4

Vegan Burgers And Fries at The B.East in East Brunswick

B.East in Brunswick has been mentioned often in vegan circles, and the reports I’d heard were pretty complimentary about the vegan burgers and fries. I’m hit and miss with burgers and really have to be in a burger mood, but I’m always interested to see how not-vegan places do vegan burgers. When patties are made in-house, I’m more interested!

And so, some of the fam and I headed along to B.East in Brunswick East recently. The outside tables were full because it was a nice day, and I was happy to sit inside because of the blaring old school G’n’R soundtrack (though the noise level made it hard to talk, still, You Could Be Mine is one of my favourite songs so no way am I going to complain because she’s not my mother TODD and I didn’t have a mulleted friend with me and I can’t do pull-ups Sarah Connor style or any style but anyway, moving ON).

Okay, so the vegan burgers are the Neil (smoky BBQ bean and red lentil burger, vegan cheddar, caramelised jalapenos, crispy sweet potato fries (in the burger), cos lettuce, tomato and chipotle aioli, $15) and the Morrissey (southern fried mock chicken, sweet corn relish, cos lettuce, tomato and jalapeno salsa, $13). I figured the southern fried chicken might be the sort used at other places for the ‘fried chicken’ dishes so I went for the Neil. Picture at the top there.

In short, it was a pretty good burger. The patty was a little soft and kinda mooshed everywhere but it wasn’t a big deal, plus it was a big generous sized patty and nicely flavoured. I recall I wasn’t really in a burger mood when we went, but I was glad I had it.

We ordered a side of sweet potato fries (gluten free, menu says $5/$8.50  but I can’t remember what we paid) with vegan lime chipotle aioli ($1) which were very well done:

We also ordered the beer battered fries ($4/$7) with BBQ seasoning (not GF unfortunately) and agreed these were some of the best fries we’ve eaten:

I would happily go back to try any new vegan burgers or special I hear about. I’m guessing the lunch and dinner times are really busy, we went well after lunch and had no problem with a table inside though outside was full. My dining buddies said the music was way too loud but ehhh, depending on what’s playing, I don’t mind so much.

The B.East has been visited by Where’s the Beef? a few times, you can read about their most recent visit here which links to their previous two visits.

The B.East

80 Lygon Street

Brunswick East

http://www.theb-east.com/

6

The Snug Public House in Brunswick

Since my first visit to The Snug Public House in St Kilda, the vegan menu options at The Snug (both St Kilda and Brunswick) have really kicked off. I missed the vegan night back in November, where diners were stuffed with samples of the upcoming menu.

I’ve been to The Snug in Brunswick twice now. Both times I wanted to try the mushroom stout pie but it wasn’t available and doesn’t appear on the Brunswick menu, so perhaps it’s just a St Kilda thing. No problem though because there’s always a shepherd’s pie AS BIG AS YOUR FACE.

But first, an entree! I knew the main meal would defeat me if we shared an entree but I wanted to try the pulled jackfruit bbq ‘pork’. Usually I avoid ordering bbq-anything because bbq sauces are always so sweet for me and if I follow a bbq-something recipe at home I always cut the sugar waaay down. The Snug’s bbq pulled pork was pretty nice, sweet without being unbearably sweet and I was happy-surprised to see it sitting on top of hummus. There were a couple of flatbreads on the side and some pickles. I’d order this again with a group as it was a great sharing dish. I can’t make out the price on the menu photo I’ve found online:

I’ve said it before and others have said it before: the servings at The Snug are HUGE. The shepherd’s pie (about $23), shown up the top and just below is a big, big bowl of tasty gravy and veg (with TVP I believe), topped with a big pile of crispy mash. Hand cut chips were on the side, as well as some slaw and salad. The salad was really good, with a taste cumin dressing and I tried to eat as much of it as I could. But as always, defeated by the sheer enormity of the portion size.

Even without having had the entree, there’s no way I could have finished it:

Okay, here’s where the phone photos come in. On a previous visit with my son (and without my camera), he ordered the battered sausages. The kitchen had run out of sausages and so this was a half serve as it’s all they had left (our bill was reduced accordingly). The sausages are one of the vegan brands available, not sure which but my son enjoyed it regardless (mainly because there weren’t any vegetables):

The chips are the cheesy gravy chips (gluten free, $12). I really liked these and again would order them as part of a group to share:

The most massive meal I have ever been served is this Irish stew ($23). You know a regular size loaf of bread? This loaf was about 3/4 the size of a regular loaf. Jackfruit was used in place of meat, though it was pretty sparse compared to the mountain of veg. I swear, this was so huge that everyone who saw it come out just stopped and gaped. I’m sure there’s someone out there who has eaten the whole thing. Probably a superhero of some sort:

I don’t think I could ever face dessert at The Snug if I’ve eaten a main. Perhaps I should go just for a dessert– banoffles chocolate waffle ($12, gluten free) and the Guiness chocolate mousse with honeycomb and fennel biscotti ($12, gluten free) both sounded great and I’m curious to see if they’re massive serves too.

