It’s the only place in the Geelong region where you can taste, smell, hear and actually feel like you are right in the middle of the Southern States. From sitting in the famous Bourbon Street of New Orleans, to having the albums of the America’s blues greats Willie Dixon and Stevie Ray as your table number, Pistol Pete’s Food N Blues is a unique treat.
Drawing from passions of both blues music and the cuisine of the Southern States, owner Pete Raimondo has aimed on creating a true American experience since opening back in 2014, now creating a place you can go late at night for a full dining experience, or for quality food takeaway.
“We keep the kitchen going until we close. If we’re open until 1am, the kitchen is also open until 1am so we become that late night option for people who are wanting to eat after 9pm,” Pete says. “We’ve also got a new online app that customers can download and pre-order off that. It will tell you how long it will be, then you can just come pick it up.”
Situated right in the heart of Little Malop Street, Pistol Pete’s has cemented its place as the answer to experiencing the true flavours of southern Louisiana. The menu, designed by Pete himself, consists of three sections. A range of ‘Vittles’ are great for something to nibble on, while ‘In Ya Hand’ covers your range of burgers and po boys, from the crispy Southern Chicken BLT, the tasty Mojo Burger, to the Shrimp Po’Boy and Pete’s famous New Orleans style Gumbo.
‘On Ya Plate’ steps it up with scrumptious eats like tender Pulled Pork, Jambalaya or Southern Style Chicken with your own choice of sides, or there’s sharing options like the Pistol Platter and The N’Awlins Taster Plate to take your taste buds directly to the Southern States.
“The N’Awlins taster gives you more of a taste of New Orleans with a whole range of things (Gumbo, fried shrimp, grilled Andouille sausage, okra and cajun-seasoned fries). Sometimes people share it, or sometimes you can just grab an extra piece of chicken and make it a meal. A lot of the times we can mix things up, and just adapt to suit different needs,” Pete says.
As for the top pick, we’re thinking the Gumbo is the signature dish to try, with one of the secret ingredients coming from Pete himself. “I do the Gumbo, no one else does the Gumbo. If I’m cooking it, I’ll come in, get organised and put some tunes on. I always put something from New Orleans when I do the Gumbo, it’s the secret ingredient.”
The food isn’t the only thing Pete’s channelling from the states. With a range of brews from Louisiana’s Abita Brewing Company and a select few from Nashville’s TailGate Brewery, customers really do get the whole experience. Alongside the American offerings, there is also a range of local brews on offer, and you are guaranteed to find a few American whiskeys as well (think the Jack Daniels range on the rocks, or some serious Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine cocktails).
Within the walls of the old, narrow shop fronts, the Southern-style vibe is clear with a dark blue interior, old-fashioned glass windows and wooden floors with blues memorabilia splashed across the walls and photos from Pete’s very own trips to the states. With blues music as an overarching theme, there’s a staged area for live blues music, which is now hosted six times a week. This allows the venue to “have acts we wouldn’t have as much, and giving younger musicians another option of somewhere to play”.
With an up and coming alfresco area, a future shared courtyard out the back and talk of doing an American Breakfast, Pistol Pete’s is continuing to improve their offerings with hopes of travelling back to the states for some new ideas. “After three years, you get that confidence with what you are doing and how to do it effectively. Now is the time to come up with fresh ideas, throw some specials out, and shake it up a bit.”
Pistol Pete’s Food N Blues is located at 93A Little Malop Street, Geelong.
Phone 0352210287 or visit their site at pistolpetesfoodnblues.com.au.
Written by Talia Rinaldo