Being North Eastern suburbs born and bread, I get a little uncomfortable any time anyone mentions Chapel Street. I sort of screw my nose up and then do a little wiggle, which translates into “oh, you haven’t been to Gertrude street”, or back when I was younger “Brunswick street is so much more Melbourne”. Chapel Street was always that kilometer too far to get to, and I’ve kept that attitude into my productive years. Even now, at only 7 kilometers away from our apartment, I still prefer to drive to Collingwood or Northcote. So I was a little bothered when Marg suggested (she does a lot of suggesting, doesn’t she?), that we try out Parlour Diner on Chapel Street. I was annoyed up until she mentioned they serve burgers and milkshakes.
On arrival at Parlour Diner, we were squeezed next to a couple of people who were either having the most awkward date in the history of awkward dates, or were “friends” that hadn’t worked out the basics of having a conversation. The waitress bubbly handed us the menu, and I straight away ordered a Dr Pepper. I know it’s cool to hate on Dr Pepper, but it’s one of those drinks that grows on you. You’ll hate it the first nine times, and then on the tenth time you’ll love it. I’d psyched myself up so much for the Dr Pepper that I was heartbroken when they didn’t have it. To make myself feel better, I ended up ordering a half rack of ribs.
We seem to be on a bit of a burger streak recently, almost every time we go out recently we seem to end up at a burger place. I feel like burgers are our new mexican. Some of the burgers are blending together a little, but Parlour stands out in my mind, partially because the burger was really good but mainly because they had great onion rings and milkshakes.
My name is Margaret, and I am addicted to onion rings. I don’t remember when my obsession started, but for as long as I can remember I’ve insisted on ordering onion rings anywhere they are served. In the last 12 months my onion ring intake has exploded. It has been delicious. My waistline is not so thankful for the huge increase in the number of American diner style cafes though, maybe I should just trade my scales for more onion rings – that’s healthy right?
As I mentioned above I have a weird obsession with onion rings so we had to share a bowl. The pale ale onion rings ($5) were pretty, pretty darn good. They were probably the best onion rings that I’ve had recently (better than Brother Burger and Rockwell & Sons for sure). Just look at them! I can almost taste the crunch.
Gerard had the BBQ baby back ribs basted in Smokey Hickory Sauce (half rack – 6 Ribs – for $22.5). Now Gerard always loves a good rib, but I haven’t seen him looking so happy after eating a piece of meat in a long time. The sauce was also pretty good.
I had the Parlour Burger (a beef patty with tomato, lettuce, cheese and pickles for $9). This was probably the best burger I’ve had in a while. We seem to have been to a lot of burger places lately (B.East, Brother Burger etc) but this was probably my favourite burger of the last 6 months. Big call? Maybe, I just felt it had a great balance of toppings though – and bread that didn’t fall apart.
It may not be on Smith Street but Parlour serves some pretty good (and very on trend) US-style food. And some seriously good onion rings.