For the bbq pulled pork entree, a second entree and three mains (not all vegan) without drinks, we paid just under $100.

The Snug have about a million vegan options now. The pub is small compared to St Kilda’s Snug, but that’s really not a problem for me. Service and staff all great and you can see a lot of effort has been made with the vegan menu.

Since that first visit to The Snug in St Kilda, I’ve been impressed with the ever growing vegan options on the menu. Brunswick is closer to me so I don’t anticipate heading down to St Kilda Snug any time soon, but Brunswick’s Snug more than compensates.

14

What I Ate Over The Past Month

Late again with the ah, weekly What I Ate. Sometimes I just forget, other times I think I’ll take photos of the leftovers tomorrow (then forget) etc etc…

I’ve been having some tummy troubles in recent times that seem to be getting worse and I’ve booked in to see a vegan dietitian in a few weeks. I’ll have to go on one of those four to six week low FODMAPs diets which I’m actually looking forward to because plenty of times I might be eating a meal, like at a restaurant, then by the time the meal is over my stomach has blown up to about four times its normal size and I can barely get in the car (and when I do, I need to unbutton my jeans and I swear it’s like an airbag just explodes everywhere). Not to mention other stuff. If I do Vegan Mofo I might have a vegan low FODMAPs diet as my theme. Not very exciting but I think it could be helpful to others! In the meantime though, I’m back to WFPB (whole foods plant based) as much as possible with lots of raw veggies and turning down offers of going places for lunch/dinner (which kinda sucks). And November is the month where lots of places seem to hold their vegan degustations like Maha *cry*  But I need to work out these health issues and try to lower my cholesterol even more.

Speaking of cholesterol, mine was super high before I was vegan. It was about 8.9 (which in Australia is really high and doctors tell you to take medication for it. I’m not sure how numbers work in other countries). Three years in to being vegan I had another blood test, all confident my cholesterol would have dropped way down. I was shocked to see it was about 8.8! Around that time I had read a comment by a vegan dietitian talking about the links between cholesterol in vegans and consumption of oils like olive oil and coconut oil. Also at that time I started a HCLF (high carb low fat) meal plan, and I had the absolute minimum amount of oil in my food after that, often no oil at all when I cooked at home. A year and a half or so later, my cholesterol dropped to 6.7. Which is still considered high, in fact my doctor said “we need to talk about your cholesterol” and when she told me the number I was really happy! After telling her how high it used to be, she was happy too. Having a vegan friendly doctor is such a relief. So that’s another goal for me, to get my cholesterol down even more to the recommended range of below 5.5.

Enough waffle (waaah WAFFLES!). One of my latest favourite cookbooks is Kristy Turner’s But I Could Never Go Vegan! which I borrowed from the library (but have ordered my own copy because it’s a great cookbook). This is the Red Velvet Beet Smoothie, minus the cashew cream topping:beet cacao smoothie

Another recipe from the cookbook is the Eggplant Meatball Sub. I loved the eggplant balls though I used quinoa instead of amaranth. Actually, I made this recipe before I started back on WFPB which is why there’s bread, but the eggplant balls and sauce are something I’d still have: eggplant meatball sub

Lunch pretty much looks like this now, a raw veggie bowl with some protein and a little avocado fat thrown in. Avocados are cheaper here now:healthy vegan bowl

Another veggie bowl lunch, same as above but with a garlic lemon zaatar dressing and a rice-lentil mix:zaatar veg bowl

Dinner is something like this, baked tofu with roast sweet potato and veggies. Token carrot there is a leftover from the day before:tofu veg healthy

Breakfast is always a smoothie. This one has some leftover broccoli, peas and carrot in it. With a banana and Prana On protein, you can’t tell (from the taste!) there’s veg:leftover veg smoothie

Last week I made a lentil veg curry and some green curry paste marinated tofu. The tofu was leftover from another meal so I just mixed it all up:lentil veg curry with tofu

…and I’ll finish up with snaps of one of my favourite places to be, Sydney Road in Brunswick.sydney road sydney road sydney roadsydney road

8

Vegan Eats At Carpenter’s Son In Brunswick

Carpenter's Son Brunswick

Some months back, I was walking down Sydney Road and spotted a blackboard sign for Carpenter’s Son on the footpath. It stuck in my mind because the sign mentioned they had Pokestops nearby. Not that I’m a devoted player (though Red team is the best), but it did make me smile and so the next time I was around I went and checked out the menu. There were quite a few good looking vegan options, so I made a note to go there the next time I was out for lunch.

