341 Lygon Street, Carlton 3053
(03) 9349 5046
One of the first things you notice about Intersection Cafe (or Inty’s as my friends and I affectionately refer to it) is the fact that it doesn’t quite fit in with its surroundings. Sitting on the prime real estate that is the corner of Elgin Street and Lygon Street, you’d expect an expensive but authentic Italian restaurant established in the Good Ol’ Days but what you get is quite different. This is far from authentic and unquestionably drunk food. It’s the place that you go on the way back from the local pub, Pugg Mahones, after having a few too many Guiness’ and in dire need of greasy pizza goodness.
The place itself does not exactly lend itself to classiness. It’s very casual, with red and yellow plastic chairs and tables out the front, uncomfortable and questionably stained couches at the back, and a general feeling of uncleanliness. Upstairs are the bathrooms and a function room (which has been used by friends of mine for a party with a stripper, just to give you an idea of the calibre of this function room). A table next to the entrance displays brochures and posters for the local art and music scene. Ready-made pizzas are displayed behind hot glass and the bar and icecream is to the right. Curiously, I have never once seen a person buy anything but pizza here. And there’s a reason for that.
Thursday night is well known as Inty’s night. With a year-round “Summer special” meaning that pizzas and pasta are half price on this night until 10pm, this place becomes brimming with people hoping to get a large Margherita or some Napolitana spaghetti for $6.50. Wait time can vary from 20 to 40 minutes on Thursdays but when it’s so cheap, it’s often worth it. Just make sure you don’t have it delivered on this night. Half price only applies to pick-up.
So the question remains: is the food any good? Well, in a word, no. The pizzas are far from gourmet and I really doubt that any of the ingredients are fresh. The food is oily, and I often find myself trying to wipe off all the grease from the pizza onto the box. But, it has it’s positives. The garlic pizza can be amazing after a few drinks, despite its simplicity. The Margherita pizza’s crust is fluffy and lovely and the pizza itself is often smothered in tomato sauce — just don’t expect any fresh tomato or basil on the top. Garlic bread is standard fare, as are the hot chips. The vegetarian pizza, with cheese, mushroom, olives, capsicum and onions is what you’d expect but probably not the type of pizza you’re looking for if you’re here late at night. And, boy, can you buy Inty’s late at night. Closing at 5:30 am and opening only a few hours later, it’s hard to miss out, should you suddenly have a craving at 2 am for unhealthy food you’ll later regret.
Delivery is cheap at $3 to Parkville and if it’s not a Thursday, the best way to go is the $20 deal, which includes two medium pizzas, garlic bread and 1.25L drink. My recommendation, however, is to have Inty’s sparingly. My boyfriend, who stocks up on six pizzas every Thursday, may disagree but it’s easy to get sick of this food and I suspect that’s because your body knows it’s terrible for you.
Overall, it’s good as a guilty pleasure in the middle of the night but don’t bring your parents here for fine dining.
- Taste: 4-8/10 (depends on level of sobriety)
- Nutrition: 1/10
- Atmosphere: 2/10
- Cost: 9/10
- Convenience: 10/10
- Overall: 28/50
Conclusion: Average. Alright but nothing to write home about.