Welcome to the Catfish, one of Melbourne’s many pub venues located on Gertrude st, Fitzroy, the heart of North side cool. Saturday night is their blues night and before the band comes on you’ll hear a mix of grungy old school, covers and a some new stuff. Like many places, Catfish is dimly lit and sparsely decorated, there’s a mix of young and old patrons and a sometimes obvious clash of style and culture between them. Walking through you’ll wind past tables and the kitchen to a beer garden out the back, a second bar upstairs, or simply situate yourself at the bar or out the front.
Catfish serve up drinks and food, and though we were here for the blues, the fabled Philly Cheesesteak from Sparrows was a significant draw card for us. Never had a Philly cheesesteak? Well it is as it sounds, thinly sliced steak, melted cheese, served in a bun and hailing from Philadelphia in the US.
The food is all made by Sparrows and you order and collect your food from a window halfway through the building. They run a pretty tight ship and get the meals out fast, ours was less than ten minutes.
Now before we get to the steak, we couldn’t resist some sides, electing wings and onion rings. Both were served with a crumb we found unusual, but were well seasoned, hot and crispy. The wings could have done with some spicy, sticky sauce though! It’s not real buffalo wings without it!
Now the Philly Cheesesteak! The traditional was served in a fresh, soft bun with real American cheddar, slightly sweet onion and plenty of bbq sauce. With that lost of ingredients how could it not be delicious? It was even served on a bed of thin cut fries, again nicely salted, served hot and crispy.
You can also go more fancy with the bacon and Bourbon, it’s more meat, more alcohol (well flavour at least) and more goodness packed into the same tasty bun.
Catfish is well worth a visit, if you don’t go for the blues, at least go for the Philly cheese!