48 Smith Street, Collingwood (map)
Okay, this one will be short and sweet. I had a lovely time when the delightful Miss C and I met up for dinner recently. Our venue of choice was a place I'd read about on Tummy Rumbles and Where's the Beef: Trippy Taco. Yes the name is cringe-worthy, and the minuscule interior is rather basic, but their all-vegetarian Mexican food is very cheap and good.
On my way there on the 86 tram, I rang to ask whether we needed to book. The girl at Trippy Taco: "Oh, it's DEAD here at the moment. You'll be fine getting a table." Um, encouraging!
We shared two dishes, the Taquitos (three rolled-up, crispy corn tortillas with black bean filling topped with guacamole, salsa, cheese, salad and lime) and the Original Trippy Tacos (fresh home-made corn tortillas topped with cheese, black beans, salad, salsa, avocado and a squeeze of fresh lime). Each dish cost only $8.50 and both were simple, fresh and generous.
So, from $8.50 meals with a beer at Trippy Taco...
...to $17 desserts and cocktails at Cutler & Co!
Cutler and Co
55-57 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy (map)
This really was very cheeky of us, but we kept justifying the lavish dessert by reminding ourselves how cheap the rest of the dinner had been. I felt compelled to introduce Miss C to my aperitif obsession du mois, the Aperol Spritz. Noting our fondness for Aperol, the incredibly nice barman then whipped up two incredibly strong Aperol Sours, using Belvedere orange blossom vodka, lemon juice, a hint of vanilla syrup and egg white for the froth. They were sensational.
Just as sensational as the chocolate ice cream sandwich with vanilla parfait and salted caramel ($16, already raved about by me here). Miss C had never had salted caramel before, and she loooved it.
We shared a second dessert too: the toffee apple ($17). The roasted apple was thinly encased in toffee over what turned out to be a sweet reduction of black olive (!), with cubes of cider jelly to the left and a length of spiced shortbread topped with daubs of fromage blanc to the right. What a dish. WHAT A DISH.