John White’s lemonade stand is like something out of Huckleberry Finn, just with more multicultural fare. On the gosh-darn homely side of things, John serves cookies, preserves and lemonade, while for the discerning palate there’s pulled pork rolls, cold filtered Vietnamese coffee and European-inspired jaffles (banana and Nutella anyone?).
“A lot of the recipes are from Country Women's Association cookbooks,” grins White, waving an arm toward the lemonade and preserves. “The lemonade is from a depression-era book my mate had. It’s even got bay leaves in it.” The lemonade has just the right amount of sweet, and a moreish tang. The coffee on the other hand, comes after a month of cart-food inspiration in Vietnam. White serves it strong, with sweetened condensed milk. Turns out the depression was delicious.
The whole operation runs out of the I Know a Place courtyard, on the corner of Brunswick Street and Alexandra Parade. It’s casual, and open Monday through Friday. “We’re just all about a good time,” says John. “After years in kitchens I wanted a summer outside.” John actually opened to Melbourne’s torrential rain on Monday, but believe us, the future is bright.