Carpenter's Son Brunswick

First up though, I had to try the house made almond granita. I was there on one of those weird Melbourne spring days where it’s freezing for a week but then one warm sunny day comes through though later that evening you have the heaters and your dressing gown back on. Anyway moving on, I was a bit hot from walking around outside in my big jacket (because this is Melbourne, you need a big jacket on a warm day). For an extra charge you can get a coffee shot with the granita but I got mine without. In a word, this granita was excellent. Really refreshing and cooling. The sort of treat that is perfect for warmer weather and if I’m not mistaken, it’s the only vegan icy/cold food option on Sydney Road. I will definitely, absolutely go in again just for this:Carpenter's Son Brunswick

The vegan menu included the organic Berry Porridge (almond milk, poached pear, berries, coconut yoghurt and this is where my photo is too blurry to read but there’s another topping and I believe the price is around $13) , the Hot Vegan (scrambled organic tofu, caramelised Spanish onion, chilli, baby spinach, cherry tomatoes on toasted sourdough $16.50), the Avo Smashed (avocado with roasted sweet capsicum, balsamic and pea tendrils $15) and the Cheesy Melt (melted Bio cheddar cheese toasted sandwich with jalapeno and roasted tomatoes $10). I was told I could also have a custom focaccia made up.

The regular menu has Nourish Bowls that also have vegan/veganisable options. I went for the Powerhouse Acai, a lovely bowl of acai berry, almond milk, goji berries, GF granola, cacao nibs and fresh fruit ($14). I was glad to see nourish bowl healthier options and this was really nice. Not too sweet which is perfect for me:

Carpenter's Son Brunswick

The staff were helpful and friendly and it’s always good to chat with owners about their vegan options and their plans for more vegan meals. Of course this isn’t food for vegans only, this is good food everyone can enjoy. Seriously, GO AND GET THE ALMOND GRANITA.

Carpenter’s Son is just off Sydney Road in Michael Street, not far at all. Look for the friendly blackboard on Sydney Road (I’m pretty sure the blackboard mentioned vegan options in the past too):

Carpenter's Son Brunswick

I keep saying this every time I do a post about the Sydney Road area but far OUT are we getting even more ace vegan options in this part of Brunswick or what?!Carpenter's Son Brunswick

Carpenter’s Son

1D Michael Street

Brunswick

https://www.facebook.com/carpenters.son.au

Carpenters Son Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

6

Vegan Eats At Choukette In Brunswick

Choukette Brunswick

Choukette is a French cafe in Brunswick well known for their pastries and croissants since 2008. I was a regular customer before making the switch to vegan town. I love French food and French desserts and have often lamented the lack of a French place with vegan options near me in Melbourne.

Choukette Brunswick

So when I read a comment in a Facebook group that Choukette sometimes have vegan cake I planned a trip that very week. I do my shopping along there and always sadly bypassed Choukette, assuming there was no longer anything there for me. I actually walked past Choukette the day I read that Facebook comment and kicked myself (I read the comment when I was back home!).

My first veganny visit to Choukette resulted in trying these vanilla macarons with chocolate cream filling. I’ve never made the aquafaba version of these myself, instead being supremely lazy and preferring to try some one day that someone else has made. These were very good, exactly like the not-vegan versions I ate in the past. Gluten free too:

Choukette Brunswick

On my second visit, I scored the last fruit tart. Writing on the display cabinet said ‘vegan fruit cake with banana berry mousse and almond walnut date base’. I think it was also gluten free. There was a fresh berry taste in the mousse and overall this was a lovely little dessert:Choukette Brunswick

Vegan creme brulee time! Another (unless I’m remembering incorrectly) gluten free option. I think it’s made with coconut in the custard as it tasted coconutty to me (which is fine, I love coconut):

Choukette Brunswick

There’s also a rich chocolate cake with a chia seed gel layer and although the sign didn’t say gluten free, the ingredients appeared so. I’ve never had a chia layer like this in a cake and although I’m not the biggest chia fan, this was quite nice:Choukette Brunswick

Choukette also have a vegan soup (not daily) and the baguettes are vegan. There are also vegan gluten free salad options:choukettevegansalad

Choukette are open to feedback and in my correspondence with them, they encouraged me to suggest a flavour or ingredient they can make a cake with . I think I’ll take them up on that. Croquembouche for everyone!

The cakes are about $6.20 take away/$6.50 eat in. Staff have always been friendly and helpful. There’s also a weekly French conversation class.

I’m really happy to have a nice French cafe to spend some time in and I appreciate how proactive Choukette are with providing options for people with food intolerances and different dietary requirements. I looked forward to trying pretty much everything they make that is plant based 😀 Choukette Brunswick

Choukette

318 Sydney Road, Brunswick

http://www.choukette.com.au/

http://www.facebook.com/Choukette-fine-pastries-187180485699/
Choukette Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato