Thornbury Fromagerie

Thornbury Fromagerie

Welcome to my new favourite place in Melbourne. In Thornbury. Where I live. The Thornbury Fromagerie. A short $8 AUD Uber from home. I could walk there it is that close.

Winning in life!

Imagine my absolute pleasure and utter delight in finding out early in 2020 that there was FINALLY a Fromagerie in my area. This cheese loving wine swilling lady of the inner north was in her element upon hearing this news. So, imagine the impression I was going to leave on this place when I finally visited!

Alas, I only managed to get one visit in with my equally as crazy wine loving cheese eating bestie before Melbourne’s first Covid Lockdown. But an impression we did make. I think the owners underestimated the amount of wine and cheese the two of us could put away. It was a lot but being seasoned connoisseurs of all things French we provided a classy round of entertainment. Expect no less people!

The impression however was what was left on us. The owners of the Thornbury Fromagerie are people that really love their cheese and their wine. And are not afraid to be proud of it. On that first visit, we received such a great introduction to French butter (who would have though that butter and bread could taste so damn good) and the most amazing of cheeses from around the world.

I can safely say now that no Australian soft cheese comes anywhere near as mouth-watering as the Delice de Cremiers. I’ve since eaten my fair share of the Delice and really cannot get enough of this creamy heavenly beauty that has made my eyes roll back into the nether regions of my head on a number of occasions.

Worth an honourable mention is the cheese that makes your tongue tingle (can’t quite remember the name of it), the sharpness of the Pyengana 24 month Vintage Cheddar, the Moliterno Al Tartufo (pecorino laced with thick veins of truffle), delightfully salty Le Conquérant butter and the Merlot infused Bella Vitano. The wine list changes from time to time but they pair it with what your cheese selection is.

In July 2020 in Melbourne, we were treated to 6 weeks of freedom between Covid lockdowns and the first place on my list to eat at was the Thornbury Fromagerie. Imagine my delight walking in and having owners Taz & Liv not only remember us but welcome us so warmly. Another night of fine butters and cheeses pared with beautiful wines and great banter. I have been a few times since, but not nearly enough.

During Melbourne’s first and second Covid Lockdown I was adamant that I would support and buy local and the Thornbury Fromagerie was first on my list to buy from. Adapting a new business model, the Fromagerie moved their store online, much to the relief of the local community. Within 30 minutes of submitting my first order online, cheese, crackers and wine was delivered by Taz (owner). That is the kind of service that goes beyond exceptional. Service that that will endear a cult following, and it would be totally deserving.

Thornbury Fromagerie
Special Delivery

Speaking of the owners, Taz and Liv are two of the kindest and loveliest people in hospo that I have ever met. And I have met quite a few! They know their cheese and they know their wines and they are not afraid to sit and chat with you to talk about what they know and just life. Cause they can and that is what makes the Thornbury Fromagerie my favourite place in old Melbourne Town. They are hospitable, friendly and proud of what they have built, and so they should be.

Post second lockdown the Fromagerie has expanded outdoors with a quaint little courtyard where you can eat drink and be merry. On Sunday’s they host musicians in the courtyard providing a perfect backdrop to a lazy Sunday session of wine and cheese and great entertainment.

Thornbury Fromagerie

In a year of utter chaos and uncertainty the Thornbury Fromagerie has been my shining light. I look forward to more sessions of delightful cheeses, butters and wines pared with exceptional service, banter and happy smiles.

Do yourself a favour, just visit. You will not be disappointed.

The Thornbury Fromagerie is located at 666 High Street Thornbury. Plenty of on street parking on High Street or on the surrounding side streets. The 86 tram stops close to the front of the Fromagerie.

Check out my other reviews of the Thornbury/Northcote/Preston area in Keeping it Local.

Zsa's Bar Bistro Deli

Zsa’s Bar Bistro Deli

Zsa’s Bar Bistro Deli is a Mediterranean inspired one stop shop/café/bar/bistro located on High Street, Northcote.

