6

Return Visits To True North In Coburg

True North Coburg vegan cherry pancakes

True North in Coburg is a place I return to often– good food, friendly staff and right near where I do most of my shopping. I’ve blogged about True North before, but as I’ve gone back so many more times, I thought it was time for an update. Annoyingly there were a few times I forgot to take my camera.

True North Coburg

The True North menu offers something for everyone with lots of vegan-option icons. In the past I reviewed the Reuben sandwich with a thumbs up. On my camera-less visits, I’ve also enjoyed the black bean tacos for dinner with a side of thick cut fries with lime aioli which appears on the current dinner menu.

From the current Breakfast-Lunch menu is the vegan Chipotle Chicken sandwich (shown below). True North make some great sandwiches. I’ve also had a couple other fab sandwiches which aren’t on the menu any more. One was the Hot Poppy and another had, IIRC, a big mushroom with some tofu and Korean bbq flavours. They’ve all been really good and full of flavour.

True North Coburg vegan chipotle chicken sandwich

Another current Breakfast-Lunch meal are the cherry pancakes. Lovely and fluffy with a a coconut based cream on top:True North Coburg vegan cherry pancakes

The counter always has some sweet treats with vegan options like muffins and biscuity-cookie delights. Other times there are cakes and this is the vegan lamington cake. The serving size was pretty generous and I couldn’t finish it because I was stuffed:

True North Coburg vegan lamington cake

What I also like about True North are the events they hold. Truthfully I haven’t been able to go yet but they’re so awesome looking I just stalk all the photos on Facebook. There are Pie or Die nights, featuring pies (some vegan) from Blackberry Belle Pies. There’s Thursday night $10 curry+beer/soft drink and Royal Rumble Sundays with old school 1980s WWF wrestling action and burritos. There was also a Trash and Treasure market back in May with Nadia’s No-Dogs vegan hotdogs.

Coming up is the all vegan Death To Summer- Eternal Winter Feast on September 17th. Tickets available now.

True North is fine for kids. I’ve taken mine a couple of times and have seen parents and toddlers in there too. My kids have fun looking at all the knick knacks around the place (cats!!!) and a visit to the toilet is worth it for a Slimer statue and Mr. T poster.

True North Coburg

True North

2A Munro Street

Coburg (just about on the corner of Sydney Road)

http://www.truenortharcher.com

https://www.facebook.com/truenorth3058

 

True North Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

14

Very Good Falafel in Brunswick

Very Good Falafel Brunswick

Shuki and Louisa, famous for their falafel and dips, have today opened their Very Good Falafel shop in Brunswick. I’ve been a fan of their falafel in pita for a while now, happily queuing for fifteen minutes at their stall on Wednesdays at the Melbourne University Farmers Market. It’s a fifteen minute queue sometimes, because so many people are fans and shows you how popular this very good falafel is! This is my usual from Shuki and Louisa’s market stalls:

shuki louisa felafel

So, I’m around Sydney Road more often than Melbourne Uni and I reacted with much glee to the news that Shuki and Louisa were opening a falafel shop in Brunswick. There are other falafel options around that area, but seeing as I make the trek to Melbourne Uni just for their falafel, I already pegged Very Good Falafel as my number one felafel place to visit in this area. Inside, there are some tables with bench style seats and stools, as well as the benches along the serving area and front window:

Very Good Falafel Brunswick

I met up with Johanna from Green Gourmet Giraffe for a falafel lunch. We took a look at the platters of food on display (beautiful looking potatoes!) and asked about the serving options. You can have your falafel in a pita (like the photo up above) or on a plate with sides and/or salad. The menu isn’t all vegan and the vegan options are, I believe, the falafel in the pita or on the plate with the sides. I like the falafel in pita so much that I was tempted to get it even though I’ve had it many times now, but I ended up getting the plate option. This was made up of three falafel balls with a tahini sauce, those beautiful potatoes, sliced fennel and radish salad and cooked leafy greens with flaked almonds. I got a pita on the side as well. A really satisfying and delicious lunch and so good to have yet another tasty vegan option available in the Brunswick/Coburg area. Johanna and I got the same meal with the pita and it totaled $26:

Very Good Falafel Brunswick

Shuki and Louisa’s website lists their stockists and the markets they will be at. The website also mentions the use of locally sourced ingredients, including chickpeas from Louisa’s family farm.

Very Good Falafel Brunswick

With fresh ingredients and falafel that, for me, are just right with their crunchy outside and soft insides, I see quite a few return visits to Very Good Falafel happening. Either that, or you’ll find me in the queue at farmers’ markets 🙂

Very Good Falafel Brunswick

Very Good Falafel

629 Sydney Road

Brunswick

http://www.facebook.com/ShukiAndLouisa

http://www.shukiandlouisa.com/

Very Good Falafel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

7

Vegan Shopping At Coburg Farmers Market In Late April

Peninsula Fresh Organics at Coburg Farmers Market

Hurrah for the Coburg Farmers Market now being held weekly! Previously I’d be waking up on a Saturday planning to go then realising it wasn’t on that day. Then I’d forget to go the following week. And so on and so on. I last blogged about my visit to the market back in mid 2014 so it was time for an update.

