Bowery to Williamsburg – A Piece of NYC in Melbourne

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Bowery to Williamsburg is new to the cobblestone laneway of Melbourne namely Oliver Lane (which also houses the famous Coda) – is known for its fantastic bagels and out of this world sandwiches.

Bowery to Williamsburg is a New-York inspired deli style venue brought to you by the team behind the ever popular Hardware Societe (Will and Di). It is aptly named after the Bowery Station of New York and comes complete with an underground style area to sit. At cobblestone street level there are communal tables where you can sit outside as well as having its own Slayer coffee machine, step through the doors (which are cleverly held open by a brass shoe) and down the stairs and you are greeted by a massive Slayer coffee machine (which sources local espresso coffee- Padre coffee beans from Brunswick) and copper trimmed sandwich counter, completed with a large sign that tells you how to order. Its simple really – 1) Choose your sandwich, 2) Select your Side and 3)Add some pretzels & pickle and Pay – $16.50 for the lot or $12.50 for the sandwich only – which would mean you only complete step 1 =)

In this downstairs area there is also a large marble communal table with interesting chairs that you need to come early during the lunch hour to secure a seat. There are also other single tables around the place. The menu (as you can see from the above picture) comes on little cards and outlines exactly what is in each sandwich and the different sides that you can choose from. There is also a wooden wall with chalk boards that have the menu on it as well.  There are 10 different sandwiches to choose from – covering all bases from – mushrooms to salmon, to corned beef to pork and almond meatballs. The combinations are fresh and ingenious! Here they also cater for people that would require gluten-free bread – this will cost $1 extra.

Breakfast time is when the bagels are available – there are several varieties of bagel on offer – both savory and sweet – all made by 5 and Dime. Options include the sour cherry bagel with a smear of lemon curd, or perhaps a beetroot and rye bagel with cream cheese. There are cooked breakfasts too, like poached eggs with maple baked beans and a bacon slab. To add to this there is your something sweet which sits in the cabinet and the counter such as Key Lime Pie and Maple Pecan Pie.

Our waitress comes over and explains the special sides that we can order and takes our drinks order. I have to say now I am not a fan of peanut butter at all, but the sound of a peanut butter hot chocolate is tempting as does the Mofo Deluxe Hot Chocolate. I decide to give the Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate a go and I am so so so glad I did! It is one of the best hot chocolates that I have had and what makes it better is that it comes with a mini Reece’s Peanut Butter cup on the side! It comes served in a faux crumpled plastic cup and is so rich and chocolately and just simply delicious. If you are game you can add your mini Reece’s Butter Cup into the hot chocolate for more gooey yumness. Another point to note – coffees come out with a Hersheys’ Treat.

For lunch I decided to go with sandwich combo and get the pretzels, dill gherkin and a side – I mean why wouldn’t you – it just sounds and looks oh so good! I go for the Field Mushroom sandwich with pomegranate tabouli and minted yoghurt – and as my side I choose the Mac ‘n’ Cheese. I came with A and she ordered the Meatballs Sandwich on its own which comes with Pork & Almond balls, Harissa Tomato Sugo and Mozzarella. My sandwich was delicious – the mushroom was juicy and fresh and the addition of the tabouli and minted yoghurt with the bursts of pomegranate provided the tanginess and the acidity. Having a bite of the pickle added another depth to the meal. The Mac ‘n’ Cheese was warm and tasty and served off to the side in its own little jar with the cheese melted messily around it. I loved this concept. The whole meal came plated out on a wooden board.

The staff are friendly, welcoming and chirpy and are always willing to help you decide on menu. I will definitely be frequenting this place even though there might be lines – I think it’s worth the wait! The food brings together interesting combination of ingredients and is fresh and tasty. I really want to come back during breakfast time and try out the bagels and check out the breakkie menu as well. Bowery to Williamsburg is a homage to the underground station that is New York and really does bring that part of the world to what is typically a Melbourne laneway and is a great cafe / takeaway place.

