B is for broken…

10 Nov
B is for B-Sides

Less Than Jake know what the letter B means...

I’ll put this up top: fair to say date “B” didn’t work out entirely as planned.  But if nothing else, we managed to keep the B theme going, even if we did sacrifice “bowling” for “back adjustment”…

It all started according to plan: a sleep in at home in Brunswick (zing! That’s 1 B already!) before brunch (2) around the corner at our real local, ‘That Cafe’ on Melville Road.  We’ve never really taken advantage of it, preferring to go a little further down to Sydney Road for a greater variety (Green’s Cafe is a particular fav despite the crowds).  But we thought we’d give it another go, particularly seeing as since we last tried it, new owners and new chefs had come in and done some “good things”, or so our sources told us.

That Cafe: The Menu

All day breakfast FTW

It was certainly much better than we remembered, and the Spring sunshine probably helped on that front too.  Service was prompt and friendly, while Theresa’s big veggie breakfast was devoured in record time.  I kept with the theme and went for the eggs benedict (3), which, I have since discovered, was named after either a French-based American banker and yachtsman or a Wall Street stock broker:

In an interview in the “Talk of the Town” column of The New Yorker in 1942, the year before his death,[1] Lemuel Benedict, a retired Wall Street stock broker, claimed that he had wandered into the Waldorf Hotel in 1894 and, hoping to find a cure for his morning hangover, ordered “buttered toast, poached eggs, crisp bacon and a hooker of hollandaise.” Oscar Tschirky, the famed maître d’hôtel, was so impressed with the dish that he put it on the breakfast and luncheon menus but substituted ham and a toasted English muffin for the bacon and toast

If anyone can enlighten me as to what the modern metric translation of a ‘hooker’ of hollandaise is, please do so, as now all I can think about is uncomfortable things being done to my English muffins by women of ‘loose’ repute.  Hmm, I’ve also just ruined eggs again for myself..let’s move on shall we?!

We wrapped up brunch, bought (4) a bike (5) magazine for Theresa’s sister Catherine, who has a new found love of the two wheels, before finally concluding our morning with a spot of browsing (6) at a direct factory outlet nearby.  Specialising in sports wear and sports-brand casual wear, it’s only been open on weekends for a few months and seems to cater specifically for bussed in country shoppers.  On Saturday, that just happened to be a group of ladies from northern Victoria on Tartan Tours, who were all quite polite and I dare say taking home quite a few gifts to loved (and perhaps unloved) ones.  Caught up in the inevitable hysteria over $20 pairs of Everlast tracksuit pants, I did snaffle what I perceived was an absolute bargain (7): a top by Reebok attempting to be a Skins or equivalent, or in their words, ‘PlayDry’.

And this where things started to go down hill.

Theresa recently hurt her back at work.  She’s been having all sorts of trouble with it and seeking all sorts of professional advice about how to fix it and on Saturday, that lead to her having her back (8) adjusted by a chiropractor in a bid to get back to work.  This resulted in pain, bruising (9), tears and, eventually, pain relief in pill form.  This in turn lead to sleep…for most of the afternoon. Theresa was officially broken (10).

I’ve realised something about being a ‘fiancée’: sometimes you are left feeling VERY helpless.  Sometimes there’s nothing you can do, and that’s OK.  I could care less about the result of the B date, really, this is just a blog (11! Retrospective B! Ha!) and doesn’t compare to real life. All I wanted was for Theresa to feel better (12…this is getting ridiculous) but in the end, short of leaving her alone to sleep or providing glasses of nourishing beverages (13)  – and not the epic alcoholic ones I’d planned – there was nothing I could do.

So I did what every self-respecting nerd left alone on a Saturday afternoon would do in such a situation. I played basketball (14) on the Xbox.  (For the record, NBA 2K11 is MEGA hard folks, and a major step up on the usual EA arcade-style offerings.)

Ben Wallace from the Detroit Pistons

Ben Wallace plays basketball, and he has boofy hair. As a result, he is now enshrined on this blog.

Theresa did rise eventually in time for us to reach what was to be the highlight of our B date: a dinner of BBQ (15) ribs at Barbarino’s & Wongs (16), recommended by my man Taylor Welch at Taylor Made Video who said they were the best he had tasted.

Barbarino's & Wongs

The definition of fusion...

First impressions are everything though, and B&W didn’t disappoint.  First, there was the massive artwork when you walked in…

Mr Barbarino & Mr Wong

I can only assume the dude on the left is Mr Barbarino

Then, there were free beer (17) nuts on the table.  Score!



But this was all just a teaser for the main event.  But as any good CFA volunteer will say, you must first inspect the site and prepare.  This was done simply and promptly by our wait staff, and involved the two of us donning bibs (18), more akin to a dentists than a dining room. (‘But hey’, we thought, ‘b is for bibs so let’s roll with it.  Haters gonna hate.’)



Bibbed up and ready to dine

Fair play to B&Ws, the bibs were a good call: the ribs were very tasty, the smoky BBQ sauce even more so, the (apparently) famous onion rings were well up there and the token veggie/Asian dish we ordered to satisfy the Wong half of the restaurant was also delish.  As proved by a rather filthy bib at the end.

Look at those ribs...

From this...

All gone!

...to this...


...to this!

The night was still quite young owing to the efficient service, and not quite ready to retire for the night, young David and Theresa returned to an old favourite for dessert: Brunetti’s (19).

The eponymous Brunetti's logo



We all know it, we all love it, and it hits the spot.  Every.  Single.  Time.  Good coffee, endless cakes to try and even with a bit of early evening rain about, nothing can dampen the spirits with a full tummy and some good atmosphere.


Brunetti's Biscotti Bar

And just to make sure we really finished the B date on a high, we browsed again, this time in Borders (20). I’m a huge fan of the extended trading hours the Lygon St store operates, it just feels *right* browsing through mags, books and other assorted consumable media, as the rain gently falls outside and the sounds of suburban Carlton gearing up for a busy Saturday night filter through the mall there.  Plus, the store redesign is hot, and makes for a much more intuitive browsing experience.

All in all, I think we can rate date B a success, even if we encountered some bad (21) omens at the start.  (And this is where I launch into a Jerry’s Final Thought-style conclusion).  Relationships are all about compromise, adjustments and turning negatives into positives.  They’re about bonding and small moments of brilliance, and I think on this count we achieved that.  Go us!


One Response to “B is for broken…”

  1. Smitty November 29, 2010 at 4:11 PM #

    OMG!!! Ribs i want ribs……no wonder T went for the vego breakfast…to save some protein space for dinner!

    i want them NOW

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