh again!
So we turned our thoughts to food. We’d planned to try Wagamama for lunch, after reading Veganopoulous’s recent post, but by lunch time we were right up at the other end of the city, so we decided to head out and try another place on our list—the Fox Hotel.
The Fox Hotel
I’ve read so many reviews of that place. I’ve been dying to find an excuse (and some willing dining partners) to get along there.
I was particularly interested because they have as many veg*n options as they do meat options, and a decent number of gluten-free options too. It’s a relief to find a place where everyone will be happy to go, regardless of what they eat.
Check out their menu. I’m so unused to having a decent number of menu choices that I can barely make a decision when I’m given the chance! I was torn between…well, everything…but in the end I decided on the baked eggplant with tahini served on a warm salad of chickpea, red cabbage, caramelised beetroot, green beans and mint, with lemon and zatar dressing.
Eggplant is my very favourite vegetable—and this was good eggplant, and lots of it—and the salad was just as good. I already have plans to try to copy it at home. I can’t wait to get back there to try more.
The Gasometer Hotel
And now I’ve just realised that I never posted about our trip to the Gasometer Hotel a couple of months ago! How does that happen? (I think I was in the thick of assignment writing.)
On a rainy April Sunday afternoon we jumped on a tram and headed down to the Gasometer (incidentally, only a block away from the Fox Hotel) to catch a bit of live Cajun swamp music. It was a dry and cosy place to sit while enjoying some toe-tapping music.
Like the Fox, the Gasometer has a lot of vegan choices , and even though mock meat isn’t my favourite thing, I really enjoyed the Southern Fried Chicken Burger, along with pickles, mustard and chips, and a cold beer. It was so nice to choose from a menu, and not feel troublesome or weird, as I often do when I need to ask for a special vegan meal.
So now we know we have two nearby omni/vegan-friendly pubs to eat at. We’re off to day 2 of Open House Melbourne tomorrow…I suppose that’s too soon for a return trip…
Where did we go?
The Fox Hotel, 351 Wellington Street, Collingwood
Gasometer Hotel, 484 Smith Street, Collingwood
See how close they are! I’m fantasising about a lazy lunch in one, followed by dinner at the other…is that going too far?
If you’ve never seen the Block Arcade, here’s a really quick video—but there are 4 more levels of offices and workshops upstairs that I never even knew existed!