Aidan 'Taco' Jones is a comedian and writer based in Melbourne Australia, he likes most types of cheese and often throws tantrums. To read his blog and find him doing comedy hit up ajtaco.blogspot.com
As much as I'd like to tell you that when my friend Luka and I found ourselves sitting in Ziggy's it was exactly what we had planned, I can't. I'd love to tell you that as we sat there eating delicious man-food and chatting about comedy, napkins being used and re-used and plastic cutlery sheepishly requested for a burger, and I'd love to tell you that that was the plan all along. It wasn't though, we caught the wrong train.
Because the second most important thing I learned from eating at Ziggy's, is that the Sandringham line does NOT take you to Footscray.
Behind this counter was an unfeasibly large pile of onions smouldering on the hot-plate
When we got off the train at Balaclava Station we were greeted with scaffolding and confusing signs leading us down onto Carlisle St: so many choices. I wanted to try something different, but everything on Carlisle St in Balaclava looked exactly that, all so different and unique. I also wanted to go somewhere that hadn't been reviewed on WeekendNotes yet though, because where's the fun, the surprise, the ENDEAVOUR in following in others' footsteps?
So we chose Ziggy's, and to be completely frank and honest when we first walked in I wasn't completely satisfied with our decision, because it looks from the outside like a fairly standard burger-bar affair. I couldn't hear much of the music, and there were a couple of odd knick-knacks in the back to add a touch of flair: a metal chicken hung from the roof (silly!), and a spray-painted mini-wheelie-bin (HYPHENS!).
We sat down to order – the food looked enticing and the smell of an enormous pile of onions on the fryer was making me hungry. I ordered the Zed Steak Burger and Luka got the El Diablo Chicken Wrap, we also got some Ziggy's Home Fries to share. When our stuff came out – very quickly I might add – well... it's hard to have reservations about the appropriateness of an inside wheelie bin when a huge burger is melting in your face.
The fries were completely bathed with what Ziggy's have called their 'Secret Sweet and Tangy Sauce', and I was so glad that they were. Luka and I each tried a bite of each other's meal – the benefits of eating with a chum – and agreed that they were both equally genius creations. This food isn't made from some ancient recipe or sourced from a far-flung foreign land, it's just good guys. Real good.
As the Secret Sauce slowly soaked into the fries and then was gone, my previous ideas about Ziggy's seemed to have gone with it. When we'd first sat down I could have sworn it had the vibe of a chain store, but after taking a second look around I noticed little details that I hadn't noticed before: paintings on the walls, pot plants. The music even sounded fresher.
I had to ask for a plastic knife and fork after a few bites, because I am a baby and I throw tantrums if my hands get too sticky. Shut up.
All up for the two of us with our food and a drink each it came to $37, which isn't bad considering our appetites really had taken the reigns for a second there, and when we finally walked out and waved to the friendly staff, the silent consensus that I had felt when we walked into Ziggy's Eatery on Carlisle St, Balaclava had changed, we were won over, and we left contented. Happy, even. And that was the first most important thing I learned from eating at Ziggy's: don't trust your first impressions, because sometimes they can be deceiving.