Tuesday 20th January - Lunch
The post in which Charlie returns 6 months later to complete a review. 

It has been a while since I finished school, but I will always remember our school cafeteria fondly. Le beau & I went to the same school but different campuses and 8 years apart. Neither of us stayed the whole time, he came from Sydney and I from San Francisco. I love that it was actually called a cafeteria like back home, there were black trays and you pick your own food and slide to the checkout. Our pasta was delicious with a price to match, Peter Rowland ran our cafeteria, and they might even cater our wedding! The pasta was so good I don't ever think I ordered anything else, though there was pizza, sushi and rice paper rolls.   

Unlike back home most people here don't buy lunch, as it's expensive and more of a weekly thing. I remember sitting on the balcony in summer, wishing that we had a fountain in the courtyard instead of boys playing four-ish square. But then we'd be certain they'd take a dip in summer. :P

That guy there on the bench in white is one of the guys who attacked me. 

And so that's leads us to this week's food adventure was lunch at Tuck Shop Take Away, which the name implies is mainly designed for take-away. To me this place is new because I used to go drive Glen Eira Rd daily and it only popped-up after I stopped going there (2011). 

I love the bright vibrant art that makes this place so much easier to find. 

Located near town hall on the corner you can't miss it, unlike parking :P best to park in a side street and walk. This location used to be a corner shop (milk bar says le beau, do they sell milkshakes?) when I was in the area (a tutor lived nearby).

Being around 1.30pm it was peak lunch hour and we waiting around 20mins for a table (there's seats for around 11 inside), during that time we took picutres outside and was verbally abused by some senior citizens, which may or may not have any correlation to Australia Day coming up this weekend, when people are increasingly racist towards me. While I know people don't like us (well me) because I'm American, it's rare that I'm attacked. And that is why it took us 6 months to return. It's nothing related to the restaurant, it's what happened last time we were here.  

That is not le beau, but a random friendly stranger. :)

The Deco - Take Shop TA is themed with an old school cafeteria, with the lunch trays, three clocks on the wall in the style of the clocks the schools have, geo globes and maps.

The Menu *Click to Enlarge*

The Secret Burger!

That doesn't say Mork does it? Did you have metal lockers? We had wooden ones. And yes our school did have yellow buses back home, but here they're not yellow. But we did have a purple mini van.

Le beau says these are an upgrade on old-school snacks you'd get in your lunch box.

The map is vintage, as you can tell by the names of the country. I loved our map at school, a huge floor to ceiling wallpaper thing. I even vaguely remember BOLTES. This map was behind us so I didn't get a good look at it, but when I took this picture I don't recall seeing a year, but it would have been <50s I think. 

This place doesn't remind le beau of work (he's a teacher) as it has an old school style which he tells me many schools still have, though his school is one of the more modern ones, that favour frustrating whiteboards, that detected when you write on them or accidentally lean against it, and overhead projectors instead of the grey ones were you use diagrams printed onto clear plastic - we are not tech savy and use these at college sadly.

Drinks, I ordered the raspberry cola which was refreshing, while I do like soda I rarely have it as it's really bad for you. What I really wanted was a salted (caramel) fantale milkshake. Meanwhile le beau got the Nutella Milkshake ($7) which he loved though said it tastes just like the chocolate milk at home (Great Ocean Rd Brand, better than Big M).

Veggie Wedgie ($10) - Beetroot, Lentil & Brown Rice Patty with Lettuce, 
Tomato, Onion, Pickles, American Cheese & Tuck Shop Sauce

There's two types of burgers here, beef and vegetarian with nothing in between, I like keeping it simple and making choices less challenging. I got the vegetarian and he ordered the beef and we split them. 

I am not a vegetarian but now and then will try things that make me fantaszie about chicken, but this delicious burger wasn't one of them - a good thing. Sometimes vegetarian options are bland but not thing burger, which was full of flavour and one of the best vegetarian burgers that is still American.  

I love sets (especially bento and lunch boxes) and ordered a school meal ($20) which included a burger, chips triple cooked/fried, a soda and a chocolate crackle. As we're attempting to select more healthy choices I didn't upgrade to a milkshake, which is what I really wanted. :P 

Chocolate Crackle  - With the school meal came a chocolate crackle, which was disappointing because it was soft. Like Honey Joys you're suppose to bake them into one piece. That didn't happen, but it was chocolaty. Also in the display there were one with popping candy, not sure if that's the same one with the meal, I don't think so. Also I'm certain these aren't vegetarian with the use of copha. These days we used melted mars bars and chocolate. 

Hand-Cut Triple Fried Chips

Back home a small serve of chips is very generous, and here it's the same. Using the triple deep frying method TuckShop have achieved perfectly crunchy fries, the crunchiest I have had, better than Schnitz if that's your chip style. As expected they were a big oily. But still good, a side to share between two is enough though. These fries were very crunchy and I loved them, on my top 4 list, along with McD, Sea Salt and Grill'd.

Minor ($10) - 100% Beef Patty, Lettuce, Tomato, Onion, 
Pickles, American Cheese & Tuck Shop Sauce

The bun was soft and fluffy like BreadTop but more burgery leaning towards Grill'd rather than Huxtaburger. I thought burger was very good while he said it's one of the best along with my favourite, Huxtaburger.

I was so full I had to take a break between each burger half, and so we didn't get the soft serve we initially planned to, though I know le beau wanted to. There's different flavours each week and this week, celebrating the first day back to school for TuckShop (because they close during school holidays) was 'Peanut Butter and Jelly'. I like PB but don't love it. 

16th June

Five months later we're back for a second visit and one to complete the review. I've been putting it off as we were attacked last time we went here, nothing related to the restaurant, but we were attacked by other customers outside. And also the location, Tuck Shop Take Away is not in the city. It is near a town hall beside a tram route and a bus that comes twice an hour at night. There is a reason they close at 8pm Mon-Thu and that is location. This place is most accessible via car/taxi, with parking on side streets. 

We were back on a Tuesday Night, but we I mean I. What kinda fool thinks I'd wait an hour for him to show up? With 9 seats (3 at the bar, 6 at the table) there wasn't room for him anyway. Arriving a little before 7pm there was a line to order, and no seats. A short wait and we got a seat at the bar. 

Chocolate Chip (Literally) Soft Serve $5.50

We ordered everything in one go and dessert and drinks arrived first. The ice cream, in the style of a soft serve was great! It was literally half chocolate half chip flavour! And when I say chip I mean potato chip! You'd think it'd be weird but no, it was awesome! And you know what makes it even better? Dipping chips into it. :P

Three Cheese Jaffle $6.50
Aged Cheddar, Fontina & Parmesan

Our dinner tonight was a jaffle, which is like a sandwhich put pressed together around the edges and toasted. We used to have one of these machines back home. As expected this one was very cheesy! So much so that I could only eat half, with consideration of everything else I ate.

Fries (Side Serve) $3 - With the jaffle I ordered a serve of fries, golden and crispy these were just as amazing as I recall. *See review above.*

At this point I wished they sold salads, but alas not. Only burgers (two types), jaffles, fries and shakes. 

Salted Fantale (Junior) Milkshake $4

I don't know what a fantale is, but someone said this is the salted caramel milkshake, and therefore one of my favourites. "Fantales are a [classic] Aussie favourite of semi hard caramel covered in chocolate". So it's a sweet caramel. The milkshake was great, and the perfect size to go with everything. As we were having dessert I ordered the smaller milkshake (regular sz $7, in my other picture).

Service was good, tables were cleared efficiently though they failed to wipe down the tray between uses, and I think the classic treats (in the display box) were over priced. As expected they're a lot more than bake sales, but I would have priced them at $2-2.50.

Le beau and I recommend you check out this place if like us you love your burgers, fries and shakes. Though be prepared to wait for a table or op for take-away. There's some benches outside town hall across the street. 

I'll be back for fries, milkshakes and soft serve. They only offer one flavour at a time, and are always offering different flavours, like redskin and other milkshake flavours. You won't find anything common here. Won't be back for burgers I'm not really a burger person.

Have you been to Tuck Shop Take Away? Or discovered any hidden gems in the suburbs?

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