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The Merri Clan In Preston 2


I loved my first visit to The Merri Clan so much that I went back pretty soon after. In fact I think I’ll repost my photo (above) for the Fully Loaded Poffertjes and the nachos to have all my photos here in one spot for your convenience:

So, the second time I rocked up for the BBQ jackfruit burger only to be told it wasn’t available for another day. But that was cool because I ordered the Merri Breakfast and it was excellent.

I didn’t have the big camera with me on this second visit, so forgive the phone-camera photos. This was one really, really good dish. Slow cooked beans hiding some roasted sweet potato, a decent amount of avocado and tomato, pesto and two almond feta topped mushrooms. Gluten free as well. I had zero disappointment from missing out on the burger:

I also got one of the Earl grey tea donuts. So, so good (but not GF sorry folks):

The third visit back, I got the BBQ jackfruit burger. I made a huge mess (it was tricky to eat all delicate like) but this is a fine burger– slightly spicy if that’s not your thing:

My son got the poffertjes with jam and, for the second time, said they were great:

More donuts:

I forgot to note down prices on those other visits. There’s more on the menu I want to try, so I’ll be sure to update. Staff have always been friendly and helpful at The Merri Clan, so I’m looking forward to trying more of the menu.

The Merri Clan

15 Gilbert Road

Preston

http://www.facebook.com/themerriclan/

 

 

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The Merri Clan in Preston

The Merri Clan showed up on my radar thanks to an Instagram photo I saw of an amazing looking pile of poffertjes. Better yet was this pile of poffertjes being sortof down the road from me in Preston. I used to live in Amsterdam and haven’t had vegan versions of the famous Dutch little pancakes yet. I really need to get on to making my own recipe seeing as I lugged a cast iron poffertjes pan over on my final trip home.

So I did that thing where I didn’t read the entire menu because a) I had hungry kids with me and my youngest was already attacking those sachets of sugar on the table and b) as soon as I saw vegan nachos with black beans and the fully loaded option of the vegan poffertjes I really didn’t feel a need to read the whole menu. I was confident I chose well and choose well I did.

These nachos (vegan option $18.50) are hands down the best vegan nachos I’ve tried anywhere. It’s a big serve with loads of guacamole and really good black beans. Lovers of coriander, like me, will be happy but if you’re not a fan perhaps ask if they can leave it off. I loved everything about this dish. I can’t even remember the exact details and haven’t yet found the menu online, but from the ingredients alone I’d say it’s also gluten free:

My daughter ordered one of the vegan muffins on the counter, which were either berry vanilla or apple cinnamon. This is the berry muffin:

These fully loaded poffertjes (25 pieces, $18.00 I think) were excellent. The fully loaded option comes with all the toppings. There was a maple cashew cream, nutella style cream, candied pecans and berry compote. A fantastic option for vegan pancake meal lovers:

The Merri Clan is conveniently located right by a route #11 tram stop. Service was friendly and it’s nice and comfy inside with some armchair/couch seating towards the back. I didn’t get pics of the inside but we sat at a table by the front window.

I’m always happy to see kickass vegan options on menus where there has been clear thought put in to the offerings and where the vegan options are a standout. Both the nachos and poffertjes ticked those boxes.

The Merri Clan

15 Gilbert Road

Preston

http://www.facebook.com/themerriclan/

 

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Vegan: It’s Not Rabbit Food And Here’s Some Proof!

I thought I’d grab a bunch of photos of some fantastic vegan meals I’ve had around town. The belief many hold that vegan/plant based food is ‘rabbit food’ (or bird food) is of course untrue but so many people seem to think you’d be missing out on tasty, gourmet style meals. So here I present many exhibits of (I hope) drool worthy meals.

There are way way waaay more great options than I’ve included here. If I included everything that’s fab, it would be an incredibly long and image heavy blog post. So consider these photos an idea of what is out there. Please note some of the meals shown may no longer be available as restaurants change their menus frequently!

Good Days in Brunswick make the best (IMO) spring roll noodle salad. This is one I keep going back for. Their mushroom pho is my favourite pho anywhere too.Good Days Brunswick Good Days Brunswick vegan mushroom pho

Loving Hut Northcote is my family’s number one restaurant. Here’s the lemon chicken. This tastes *exactly* like the not-vegan version, texture and all, and has fooled many a lemon chicken eater:

Loving Hut Northcote Lemon Chicken

Ray in Brunswick have a great vegan menu. Shown here is the Beast of Brunswick fried chicken burger with miso cheese, pickle aioli and more:Ray Brunswick vegan fried chicken burger

Another excellent burger option is the chickpea burger with chipotle mayonnaise and more from Power Plant Cafe in Templestowe:Power Plant Cafe Templestowe

Shop 225 in Pascoe Vale South have your vegan Napoli style pizzas wishes granted:Shop 225 Pizza Pascoe Vale South

Vegan ramen needs can be met at Misoya Sake Bar in Brunswick:Misoya Ramen Sake Bar Brunswick

Small Axe Kitchen in Brunswick have an excellent smoky eggplant with pomegranate, almond hummus and tahini mayo:Small Axe Kitchen Brunswick

Krishna on Barkly in Footscray is my number one choice for great Indian food and fantastic service:Krishna On Barkly Indian Restaurant Footscray

Sister of Soul in St. Kilda have a number of great vegan dishes, like this big breakfast style meal:Sister of Soul St Kilda

The vegan options at Trippy Taco (Fitzroy and St. Kilda) are so good. Love the smoky fries:Trippy Taco Fitzroy

The extensive sandwich menu at Smith & Deli in Fitzroy might overwhelm you at first but the Rubenstein is a good choice:Smith & Deli Reuben

