Federation Square, corner Swanston & Flinders Sts
It was a rugged-up and wintry crew of spotters that met at Fed. Square last Thursday night, for only our second foray into the pizza joints of the CBD. After getting into the groove with some free jazz (courtesy Melbourne Jazz Festival), we made our way to Beer DeLuxe for the evening's repast. Fortunately none of us was wearing spectacles, so we were free to pass the "no glass wear beyond this point" sign and enter through the beer garden/courtyard.
For a place that appears not to want its patrons to see clearly, Beer DeLuxe was quite well lit. The lighting was warm and cosy, the light-fittings even earning the approval of our Architect member. However the night following the coldest April morning in over 50 years is not the best time to find yourself seated next to the door. The warmth and cosiness was somewhat disrupted by the arctic breeze tickling the backs of our necks everytime someone went outside for a fag.
Base: 6/10. Not bad, nothing special. There were complaints of sogginess, but perhaps this is a fault of the -
Topping: 6.5/10. The stand-out was the Onion, Leek and Gorgonzola, a tasty combination that had us all looking for more. The 'special' Pumpkin and Rocket was not a good example of what roast pumpkin on pizza can do - if you need to add salt and pepper to a pizza, something's lacking.
Atmosphere/service: 4/10. That arctic breeze cost them big time, and the general din didn't help. The only mitigating factor here was our waitress, who saved them a score of 3/10 by recommending an excellent choice from the -
Beer/wine list: 8/10. Great, and as you'd expect some excellent beers, the dark ales helping us bear up under the cool conditions.
Value: Overall, quite good. Considering the location, $14 for a pizza can't be sneezed at (there were some sniffles though, courtesy of the arctic ...)
Overall: 6.3/10. This place wasn't bad but we left without feeling we'd want to return - at least, not for the pizza. We get the impression that the question to ask at Beer DeLuxe is not 'Would you like a drink with your pizza,' but rather 'Would you like some pizza with your beer?'