New cafes seem to spring up every week in Fitzroy so when a cafe manages to outlast the competition for over a decade you know it must be good.

So it goes with Alimentari.  I remember when it used to be just a crushed little front room but the back room now opens up for a large communal table in the centre and 4 person tables with provided high chairs. All the more space for all the loyal patrons who go all the time for their great sandwiches, fresh salads, take away deli items and hearty breakfasts.

They are also one of the few cafes in the area open on a Monday which means that on our lunch visit it was particularly packed.

The lunch menu has lots of bready options including sandwiches, wraps and piadinas as well as nibbles from the glass cabinet and daily changing salads. Being a hot day I went straight for the smoked salmon salad with asparagus, dill, capers and poached egg ($15) while J ordered the silverbeet dolmades ($8) with a plate of the day’s salad of rocket, nectarines, walnuts and feta ($7).

I don’t normally get too excited by salad but these two combinations are worth a few handclaps. Crunchy fresh greens, a twist of classic flavours as a topping and just a smattering of dressing so no drowned leaves are left wilting on your plate. I would have preferred my egg a little less cooked but that’s a very minor quibble.

Tempted by the hot sandwich of the day we also shared a roll with roast pork with apple sauce and slaw ($10.50). The bread was very much like the Vietnamese rolls used for banh mi – super thin crunchiness on the outside, white softness on the inside – and really you can’t go wrong with a sandwich that contains crackling. A crack(l)ing meal indeed!

If you want to continue the Alimentari goodness past the early dinner hour, the hard-working owners of Alimentari have also opened an excellent night-time venue Gorski & Jones in nearby Collingwood.

Alimentari, 251 Brunswick St, Fitzroy +61 3 9416 2001

8am – 8pm 7 days a week

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