Vegetarian American barbeque has hit Melbourne streets and winter dining will never be the same again. An Urban List favourite, the appropriately named Gem Bar & Dining is serving up smoky, soul-enriching veggies coming into winter, along with their usual authentic American fare.
Nearly half of the new menu is vego-friendly, so you can leave your flimsy salads and juice cleanses at the door (you nutter). Expect hearty dishes like smoked beets with charred pecans, buttermilk and curds or stewed okra with ox heart tomato and farmhouse cheese. True blue meat lovers will be green with food envy.
For the carnivores, classic Texan-rubbed meats and Southern American flavours dominate the barbeque. The Kentucky black lamb shoulder champions Australian lamb, while Kansas city pork ribs hit the table glistening with the promise of sticky fingers. Don’t forgot lip-licking crowd pleasers like the Carolina slaw and mac ‘n cheese.
If it’s your first at this Collingwood gem (ha), make a beeline for the Pit Master’s Plate, the latest cheapskate deal to hit the menu: choose four meats and three sides for just $45 a head.
Specials including pub classic parmas and steaks run throughout the week, or you can welcome in Sunday with The Gem’s winter roast. Upstairs rooms are available to hire for cosy functions and group bookings, or book out the whole upstairs space and pretend it’s your 21st again.