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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Lunch at Lakshmi Vilas in Dandenong

Today we ventured out to Dandenong for a social group outing. It was due to end at noon so I looked up vegan options in Dandenong so the family and I could have some lunch.  I was very pleased to see there was a South Indian vegetarian cafe about a five minute drive from our social event that also have vegan options.  Here it is, Lakshmi Vilas:

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There was a small bain marie and I chose rice with the two vegan dishes there, both potato curries.  I was a little disappointed that the dahl contained dairy because I was in a dahl kind of mood. Regardless, these curries were tasty (even though I prefer my curries to be full on flavourful, these were more subdued):

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I ordered a vegan veggie pakora, samosa and curry puff for the family to try.  When the food arrived, DeeW said the words many parents dread when out in public: “I need to go to the toilet”. Arthur wasn’t hungry. From what we could see, Lakshmi Vilas did not have a toilet so Husband took the kids across to the magistrates court as we figured there were bound to be toilets there.  This meant I got the samosa, pakora and curry puff to myself, as the fam were going to go off and find a bakery. Score! I was assured the sauce below was vegan:

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I only had a little of each because I had ordered two dosas.  One plain, the other with a potato filling which I think was the same potato curry I had.  I only had a bit of the dosas (dosa?) at the cafe because I was full and had planned on taking a lot of stuff home.  The dosa(s) were great, they look so easy to make on YouTube but I just know I will screw them up and end up with something completely blergh if I tried it myself:

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This is what I ended up taking home.  Later on I ate the samosa and pakora.  Very tasty:

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I didn’t take photos of the dining area because it was full and I don’t think anyone would have appreciated a photo in such close quarters!

For a simple, affordable, tasty lunch I was happy. Service was friendly and when I said I was vegan, the woman there told me what my options were.  The cafe was very busy as it was lunch hour but I didn’t have to wait long at all.  Lots of people were coming in to pick up take away orders.  Although it is unlikely I will visit Dandenong again (I don’t have friends or family around there and it is an hour drive from where I live), I would happily head back to Lakshmi Vilas if I was in that part of town. I’m very much looking forward to eating more leftovers tomorrow.

Lakshmi Vilas is located at 31 Pulteney Street in Dandenong. I didn’t ask if there was a toilet but a glance around told me there didn’t seem to be one for customers.  This is a small cafe which offers more home style cooking than fancier cafe/restaurant fare, but I very much enjoy eating dishes the cooks would make for themselves at home. I paid cash but didn’t ask about other payment options. http://www.lakshmivilas.com.au

Lakshmi Vilas on Urbanspoon

Trippy Taco: The Return

Since my recent visit to Trippy Taco, I’ve been looking for an excuse to go back. The other day we made a spur of the moment decision to go out to eat so I chose Trippy Taco, knowing Arthur and DeeW would at least eat the fries and Husband would probably go for the vegetarian nachos.

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I was a bit wrong on most counts. Husband ended up getting fries and DeeW didn’t like the seasoning so she had nothing. While we wait for our food when we eat out, we break out the cards:

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I liked the fries, they were nice and crunchy and the smoky seasoning was good:

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I got the mixed taco meal, which was one tofu asada taco and a black bean taco.  Delicious, but really messy to eat (though that’s probably just me, I’m not elegant in that arena):

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For dessert I had to get the sweet corn tamale again, though I don’t know what happened to the puddle of maple syrup I had last time.  It didn’t seem to make an appearance today.  DeeW ate most of the ice cream:

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I got the vegan nutella melt (which didn’t taste of hazelnuts, just a chocolate spread) as well, thinking Husband would go for this (which he didn’t), so Arthur and I shared it.  Using our hands, we found it hard not to make a huge mess.  I’m embarrassed about the amount of paper napkins we used to clean our faces and hands:

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I’ll be going back and Arthur says he’d go back for the fries and the vegan chocolate melt.  That’s my boy, super fussy about main meals but has no problem with dessert!  Hnnnngggghhhhhh.

Trippy Taco is located at 234 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy. http://www.trippytaco.com.au/

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Trippy Taco on Urbanspoon

Dinner at Trippy Taco, Fitzroy

I finally, FINALLY got to go to Trippy Taco.  I still can’t believe I’ve never been there.  Now that I have been, I’m really going to make up for lost time!

I had been doing stuff in Fitzroy and planned to go straight home when I realised I was right across the road from Trippy Taco. Awesome or what?! I was there well before dinner time and there were only two other customers.  Perfect!

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I took my time reading the menu but eventually settled for the tacquitos. The description was ‘three crispy, rolled up corn tortillas with black bean filling topped with guacamole, (vegan) cheese, salad and lime’.  The salad was kind of basic to be honest but remember, Veganopoulous will probably never be convinced that iceberg lettuce belongs in a restaurant.  After I polished off the tacquitos, which were very tasty (I wish I had more), I mixed the salad up with the the remaining saucy bits and guacamole:

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Dessert! Remember, making up for lost time here folks. I got the ‘sweet corn tamale with icecream, bananas and maple syrup’. This was like a soft, moist, sweet cornbread.  The ice cream was basic– using something like Zebra Dream would really make a difference (to the price as well probably!)– but the tamale itself was really good.  Bananas and maple syrup are just that, but I thought they were perfect with this.  Whenever I’ve made cornbread it has been dry and blergh.  I really liked this dessert and would definitely get it again.  In fact, I’m going on a mission to try and replicate it at home.  Too bad I don’t have a Star Trek replicator:

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The toilet is located outside Trippy Taco, up the little lane and at the back of the restaurant.

Trippy Taco is located at 234 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy. http://www.trippytaco.com.au/

I’ve been forgetting (or not bothering) to take my camera out and about lately so here are some snaps from my phone.  The colours in Melbourne at this time of year are beautiful.  Enjoy!

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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!