3

Lunch At Veggie On Board In Hawthorn

The first thing I do when I have an appointment is look up vegan food options in the area. I was in Hawthorn today and a few steps away from Veggie On Board. I’m not sure if I’ve heard of it before, there are loads of places I file away in my memory as soon as I hear of them, then I forget.

My son and I chose some sides from the menu, rather than bigger meals. They were all reasonably priced, around the $4 to $5 mark I think. First up, the popcorn mock chicken (son’s choice). This was good in that plain salty way:

Next, the (I think) deep fried bean curd which ended up being regular tofu deep fried. Which isn’t a problem but I thought it would be something else. No matter, it was still nice with the sauce and as my son has gone off tofu, I was glad to see him digging in to this:

I got the mock bbq pork mini burger. This was excellent, even if I did manage to eat all the filling in the first bite. I’d go back just for this:

And I’d also go back for this sesame sticky rice filled with mushroom. Absolutely delicious:

Of course I forgot to take a photo of the outside as usual, I was babbling on to my son about how much I enjoyed that meal and then lamenting that I’m never in this part of Melbourne.

Veggie on Board is only a few minutes walk from Glenferrie train station so at least it’s easy for me to get back to. What a gem this place is, with the vegan options clearly marked (otherwise the food is vegetarian) and not too expensive either.

Veggie On Board

397 Burwood Road, Hawthorn

https://www.facebook.com/veggieonboardmelbourne/

1

Return Visits To Zagame’s

My first visit to Zagame’s in Reservoir was a bit of an accident. I’d purchased one of those Cudo discount vouchers but hadn’t read the fine print about which days the voucher was valid for. No problem, we went anyway and I was very impressed with the new vegan menu. Zagame’s is one of those big family restaurant bistro places that typically, perhaps now in days gone by, were most vegan unfriendly with so-so vegetarian options too.

Not so with Zagame’s. I enjoyed that first dinner so much that when I found myself in Caulfield for a job one day, I was thrilled to see I was around the corner from Zagame’s Caulfield. The menu is the same at the different locations.

So, at Caulfield I decided to go for two entrees. First, the crispy corn and zucchini fritters with guacamole, lime and soya emulsion ($14, not marked as GF). I loved these. Fritters done perfectly! In fact, I loved them so much that when we went back to Zagame’s in Reservoir last week with our voucher, I ordered them again:

At Caulfield, I also got the cauliflower salad (shwarma maybe?), I don’t recall the exact title but it’s not on the menu now and seems to have been replaced with spring rolls. I’m not the biggest fan of cauliflower but I did enjoy this:

Back over to Resi. I was already full from the corn fritters and couldn’t finish this potati rosti with caponata ($22). I did my best because it was another good meal. The rosti was nice and crisp in parts, and the caponata was just right. A dish well done:

The only little let down was when I ordered the orange poppy seed cake at Caulfield. This came out with two warm orange poppy seed muffins on the plate and a kind of cream. The muffins were okay if you wanted muffins, but I wanted a nice piece of cake!

The service has been excellent each time. Last week my main hadn’t come out when the rest of the family got their meals and I had two wait staff come and ask me about it and chase it up. It wasn’t a big wait, only a few minutes but in those few minutes the staff were really on the ball.

Don’t let the whole family restaurant thing turn you off. Sure, it’s noisy (but so are other places that aren’t for families) and has the gambling/gaming areas and the big tv screens with bingo or whatever. But it was relatively quiet when we went and there were tables further away from the noisier areas. If you’re invited to a dinner there, don’t think gahhhhh family restaurant! The menu is pretty good and deserves a look.

 

2

Intermittent Fasting Update and What I Ate Recently

Wow, I’ve neglected the blog. Busy busy busy and a combination of not making photo-worthy foods.

Intermittent fasting continues, where I fast for 16 hours then eat within an eight hour window. The results continue to be good though slow now, as I’ve fallen off the exercise bandwagon due to a combination of bad feet, colds and laziness. You can read about my first 40 days or so on intermittent fasting here. I’ve also stopped eating so much veg, after a while I really got sick of factoring in healthy 7-10 cups of veg a day but I’m getting back in to it again. I was feeling like I wanted to scream every time I saw veggies. Oh, and sliiightly fallen off the lower-carb wagon.

What I continue to love about intermittent fasting is how easy it is for me. I’ve stuck with it since December 23rd 2017, a major achievement for me to stick to anything ‘diet’. However that’s the important bit right there– IF is not a diet, it’s simple a schedule of when to eat.

Overall I eat ‘healthy’ but won’t say no to treats and going out, but if I know I’m having some kind of high fat/sugar/oil/whatever meal, I do factor it in to fasting and will extend the fasting period to compensate. Because my goal is to lose body fat I still have to consider the basic calories in versus calories out and be mindful of overall caloric intake.

