Panzerotti Shop, Melbourne

Today I discovered what I think could easily be my favourite quick vegan meal in the city.  From  here:

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Behold, the Panzerotti Shop! I only very recently heard about this shop and as I was in the city today I knew I had to try it and report back here.  The panzerotti are savoury filled pastries (there are a couple of sweet ones available too) catering to omnis, vegetarians and vegans.  Vegans are extremely well looked after!  There was a list of ingredients on the counter for the vegan panzerotti and I had one custom made.  I went for (let’s see if I remember) olives, spinach, vegan sausage, vegan cheese, onions… and I can’t remember what else, for $6.50.  Other fillings included tofu, corn, lentils and even more I can’t remember. Anyway, this was one of the most delicious (even the most delicious) savoury pastries I have ever had. I even held it up to get a bit of Melbourne in the background. Passers by were treated to a crazy woman holding a pastry up in the air with one hand and trying to take photos with her phone on the other:

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This was so good I didn’t bother walking around finding somewhere to sit and eat.  I stood there near some milk crates and went for it. I might have airbrushed this photo to remove the hideous half-disappeared manicure:

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My panzerotti was so good that I was very tempted to go back and try another, even though one is enough.  You know that scene in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory where Charlie finds a coin in the snow and goes to buy some chocolate and the shop keeper says “careful sonny, you’ll give yourself a stomach ache”?  I think that’s what it would have been like if I went back in.

Service was great and very helpful.  I love that vegans have a specific listing of ingredients and that we’re not made to feel like we’re a nuisance.  Quite the opposite really, you’ll see what I mean when you read the menu page on Panzerotti Shop’s website!

The Panzerotti Shop is located at 289 Flinders Lane, Melbourne. It’s a small shop with no seating– just order at the counter and wait for your pastry delight!

My day also involved a short stroll through the Fitzroy Gardens:

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Then a walk down Collins Street on the way home:

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I’m now trying to find an excuse to go back in to the city and try another panzerotti.  Fellow vegans, have you tried it?  I love hearing about city food places that aren’t your more well known vegan haunts!

Panzerotti on Urbanspoon

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Bust the Budget March and dinner at Chocolate Buddha in Federation Square

Husband and I, along with thousands of others, attended the Bust the Budget march to show our opposition to the federal government’s proposed budget. These marches are being held around the country.  I can’t begin to describe how awful this proposed budget is and how seriously it will hurt people who are already struggling. In a nutshell, it is cruel+unfair+discriminatory+harmful. We met up with some friends and marched together.  Our friends today, and others, will be so negatively affected by this budget.  They will struggle to pay rent and put food on the table because they’re doing it tough now as it is and this budget will make things worse.  It’s that simple.

The weather was perfect:

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The march started at the State Library and ended up at Federation Square:

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After saying goodbye to our friends, we decided to try out Chocolate Buddha at Fed Square.  I’ve heard some vegans recommend it as a place to take both omnis and veg*ns.  The menu had the vegetarian options marked but I asked quite a few questions.  Service was great and very helpful, though I was disappointed to learn that the curry had a little cream in it.  In the end I went for the ‘Tofu Ankake Don: silken tofu simmered with bok choy, shiitake mushrooms, carrot & ginger with shredded nori over Japanese rice’.  I enjoyed my meal and wish I could make this at home, though I probably wouldn’t return for it unless I was the only vegan in a group of people wanting to eat dinner there. Don’t get me wrong, it was good.  But not great enough to get me back there on my own.  Please forgive the awful lighting, I was using my phone to take photos:

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Chocolate Buddha is located in Federation Square.  Head in the opposite direction from the outdoor stage area, going slightly uphill. http://chocolatebuddha.com.au/

We sat outside and it was such a beautiful night for this time of the year.  Alas, my photos of Fed Square turned out awful so I’ve cheated here and applied some ‘artistic’ filters to the images!

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Lunch at Vege2Go in Melbourne

I only recently discovered that Vege2Go have an outlet in the David Jones food hall. I’ve had some Vege2Go before (ha, that links to my tortilla disaster post!) but a few weeks ago a fellow vegan told me about the David Jones outlet.

Today Husband and I took Arthur and DeeW to a kids comedy performance called Mr Snot Bottom and the Curse of the Silly Stinky Zombie Babies.  With a title like that, my kids are THERE. I loved hearing dozens of children in the audience squealing with crazy snorty laughter.

After the show Husband took Arthur and DeeW off to the Pancake Parlour (yay for freebie vouchers!) and of course as there’s nothing for me to eat there I went next door-ish to David Jones to check out Vege2Go.

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I haven’t been to the DJs food hall in well over ten years.  Maybe even fifteen.  I used to buy those big bags of mixed biscuits and I saw they still have them but I’m betting nothing is vegan so I didn’t bother getting a closer look!

Vege2Go has vegan meals in packaging that they can heat up for you:

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On cold rainy days I’m not someone who is in a soup mood.  I was in a pizza mood today, rain does that to me:

vege2go2The pizza was okay and not bland, though I feel the toppings were on the light side.  I also picked up the Vege2Go blueberry pear breakfast quinoa as it was half price.  That can be tomorrow’s breakfast.

Vege2go cater for vegans, vegetarians, egg-free, dairy-free, wheat-free, sesame-free, nut-free, sugar-free and gluten-free peeps. You can browse their products online at http://www.vege2go.com.au/  I love the lemon coconut slice and can’t resist eating it in one go.  I try but lemon-coconut is a flavour combo that completely destroys me.  Fellow lemon-coconut lovers will probably know exactly what I mean!

Lunch at Gopal’s: visit 2

Ever since I visited Gopal’s back in September 2013, I’ve been waiting to go back.  I haven’t been in that part of the city recently and although I could always catch a tram in to town and go eat somewhere, it’s not really something I do that often!

