Hyperlocal news about Melbourne's first suburb: Fitzroy 3065

the new mural on Leicester St

Over the last few days I’ve watched the creation of a giant new mural on the Leicester St side wall of Nobody jeans on the corner of Brunswick St. This morning someone emailed me with photos of what appeared to be graffiti cleaners spraying the just completed mural with a white substance. A while later tt looked like the mural was melting off the wall.

Don’t panic! They’re not removing it. I went into Nobody and asked what was happening and the contractors were spraying on a finish that will dry clear to protect the mural from future vandalism like varnish on a painting. The excess gets washed off and it dries clear and by tomorrow it should be complete. I’ll photograph the mural properly once we get a sunny day…

street art leicester st fitzroy

Photographer: Dan Thom / copyright: used with permission / c2014

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Philly cheesesteaks for dinner at Sparrow’s in Catfish on Gertrude St

I’ve only eaten one Philly cheesesteak before, and it was a terrible introduction. It was at a random Manhattan diner and it was unappetising and generally rubbish. I left feeling disappointed and slightly queasy and didn’t expect to eat one ever again.

Fortunately for Melbourne diners, as the Americana trend matures regional specialties are emerging from the generic burger and hotdog menus. Sparrow’s specialises in Philly cheesesteaks and is located in Catfish on Gertrude St (which was previously the shabby bar Gertrude’s Brown Couch). Now it has a minimalist interior with a menu of craft beers and warm heating to combat the cold of winter and the bare concrete floor.

I had the cheesesteak with jalapenos and American cheese. The steak is sliced thin and is tender, the onions have that perfect charred grill taste, the bun is soft yet chewy and the cheese is delicious yellow goo. The fries are good and the onion rings are fantastic. I chose a Tooborac American pale ale because I’ve enjoyed it previously at a tasting of the microbrewery’s beers at their home in the Tooborac hotel.

On a Monday night the basic cheesesteaks are only $8 or $10 with fries. This is an absolute bargain and I’ve never seen a bar so popular on a Monday night. Not much is open on a Monday so that may account for part of it, but the main appeal is the food. I will definitely be returning.

gertrude st food fitzroy americana