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!

 

6

What I Ate: The Late Again Edition

berry banana smoothie

Here are my weekly eats. For the past few weeks… I don’t know what it is about keeping to a weekly schedule for posting What I Ate content. I never seem to remember, or take photos, or think the more boring stuff is worth posting! Here are some eats over the past few weeks. Up the top we have a banana berry smoothie. I use Prana ON protein powder.

Arthur and I were along Sydney Road in Brunswick around the time of my three year vegan anniversary, so we went in to the Cornish Arms for lunch. Arthur ordered the vegan Hawaiian pizza though he wasn’t too keen on the mock chicken and picked it off (the pizza has mock ham and chicken). I got the popcorn chicken Mexican wrap special. As always, the Cornish Arms serves are huge and I can’t finish them. With my wrap I got some wedges and slaw. Way too much food for me, I’d be happy to pay half the price for half the serving! The popcorn chicken was great though, the chef has nailed it:

cornish arms hawaiian pizza

Bad photo, but the wrap was pretty good:

cornish arms mexican wrap

One of my favourite simple ‘clean’ meals is this. Steamed veg, organic tofu and lentils with Mexican style spices:

tofu lentils veg

We’ve been having some chilly autumn days so I did a bit of baking for the kids. I made some banana walnut bread and these no-oil pumpkin biscuits/cookies. At the last minute I decided to add in the leftover Sweet William choc chips but they were a bit unnecessary:

tea time snacks

I made a slightly modified version of the Japanese curry recipe from Johanna at Green Gourmet Giraffe. Modified because I had veggies that needed using up and I threw in some tofu. Japanese curry is something I’ll always order if I find it!

Japanese curry

Arthur tried a rhubarb pie recently and asked if I could make one. I made a rhubarb apple pie with some cinnamon and a little coconut sugar, orange and lemon. I used a pie crust recipe from Vegan Pie In The Sky but I was a bit disorganised and short on time so I didn’t really like the way the crust turned out (it looks uncooked on the bottom but was in the oven for ages). Arthur loved it, DeeW ate the top crust, Husband said it was good:

rhubarb apple pie

I made some blueberry oat bars using a Dreena Burton recipe:

blueberry oat bars

I haven’t taken photos of my regular breakfast of overnight oats as I put the banana in overnight and it’s that cacky brown colour in the morning. Tastes good though! I’m still cooking my lunches and dinners for a few days in advance but when I fall behind I really feel it!

4

Double-downnn at The Cornish Arms

My buddy T was back in town this past weekend after a few months away, so she booked a table at The Cornish Arms.  I used this as an opportunity to finally get my maw around the Vegan Double Down.  That’s right folks, two southern-fried style slabs of seitan with vegan cheese, facon bacon and the salady bits.  This, plus a big serving of wedges and a decent blob of coleslaw made for an incredibly filling meal.  In case you can’t tell from the photos:

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Let’s take a closer look at my pig out:

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Although it tasted good and the crumb was yum, I find it pretty hard to eat so much seitan in one sitting. Please don’t let that deter you, it really is one of the best meals on the vegan menu. I find it hard to finish a big serving of green beans or okra, even if they’re in a fantastic curry.  Anyway, I couldn’t finish the last chunk of double down.  I did swap some of my wedges for a slice of the vegan Hawaiian pizza T’s daughter ordered.  I rarely order vegan pizzas unless I’ve heard rave reviews but this was pretty good and I would order it myself:

cornisharmspizza

So I was sitting there all “oh man I’m so stuffed I can’t possibly finish this piece of double down”.  Which of course, in Veganopoulous-speak, means “I will still order dessert”.  T and I ordered the sticky date pudding each, but we were told they only had one left.  So we decided to split it.  I’d definitely order this again:

cornisharmsstickydatepudding

The kids in our group all went for the vegan cookies n cream cheesecake.  Judging by how fast they all ate it, I’d say it met with their approval:

cornisharmscheesecake
That’s phone-camera-with-low-lighting photos and an aggressive looking fork for you.

This is my third visit to The Cornish Arms and although the noise level is uncomfortable for Husband and I (and our group found it too loud and we moved outside as soon as we had the chance), I’d still go back.  Our food came out surprisingly fast.  At far less busy times on a week night, my meals have taken much longer to arrive.  For a full house on Saturday night, having the food come out so fast was great.

The vegan menu at the Cornish shows a lot of thought and I very much appreciate that vegans now have a choice of three desserts.  The previous times I visited, there were only two options.

Where’s The Beef? blogged about the double down, so have Easy As Vegan Pie and Ballroom Blintz.

Since my visit, I can’t get this song out of my head, though I change the title and chorus to “double down”.  I think people who like the double down secretly imagine themselves busting out these Al Jarreau moves in the middle of the Cornish Arms.  Crotch-fanning photographer’s assistant optional. I know I was probably making the same faces you see at the start of the video when my double down arrived.  It was like “Where’s me double down… oooh here it comes… ZOMG CHECK IT OUT IT’S WIZAAAAARD!”.

The Cornish Arms is located at 163 Sydney Road in Brunswick.  Check out the awesome vegan menu! You can read about my previous visits here and here.