Opening a business in the middle of a global pandemic is definitely no easy feat. Trust me I know (I started my business Smart Artist Management *** at the start of 2020). But to open a restaurant while Melbourne in the middle of a Covid induced strict lockdown would ordinarily be a recipe for utter disaster.

But not if your reputation and your food is beyond exceptional. You at least have a fighting chance. And so with that Zsa’s Bar Bistro Deli opened amongst all the chaos.

I watched Zoe post on our local facebook page Northcote, Thornbury & Fairfield Takeaway about decorating the unopened bar, building the excitement, leaving us wanting to know more. The feedback she was getting and the excitement that was built by a community of people that have been if not nothing but amazing in support of our local restaurants, cafes and bars was incredible. And once opened, the pictures and the reviews that were coming back of what was on offer at Zsa’s was anything but lacklustre. My mouth was huuungray for the panino. HAHA….

So, it was on my mum’s birthday that I made my first visit to Zsa’s to get a takeaway Porcini Panino. Driving home was almost nauseating (in a really good way) from the smells that were emanating in my car. My stomach obviously craving what I had ordered. And let me tell you, I’ve had nothing like it. The best slow roasted pork, the creamiest of melted cheese, crustiest panini and whatever sauce was in that thing… um HELLO can I please know what it is? DELICIOUS!

Zsa’s is now a lunch favourite of mine and I have been several times. Now that we can, I like to eat in and have a glass (or two) of spritz. Which they do exceptionally well. Worth a recommendation also is the fish & chips panini.

There is a little store and deli at the front of Zsa’s where you can buy some condiments to fill your pantry (think Italian, French & Spanish) as well as fresh salads, cheeses, meats, pastas (the gnocchi is amazing) and breads.

Out the back Zsa’s now has a courtyard and they are open for meals that are equally as amazing as the panini’s you can takeaway or order in. My favourite is the gnocchi. I’ve never had one so tasty and fresh before.

The staff are super friendly, the food incredible and the spritz really does hit the spot on a warm summers day.

Well done team Zsa’s, what a delightful place to visit.

Zsa’s is located across from the Northcote town Hall at 202 High Street. Parking is available on High street or in the side streets. The 86 tram stops not far from the front.

Check out my other reviews of the Thornbury/Northcote/Preston area in Keeping it Local.

Le Café Flo

Le Café Flo Thornbury

What is now fast becoming the ‘French Quarter’ of the inner northern suburbs of Melbourne is the local staple Le Café Flo.

Located on busy High Street, Thornbury, Le Café Flo has been around for several years and I have been a happy patron for as many years as they’ve been open.

Owned by Frenchman Florian, the café is quintessentially a French café with a Melbourne twist. The specialties (well for me) is the savoury galette and of course sweet crêpes.  You can choose off the menu or you can create your own which leaves you to devise your own delightful creation. Same goes for the sweet crêpes if you are looking for a yummy dessert option.

Staple French options such as Croque Monsieur and Madame, charcuterie platter, baguettes and quiche Lorraine are very tasty options as well as the delicious French pastries and breads. It is really hard to go wrong choosing something to eat.

The coffee is strong, as you would expect and always my first go to when ordering. I highly recommend one or even two cups of their delicious brew.

My favourite is the Breakfast Galette with mushrooms, the eggs oozing with freshly cooked goodness of yellow yolk that soaks into the Galette itself. Tasty, delicious. Paired with a strong coffee. Of course!

Prior to Covid lockdowns and restrictions, Le Café Flo would host a dinner twice a month where you would get a 3-course meal dedicated to French cuisine. I look forward to these nights recommencing in 2021.

Le Café Flo is located at 709 High Street, Thornbury. Plenty of parking on High Street or in surrounding side streets. The 86 tram stops close to the front of the cafe.

Check out my other reviews of the Thornbury/Northcote/Preston area in Keeping it Local.