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Biviano & Sons- Fairfield

http://bivianoandsons.com.au/index.php?q=welcome-biviano-and-sons-online-store

Located in the Fairfield Shopping strip, just next to the rather dilapidated foodworks store, and the butcher, lies this friendly, high quality grocer.

Generally, the produce in this shop is of excellent quality, and if you choose carefully, the prices are as good as anywhere else.

Generally, the store is a bit more on the expensive side compared to coles or woolworths- but the quality difference, and the extra shelf life you get makes it worth spending a few bob more for some fruit and vegies.

Daily specials are super competitive, and the stall out on the footpath is always worth a look.

The staff, who all seem to be possibly members of the same extended family are friendly and courteous, and any problems with the bill are cheerfully rectified.

Actually, if I’m totally honest, the staff are almost universally super-cute, and ridiculously charming for the most part, especially on the weekend. I’ll often find myself chatting idly to some of them, who know me a as a regular if its a slow part of the day and there’s not many customers about.

That just adds to the personal and warm feeling of shopping at a truly locally born and bred business though.

One thing I didn’t know about till I did research for this article is that the online store seems to have similar or better prices than in the physical store, though the mangers specials aren’t present. Delivery over $20 is free in the local area. Not half bad. I have no real excuse for suffering the bendy carrots, and other verdant goods on their last legs the coles and woollies seem to manage to hock to the time poor masses.

 

 

Green Cafe (Refectory) – Brunswick

https://www.zomato.com/melbourne/green-refectory-Brunswick

This little place has a tiny little shopfront on Sydney road, just a short walk across the tracks from Jewel Station, on the Upfield line, just 20 odd minutes out of the CDB, or flinders street Station.

https://ptv.vic.gov.au/stop/view/19969

Despite being skinny and narrow, and only a handful of tables to choose from behind the almost obstructive counter and coffee service area, this establishment does not lack depth, physically, and substance in terms of a fine proffering of very scrummy food.

At the window are teeny bar counters for the lone coffee sipper to perch, and loiter comfortably, watching the world go by, and contemplate the afternoon. Spreading out, and dumping bags, helmets and other bike related paraphernalia you may have with you can guarantee a bit of space and precious claimed real estate on what could become a rather intimate sharing experience with random interlopers seeking a rare table, who may wish to disturb your xen enjoyment of the serene individual quiet with chatter among their friends right beside you.

Round the back, for the sun lovers, are tables in a alley courtyard, which, though painted black, the uniquely rough haphazardly shapes of the wooden tables and random chair combinations scream individuality even more than the varied clientele of this café.

The counter area displays many tasty treats, with delicious and rather original looking house baked cakes and pastries at very reasonable prices- around $6.

Above on the wall, is the brunchy slanted menu- with burgers, Burritos and a multitude of other deliciously guaranteed stomach rumble arresting meals that averaged a teeny $11 or so for a decent plate.

damn cheap, especially since the quality turned out to be excellent!

Ordered was a piece of a unique offering- pecan pie pumpkin pie tart- Strange, but awesome! Pretty much, it consisted of a very thin Green Refectory Cafe brunswick cakepecan pie base, with a firm and lightly spicy pumpkin custard filling on top. it was as delicious as it looked pretty!

An epic sized chicken burrito with salad and all the trimmings came out next, served by a smiling and friendly waitress. (why are café girls always soo syrupy, yet genuinely cute and likable?)

The beautiful burrito, piping hot and spilling its delicious interior onto the plate slightly to reveal a very substantial spicy meat, and gooey cheese content came with all the extra trimmings on the side, from a Green Refectory Cafe Brunswick cheap burritogenerous helping of smashed avocado, to a nice sized dollop of what looked like house made chutney.

Again, looks were not deceiving- and for $11… it represented exceptional value- especially at a place that literally screamed trendy hipster hangout from every orifice at 300 paces!

Normally these kind of establishments ooze a noxiously arrogant and odious vibe, particularly from the generic smirking raggot in a steam punk hat who hands you a obscenely inflated bill, with an extra surcharge tacked on the for privilege of knowing what particular organic vegan German revival farm in a godforsaken valley in the country your beans, brussell sprouts, and the hairy and woody baby carrots came from.

That is on top of the look he gave you when you ordered a plain, bog standard flat white latte,  because he really does act like he is gods gift to the people, as he is, after all, a barista- a noble profession that is known to be closest to the heart of whatever god you happen to worship.

REWIND TO REALITY HERE!!!

But no, here at Green, there is NOTHING like that. Just normal, honest, humble, probable struggling student people, with fresh faces and tousselled locks, and a bill that makes you smile, and never feel you have been exploited.

 

Mr Wednesday Cafe – Fairfield – Alphington

http://www.mrwednesday.com.au/

mr wednesday cafe alphington motorbike indian 2This place opened up quite recently, in the last couple months, but every time I ride past it, its always packed!

oh, that, and I have to stop myself from crashing because I really am in love with the green vintage Indian Motorcycle that the café owner rides and parks outside the shop. I feel so much want for that thing.

Apparently its worth over 45K though. All I can say is this blog better go viral and make me some serious ad money so I can at least buy an authentic Speedometer or maybe a couple nuts and bolts with the proceeds. 😛

Upon venturing into the place, too pressed for time, the fitout is really quite something to behold- the painstaking work that I slowly saw progressing over the months with the onwers and their mates/tradies going in and out like busy industrious ants really produced some great results.

Pressed metal, funky light bulbs, succulents in quirky containers, and lots of rich woody, earthy tones and exposed brick walls give the place a really cozy feeling… though that could be equally attributed to how small the space is. hanging on the wall is another vintage indian motorcycle, though this one in rather sadder condition. Apparently it carked it only days before the opening of the café, in front of the café, and wouldn’t start.. so they just hung it on the wall rather than call a van to tow it away.

https://www.broadsheet.com.au/melbourne/food-and-drink/article/mr-wednesday-arrives-fairfield

And, damn, the food smells and looks good, and the aroma of the coffee is pungently pleasant.

Their menu is on their website, which is handy:

http://www.mrwednesday.com.au/#!menu/c10a2

They use ‘industry beans” which, if you are a hipster coffee snob, are supposed to be pretty good.

Ok, I do like my coffee too.

mr wednesday cafe alphington motorbike indianOn the wall is some sort of limited edition single source coffee menu that lasts for a suitably limited time. Hmm. I’m not sold on this single source idea, personally. if I fork out and try it, I’ll update the post on how awesome it is, or not. I suspect its just your bog standard, very good coffee, better marketed.

Either way, this is a damn nice coffee shop, certainly suitable for taking esteemed friends to as the atmosphere really is charming and warm. There are tables outside under the awnings for sunny days.. and we have plenty of them coming up this summer.

http://www.goodfood.com.au/good-food/food-news/just-open-mr-wednesday-fairfield-20150828-gj87of.html

 

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