Something different…

I’ve had a few readers (I have readers?!) suggest over the past week that my recent posts have come across as a bit negative – spiteful, or worse. Which surprised me a bit, because my goal is to be an independent writer who represents the community, and fights for the little guy. ( Being a little guy myself, I know what it’s like – we gotta stick together, like twigs. But more on that later.) I also met a few great folks over the past few days who might be coming along to this blog, and I didn’t want them to get the wrong idea – I hope it will continue to grow, and feature articles which highlight examples of community-minded behaviour, and maybe call out those who demonstrate the opposite.

One of my ideas, for example, is to do a story on a fella who demonstrates the values which I think, if adopted by all humans (or even most), would lead to a better world – literally. Being a bike rider myself, you might be surprised, but the fella is the proud owner of a 1968 Ford Falcon – the Charger of Falcons, apparently. An absolutely beautiful vehicle, which he restored himself to original condition, before adding a 2008 Falcon motor – smaller than the original, but more efficient, and cheaper to run.


The reason I love this mentality is because it shows the humility to drive what’s a fairly understated design, fused with the determinaton and skill to do something like install an engine, all the while re-using old materials, which saves a few more dollars going into the coffers of the modern corporate network of globalisation, and helps to remind people that stuff doesn’t need to be brand new to work. Not to mention its owner, Stuart from the Shire (I think?) gets to drive a beautiful, hand-crafted vehicle, essentially of his own design, which will only encourage others to do the same. A win win win win win situation! ( Unless your Ford’s marketing department?)

So today I wanted to nominate my new favourite local as an example of the kind of bahaviour which will make the world a better place.

His name is Vito – owner, executive chef and grill cook of Little Portugal, on Marrickville Rd, Dulwich Hill (new home-base of IYDIW).



The first time I tried LP, Vito noticed me drooling through the glass at a plate of grilled portugese sardines (already one of my favourite foods), and promptly surprised me outside with a small plate of the perfectly cooked, plump little beauties. Best evening ever. And the rest of the meal I’d ordered, a simple chicken burger, chips and drink for ten bucks was just as perfect; thin fries, a battered chicken fillet with home-made hot sauce, and a can of orange soda (with pulp!?) imported from Portugal. I was a happy boy that night.

What made it all the better, though, was that the whole thing is sustainable – just what a small suburb needs. None of this giant Woolworths bollocks; giant corporates who couldn’t give a stuff about the locals, but proper family-run businesses that promote quality, rather than figure out how to remove it from the menu.

Vito doesn’t speak much english, but he cooks like a champion, and he’s part of a community that deserves to be supported, because it’s this support which makes life work for the little guy, and leads to much better everything for the rest of us, burgers included.

Who’d want to eat at KFC when you can buy a better meal (cheaper!) just two minutes down the road? When you can be served by locals, who have kids ( or grandkids?) at the local primary school, instead of supporting a chain store, whose only concern is profits? And profits heading to a faceless corporation, at that.

I, for one, will be sticking with Vito, at Little Portugal, Dulwich Hill. Colonel Sanders wasn’t a cook, and he never gave me a free plate of sardines.

2 thoughts on “Something different…

  1. On my way home in Melbourne after a late evening out many, many years ago, I remember popping into a Kentucky Fried and asking if I could speak to the Colonel. The lady at the counter went out the back for some time and then came back and said ‘He’s not here tonight.’ Damn!

  2. Thanks John. (Funny, that’s my middle name!)

    I hope that was the last time you went into a KFC. (Did you know they changed the name because the words ‘Kentucky Fried Chicken’ were found to illicit thoughts of actual biological food-stuffs?) It is a den of unhealthy lifestyles, and by opening the door to the outside world, you will only upset the equilibrium upon which the employees are gingerly perched, like seals draped on a creaking Hills Hoist.

    From the manager who spends his hours fastidiously counting nuggets, to the guy on the chip fryer who stares quisically at his reflection in the grease-coated stainless steel back-splash, the workers live in a constant state of near-perfect insanity. But by walking through the sliding doors, you are risking all – a collapse of the internal KFC insanity structure.

    The reason a good KFC has so many windows is because you are not meant to enter, let alone eat the battered products which are available over the counter. That would be like interacting at the circus, living at Ikea, or smiling at your bank manager.

    Instead, I recommend you press your face against the glass, and join in the charade – slovenly customer #1, or ‘local moron’ would be my choice. Easy but fun!

    If you have a son, he could always play the junior?

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