I loved this Japanese katsu tofu dish from Day Kitty in Warrnambool. It was on the specials board, but one of the nicest meals I’ve had:Day Kitty Warrnambool

Dumplings from ShanDong Mama in the city:

ShanDong MaMa

Going plant based/vegan means you don’t have to miss out on hot jam donuts from a van! The van at Preston Market makes vegan donuts. LIFE IS AWESOME:Preston Market hot jam donuts

Pancakes from True North in Coburg:True North Coburg vegan cherry pancakes

The excellent tiramisu hotcakes from The Glass Den in Coburg:Glass Den tiramisu hotcakes1

Raw Trader in the city are incredibly creative with their cakes flavour combinations, all of which are raw. The cappuccino cheesecake is one of my favourites, but I’ve loved everything:

Raw Trader Melbourne

Miinot Gelato in Pascoe Vale South create marvellous gelato onsite, using fresh and local ingredients. The vegan flavours are excellent, particularly the fruit flavours and the dark chocolate varieties:

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Mister Nice Guy’s Bake Shop in Ascot Vale is a long standing favourite in my house. Lots of decadent treats, make sure you try the peanut bronuts if they’re available:Mister Nice Guy's Bake Shop

 

I hope this gives you an idea of how creative, delicious and inspiring vegan/plant based foods can be. Don’t think that vegan food is all about being super duper healthy, or restrictive or rabbity-birdy! If you want healthy whole foods or deep fried crispy, vegan foods can cover all that!

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Cheap Lunches At Divine Realm Vegie Delight In The City

Divine Realm Vegie Delight Melbourne

Divine Realm Vegie Delight is one of those places that has been around for a while now, but quite a few veg*ns express surprise when they hear about it. Things like “no way, I work near there and had no idea!” kinda sentiments.

It’s located in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it dingy divey looking mini food court on Little Collins Street. On my most recent visit, a few of the other stalls were closed either for good or some renovation work. There’s a board outside advertising Divine Realm but it’s not really obvious and even though I was looking for the place, I ended up walking right past it, despite having been there before.

Still, it’s a pretty good option for cheap and cheerful takeaway/food court food that I used to enjoy before I was vegan. Every now and then I get a craving for this kind of food, with the fried rice and all. For $7.50 you get the large serve, which is made up of rice (possibly noodles as the alternative) and three of the main dishes on offer. Shown here are the tofu veg curry (quite nice, I always enjoy this but I wish they’d dish up more tofu), black bean chicken and veg and the roast duck (bean curd) with sweet sauce.Divine Realm Vegie Delight Melbourne

Be sure to take note of opening times. Divine Realm is open during business hours for the lunch period and close around 3pm. Any leftover food is put in to containers and sold for a few bucks. I’m not sure if the menu rotates according to days of the week but I’ve seen photos of different meals such as the vegan chicken and rice special, or some house made sweets. On my last visit, a long time ago, I had the same roast duck and the tofu veg curry. There are also made to order items, with pictures up on display but I’ve never ordered those.Divine Realm Vegie Delight MelbourneDivine Realm Vegie Delight Melbourne

Service is always friendly and the Facebook page description says “the humble take-away vegan cafe in town! We are freshly open every day and we serve vegan Singapore recipes from our hearts. Burp with safisfaction!” The food court area may be a candidate for an extreme food court makeover, but for these low prices and tasty food, I’m happy to go back.Divine Realm Vegie Delight Melbourne

Divine Realm Vegie Delight

422 Little Collins Street (go through the big doors in to the food court area and walk through)

Melbourne CBD

http://www.facebook.com/Divinerealmvegiedelight/?fref=ts

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Little Tudor Villages, Lord of The Fries and Big Lou’s jam donuts

Last week, we were in East Melbourne and took Arthur and DeeW for their first visit to the Fitzroy Gardens.  I went there often as a child and loved the model Tudor Village and Fairy Tree. I always had the urge to jump the fence and go and touch the houses and as an adult that impulse is still there (I really need to learn parkour so I can jump that waist height fence…)

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It was the Queens Birthday public holiday and we figured Lord of the Fries would be open so we went to the Fitzroy outlet at for lunch.  Husband, Arthur and DeeW only ever order the fries plain with a bottle of tomato sauce:

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I went for the Original LotF burger and because I was sitting down and not eating on the run like I usually do when I grab a LotF burger, I didn’t make a mess:

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If you haven’t been to LotF before, they are meat-free.  If you’re vegan be sure to ask for a vegan burger so you get the vegan cheese.  They also have fries with lots of sauces, but again be sure to check which are vegan.  I’ve never had a hot dog from LotF.  Maybe next time because it was only after I ordered that I saw a big poster advertising their Coney hot dog: a sausage topped with con carne, mushrooms and onions. Yes, there will be a next time and soon I hope, before this Coney hot dog special is over:

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Big Lou’s Donuts at 318 Brunswick Street has been mentioned in vegan circles as they advertise vegan donuts:

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I thought this meant that all their donuts were vegan (custard Berliner!!!) but alas, only the made-to-order hot jam donuts are vegan.  That’s okay, because those are my favourite donuts. The donuts were really good, they don’t have that hot-jam-donut-from-a-donut-van taste and appearance but I think the donuts from the van at Preston Market still hold the number one spot for me.  Big Lou’s come second:

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Big Lou's Donuts on Urbanspoon
The past week has been pretty busy with one day rushing in to the next.  I’ll leave you with some photos of the Coburg Carnivale community event which was held yesterday.  I didn’t know it was on and only happened to see it because I had to stop off for some groceries!

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