• Phat Bras (Brunswick Street, Fitzroy)

For a vegetarian Phat Brats’ promotional material is a real turn off. In many ways I was more interested in the beers being offered by  the Southern Bay Brew Co than the food. Being invited to taste "homemade lean cuts and local and natural meats” felt like dining with the devil.

Phat Brats has been opened since April 2012 and is located at 320 Brunswick St Fitzroy. This is a fast food place but there are tables and chairs so you could sit and linger over a drink and hotdog. While hotdogs typically will attract the carnivore in their masses at random hours of the day, Phat Brats does cater for vegetarians.  It seems their most popular hotdog  is their “superdog”. The superdog is their vegetarian offering. It is a sweet potato and tamarind sausage with quinoa.  Not sure that it meets the definition of a sausage because it is skinless and contains no fat. The “sausage” part had just the right texture: not a puree but tiny pieces of sweet potato mixed with the tamarind and quinoa. The sausage was served in a homemade soft bread roll and topped with a green pea mash, chilli and lime mayo, sour cream and alfalfa sprouts. The presentation was very good and the taste excellent.

I like dark malt beers and couldn’t resist the Metal Head Robust Porter. The barman told me it was the dessert beer. I was happy to sip away on this beer as it felt almost like a main course, but I was surprised that it matched extremely well with the dessert. The dark chocolaty flavours of the beer enhanced rather than overwhelmed the dessert. The hotdog sundae was served in a roll and consisted of a double chocolate ice-cream, toasted coconut, berry coulis, whipped cream and crushed pistachio. I scooped out the filling and enjoyed the way the different ingredients came together to create a dessert that was full of flavour. One of the other diners was talking about how she really liked the roll served with the dessert. I went back for seconds and tried the filling with the bread roll. Yep, the roll was good and enhanced the dessert. Looks do deceive because it was a soft sweet roll which tasted more like a donut than a roll.

Phat Brats is not a place I would normally step into, but this is a fast food outlet that takes its food seriously. Lots of locally sourced produce which is creatively combined to produce a superdog and a sundae which is anything but ordinary. Hopefully they are serving the Metal Head Robust Porter if you take the plunge and try the hotdog sundae.

About the Author
Michael is a food and wine connoisseur and has recently started writing for Nouveau Potato.  He also makes a delicious chocolate cake.

Phat Bras
320 Brunswick Street
Fitzroy 3065
03 9419 5526

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