I'm a Melbourne girl, born and bred, and new resident of Geelong. Fantabulous adventures await as I explore my gorgeous new city and the stunning Surf Coast. But don’t worry—I’ll be crossing the bridge regularly to get my Melbourne fix.
Published November 16th 2015
Pistol Pete's passions come together in the heart of Geelong
Pistol Pete's Food N Blues. Isn't that just the coolest sounding name for a bar and restaurant? I thought so too, so after seeing an advertisement in the local newspaper, I just had to check it out. And it's every bit as cool as its name.
Run by local Geelong chef Pete Raimondo, Pistol Pete's Food N Blues combines two of Pete's passions: Southern American-style food and blues music, which truly do go perfectly together. The restaurant is also fully licensed, so to go with your perfect combination of Southern food and music is your choice of beer, cider or a range of other alcoholic (and non-alcoholic drinks) from the fully stocked bar.
Whet your whistle with a locally brewed beer or cider, or one all the way from Southern USA.
Pistol Pete's Food N Blues is located in funky Little Malop Street, right in the middle of Geelong's business and entertainment district. It's in a couple of old, narrow shop fronts, converted into one, which adds the right kind touch for this Southern-style place—anything new and modern just wouldn't give the same atmosphere. It's pretty small inside (I'd recommend making a booking on Friday and Saturday nights), but with its big old-fashioned glass windows, creaky wooden floors and blues music memorabilia splashed over the walls, you could almost pretend you're in Bourbon Street, N'awlins (that's New Orleans, for those uninitiated in Southern speak).
Little Malop Street is the perfect place for this cool as cool restaurant and bar.
Live blues music features every Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights at Pistol Pete's, with each week's line-up listed on the website's Gig Guide. You can also stay up to date with all the latest events on their Facebook page. And the best bit? Most of the gigs at Pistol Pete's are free entry, but please do put on your best Southern-style manners and show your thanks by dropping a donation into the pot.
There's live blues music every Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights
We were there a little too early for the live music on our recent Friday night visit, but there was some bluesy tunes playing lightly from the speakers overhead to put us in the mood for eating. Because in all seriousness, the food is what we'd come for. After living in the USA for two years, we'd eaten our way up and down the East Coast, and with more than a few trips down south during our time there, we were pretty well versed in the delights of Southern food, from gumbo to po'boys to southern fried chicken to barbecue.
And at Pistol Pete's Food N Blues, they do it all. Oh boy, do they do it all. We were more than a little excited when we first opened the menu (I do have a confession though—I had already checked it out online before we arrived), and literally felt like ordering one of everything. Whilst American barbecue is beginning to gain some traction in Australia, and we've had a bit of it here and there since arriving back in Melbourne, the true southern Louisiana staples of gumbo, jambalaya, po'boys and Andouille sausage are a little harder to find. So there really was no question about what to order and that was the N'awlins Taster Plate (among other things too of course…we also got the Pulled Pork—with three sides of your choice included—and some corn bread. NOTHING says you're in the south like some good ol' corn bread).
We filled in our time waiting for our food (which wasn't very long at all) reminiscing about our time in America, and hungrily eyed off the burgers and Cajun fries that were being delivered to nearby tables (which, we were most delighted to note, were served in true American-style: in little plastic baskets lined with paper…oh so many meals were consumed by way of plastic baskets and paper whilst living in the States. Oh, the memories!). Before we knew it, our food was delivered to our table (by none other than Pete himself) and you almost had to hold us back like caged lions as we dug in (Southern manners now all but gone).
Yum...our food arrived. With Louisiana hot sauce to top things off.
My pulled pork, with a side of greens (not sure if they were collards—can you even get them here?—but they tasted very similar), and squirt of tangy barbecue sauce was just like we'd had in America (although I would have loved a bottle of the sauce on the table, for some extra bursts of the sugary, smoky goodness). It was mouth-wateringly delicious, and made even better with the side of smoky baked beans, which wouldn't have been out of place in any barbecue joint from Texas to North Carolina.
Pulled pork and greens....just like American barbecue
But the highlight was of course the N'awlins Taster Plate. Little bowls of spicy gumbo, fried shrimp (not prawns—shrimp. No prawns in the US), chunks of spicy Andouille sausage, and some okra (so very, very Southern, and rarely eaten in Australia), sliced and cooked with tom-ay-toes. It was all topped off with a big bowl of Cajun-seasoned fries (need I say how good they were too?), and we almost felt like we were back in NOLA, with the Gulf of Mexico just a short stroll away, rather than Corio Bay.
Our N'awlins Taster Plate...so, so good. And pretty hefty servings too!
Good food and good music is such a huge part of the Southern way of life in America, and Pete Raimondo has captured that same philosophy, right here in Geelong with the oh so cool Pistol Pete's Food N Blues. It'll be a long time before we get back to the US, so in the meantime, it'll have to be Pistol Pete's and Corio Bay. And you know what? I'm perfectly fine with that!
By the way, in case you're wondering, NOLA is New Orleans, LA. And that's Louisiana, not Los Angeles. Both have lots of sun, lots of water, and some pretty cool sights to see. But one has fried shrimp, gumbo, barbecue and corn bread...so you know which place I'd rather be!
Like something you'd find in Bourbon Street...in the middle of Geelong!