Where: 267 Little Lonsdale St, Melbourne
When: Mon 9am-8pm, Tues-Weds 9am-Late, Thur-Sat 9am-3am Sun 9am-11pm
Contact: (03) 9663 1700
Veg & Vegan :)
So the last time I went to Rue Bebelons’ the guy who served me tried to charge me more for a cappuccino than for a latte, because you know, “cappuccinos are harder to make”. I was quite able to talk myself out of paying the “cappuccino tax” but nevertheless I didn’t feel overly compelled to return. Fortunately there’s been a change in management, or so I’ve heard. And now the great service is enough of a reason on its own to return to the Bebelons’.
If Rue Bebelons’ had shtick it would probably be something like ‘eclectic, eccentric, jazz/soul/funk, cult hide-out’. I don’t know if you can have “cult cafes” but it certainly feels like one to me. What strikes me about it is how completely non-conventional it is, but at the same time they’re in no way subscribing to any sort of pretentious sub-culture. It’s not a “hipster” place; you don’t sit on milk crates and listen to music that was released in the last five minutes while sipping on an $8 cold drip coffee. They play crazy sort of music, in a crazy sort of way (possibly too loud to have a lunch-time conversation over) and their coffee is three bucks. Speaking of, my cappuccino was pretty good with a slightly bitter smoked flavour, its luke-warmness my only gripe.
Pastrami baguette ($6)
So what was for lunch? Well it’s a very easy choice so happens, with only baguettes and soup on the menu. All baguettes come with avocado, cheese, cucumber, tomato, beetroot, lettuce and mayonnaise but you choose the main filler (either pastrami, salami or more salad). At just $6 regular size or $8 large they’re a steal and probably enough to convince you to never make your own lunch again. I had the pastrami and would most likely come back for another considering the excellent value for money, but there isn’t a lot to say about it. They’re literally as if you’d walked down to the supermarket, and put it together yourself (as the bread and meat aren’t anything special) but could you really be bothered doing that? No, didn’t think so. More impressive but equally well priced is the cake; I had the flourless orange toffee cake ($3.50). It had a friendly homemade feel and a pulpy granulated texture with a chewy toffee splash on top. Comforting, juicy, soft, which is all you need in a cake really.
Flourless orange cake and toffee cake ($3.50)
I’m also quite excited to try the $4 pizzas which start from 4pm, perfect to fuel a night out on. You actually really could stay at Rue Bebelons’ all night; they move from café to bar surely and steadily over the afternoon. You could come for a baguette and before you know it be chuzzling sangria at four in the afternoon. Sounds fun to me, which is just the vibe I get from the guys who work there; they genuinely seem like they’re enjoy being there. Good vibes for the staff means good vibes for everyone else, I’ll be back.