Where? - 444 Gaffney St. Pascoe Vale
Price? - $20
Reviewers – Lee & Nikki
Delivery areas - Aberfeldie, Airport West, Batman, Broadmeadows, Brunswick, Campbellfield, Coburg, Dallas, Essendon, Fawkner, Gilberton, Gladstone Park, Glenroy, Gowanbrae, Hadfield, Jacana, Keilor, Maribyrnong, Merlynston, Moonee Ponds, Moreland, Niddrie, Oak Park, Parkville, Pascoe Vale, Strathmore, Tullamarine, University of Melbourne
Fun fact - I've been living in Melbourne for nearly 34 years and before typing it moments ago I had no idea that "Merlynston" was a suburb that existed in our city. I had to Google maps it to find out exactly where it was (between Coburg and Fawkner, apparently). I guess you learn something new every day!
In case you missed the first issue of Crossing the Road back at the start of March, here is the quick spiel explaining what it's all about once more -
The point of Crossing the Road is to feature some parmas that, while they may be great, never get a guernsey as they are only available via delivery. The Menulog, the Uber Eats, the EatNow, the Delivery Hero and the Deliveroo parmas that, while not boasting the same atmosphere and range of alcohol options as a parma at your local pub, afford the opportunity to eat a parma without pants and not be told "You have to put on some jeans or get out of the bistro", "people are trying to eat" and "for the love of god sir, where are your underpants?!"
It's been 3 months and I still think that underpants thing is one of the best things I've ever written. Anyway, so now you're up to speed.
The Gates in Pascoe Vale is one of the parmas that inspired the existence of Crossing The Road, we kept getting emails recommending it to us and it was actually intended to be the target of Crossing the Road #1, but I found out at the last minute that they weren't open on the day we wanted to do it, so we found the other place instead.
So with the parma bus parked in the driveway I fired up my phone and placed our order with The Gates.
Our last Crossing the Road went overboard with the screenshots - It looked like an ad for Menulog by the time we were done (which this isn't, I'd be upfront if we were running any sort of cash-for-comment scam here), So I'm gonna do my best to cut back on the screenshots as I'm sure you all know what Menulog looks like by now.
The parma is a little hard to find, even though it is listed in their "Popular Items" at the top of the page it is squirrelled away as a customisation of the Chicken Schnitzel...
The schnitzel on its own is $18, the parma toppings sting you an extra $2. Besides the straight up parma there are other schnitzel options available at various prices (Bolognese parma, Mushroom sauce, Pepper sauce, Cream & avocado and Mexican).
Added to cart. There's no booze delivery at The Gates so we'll have to make to with soft drinks and beers already in the fridge tonight. Even for soft drinks it's a bit of a disappointing selection, with Pepsi-brand only stuff choices are very limited.
We placed the order at 5:15 and received an estimated delivery time of 5:55. Our parmas turned up at about ten past 6. Still within an hour, but slightly past the given time.
Hold on, these things never photograph well in their take away containers. Let me plate this bad boy up so we can really see what we're dealing with...
I was honestly blown away with how much food was there after I plated it up, those take-away containers hide a deceptively huge meal that would go unnoticed if not for the plate to give it a bit of scale.
We tucked in. I've had enough delivery parmas to know not to get my hopes up until the first bite... And it was decent! A real, unprocessed chicken breast of a respectable thickness - Which makes me wonder why they over-crumbed it to within an inch of its life.
It was crumbed as if they were hiding something when they had nothing to hide. The chicken was great, impressively sized and well cooked - But the crumbs were way too thick.
The toppings were also decent. Other than the napoli being a bit too tomato-pastey for my liking there was nothing too offensive about it. Plenty of cheese, flavoursome and grilled to perfection, nothing to complain about there.
As I mentioned in our recent La Porchetta review, I don't understand why pizza places are so afraid of putting ham on their parmas. They would go through literally hundreds of kilos of shredded ham a month on their pizzas - But I have yet to find one that will shredded-ham up their parmas. If anyone from the Gates is reading this - heed the advice I gave to La Porchetta - Take advantage of the fact that you have a full array of pizza toppings within arms reach and pile some of them on top of my parma!
So, um, yeah - A bit of ham would have been appreciated.
When I plated up the parma I was blown away by the amount of chips that came out of that foil tin. It was a hefty serve that I honestly couldn't get through. They were served hot (if slightly soggy from the steam) but dusted with chicken salt and, while slightly too oily for my liking, quite tasty indeed.
The salad actually impressed me. It was fresh, crisp, well dressed in a tasty balsamic and, most important, avoided the pizza shop cliche of jamming every ingredient from the veggie garden into their salad. They kept it simple - Lettuce, tomato and cucumber, and I appreciated the restraint.
$20 for a parma isn't too bad. The minimum delivery at The Gates is $20 so if you've got a well stocked fridge you could get away with ordering just the parma and nothing else. The $5 delivery fee through Menulog was a little steep in my opinion, but aside from donning pants and driving out to Pascoe Vale to pick up the parmas directly there isn't much that can be done about that, and if I'm going to that much effort for a parma I might as well just go to the pub.
Out of the 2 parmas we've done on Crossing the Road so far I'd say The Gates is definitely the best of the bunch... If two can be considered a "bunch". Yes there were a few things to complain about (overcrumbed schnitzel and oily chips), but overall it was a big meal with quality elements all around for a relatively decent price. Worth a crack if you're in the delivery zone.