NOTE: Bowery to Williamsburg is a CASH ONLY venue

Rating : 5 Pandas
Price: $$
Menu – Refer to the photos above for the menu – there are 10 different sandwiches to choose from. Breakfast consists of bagel, eggs etc
Fullness: 100%
Atmosphere / Ambience: A piece of NYC in Melbourne – fresh, gritty and fun
Standout Dish: Any of the sandwiches really! Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate!
Service: Friendly, chirpy and always happy to help
Online Booking: No – seating is first in, first served. I suggest getting there at 12pm in order to get a seat during lunch hour.
Restaurant Details and Location:
16 Oliver Lane, Melbourne
Tel No: 9077 0162

Opening Hours:
Monday to Friday: 7:30am – 3:30pm

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Meatball and Wine Bar – “It’s all about the Balls”


  
Beef Meatball with Italian Tomato Sliders

Fish Meatballs with Green Pesto Salsa Verde on Home-made Lasagne

Beef Meatball Sliders and Fish Meatballs

Chicken Meatballs with Green Pesto Salsa Verde Heroes
Whoopie Mac -Coffee Macaron with Chocolate Ice Cream

From the moment you step into the Meatball & Wine Bar, you know that you will have a great time. The Meatball & Wine Bar has a cool and funky vibe that reminds you of a diner in New York. From the great tunes to the friendly staff it is a place that you will definitely want to bring your friends back to.

The venue has a number of seats ranging from seats at the bar, high tables as well as communal or tales for big groups. There are dark wooden tables with exposed brick walls and  posters of meat cuts on the wall.

From the get-go the service is outstanding and fun. Our friendly waitress informs us that “It’s all about the Balls” cheekily. There can a many innuendos that follow with the menu here =) The concept is simple – you pick your balls, the sauce for the balls to come with and if you want anything with the balls. Looking at the menu, you want to try it all!

Each meatball is 60 grams and lovingly made by artisians using traditional recipes. The Meatball and Wine Bar uses only the finest of ingredients – the Beef is 100% pasture fed Black Angus Beef, the fish is the freshest Australian fish, the chicken is Lilydale Free Range and the vegetables are from the freshest produce. You would think that 3 meatballs is not enough but trust me they are really filling. For the sauces you get a selection of Italian tomato, Creamy White, or Green Pesto Salsa Verde. You can then add something extra for them to sit on – Potato smash, Home-made Pasta sheets, Italian beans, Polenta or the Day’s Green Vegetable selection.

I ordered the Fish Meatballs with the Green Pesto Salsa Verde Sauce on Home-made Lasagne and my friend ordered the Beef Sliders. I have never had fish meatballs before so I wasn’t sure what to expect – but these were delicious! They were mixed with potato and the fish was poached perfectly to create the meatball itself. The flavouring was perfect with the right amount of tang. I think I could have done without the home-made pasta though, as it didn’t really add anything else to do the dish.

Despite our fullness, we were convinced to try the Whoopie Macs – which was the dessert. Once again it had a similar concept to the balls – you pick your flavour of macarons (Coffee, Pistachio, Berry and Chocolate) and then select which Ice Cream you want (Coffee, Burnt Orange, Vanilla and Chocolate). We were told that the Pistachio and Berry Macs were sold out sadly, so we decided to share a Coffee Mac with Chocolate Ice Cream. These Whoopie Macs are seriously huge and I don’t think I could have eaten it all on my own. The Macarons are crunchy on the outside and soft and delectable on the inside – simply yum!

The balls were so enticing that I ordered takeaway balls as well. (They only do Heroes takeaway – which is the 3 meatballs in a Ciabata Roll – and it comes nicely wrapped up with a Meatball and Wine Bar sticker, in a brown bag that has your order written on the bag. Really great presentation). I got the Chicken Meatball Heroes with the Green Salsa Verde once again. This combination was fantastic. The chicken meatballs are blended beautifully together with pistachios, muscatels and parmesan and there is a smoothness of the chicken together with the crunch of the nuts.

With this type of menu, you are always left wondering what the other combinations would be like and one of the many reasons to keep coming back. Although I have to say, once you have their balls – that is really reason enough to come back. Together with the friendly and fun service and the concept – this place is definitely one that will be around for ages!

Note: The chicken used is Lilydale free-range chick which is Halal

Rating : 4.5 Pandas
Price: $$
Menu – A variety of Meatballs, Cured Meats and Cheeses – Menu can be found at http://www.meatballandwinebar.com.au/
Fullness: 100%
Atmosphere / Ambience: Casual, Laidback and Fun
Standout Dish: Any of the Meatballs!
Service: Friendly, Fun and Enthusiastic.
Online Booking: Meatball & Wine Bar doesn’t take reservations unless you have a group of more than 8
Restaurant Details and Location:
http://www.meatballandwinebar.com.au/
135 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
Tel No: 9654 7545

Opening Hours:
Breakfast:
Monday to Friday: 7am to 11am
Lunch / Dinner:
Monday to Sunday: 11am to 1am
Brunch:
Saturday to Sunday: 11am to 3pm

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