The Cornish Arms Hotel on Urbanspoon

4

Dinner at The Cornish Arms, visit 2

Today is a child free night for Husband and I as we have some stuff to attend tomorrow morning.  We didn’t actually plan to go to the Cornish Arms (which is why my photos were taken with my phone), we’d been driving around returning library books and as we were close enough to Sydney Road, we decided to go to dinner there.

I appreciate the effort the Cornish Arms go to to provide good vegan pub food options, though they are on the expensive side.  Today’s vegan options were:

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Decisions decisions!  On our previous visit I went for the vegan parma and I didn’t really want something with a big slab of seitan so I went for the Texas BBQ Pork Bun.  I think that’s what it’s called, the Cornish Arms website seems to have a different menu.  Anyway, it was as described: “vegan roast pork cooked with housemade BBQ sauce, roast veppers and cheez.  Served with a tangy slaw and deep fried pickles”:

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The deep fried pickles had a light, airy kind of batter.  Taste wise, they didn’t make much of an impact but for me the novelty was really in eating something puffy.  I told Husband that I better open one up to show the blog audience:

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The roast pork bun itself was pretty good.  Having a BBQ sauce would pretty much put it on the sweet side of things but I didn’t find it too sickly sweet like other BBQ sauces can be.  The bread seemed your standard bakery bread roll.  The slaw was nice and not too much of it which was good. Because really, this meal is all about the bun and the puffy pickles!

Extreme closeup:

daffycloseup

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Husband ordered a non vegan meal (he said it was good) and we didn’t order drinks.  We always stick with the jugs of water.  Our bill came to $36.  Service was friendly and our meals took about thirty minutes to arrive.

I asked about the vegan dessert options and was told there was a peach cheesecake and a cookies n cream cheesecake.  Neither option appealed to me which was probably a good thing considering how much cake I ate the other day… anyway, as I said earlier I do appreciate the effort that has gone in to the Cornish Arms vegan menu but as with many other establishments offering vegan meals, I do wish there was more in the way of house made vegan dessert.

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The Cornish Arms is located at 163 Sydney Road in Brunswick. There was live music tonight but we chose to sit outside as it was a pleasant night!

7

A Vegan Parma at The Cornish Arms

Before I was vegan, chicken parma (that’s short for parmigiana) was probably one of my favourite dishes to order in an eatery, though I’d often pick off the cheese because it was always big blobs of grease.  Anyway, I’m a sucker for anything in a crumb coating so you can see why this was a fave.  I did intend on making my own version at home with a Fry’s shnitzel but you know, mehhh.

Husband and I had some us time.  Which is the more-than-one-person version of ‘me time’.  I suggested we go for dinner at The Cornish Arms as they have a great looking vegan menu as well as non-vegan options.  Unfortunately I’ve had to give up my fantasy of Husband willingly eating at vegetarian/vegan establishments so when we go out to eat together, I look for places that cater fairly for us both.

We got there at 7:00pm which was lucky for us because about half an hour later all tables were taken and newcomers had to wait.  Our meals did take a while to come out (forty eight minutes to be exact) but I didn’t mind as I wasn’t ravenous.  I also enjoyed hearing the staff taking orders to tables and noting just how many people ordered the vegan dishes.

The Cornish Arms menu had quite a few temptations for me but well, I see ‘vegan parma’ on a menu and I’m putty.  Now some of my readers may be saying VEGANOPOULOUS YOU SAID YOU’D BE AVOIDING GLUTEN.  LIKE, 4623O04834^38453040 YEARS AGO.  Yea verily, the parma was seitan.  BUT tomorrow I should be getting a coeliac antibodies gluten shmuten blood test thingy done and I’m supposed to eat gluten apparently.  And secondly, I’m never going to make seitan at home to create my own parmas so really, the best option for me was to eat one that was made properly. Like this:

cornisharms1

It was massive.  I don’t know if you can tell just how big it is by looking at the photo but folks, this was MASSIVE.  And thick!!! I knew there was no way I would finish it.  I gave half the chips to Husband and I ate the salad but managed half the parma.

The parma itself was tasty and dare I say quite meat-like, though softer than what a chicken parma would be.  But the crumb coating was great, the sauce was nice and the cheese was just the right amount for me.  However there was a flavour of some kind of herb (or spice) in there that really got to me after a while and I had to put the fork down.  I was stuffed full anyway so this wasn’t a big deal.  I don’t know for sure what it was as there are a few things I don’t like that taste the same to me (but different to others.  I have weird tastebuds).  It tasted like allspice and I find even a teensy amount of allspice is too much for me.  And even if this wasn’t allspice, it tasted allspicey.

I’ve finally satisfied the curiosity about trying a chef prepared vegan seitan parma.  It was like my last hurrah vital wheat gluten meal.  Although I won’t be having it again, anywhere, I’m glad I tried it.  I can definitely recommend it if you’re a seitan parma fan and don’t mind an allspicey taste  🙂

Here’s an extreme food closeup.  Nom!


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The Cornish Arms is located at 163 Sydney Road in Brunswick.