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Beat Eats

With Georgia Spanos

North Melbourne welcomes a new member to the family and the story of how they got there is just as heart-warming as their effortless authenticity. One day, not so long ago, El Cielo (a traditional Mexican food manufacturer) was delivering fresh tortillas to their regular client El Sabor (a mexican restaurant in North Melbourne). El Cielo walked in simply to deliver an order as usual, yet came out with an offer they couldn't refuse, to take over the restaurant El Cielo style. Before the summer reached February, El Sabor by El Cielo was born. The restaurant is bright fun and sweetly proud of their heritage. You'll be sure to leave with a wider knowledge of Mexican food and flavours just by chatting to the staff and tasting their menu. The pork belly taco is nothing short of a dream. Perhaps it was the softest pork belly I've ever eaten, the refreshing compliment of the coriander and onion, or, most probably, the fresh tortilla's crafted right there in the kitchen. Another star dish was the fajitas served with garnishes like sour cream, beans, hot sauce, and those hot fresh tortillas again. Oh, and their selection of mescal is just the finish needed to complete a vibrant experience. 
 
Is there anything more fun than a Caribbean cocktail? Sipping from a coconut, with spiced rum and one of those funny little umbrellas? How about enjoying a year of free Caribbean cocktails? What a glorious year that would be. Well, there's a chance the winner could be you, at Windsor's year old Caribbean restaurant Saint Lucias on Friday March 10. Cocktails aside, Saint Lucia has really owned the Caribbean scene down South, and as soon as their dishes are served it immediately feels like a celebration. Even a classic rice dish features bright yellow, green and red flavours. Personally, I admire their extensive use of fruit within their main dishes such as pineapple salsa and orange topped salmon. For a fun evening full of life and energy I would recommend heading to Saint Lucia – and start with the El Presidente cocktail.
 
Victoria Bitter, Melbourne Bitter and Carlton Draught are definitely the favourite beers among most Australians. And as if Abbortsford wasn't appealing enough, now, their main attraction The Carlton & United Breweries opens an eatery and bar called Carlton Brewhouse with lots going on. After you've been educated by the most respected beer makers in Australia, you can enjoy a couple in the beer garden or taste their clever menu inspired by the holy ingredient – beer. I recommend the Black and Tan Burger with beer braised onions or Carlton Draught Pulled Pork Burger with beer braised pork. Their obvious love for beer subtly weaved through the menu shows just how passionate they are.