Saturday, February 04, 2006

Melbourne, Australia, part iv

It was about a week or so before I left for Australia, had I come across an article in the papers, suggesting that Pellegrini's Espresso Bar was one of Melbourne's best kept secrets.
It is. I had trouble looking for it, not knowing if downhill will lead me nearer or further away from 66 Bourke Street.
I finally found it, after walking uphill and past it. I asked the nice lady at the book store next door, if she knew where Pellegrini's is, and she smiled, and said it's just next door. Doh!

Here's the view from the front entrance. It felt like I had walked into a movie set. The checkered floors, worn out bar seats, wooden counter top, the aroma of coffee hangs in the air, the bar, interestingly adorned with pictures of people and currency from all over the world are taped on the shelves.
There wasn't a menu available, and it dawned upon me that I'd have to recollect what little memory of Italian food dishes I know if I were to have any food.
I looked up at the wooden board that offered some of it's dishes, and I muttered something that I saw in the lower right corner.
This was what I ordered. My eyes doubled its size when I saw it. A hearty dish, enough for two. There were spinach and crumbled meat balls in it. Very delicious.
Eating it was rather surreal. A nice old lady cooked it, and it felt like mama had made me a meal. The atmosphere was dead quiet, save for the occasional musical soliloquy from an Italian man. It was like I've walked into a whole new world.
Here's the guy, who was holding the fort. I asked if he was Mr Pellegrini. He isn't.

I figured that being an Espresso bar, they have had to have an affogato. Espresso and Ice Cream equates to yum.
That's mama, who made me the spaghetti dish, standing in front of the dessert table. I could hardly finish the spaghetti, but I was not about to walk away from this bar without having a dessert. There were too many to choose from, so I asked the nice man at the bar for a reccomendation.
The home made Apple Strudel. The man said that it was a favourite here.
He asked me if I had wanted some whipped cream with it. Now, I wasn't sure what kind of whipped cream he had to offer me. I was hesistant. If he had whipped out a can of EZ-WHIP, and sprayed white gloop on the strudel, it would have changed everything. Imagine my joy when he took out a bowl of whipped cream and plonk a huge dollop on the strudel. Simply Divine.
I was gonna need something to wash everything down, and I had seen him slushing some granita in a cup. I figured I'd have one too. A perfect finish to a hearty and delicious meal.

I loved everything about Pellegrini's Bar Espresso. From the honest dish of pasta, the rich atmosphere and to the wooden spoon the man had used to dollop the whipped cream.
I walked out, very full, but satisfied.

Add this to your list of places to go in Melbourne.

Pellegrini's Bar & Espresso
66 Bourke Street
Melbourne, Victoria, 3000

1 comment:

neoxide said...

I agree. The coffee there is probably the best I've ever tasted, and out of the 4 or 5 times I've been there, they've made me pay full price only once...