Food and Drink


Let Me Be Frank

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The Commons Cafe has just reopened as Let Me Be Frank , the latest offshoot of the South Melbourne stalwart Cafe Zappa.

Owner Michael Sergi clearly has an abiding love for Frank Zappa, given that his other (now defunct) cafe was the very lovely Dweezil in St Kilda. I’m personally waiting for Moon Unit to open, although Diva Thin Muffin Pigeen would probably be even better.

But I digress.

Let Me Be Frank is located in the South Melbourne Commons Project, a partnership between Friends of the Earth, The Father Bob Maguire Foundation and some local parishes. Think Abbotsford Convent and CERES combined and compacted.

The cafe shares the great customer service of Zappa’s, while the menu is more classic Melbourne Brunch/ Lunch than Italian home-cooking. Eggs, museli, pancakes and toast all available for brekkie, and lunch options like salad and soup range from a very reasonable $10-$15.

While my friend’s Feta and Avocado mash on toast ($12) was slightly bland, ‘Rocco’s amazing chilli’ served on the side provided the zippy pick-me-up. My quinoa batone served with smoked salmon, capers, dijon aioli and fresh tomato from the Commons garden ($12.50) was well toasted, crispy and struck the right balance of bread and filling.

As we ate a range of people passed through: students discussing their new project, the little old lady drinking tea, a Sex in The City girly catch-up and a family whose kids were kept busy with the cafe’s toy and book collection.

This new cafe is well on its way to to catching up to big brother Zappa, proving it can one day be Frank.

217-239 Montague St, South Melbourne
Open every day, 8am – 4pm

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