52 Morrah St, Parkville
I’m a pretty lazy guy, especially in Winter. So when I discovered the Parkville Store, a mere two blocks from my office, in the residential back blocks of genteel Parkville, I was a little excited. From the outside, it looks like a milk bar. And it is a milk bar. Just not only a milk bar. It’s a pretty classic example of a neighbourhood ‘mixed business’, run by a lovely older Greek couple. They serve up an array of homemade dishes which change daily. I associate the style of food there with visiting friends’ houses for dinner when I was growing up in rural Victoria; things like moussaka, quiche, roast chicken, and lasagne. Vaguely Mediterranean Western food is the phrase that comes to mind. Which isn’t exactly homely to me, but still evokes a certain nostalgia. Nostalgia of swimming pools in summer, climbing jacaranda trees, and that time Andrew accidentally put two prongs of a rake in my leg while we were playing ninja turtles in his backyard. Needless to say, he wasn’t so good at being Donatello, and next time, he had to be Raphael.
I have a friend who is working at the nearby RMH, and so after going to Parkville Store for lunch on my own to do some recon, I suggested we meet there for lunch one day. I was feeling a little vegetarian that day – his name was Roberto, no I jest – so I went for the zucchini slice. It was tasty and warming, the way you expect such a dish made by a yiayia would be. The salad was also quite nice – fresh and refreshing, with the exception of the adorable use of tinned beetroot. Don’t get me wrong, I quite like tinned beetroot, as unrefined as that may sound. Actually, I feel a little SWPL pretentious pointing out the quaintness of the tinned beetroot, so just pretend I didn’t say that.My friend had the roast chicken, with potatoes and roast vegetables. It seemed a little rude to warn him right in front of the yiayia that the vegetables I had on the earlier visit were a bit over-salted, so I’ll just warn you all here. The vegies are a bit over-salted. He was quite happy overall with his lunch. And as if the place wasn’t kitsch enough, have you noticed the vintage plates? So cool!