Thursday, May 10, 2012


I have a confession to make.  I am a Facebook stalker.  All day I refresh my page, waiting for her updates.  I scour her profile, looking for clues about her weekend plans.  When she posts a photo, I pounce, then stare it at for an age, deciding my next move.

Whoa - I think I just creeped myself out!  Of course I'm not obsessed with an actual person, but I am with Beatrix - a gorgeous cafe in North Melbourne with a vibrant social media presence, and a daily-changing menu of incredible sandwiches with totes adorbs names.


I think their approach is brilliant.  There's not enough room in this miniature 11-seater, decorated with vintage egg beaters, to do a full menu properly, so they rotate sandwiches on a daily basis.  You might find yourself in the ring with the Rocky, with smoky ham and buffalo mozz, or falling in love with the Banh Bea - coriander and lemongrass chicken with "quickled" carrot, coriander and peanuts.


Their Facebook page and Twitter steam are really active with lots of reader participation and engagement.  As a customer, you feel directly connected, appreciated and part of a little community.  It's an approach lots of cafes could benefit from.


I've been stalking Beatrix because I've been waiting for the stars to align, for a lunchtime I'm blissfully sans enfants (or at least have a reduced amount in my possession) AND there's a sandwich that really grabs me.  The Rachael is it!

Reubens are a fabulous New York-style sandwich that involve corned beef, sauerkraut and gooey cheese on dark bread.  They are utterly fabulous, especially when served by a gum-popping, bitchy waitress who regularly comes by to fill up the cup o' joe at your elbow.  Rachels are a variant, I always thought with turkey but they can involve pastrami and coleslaw instead of the corned beef and sauerkraut.

The Rachael (large), $14

But whatever its name, I just love the marriage of rich cured beef, tangy Euro-style cabbage salad, melty cheese and good bread.  Beatrix's version delivered in spades.  They do two sizes of sandwich and the large (above) is really plenty for two if you chop it in half.


As well as the daily special, there's a Bea-L-T and Shakshuka (an Israeli-style tomato and pepper braise with a fried egg) which are permanent menu fixtures.  I love Beatrix's firm and proud commitment to its suppliers, with a focus on quality - and, it seems, a passion for their work that Beatrix shares.


Coffee from Allpress is dependably good, with a 50 cent discount for bike riders.


Ginger hoops and the most sublime yoyo biscuit with ethereal mandarin-scented creme.  Incredible.


The sweets also change regularly with lots of American-influenced favourites like red velvet cake, banana cream pies, whoopie pies and ELVIS CUPCAKES - banana cupcakes with peanut butter icing and bacon praline, as seen on Melbourne Gastronome and the the subject of intense Facebook stalking by me.  Early each morning, you can see me rocking back and forth in front of the computer, praying, "Elvis...Elvis...please let today be the day..."

I'm not the only one taking Beatrix's rotating menu extremely seriously.

sydney rd

Trust me - the sandwiches are that good.

Beatrix on Urbanspoon

Beatrix (Facebook)
688 Queensberry Street (cnr Lothian Street), North Melbourne
Phone:  9090 7301
Hours:  9am-4pm (closed Tuesdays)

Something exciting is brewing at "Bruce", the funny little shop near Sweet Grass Bonsai Cafe on Barkly Street.  From their Pozible page:

Bruce dreams of being an affordable exhibition space looking to support local artists, hold life-drawing sessions, arthouse film nights and even the odd afternoon gig. Bruce will be an exhibition space for emerging and established artists with a focus on installation, sculptural and mixed media work. Bruce also aims to host a series of afternoon gigs featuring local Melbourne and visiting interstate bands.

Read more on, or you could consider supporting this bold plan via or the widget in the sidebar above.  There's 9 meagre days to go until their deadline to raise funds for a spruce up, public liability insurance and council permits including a LIQUOR LICENCE (woo hoo!)

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  1. My kind of cafe!! "Quickled" Carrot ... loves it!

    1. I think you guys would love it. It's kind of impossible not to - the sandwiches just exude love. BTW, went to Touche Hombre last night. Best tacos since I left Chicago - loved it!!!

  2. the bruce link is wrong - I got some kind of insurance company!

    1. Aargh! Thanks so much for telling me - fixed! not COM. Phew!

  3. Any meal starting with Banh (or Bun) definitely sounds like something I need to try. Beatrix is just up the road from me too, fabulous!

  4. Oh my goodness I have fallen in love and I think her name is Rachel!

    1. Now I am not only Facebook stalking Beatrix, I am returning late at night to stare at the Rachel sandwich. It is a thing of beauty.

  5. Hi Lauren! Just a big heartfelt (and a little teary) thanks for what you wrote about us! I am so glad you get exactly who we are and what we are making and baking. You just turned a bad day into a golden one. x

    1. Oh, it is my pleasure! Thank YOU for such a wonderful place. The love is tangible when you walk inside.

  6. Love Beatrix!!!
    And I can that awesome Lime Angel cake in your photo - have to go back and grab so more soon!

    1. If the sandwich choice is easy (only because there is the one special, plus two regulars), the sweet choice is IMPOSSIBLE. I desperately wanted to try Saturday's brioche doughnuts. I hear the Elvis is on tomorrow, so I might have to get a doughnut AND an Elvis!

  7. I donated some money to Bruce's Pozible campaign! SO excited for them! xoxo


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