The stalls do seem to change a little as I went a couple of weeks ago and some stalls were not there today (or some stalls today weren’t there last time). Today was ace market weather though, one of those perfect windy autumn days.

As this is a vegan blog, I’m only showing the stalls that would appeal to vegan shoppers or people wanting plant based products. Being a farmers market there are of course non-vegan stalls but yep, it’s all a-vegan here in Veganopoulous town!

Coburg Farmers Market

Sprouts, salad mix, grasses at Urban Caterpillar Microgreens. I was very tempted by the mustard and buckwheat salad mix but went for the pea shoots instead. These are all grown in Newport, a suburb not too far from the Melbourne CBD (it’s the suburb next door to Williamstown):

Urban Caterpillar at Coburg Farmers Market

I was glad to see Three Bridges Apples were back. Beautiful juicy apples, not like the tasteless chalky balls of disappointment I’ve bought from the supermarket recently. I’m assuming these are grown in Three Bridges, which is about a one hour and forty-five minute drive east of Melbourne:

Three Bridges Apples at Coburg Farmers Market Three Bridges Apples at Coburg Farmers Market

I also picked up some chestnuts. Now I can live my dream and play conkers! Whatever the hell that is, all I know is that it involves strings and kids saying “I say!” a lot. Enid Blyton story kids played conkers. And seemed to spend a lot of time walking over stiles:

chestnuts from Three Bridges Apples at Coburg Farmers Market

Apple Cider from Snakes & Ladders. I haven’t tried it yet but will next time. The fruit is all grown, mashed, fermented and bottled in the Goulburn Valley region:

Snakes & Ladders Apple Cider at Coburg Farmers Market

Mandarines from, I think, Doron Talmi Citrus though the fellow working on the stall mentioned the business name is Sweetease(?). They also sell freshly squeezed orange juice, including blood orange. The fruit is grown in Colignan, just south of Mildura:

Sweetease mandarines at Coburg Farmers Market

Some really nice balsamic vinegar and sauces from Sticky Balsamic. The fig is really nice (I ended up buying it). The salted caramel coconut is vegan too and used as a dessert sauce. All produced in Geelong:

Sticky Balsamic at Coburg Farmers Market

Fresh berries, syrups and jams from Kookaberry Farm in Wandin. The Kookaberry Farm website lists an impressive number of medal placings for their products:

Kookaberry Farm at Coburg Farmers Market

Weyhill Farm Garlic. These looked beautiful in the sun! All grown in the hills of South Gippsland. On their About page on their website, Weyhill’s owners say “we fell in love with the place on after taking a wrong turn on a weekend drive”– love it!

Weyhill Garlic at Coburg Farmers Market

Olives and olive oil from Lisadurne Hill. The Hojiblanca contains honey according to the website (I just checked it now), at the time I took the photo I was assuming it was oil without non-vegan products so vegans, please keep that in mind as there are samples on the table for tastings. The olives are brine cured:

Lisadurne Hill at Coburg Farmers Market

2 & 5’s website says “we are a social enterprise set up to address food insecurity in the Northern Suburbs of Geelong by improving access to affordable, sustainable, fresh and healthy food. This is achieved by providing high-quality fresh produce through production and retail. Corio and Norlane are seen as areas of socio-economic disadvantage and the residents have been identified as being at risk of food insecurity in research done by the State Government Neighbourhood Renewal Project. We believe that by making fresh fruit and vegetables more accessible, food security can be dramatically improved.” Great stuff! We have quite a few jars of this jam at home, as well as the tomato relish and today I added the green bean mustard pickle to my collection. 2 & 5 also sell vegetables:

2 & 5 Fresh Produce at Coburg Farmers Market

Update: I don’t know why my pictures of Flinders Sourdough didn’t make it here and I didn’t notice I’d left them out when my post was published! Here are the vegan loaves, the buns weren’t vegan but all these were. I bought a loaf of the fig sourdough:

Flinders Sourdough at Coburg Farmers Market

Beautiful herbs and produce on display at MKD Services:

MKD Services at Coburg Farmers MarketMKD Services at Coburg Farmers Market

Peninsula Fresh Organics had loads of brightly coloured veggies (the carrots in the top photo are from their stall). All certified organic and grown in Baxter on the Mornington Peninsula:

Peninsula Fresh Organics at Coburg Farmers Market Peninsula Fresh Organics at Coburg Farmers Market

I hope I have all the photos correct, I have a sneaking suspicion I have mixed up some of the stall holder names.

Coburg Farmers Market is held on Saturday from 8am to 1pm at Coburg North Primary School. Entry is by gold coin donation. There’s ample parking around the side streets or you can catch the 527 bus which stops right outside the school. Bell Street is a short-ish walk away so the market is also accessible via the 903 bus, 513 bus and 55 West Coburg tram.

