Our first discovery for the new year was the Sicilian restaurant in Swan Street Richmond. There is nothing wrong with the Sicilian as such - the food is perfectly fine, but the place lacked that je ne sais quoi quality. It was very quiet, which is only to be expected for an early meal (we started at 6.30), but it was still very quiet by the time we left. Yes it was Tuesday; yes it was early in the new year; but even so.
So after some discussion about what to do next we repaired to the All Nations in nearby Lennox Street for a quiet ale. It is still a mystery to me why I've never been here before. Although this favourite of the Footy Almanac crew has been on my radar for years I'd somehow never made the short trip across Richmond to discover it. But now my life has changed. There is no going back. Except to the All Nations.
And so it came to pass that the following week's discovery was arranged to celebrate T-bone Tuesday at the All Nations. Unfortunately one of our number was unable to join us due to a rehearsal commitment, but the remaining three discoverers converged on the beer garden by foot (from Melbourne Park by way of Yarra Park and the back streets of East Melbourne and North Richmond, in my case) and by tram.
The tram traveller had already secured a prime position in the beer garden by the time I arrived, somewhat hot, thirsty and breathless. Mr 30 appeared shortly afterwards. My expectations of a vegetarian meal on T-bone Tuesday were not great so I was pleasantly surprised to see a few nice looking vegetarian options on the menu. I opted for goats cheese fritters served with a garnish of vegetables including green beans, beetroot and asparagus - and chips of course. The others chose T-bones with wedges, veggies and pepper sauce.
One of the lovely things about this pub is that once you're settled in the beer garden, you are served by a charming Irish waiter and you don't have to get up to go to the bar and get yourself a drink, unless the waiter forgets your order. Well yes that did happen, but whatever. Mr 30 just poured some of his pint into my glass to tide me over and all was well.
The meals are so reasonably priced and the service and surroundings are so delightful that you could not possibly find fault with this place. My only reservation is that it looks as though every discovery from now on will be T-bone Tuesday at the All Nations.
In the immortal words of Toby Keith, I love this bar.