Tuesday, 19 June 2007

"a hint of Buenos Aires"

After a drama filled morning when The Writer who was supposed to leave this city indefinitely had his flight delayed, I had just the place in mind to celebrate having him in town for another 48 hours. The Age Cheap Eats Guide 2007 claims La Paloma brings a hint of Buenos Aires to Brunswick and I'm inclined to agree. Quite frankly I'm astounded more hasn't been written about this treasure but it's not surprising as tucked away off Sydney Rd with only an old fashioned barbershop for a neighbour, it's a well kept secret with a loyal clientele.

Tod Myles, the same man that brought us Rue Bebelons' on Little Lonsdale is also the creator of what has become my favourite café. In a city renowned for its coffee culture this title did not come easily, especially given it's on the other side of town to my home and work. In the past week alone I visited the establishment three times, primarily for quality assurance purposes but also to feed my growing churros habit. While these don’t sit well with my getting-Italian-seaside-resort-ready-diet they are quite simply irresistible even to males without a sweet tooth such as The Writer. These delightful little treats generously topped with dulce de leche are made on the premises and while not as delicate as other versions around town they are somehow more comforting in a home cooked way.

Myles is always in the kitchen, which on weekdays is often the front counter. Like a friend that’s invited you over for a casual lunch he asks if you’d like something to eat and puts together one of his masterpiece sandwiches while you look on and pop the next record on the turntable. This hospitality isn’t reserved for regulars but extended from the first visit.

Myles effortlessly blends classic and exotic produce to create sandwiches that put other café fare to shame. There is no talk of paninis or focaccias or pides around here although his custom made Chimmy’s bread is easily superior to those usual suspects. Don’t expect a menu as on weekdays the only option is what looked good at the deli that day including excellent Spanish cheeses that I suspect are sourced from Casa Iberica. There is a wider variety on weekends including a few hot dishes with South American influences but the trade off is Myles is behind the scenes.

What makes La Paloma particularly likeable is the honest food at exceptional prices. Sandwiches are a mere $5 and a coffee and churros will only set you back another $4. There’s no reason not to linger and put on another record.

La Paloma
259 Albert St, Brunswick
Ph: 03 9380 8520


Paul said...

I am of Argentine blood. I will have to check it out.
Also, I am not one to name drop, but ask for the Barossa chook. X

Anonymous said...

I think these are the best sandwiches to be had in any cafe in Melbourne! I want it to stay a secret for as long as possible.

Truffle said...

the gourmand- I can't make any promises as to the authenticity but the warm service makes it worth a visit.

Will look out for the Barossa chook!

Anonymous- Glad to know I'm not alone. I'm particularly partial to the Saturday sandwich offerings which almost compensate for the crowds.

Wendy said...

It's not always easy to find a good sandwich. So many places in the UK still serve floppy white bread with watery tomatoes and shredded iceberg that has gone a little brown around the edges.
I've been known to travel 30 miles down the A9 to Aviemore for lunch on a Saturday afternoon. The sandwiches in the "Mountain Cafe" are to die for!

Johanna GGG said...

churros and chocolate close to home!!! I hope they are open on weekends so I can indulge my cravings!

Sylvia said...

Very intersting comment.Another day I posted the recipe Dulce de leche,and what a coincidence your post is about Buenos Aires.

Truffle said...

Wendy- isn't the perfect sandwich hard to find? I think this place comes pretty close which is why I adore it.

Johanna- They are definitely open on Saturdays but I can't recall if they also do Sundays. I recommend getting in early because they seem to run out of churros by early afternoon. Hope you enjoy :)

Sylvia- Coincidence indeed! Will have to check out your recipe because I'd love to recreate these at home.

Serenity Later said...

whoa truffle! i'm going to have to check out this place next time i visit my folks. who knew that a fix for my raging churros addiction could be sorted out within walking distance? how long has this place been there for?

Cynthia said...

I would love to have a place like this to go to for sandwiches.

Truffle said...

Serenity Later - It's a very low key place and easy to miss if you didn't know it was there. I think it's been open around a year but I've only discovered it recently! For churros experiences with more wow factor I'd also recommend Movida or Bar Lourinha if you haven't been there yet. Hope you enjoy :)

Cynthia- I always love places that do the simple things well and it's wonderful to find somewhere dependable with great service.

Ali-K said...

Just as I was thinking I'm getting a little too settled in my own suburb and should explore further, you provide an inspiring destination. Thanks Truffle

Anonymous said...

Dear Truffle,
this place sounds wondeful! It makes me wish I was back in Melbo!

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

Hi Truffle, Girlie night needed - I'll join in remotely. Make mine a large one!

Truffle said...

Ali-K- I hope you like it! Thanks for reading.

Anon- I think Melbourne's food could make anyone homesick :)

Amanda- great minds think alike!

Thistlemoon said...

Wow, sounds amazing! Yummmmm