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La Porchetta

Home > Melbourne > Food and Wine | Restaurants
by Kathryn Page (subscribe)
I am an Australian freelance writer living in Adelaide.
Published January 17th 2012
La Porchetta comes across as your typical Italian pizza diner, yet unlike the restaurants around the corner on Lygon Street, the food doesn't come with the price tag. This is what ensures loyal customers who keep coming back for pizza, pasta, risottos, salads and main meals including schnitzels, steak or fish.

Set in picturesque, tree-lined Rathdowne Street, it is easy to get a park here without having to pay for it. The same family who first bought the then-pizza parlour in 1985 still run the business and photos of them snapped with celebrities adorn the walls.

I ate with five friends at the establishment only a few days into the new year and I'm glad we booked a table as it was full. We decided to share three large pizzas between us to keep the cost down to $8 per person- a bargain.

The Margherita and Pineapple pizzas were as expected yet "The lot" pizza looked as though the toppings had just been thrown on and there wasn't a sprinkling of cheese on top to hold the toppings meaning we had to eat very slowly and carefully. The pizzas weren't even cut the whole way through which made me wonder why they even bothered. At least they were generous with their toppings and the taste was bellissimo!

The Lot, Pineapple, & Margherita pizzas

I wouldn't rate their customer service as there really wasn't any. There was a "decide what you want to eat quickly as the place is busy" mentality of our young waitress. While not entirely their fault, it was disappointing that the gelati freezer decided to die on a hot 30 degree day. Everyone there wanted a scoop after their meal and we were so desperate that we drove across to Lygon Street for some.

La Porchetta used to be a place I ate at when I was 15 and had little money. Going back there today, even though I still don't have much money, I would prefer to spend a little more for that personal customer service touch and pizza perfection. It is what it is, which is a great place if you need to eat quickly and on the cheap.
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Why? Cheap Italian food
When: Open 7 days for lunch and dinner
Where: 392 Rathdowne Street, Carlton
Cost: Pizzas from $8
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