Okay enough talk, here are some food pics. See?! I’m still eating some stuff considered no-nos on ‘diets’! Like the Belgian mayo fries from Lord of the Fries, and sharing the peanut butter milkshake with my son (always bugs me when the LotF milkshakes aren’t cold):

This is one of the more recent additions to the LotF menu: the fried ‘chicken’ maple bacon waffle. Very junky, quite tasty:

I haven’t really been taking the camera out much, so most of my photos here were taken with my phone camera. First up, the eggplant miso roll from I Dream of Sushi in Moonee Ponds:

Followed by the tofu don:

The Ishtar stall at Preston Market has quite a few vegan options, one being this delicious pumpkin pide:

More deliciousness from Loving Hut West Melbourne, right near the Queen Victoria Market. This was their nasi lemak special (yes that’s a vegan egg):

This is the Golden Gaytime (an Australian ice cream on a stick) vegan version from The Merri Clan in Preston. So good:

An excellent meal from Olivia Spring Cafe in Moonee Ponds. This is the vermicelli noodles with roast vegan pork with the optional-extra spring rolls. Make sure you get the spring rolls:

Queen Vic Market just had its 140 year birthday celebration. I went and got the cinnamon sugar loukoumathes from the Taki’s Balls stall, which is currently their vegan option:

Look, something healthy! I made this quinoa veg bean something-or-other dish with avocado lime cream:

And leaving one of the best for last: the Honeydee Loukoumathes vetella (vegan nutella) Greek donuts. I don’t often go for chocolate but these were great. Honeydee offer the best, most well thought-out vegan options out of all the loukoumathes stalls and trucks. Grab them if they’re at a market near you!

5

Trying Beyond Meat at The Cornish Arms and Lord of the Fries

Beyond Meat burger patties have been pretty hyped up. As with all hyped up vegan stuffs, I have to try it. I was a bit late to the party overall, and wasn’t really interested in trekking over Melbourne to buy it so I waited for a meal out.

First meal out was at The Cornish Arms in Brunswick. I had an event down the road, so I went to dinner beforehand. I’ve had the Cornish’s Mac Daddy burger before but this time they put a Beyond Meat patty in it. It was a pricey burger-and-chips at about $21:

teeth mark shot:

I wasn’t interested in trying it again but hey, the next day my son and I went to Lord of the Fries and he wanted to try some. So I got the original burger with the Beyond Meat patty (it costs an extra $3.50 to use the Beyond Meat patty in both the original and spicy burgers):

The verdict

Beyond Meat looks and tastes like a grilled burger patty but the texture is a bit softer. However I do think this could mostly pass for a meat burger and out of all the plant based ‘meaty’ burgers on the market, Beyond Meat is the closest. I do think that for some people I know, if they ate this in a burger and didn’t know it was vegan, they would just assume it was meat.

I did feel quite weird eating it. The thought of eating meat makes me sick– after six years of being vegan I have absolutely no desire to have any animal products. But this was an interesting experience in that I had to keep reminding myself it’s plant based. I guess the look of it is a little more confronting than the beetroot-mince looking burgers I’ve made before.

So why eat it? Well, this blog is about reviewing products too (especially hyped products) and I wanted to try it out for myself and see if it was something that I could buy now and then for my family, but also to see if it’s something that could help people transition from, or reduce, a meat diet to plant based.

I won’t get them again, because burger patties are not really something I’m in to buying and they aren’t cheap either. I don’t make burgers often at home, preferring instead to save them up for a meal out somewhere.

Still, that doesn’t mean Beyond Meat patties aren’t good– I think they’re a pretty good product!

 

3

Pizzas From The Pizza Doctor In Brunswick West

‘Paging all vegans. Paging all vegans. Your vegan Nutella pizza is waiting for you at the clinic.’ Just one of the many medical-inspired Instagram posts from the recently-ish opened The Pizza Doctor in Brunswick. They’re vegan friendly and gluten free friendly too! I haven’t had the vegan Nutella pizza yet but the two pizzas I have had were pretty good and I’ll be back to try more. There’s also vegan-option arancini, potato croquets, eggplant chips and a few focaccia to choose from. Lots more to try on my future visits. The pizzas are more a medium size, and the box measures 26cm.

Shown up top there is the pumpkin leek pizza ($16 including the $2 vegan option charge). I ordered this at the ‘clinic’ and ate it outside. There’s a bench inside the clinic which is the waiting area, but there are two two-seater tables outside on the footpath.

Previously I’d ordered the vegan salami pizza for home delivery. The bases are thin, and nice and crispy on the bottom, more so for the pumpkin leek pizza which I ate as soon as it was out of the woodfire oven. I enjoyed both and it’s always good to see vegan options in new establishments, serving up pizza to people who may be egg or dairy free as well as vegan. The staff were lovely too, always a bonus!

The Pizza Doctor is in the same building where the pink cupcake bakery used to be, on the 58 West Coburg tram line right near Brunswick Road. 

You can order online as well for home delivery, or pick up your order in person.

The Pizza Doctor

9 Grantham Road

Brunswick West

http://www.thepizzadoctor.com.au/