Remember the old days when you could get 50 cents worth of mixed lollies and it was a bag so big you'd be the envy of all the kids in the street? Well Grigons & Orr Corner Store in North Melbourne is bringing those days back. This milk bar and cafe serves breakfast and lunch all day, as well as stocking old-school pantry goods. And lollies - real, proper lollies like mint leaves and strawberries and cream!
Inside, the shelves are stacked with bits and bobs, and lots of nostalgic packaging (a dusting nightmare). There are cakes on the counter where you order, tea cosies inside it and everywhere you look there seems to be something to make you want to say 'oh remember those?'
Outside there's crochet blankets to pop over cold knees and it's nice not to be in the hustle and bustle of Errol Street for a change.
On my first visit the menu proved challenging - what to have? Ricotta pancakes with brandied blueberries and Barbados cream? The special pancakes of the day with sauteed pears and strawberries? In the end the apple fritters with hazelnuts, caramel sauce and marscapone won out.
Three fritters arrived with a piece of hot granny smith in between each one. Not too much caramel sauce was a relief and the crunch of the nuts against the soft texture of the fritters was just right.
Thankfully one of my dining companions let me try the savoury French toast, which was salty from the bacon and had a lovely astringent tang from the balsamic glaze (although it was agreed the glaze was a little light-on serve wise).
A second coffee ordered is a thumbs up in my world, and I think I just found my new favourite place to sit on chilly mornings - with the paper and a blanket - and drink two lattes in a row.