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Medium Steak with Mushroom Sauce ($15)

Review: Shorty’s, City

Last week Jarrod and I went out for drinks (happy hour at Marble & Grain. $5 spirits!) and then off to dinner at Shorty’s. I’d classify Shorty’s as a Gastropub based on their offerings and pricing. On the night we went they had a $15 steak and drink (called Steak and Shake for some reason, even though there are no shakes involved) deal that also includes chips and salad.

Choc Flake ($7.50) & Golden Gaytime ($8.50) shakes
Choc Flake ($7.50) & Golden Gaytime ($8.50) shakes

We noticed they did have shakes on the menu though so decided to order a couple, even though we also had drinks included in the steak deal. These were good milkshakes but they were far too expensive. There was nothing overly special about them (that I could determine) and their combined cost of $16 (more than 1 of our meals!) made them even less so. Given the state of shakes at the moment, for $8.50 you would expect it to at least be a thick shake and maybe have something a little fancy on the top. Ideally, these should have been around the $6 mark. Fortunately, they were well flavoured and were good for what they were just a bit pricey.

Medium Steak with Mushroom Sauce ($15)
Medium Steak with Mushroom Sauce ($15)

Generally speaking, I will never order a steak from anywhere if there is something else I like on the menu. This was, in fact, the first time I have ordered a steak in my life as I’m not too keen on the texture. Over the last few years I have been exposed to some really lovely steaks though and, given I was recently diagnosed with an iron deficiency, I decided to get over my issues with steak and ordered one.

We both ordered our steaks medium (about as pink as I can take a steak being) and they came out fairly quickly. The mushroom sauce was quite good and I was surprised to see actual mushrooms in the mix. The steak was about what I expected for a $15 steak. It didn’t change my mind on steak and I wondered if getting such a cheap meal for my first ever steak order might have been a mistake however, I was a bit scared to buy something more expensive and also find it average. It was cooked to what I’d consider to be medium and was relatively soft but no where near as good as the ones I’ve had previously, given the price difference though this isn’t overly surprising.

If you’re looking for a nice, quiet place to go for dinner so you can easily be heard by your table mates, Shorty’s is probably not the place for you. The music was very loud and, although I had booked a table, we were at a high table that appeared to just be shoved in a corner to get the most out of the room they had. It was such a tight fit that I had to jump down from my chair and move it so the people at the table behind us could get out.

I could see this being a fun place to go for drinks (apparently the beer choices are good!) but, even though I’m keen to try their burgers and schnitzel nights, I’m not sure it’s somewhere I’ll be back to any time soon.

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Shorty's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

8bit. Burgers and drinks

Review: 8bit., Melbourne CBD

In the week leading up to our Melbourne trip I started looking into good burger places in Melbourne. It turns out the city has exploded with fun burger places but through all my searches one place kept popping up and that was 8bit. A few days before we left I also asked The Drunken Bear team (food & travel vloggers) for the best shake place in Melbourne (something that appears to be lacking in Melbourne – my recommendation would be the Tim Tam Slam at Trunk) and they also mentioned 8bit so we definitely needed to give this place a try.

We went in search of it on for lunch on our first day in Melbourne and, although it was a Sunday (in my experience that means the CBD is dead but apparently not so much anymore) the place was packed! It is only very small with about 15 seats but they also do takeaway. In hindsight we probably could have ordered takeaway and eaten it on the grass at the beautiful State Library but we decided to come back another time… dinner that same night!

8bit. Burgers and drinks
8bit. Burgers and drinks

8bit is basically fastfood but the burgers are more like your local takeaway than McDonalds. With a name like 8bit you can guarantee that there is a old school game theme to the place from burgers named after video games to arcade machines in the stores. The website may also cause you to go blind.

I ordered an 8bit with Cheese ($9.50) which is basically a cheese burger, and Jarrod ordered the Double Dragon ($14.00) which is double everything. I love how they are presented. Initially, I thought it was weird to have burgers come out on their sides – wouldn’t all the ingredients slide down? – but everything stays in-tact and it’s actually really easy to pick them up and eat them when they’re like this.

The burgers were so good. It’s been a while since I’ve eaten a burger that delicious and they were, comparatively, quite cheap and the service was quick even though the place was packed. I left wishing that they’d open a store in Canberra (hint hint).

