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Monday, May 9, 2011

Melbourne :: Prahan & Queen Victoria Night Market

Melbourne Markets!
I love markets! Whether I'm exploring Toronto's St. Lawrence Market or Japan's fabled Tsukiji, I always feel strongly compelled to go. Fresh food, passionate vendors, and all-around fun. It's a great way to immerse yourself in local culture and find local eats. I set off one morning for Prahan Market. It was quite a find - freshly stuffed pasta shells, handmade noodles, wonderfully fresh and local fruit, bakeries, natural products made from honey and other delights were everywhere. I couldn't resist trying some of the Turkish Delight (above) rolled in rose petals. Honestly, other than the pretty aesthetic factor, the rose petals don't add much - but I'd say they're worth if for a present. I picked up some groceries and haughtily ignored the $3.99 mangoes.

Queen Victoria Market

Churros, BBQ, Empanadas!!

Another market definitely worth exploring, and certainly the most popular in Melbourne, is the Queen Victoria Market. On Wednesday nights, they host a night market filled with a plethora of vendors serving great food - churros, crepes, burritos, lentils, crocodile burgers, oh my!

I wasn't really tempted by much...and thinking back to my last night in Toronto before Oz, I settled on another type of hot dog...emu! Even the pictures look similar, don't they?

The emu itself wasn't that great - okay, I totally went back on my previous rule - while not burger-fied, I think that hotdog-fied isn't the best. But I just wanted some good ol' street food and Banjo's BBQ was serving all of Australia's cuddly and otherwise animals in street food form!
Lentils yay, Pavlova nay!

The emu was rubbery, and the bun was blah. I'd definitely forget the bushmeat draw of this place and try some other vendor if I Rachel's vegetarian feast. We also shared some dessert, but I wasn't a fan...nor was the group!

This is a bittersweet post, as this is where I met Rachel. A wonderful spirit, and very well-travelled, Rachel was very welcoming and told us tales of mysterious jungle diseases and couchsurfing solo around South America. She also told me to go find "potato cakes" and try Lentils As Anything before I left - she knew what I was looking for; something local and different than my usual fare in Canada. I, along with many other members of the community, were hard hit to hear that she had gone missing. It's still a mystery...


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