Frugal Foo

Foo Thinking Money"Money can't buy me love"... But everything else is in this blog.

Equinox Cafe & Bar

It is said that you can stand an egg on it's end on the day of the equinox. The equinox is the moment in time twice yearly when the sun is directly over the equator resulting in one day of exactly 12 hours light and 12 hours dark no matter where you are on the globe. It is the earths mid point between tilting back and forth on its axis creating warm and cool seasons. Fascinating hey! So why name a bar "Equinox"? It doesn't even serve eggs. Equinox just seems to be one of those words you can use to name anything when you're stuck for a name for something. Gyms, car models, mining companies, you name it, "Equinox" can be used to make any thing sound more interesting.

Despite such an exciting name, Frugal Foo was drawn into the Equinox Cafe & Bar more by the specials board. Each day of the week has a different special for lunch and dinner. They range from $6.90 for a burger or Cesar salad on Monday, up to $10.90 for the rump stake on Thursday. On Saturday and Sunday you can have any pasta or green curry for only $7.90. My lunch visit was on a Tuesday and I had the Vegetable Pizza special for $6.90. Filling, but not worth more than $6.90 in my opinion. Lots of cheese and nice use of herbs but I could hardly identify much in the way of vegetable pieces. I shall return one day to try the rump which sounds like exceptional value.

Bravely, I did not order a drink at this city bar as I prefer no alcohol during business hours. As if my mind was read by the staff, a glass of cool water was forth coming without me even asking. Nice touch guys.

Happy hour is from 4pm to 10pm. $10 jugs of beer and $4 glasses of wine are on offer.

Oh and lastly, that egg story is a myth. You can stand an egg on it's end any time of the year with a little patience. The trick is settling the yolk.

Equinox Cafe and Bar
Open 7 days Lunch and Dinner
Corner Elizabeth St and Little Lonsdale St, Melbourne


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Flinders Station Bakehouse

I think we can safely say that the Flinders Station Bakehouse is neither a bakery nor a house. Rather it is a booth under the railway station annex with a counter facing the street for passers-by without railway tickets. Here you will find some low cost lunch options such as sandwiches and rolls for $4. I had the Roast Beef roll (pictured). Focaccias are $5.90. The nearest seating are park benches along the Yarra river if you head down the stairs at the bridge or Federation Square is across the road. Since it was a cold day I headed to the South Gate food court to consume my roll indoors (naughty naughty Foo!).

Flinders Station Bakehouse
Facing St Kilda Rd adjacent the Taxi rank.


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The Maj

Queen Victoria might well have been amused here since The Maj is part of Her Majesty's Theatre in Exhibition St. This is one of the last remaining places in the city you can sit down and have coffee brought to your table for $2.50. And the 7th cup is free with the loyalty card. For breakfast I had the raisin loaf toast with coffee for $5. We were not amused at the small medallion sized slices of toast. The lesson here is to not be the first in the morning to order the toast sliced from the narrow end of the Vienna style loaf.

Tea is $2.50 if that's what starts your burner in the morning. Also on the menu is Toasted Muesli with yogurt and a side of fruit salad for $7.50. Or if you prefer your arteries to be that little bit harder there's the "Maj Muffin" for $4.50 comprising fried egg, bacon and melted cheese in an English muffin.

Wireless internet is available for $5 for 30 mins with a coffee.

Highlight: For theatre buffs there is a sense of nostalgia within these 19th century theatre walls. Framed cartoon caricatures of theatre greats hang above the dining room.

The Maj
Open for food Mon - Fri 7am to 3pm. The bar opens at other times for theatre performances. There is direct access to and from the theatre foyer or from Exhibition St.

219 Exhibition St
Melbourne Vic
http://www.hmt.com.au/the-maj-cafe-bar


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Brubakers Bagel Bar at Crown

Part of the Crown complex and away from the food court, a meal at Brubakers buys you the right to dine on the river bank without the expensive restaurant price tags and without the relentless pestering from waiting staff attempting to second guess your every need. Light lunches start at $4.50 for a toasted sandwich. Salmon or Vegetarian bagels (pictured) are available for $5.50.

Other mains for lunch or dinner range from $6.50 for a spinach and ricotta cannelloni, up to $12.50 for a steak sandwich. For me the cannelloni served with a salad and a glass of house red wine ($5.00) made for a pleasant meal but fails to satisfy even a moderate hunger at dinner time. A dessert from behind the counter for $4.95 fills the gap. There you will find an assortment of tarts, slices and other sweets including lemon meringue, cheese cake and tiramisu. Dessert is washed down with a coffee for $3.50. In total the 2 course meal with wine and coffee was $19.95.

There is a kids menu with the price set at $7.50 for a meal with a soft drink. It offers the usual assortment of beige coloured foods which we insist on feeding our kids when dinging out.

Brubakers is licensed. Beer starts at $6.50 for a Heineken. Red or white house wine is $5 per glass.

Criticism: Don't wear a dark suit. The birds have made numerous white coloured deposits over the chairs, the tables and even the TV's.

Brubakers Bagel Bar
Open 7 days breakfast, lunch and dinner. (Note Sunday opening later at 10am).
Crown Casino Complex
8 Whiteman Street
Southbank


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Dontoo Japanese Food - Speedie Japanesie

My order is served and waiting for me on the counter before I can put the change in my pocket. It's that fast!. The curries here are hot (temperature) and ready to be served with rice in a flash. I had the Tofu curry for $5.80. It went down really well on this cold winter day in Melbourne. The serves are a decent size and I struggled to finish. Dishes with meat start at $6 and range up to $8.30 for a Bento Box.

One criticism; I found a piece of chicken in my Tofu Curry. To me this was a bit of a bonus but had I been vegetarian I'd have possibly turned a lighter shade of pale.
The Age Cheap Eats 2010





Dontoo (Don Don Too)
Open Mon - Fri lunch time only
330 - 332 Little Lonsdale St
Melbourne


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The Bean Room

Raisin ToastFor breakfast, toast here is $4.50. Fruit toast or raisin toast is available. If you're a light eater in the morning like me then you can ask for a single slice for only $2.50. I have a slice of this poppy seed encrusted fruit toast and a coffee totaling $5.70. An alternative inexpensive breakfast is the cereal at $4 + 80c for yogurt. Other main meals range up to $15.

I sometimes come here when I need my parking validated for the QV car park. They take coffee seriously so it should please. Car parking aside, I can think of worse ways to start the day than The Bean Room for coffee and fruit toast.

The Bean Room
Open 7 days for breakfast and lunch (7am to 5:30pm)
261 - 265 Russell St
Melbourne
The Bean Room on Urbanspoon
www.thebeanroom.com


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