I was so excited when my friend from work, Cuddles, sent me a link to the Day of the Dead Festival website. I did a little celebratory dance in my office chair just thinking about the glorious taco filled possibilities. Looking down the list of events the week before, the one that really caught my eye was the Los Hermanos Opening Fiesta on the 30th of October. As the event started at 6pm, we decided that we’d arrive at 6:30pm in the hope of getting a table, and then proceeded to invite a bunch of other Mexican enthusiasts.
Fast forward to the 30th, and I was ecstatic for our dinner date. I drove into the city especially for the occasion, and there was much chatter during the day about dinner. Marg and I left work a little early, and after a hellish drive from the CBD to Brunswick, we arrived just before 6:30pm at 339 Victoria Street, Brunswick. Instead of the queue of people that automatically appear outside any new Mexican restaurant in Melbourne, we were presented with a shut roller door. Puzzled by this hipster influenced obstacle, I checked my phone for any clues. After a bit of detective work, I found on the Los Hermanos Facebook page, a message posted only 2 hours earlier, stating that they would not be opening until the following week. I hit the roof. I can understand that these things happen, but surely this was known more than two hours out from the event? Not a single tweet from the DayOfDead twitter account, and the event is still listed on the Day of the Dead events page.
After blacking out for a bit from anger, and calling the others to tell them the terrible news, we had to find somewhere else to eat. After scratching our heads for a bit, we thought we’d try out B.East (as in Brunswick East, for the above grounders) on Lygon Street, after a friend had raved about their burgers. Hot and agitated, we made our way over to B.East, and after seeing all the reserved tables, we were lucky enough to scope a couple of barrels in the corner. The seating was a little uncomfortable, but to compensate the food arrived in record time (less than 10 minutes), and then we were on our way.
So, I’m not going to go into the Los Hermanos debacle again because I think Gerard has covered that pretty well. So, let’s accept, move on and focus on what we did get to eat.
B.East is essentially a big pub, complete with (as we found out when we visited) pub trivia nights. I was a little confused why we were told when we got there at 6.30 on a Tuesday night that there were only 2 seats free in the practically empty restaurant. My confusion continued until I saw a poster on the wall and realised that the tables were all reserved for Tuesday night trivia.
The service at B.East was super speedy, some of the fastest meal production I’ve had this side of Don Don’s. I’m going to be honest though (and yes, I realise that I’m going to sound ridiculously old when I say this) but my entire experience at B.East was pretty much ruined by my chair. I use the term ‘chair’ loosely. Now I’m normally fine with the eclectic collection of vaguely square objects that Melbourne cafes offer up as seating but I found this particular stack of 2 (or 3?) milk crates fashioned into a bar stool just ridiculously uncomfortable. I think it was largely because I’m short so my feet couldn’t touch the ground but had no where else to rest. Anyway, the chair was distracting while we were there and was the main reason why I ate super quickly and got out of there as soon as we were done.
Gerard had the pulled pork – slow cooked pork shoulder, pork crackling, cos, green apple & cinnamon sauce ($13). He enjoyed the burger at the time, but the photos don’t really do it justice.
I had the classic – beef, cheddar, red onion, cos lettuce, tomato and tomato relish ($10). The fillings were pretty good, but nothing exciting. The bread however, was a pain; it tasted good, but it broke up straight away and left me with just a pile of crumbs and meat. You could definitely do better elsewhere.
We shared a side of coleslaw ($5) which was fine, it was coleslaw. [Gerard] The coleslaw was great times, not too creamy, not too dry; just right,
We also shared a serve of poutine ($9). The chips were pretty good and we enjoyed the gravy, but there probably wasn’t quite enough of it. There certainly wasn’t enough cheese, not for poutine.
Putting the ‘fast’ back in fast food, B.East serves up an ok burger in less time than it takes to order at some places. Just don’t try to sit down for too long.