Coburg Farmers Market at Coburg North Primary School

180 O’Hea Street

Coburg

Market held on Saturday from 8am to 1pm

Gold coin entry donation to support school projects

Coburg Farmers Market

12

What I Ate: The Glass Den Edition

The Glass Den Coburg Hotcakes

The Glass Den in Coburg continues to be one of my favourite places to eat. I first reviewed The Glass Den in October 2015 and blogged about another visit. Since then I have enjoyed many more meals alone (that’s my ‘me time’!) or with family. Here’s a look at some of my favourite meals since then (which of course include things I’ve already blogged about, I just order them again because they’re so good).

I can’t go past the gluten free coconut hotcakes as the first photo up there! They’re always presented so beautifully. These seemed slightly different to the last time I tried them, a little more puffier and cake like but still great. The coconut mousse melted a bit before I had a chance to take the photo. Every time I’ve seen this dish, the toppings have changed a little.

My sister enjoyed the breakfast soba, probably my favourite on the menu. They’ve changed the presentation a bit, with all the components mixed up together (previously they were separated more). The noodles are different too but still my top pick:

The Glass Den Coburg breakfast soba

I’ve heard quite a few people say how much they love the beer battered fries. I’ve never ordered them before but got a large serving for our group of four to share. Some of the nicest chips I’ve had and the aioli was spicy with a bit of a chipotle (I think) heat:

The Glass Den Coburg fries

From a recent Special board, I ordered the Pattalung mushroom curry served with Turkish bread. This was excellent and although I’m purely a curry-with-rice person, this was good enough for me to put that personal preference aside. Still, I wouldn’t say no to a serve of this over loads of rice:

The Glass Den Coburg pattalung curry

My mum ordered the portobello burger. I had this the last time I visited The Glass Den and was surprised how great it was. Surprised, because I rarely order mushroom burgers when I’m out. The almond feta in this was really good:

The Glass Den Coburg mushroom burgerThe Glass Den Coburg seating

Pics of stuff on my long walk from from The Glass Den:

Bridges reserve coburg memorial West Coburg door Coburg flatsLofts shoe store sign Coburg

I’m slowly working through my backlog of restaurant photos and hope to be back to my regular weekly What I Ate (during the week) posts next week. Sometimes I feel the eats are a little too boring to stick up on the blog– I mean compared to the hotcakes up top there, everything pretty much pales in comparison!

12

More Visits To The Glass Den In Coburg

The Glass Den Coconut Hotcakes Summer fruits

Back in October 2015, I visited The Glass Den in Coburg. You can read about that here. I’ve been back a few times because it’s quite easily my favourite place in Melbourne, or anywhere really, for breakfast/brunch (though I’d eat there at any time).

I’ve loved every meal I’ve had and service is consistently good. Make sure you check out the specials board too!

One of the nicest meals I’ve had anywhere is the Breakfast Soba. I’d love to make this at home but I suspect I’ll leave it for trips back to The Glass Den. Green tea soba noodles alongside sauteed kale, garlic polenta crusted oyster mushrooms (these were excellent), pine nuts (though these weren’t on mine) and a kale sesame crumble for $16.50:

The Glass Den Coburg Breakfast Soba

The vegan option Biggy ($22) was another I wanted to try and it didn’t disappoint either. Sourdough toast with Dutch carrots, smoked coconut, mushrooms, beans, tomato, sautéed kale and a beetroot relish. This was fantastic, though the coconut bacon is not shown in the photo.

The Glass Den vegan Biggy

I’d seen online that the toppings on the coconut hotcakes ($18) had changed since my last visit and are now served with different fruits. The current menu says “almond meal hotcakes, grilled banana, jackfruit, lotus root compote, maple syrup, toasted coconut, taro chips and coconut mousse”. These look beautiful and like last time, diners near me were looking at my meal with big eyes (and I was kicking back like The Fonz going ehhhh, vegannnn *thumbs up*). The hotcakes themselves aren’t sweet which is perfect for me, though the toppings are pretty sweet making this overall a great option for those who love a sweet breakfast. It’s gluten free too:

The Glass Den Coconut Hotcakes Summer fruits

Neglect the specials board at your peril! I couldn’t decide what to order off the menu and took a look at the specials board. Sticky date pancakes with cashew cream and pistachio brittle? Yes please! These tasted great though the pancakes did defeat me with their sweetness and I couldn’t finish it all. The cashew cream was just right for sweetness. If you love sweet pancakey meals and see this on the specials board, get it! I can’t remember if this was gluten free though:

The Glass Den sticky date pancakes

 

Food is always beautifully presented. The vegan meals are also popular with non-vegans and I truly believe The Glass Den does an exceptional job with showcasing how awesome vegan food can be and busting the silly myth that we only eat boring salad.

With their excellent, well thought out vegan options, The Glass Den continues to be my top pick! If you’re visiting Melbourne, it’s really easy to get to. Just catch the #19 tram up Sydney Road from the city and get off at Bell Street. The Glass Den is a short walk from there.

You can read about some recent visits to The Glass Den by bloggers Green Gourmet Giraffe, Quinces and Kale and Where’s The Beef?

The Glass Den

15 Urquhart Street

Coburg

http://www.theglassden.com.au/
The Glass Den Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato