A drink with your dinner?

Naked for Satan

285 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy

Drinks up
Last week I had dinner with my friend Wolf from work who recently quit to follow his dream of being a screenwriter. I’m still impressed that he actually had the guts to do it,  I would never be brave enough to do that. Maybe the difference is that he’s talented and has follow through where I’m running on close to empty on both counts! Anyway, dream-following swoon/awe aside, I thought that being no longer employed full time a cheap dinner was probably the best way to go. I read recently that Naked for Satan had extended its cheap lunchtime pintxos deal (80 cents each instead of the regular $2) to dinner Monday to Wednesday. That and the closeness to Wolf’s house were enough to seal the deal.

NfS is a bar on Brunswick Street. A bar that serves (good) food, but still at its core a bar. You wouldn’t necessarily know it though. When we visted on a Wednesday night there were a lot of people sitting around and eating and not many people drinking. I get the feeling this might be a bit of a pattern - the bar and tables were all decked out with a little letter talking about how the pintxos are currently being sold below cost (presumably only when discounted to 80 cents, I feel like there’s not much of a business model going on if they’re also below cost at full price) and that the prices will only be sustainable if people also buy drinks. I’ll be honest, it seemed a little desperate, but looking at the number of people around without a drink I can understand where they’re coming from.

Dark corners in naked for satan

For anyone who hasn’t been or read about NfS, it is a bar (specialising in vodka) which also serves spanish style finger food known as pintxos. There’s a self serve selection of cold pintxos at the bar (mainly little bits on bread skewered with a toothpick – vegetarian on top, carnivorous on the bottom) and then waiters walking around with trays of hot pintxos. The bill is based on an honour system where you collect the toothpicks from your items and then present them at the bar to be counted.  I don’t know how well the sytstem is working for them but at 80 cents each I can’t see any reason to rort them (not that I would do that anyway, I’m a painfully honest type).

We ate
Disclaimer first, being a bar NfS is quite dark most of the time so most of my photos are not great. I did my best though (this is where some additional talent could probably come in handy).

First up, the cold pintxos. I had, in no particular order, a little rice ball served on bread smeared with cream cheese with either quince paste or blue cheese (to be honest I can’t remember which but most of the bread was spread with one or the other). The rice ball was fine but certainly not a stand out, personally I prefer my crumbed rice in the form of hot arancini with a meaty filling.

Saffron rice ball

A little slice of fritatta with aioli, this had onion (and potato?) in it and was probably my favourite cold bite.

Potato and onion fritatta

Chorizo and pepper, the chorizo was pretty good.


Crumbed fried eggplant, another highlight.

Crumbed eggplant

A cold marinated prawn stack which (much like the photo I took of it) wasn’t anything to write home about.

Spiced prawns

From the hot trays that were wandering around I snagged a mini schnitzel with salsa verde which was a little chewy but still tasty.

Pork schnitzel with salsa verde

I also had a pork sausage with caramelised onion, my favourite pintxo of the night.

Pork sausage with caramelised onion

I also had a couple of the croquettes. These came in a few varieties (bacon, chorizo and tuna from memory) but they all look the same so one photo it is. I tried all three (yes, I ate too much) and my favourite was the chorizo.

Potato and bacon croquette

The wrap up
All up I think I ate 10 pinxtos (probably overkill but there were a lot of things I wanted to try) for a grand total of $8 plus a drink because I am equal parts supportive of small business and prone to following any instructions in writing. Most of the pintxos were really good (good enough that I would go back for the food alone) and definitely a lot better than standard finger food. If you’re drinking, even better.

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