Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Trippy Taco dinner, Cutler and Co dessert

Trippy Taco
48 Smith Street, Collingwood (map)
9415 7711

Trippy Taco

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!

Trippy Taco

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.

TaquitosTrippy Taco tacos

So, from $8.50 meals with a beer at Trippy Taco...

Cerveza $17 desserts and cocktails at Cutler & Co!

Cutler and Co
55-57 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy (map)
9419 4888

Aperol SpritzAperol sours

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.

Ice cream sandwich

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.

Toffee apple


Cindy said...

That's my ideal way to hang out 'round Gertrude St, I reckon!

Vee Vien said...

I'm awfully sorry, I know this may seem like a strange question, but I always feel somewhat shy going into 'fine' restaurants just for dessert (point in case, Bistro Vue - which has 'affordable' desserts but not mains I can afford everyday [or week]) - especially when I'm not drinking - how do you approach the waiters/what time is a good time to go and I assume you don't make a reservation??

claire said...

Don't worry Vee, it's not a strange question. In this instance, I already had the cunning plan to lure Miss C to Cutler & Co to try the ice cream sandwich in the back of my mind. The big advantage at Cutler is that they have the generous front bar (which is where we ended up sitting), so we didn't have to feel guilty about taking up a table in the restaurant that could otherwise have been filled by a party eating a full meal.

But just to be on the safe side, I'd rung Cutler that afternoon to ask whether it'd be okay for us to drop in with no reservation just for dessert and drinks, at about 8:30pm (it was a Wednesday). The lovely woman I spoke to said it should be fine, and it was.

But more generally, my advice if you just want dessert somewhere upmarket would be to:
- avoid making a reservation;
- go lateish (though some places like Movida Next Door and Gigibaba are probably still taking plenty of dinner customers at 9pm);
- state upfront (ideally via an advance phonecall 10-15 minutes before arrival) that you'd just like dessert if there's room for you; but above all
- be incredibly nice and understanding if they can't fit you in. :)

Fitzroyalty said...

I'd say that bar / cafe / restaurant flexible places that serve nibbly share food, not only large meals, is open for whatever you want to order.

ps could you also tag with Collingwood please to recognise where Trippy Taco is? Thanks!

t said...

Thanks for the write up of Trippy Taco! B has mentioned it a few times and I have been meaning to go. Now I have no excuse ...

Mel said...

Those desserts sounds amaaaazing. I'll have to try them out when I return to ye olde Melbourne.

Katya said...

Those tacos look great. I have walked past that place so often, will definitely have to try them out now.

Devon said...

Ah Trippy Taco, one of the things I really miss about Melbourne at the moment. I'm hoping they'll still be around in 2010.

Thanks for the update and photos on them, much appreciated!

Anonymous said...

Here here, Cutler and Co desserts are amazing, especially the steamed pear pudding with licorice ice-cream!

neil said...

Any Mexican restaurant that goes to the trouble of making fresh tortillas has got my complete attention.

Love black beans, lazy me just bought four cans from Casa Iberico. Might copy their Original Trippy Taco.

A trippy taco, crazy man!

Maria@TheGourmetChallenge said...

what an awesome combination, affordable dinner, extraordinary dessert. I should try this myself!

claire said...

Fitzroyalty - wow, you don't miss a trick do you! Now tagged for Collingwood as well, but I must say I still always think of that side of Smack Street as still being in Fitzroy :)

Hi Miss T: you should get B to take you there as a birthday treat! xx

Mel, they really are special. And it sounds as though there is yet another fabulous one to try, as reported by Anonymous here in the comments section...

Hi Katya and Devon, thanks for dropping by. I was pretty happy with these tacos - and getting excited about the Mexican food I'll be having in California in July!

Thanks for the tip Anonymous! :)

Let me know if you replicate the recipe, Neil! I really wish they'd chosen a less trippy name though, man...