There’s nothing quite so unfortunate as to read a few positive pieces written about a place, feel that it’s the sort of thing that will totally be your jam, and then have a disappointing visit that falls well short of ticking all your buttons. A “it seemed so right, how could it go so wrong?” type situation.
I was really wanting Argos Loves Company to be awesome. It had a sense of aesthetic whimsy to it that I couldn’t help but respond to. I mean, it’s themed around DOGS, for heavens sake, how could I not want to be in on that?! And as an engaging, comfortable space it works very well, all the little doggy touches and the old school chairs and desks for tables and the dainty crockery, it was all quite lovely and homey. The waitresses were attentive and welcoming, it was bursting at the seams on a Thursday afternoon with chattering folk, I was primed to enjoy myself.
But the food. Oh, if but for the food…
I wanted something light but refreshing to munch on, so decided on the herbed ricotta on sourdough. I wasn’t bargaining on being given something that was far too bland that anything tagged with the word ‘herbed’ had any right to be. Herbed amounted to a sprinkling of chives and a huge whacking amount of flat-leaf parsley. Flat-leaf parsley, you are honestly the worst thing ever, particularly when you gather in a gang in order to attack innocent tastebuds with your overwhelming noxiousness. The ricotta, which was a veritable mountain (the servings here are generous), had not been seasoned in any way apart from the herbs, and frankly did not improve even after I showered it in a tornado of salt and pepper. Bland, bland, bland. No creamy texture either, it was quite unpleasant. The only component that proved tasty was the sourdough, and I love toast, but the tastiest part of any dish should not be the bread, it just shouldn’t.
And then there was the tea. You lot know that I get particularly unforgiving about poor tea. The earl grey I ordered was well-presented in a tall, ornate silver pot, making me all excited that I was going to get a good amount of cups out of it. Less exciting was the fact that the pot had a single teabag floating inside it, which I had to jiggle around quite a bit to get it to steep properly. But never mind, let’s pour into the cute china cup set, sipping hot tea, tastes okay, things are getting better…
Hang on, what’s… what’s that?
That’s a giant smear of red lippy across the inside lip of my cup. That I just drank half a cup out of.
Look, food-wise maybe I chose the wrong dish, their sweets cabinet did look more enticing than any of the savoury dishes I saw floating about, and I was very tempted to give Argos a second chance by ordering the old-school sounding waffles, but after lippy cup I just felt like my goodwill had been completely drained. If you have visited yourself and can reassure me that my experience was an unfortunate aberration I’d be pleased to hear it, but as it stands I’ll be giving Argos Love Company a wide berth, cute dogs or no.
Argos Loves Company
149 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy
Ph: 9417 7290