Today I took Arthur to the city to watch the Adam Spencer ‘Blurred Primes’ show as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.  We left home with enough time to allow us to buy lunch.  Arthur got fries from Lord of the Fries and we took those up to Gopal’s so we could hang out a bit.

Truthfully, we walked up in to Crossways first and it was unbearably hot in there.  We were in there a couple of minutes, checking out the food and Arthur said in a pale kind of voice “can we go somewhere else, it’s really hot in here”.  As he gets nosebleeds a lot when he’s too hot, we got out of there fast.

Gopal’s is a hop, skip and jump away from Crossways.  I was pleased to see the window seats were empty so I told Arthur to stay put eating his chips while I got my meal:

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Today I got the vegan deal for $11.50 (up from $10.50 last year).  I had brown rice, a chickpea kofta, a mixed chickpea-veg curry and then two kinds of salad.  Dessert was plain sago pudding and I got the lemon mint drink.  Like I said, all that for $11.50 and a mega serving.  I couldn’t finish the drink or the salad, I was so full.  Arthur had half the sago, I tried to finish it off but was way too stuffed:

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I didn’t take any Melbourne photos because it was raining and I hadn’t taken my camera.  I was too busy dodging puddles (my boot has a hole in it somewhere) and trying to steer Arthur through crowds.  We got a good seat and enjoyed the show.  Part of the show involved a Melbourne world champion in Rubik’s Cube solving.  This guy solved the cube in under six seconds.  Then he did it one handed.  Then he did about a fifth of the cube then put it behind his back and completed it.

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It was nice to have a day out with Arthur.  I wish he’d eat the same kind of restaurant/cafe food I do, so we could share those huge Gopal’s plates!  But three years ago he would only eat cheese sandwiches and WeetBix and now he’s in to roasted chickpeas and tofu.  All plain, without rice or salad or anything, but we’ll get there one day!

Gopal’s Pure Vegetarian Restaurant is located at 139 Swanston Street up a lot of stairs.  Website here.

Wagamama, the Nicholas Building and a big old rainy day

After a freakish 23C warm winters day two days ago, Melbourne sure turned on the charm today with the cold and rain.  Naturally, it had to be a day when I had to go to the city and do a fair bit of walking.

I knew in advance I’d go to Wagamama for lunch because they make a really good vegan spicy tofu stir fry.  For me, Wagamama is a great option if you have people in your group with a mix of dietary requirements:

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As Husband had taken the kids off to a playdate all day and I had my own stuff to do, my mission was to head back to the Nicholas Building, where I visited l’uccello the other day.  I love old buildings.  I know I know, ‘old’ covers a lot of stuff.  But it all takes me back to when I was little.  My uncle was a jeweller with a little workshop in a big dark spooky old city building, with tiled walls and heavy old doors, a creaky old elevator and all those glorious original features.  My uncle occupied the only office on one floor and the lights at the end of the hallways were turned off and we kids were always too scared to go to the toilets.  My cousin even wet her pants on the lino.  I loved the dark wood handrails and mosaic tiles in the stairwells.  If you’re my age and grew up in Melbourne, you may remember the Coles cafeteria.  My mum would take my sister and I to the cafeteria as a special treat (or the Pancake Parlour, depending on where we went on our last visit).  Then we’d catch one of the old red or blue trains home, where you had to climb up steps to get in the carriage.  It was all so important.

Visiting the Nicholas Building brought back so many memories.  Although my uncle didn’t work there, it was all quite similar.  I was pretty much alone there today, snooping around corridors and trying to open the little doors (ssshhh).

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Zombie hotel?

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Go this way to escape zombies:

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Or you can call the Doctor:

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Did Veganopoulous attempt to open the doors on the top?  Why yes, yes she did.  Unfortunately they seemed to be stuck fast:

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*cough*

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I want to get a private detective license, just so I can get an office in the Nicholas Building with this kind of door:

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Here are some more of the shops in the Nicholas Building:

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Harold and Maude has lots of groovy vintage and recycled-renewed goodies:

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Kimono House is gorgeous:

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I forgot to take a photo of Buttonmania, another awesome little shop.

On the way home, I passed through Flinders Street Station.  In Melbourne, when you tell someone you will meet them under the clocks, you mean under here:

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Personally, I think they should replace ‘spit’ with ‘PISS EVERYWHERE’:

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This is handy to know (ha ha, see what I did there?):

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These metal contraptions are for validating your travel ticket.  I’ve often wondered what happens if you get stuck halfway.  Do the barriers clamp down on your crotch?  Anyone?
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This is the Immigration Museum.  Full of awesome and I hope to go back there soon:
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Another building I love to look at is the Majorca House Building:

majorcabuildingRandom shots of Melbourne streets:

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The Eureka Tower.  When it was completed in 2006, it held the record for the highest residential building (measured to the highest floor) in the world.  If you pay for an overpriced ticket, you can get a view from the top:

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I passed by Habib Wholefoods, got greedy and bought myself a piece of carrot cake. Usually I’d be too impatient to wait until home so I’d start eating it on the tram (with a fork!) but this time I decided to savour the peace and quiet at home and kick back with a cup of tea in my tennis set.  Well, the universe often has other plans for a weary, greedy Veganopoulous.  Today the universe decided that the zipper on Veganopoulous’s kneehigh waterlogged boot would get stuck.  Folks, have you ever had a boot stuck to your leg when you’re hanging out to eat a piece of cake???  And go to the toilet?  And take off your cold, drenched sock?

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But when Veganopoulous is feeling particularly greedy, Veganopoulous always wins.

I hope you enjoyed fab weather today and may your boots go unwaterlogged and unstuck.