They have some unusual flavoured shakes and in the end I opted for the Strawberry Cheesecake shake ($7.50). I was pretty scared about this as I don’t like strawberry milkshakes so it could have ended up terribly. In the end it was a good idea as it was like drinking a liquid cheesecake. Yum! Jarrod went with the Chocolate Bar shake ($7.50) which has a featured chocolate bar each week, at the time that was a Bounty bar. It was also very good. Not overpoweringly coconutty and nice and thick.

Unfortunately, we weren’t able to fit in the chips and I completely forgot about the softserve! I was really looking forward to trying it, or at least checking out what the weekly flavours are. That just gives me motivation to go back there some time!

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8bit.- CBD Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Hillbilly Dog - served with bacon bits, shredded cheese & BBQ sauce ($10)

Review: Trunktown, Melbourne

During our trip to Melbourne earlier this year we were hoping to try a really good chocolate thick shake. I did a google search for “thick shake melbourne” and one of the results on the first page was the best thick shakes in Brisbane so it seems like there is somewhat of a thick shake drought in Melbourne. Or maybe they just call them something different, I mean there is that whole Potato Scallop vs. Potato Cake debate. On the night before we left I found that Trunktown had the best milkshakes around (according to a random article I read) so decided we should give it a try.

After checking out on our last morning with a few hours to kill, we embarked on a journey for breakfast which ended up being a disappointing smoothie that left us about as full as when we first walked in and so we continued our journey pretty much straight away for lunch. Now, Melbourne is somewhat deceiving in its gridlike blocks because you think ‘oh, Exhibition St is just around the corner from Little Lonsdale and Little Lonsdale is about 2mins from where we are now! Super easy!” Except, when you’re on Queen St, Exhibition St is more than a kilometre away and with all your worldly possessions (that you took to Melbourne anyway) in your backpack, it makes for a heavy, long walk.

After trudging along, wondering “how many more blocks until Exhibition St!” we were there! Trunktown has all sorts of things going for it. You first walk in and there is a lovely beer garden, a bit further up is the diner with awesome retractable roof and then there is the restaurant. When we were there I didn’t actually realise the restaurant was part of Trunktown and thought it was just a historical building doing historical things.

We decided to sit indoors.. it would have been a lovely day to sit outside but as Canberrans used to strict non smoking laws in restaurants the more lenient laws in Melbourne generally made us consider eating inside – if there were ashtrays on tables, it was an indoors kind of place (for us). We were led to a table inside and left to look at the menu. Which, kindly enough, has the free wifi password on it! We thought that was pretty neat and took advantage of the wifi as we waited for our food to arrive.

Tim Tam Slam ($8)
Tim Tam Slam ($8)

The first thing we looked at, obviously, were the shakes and both decided to go with the Tim Tam Slam which, if you wanted, you could pay an extra $8 and get some rum added to it. We decided on non alcoholic and weren’t disappointed. This tasted like it had a packet full of Tim Tams in it and it was amazing. Probably one of the best shakes I’ve ever drank and although it wasn’t technically a thick shake it was quite thick in consistency and had a good texture. It was chocolatey and awesome and definitely worth the walk to get there.

Hillbilly Dog - served with bacon bits, shredded cheese & BBQ sauce  ($10)
Hillbilly Dog – served with bacon bits, shredded cheese & BBQ sauce ($10) with side of fries ($4)

Since learning more about how hotdogs are made I haven’t really been keen on eating them and before we got to Trunktown I thought I’d probably go with the burger or one of the quesadillas but this hot dog called out to me, I think it was mostly the bacon and hotdog combination that got me. We both decided on the same hotdog and I also asked for a side of fries.. I went with the small but wish I’d gotten the large because they were so delicious. I don’t know how fried potato can be so amazing but it just is. These were especially good fries…

Anyway, back to the hotdog it was actually pretty incredible (as far as hot dogs are concerned) the bun was toasted but still nice and soft and then the bacon and cheese on top with grilled to bubbly melted perfection.. mmm. Although, it was a bit hard to get the quickly solidifying cheese off the paper so you could pick it up, it tasted like no hotdog I’ve had before and was just so much better.

Overall, I’m really glad we decided to make a last minute decision and try out Trunktown, I can see the beer garden being lovely by night and could imagine myself sitting out there after a few drinks when I cared less that my hair would smell like smoke in the morning.

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