New Places and Random Stuff

I’ve taken pics over the past few months but never blogged about where I went, what I did, what products I received for Christmas and so on.  I always meant to write up stuff but time got away from me so now I must lump it all in to one blog post.

Okay, new places!  In Melbourne we have a new vegan store in town called Mad Cowgirls Vegan Grocery in Preston.  The Facebook page for Mad Cowgirls has more info so check there first. I visited back in December but a lot of stuff had sold out and not able to be ordered back in for a while as suppliers were closed for Christmas.  Compared to a place like Radical, Mad Cowgirls is much smaller in size and naturally, the selection of products wasn’t as extensive but the business is still in its early days.  I asked about a couple of things and the owners said they would look in to stocking it, which was much appreciated!  Service was friendly too, always a plus!

Mad Cowgirls Vegan Grocery

Aaaages ago, I went to Shokuiku on High Street in Northcote.  It was a quick visit more to see what they had in there, as Husband and the kids were waiting in the car.  I’m a bit on the fence about my experience.  The place was not busy at all (one table had a couple seated, after I placed my order two more customers arrived for a take away order, so not busy at all).  I asked for a piece of the raw mocha choc cake in the fridge display to take away, paid, and then proceeded to wait.  And wait.  And wait.  There was absolutely no reason for the delay apart from the staff person just taking their time… which ended up being eleven minutes.  Eleven minutes of me standing there as useful as a half sucked jellybean as my mate T would say, with the cake right between myself and the staff member, who took her sweet time serving others after me instead of just taking twenty seconds to put my cake in the box. Just as I was about to ask if she could please do it now (instead of wiping down the counter area!) she decided it was time to get my cake.  I’ve since had people tell me how painfully slow the service was for them too, so yep… not really a place I’d go to again, despite being a fan of what they had on offer.  The cake was great though:

Shokuiku cake

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Now for gift ideas!  When my sister asked what I wanted for Christmas, I said a 1kg tub of tahini.  I use it all the time and I love it, so to me it was the perfect present:

1kg tahini

I love Botanical Cuisine’s products and I bought the Lemon & Dill raw vegan Cheese from Mad Cowgirls.  Oh my goodness.  You know how there are some foods that make your eyes roll back with how good they are?  For me it was THIS:

Botanical Cuisine lemon dill cheese

When browsing those specials aisles in Aldi, for things I never really need, I saw these fruit jellies.  Husband likes them so I bought a packet.  Got home and realised they’re vegan!  No gelatin!  Well… I’m hoping they’re vegan.  The ingredients list looked completely vegan:

fruitjellies

I went to a real deal op shop recently.  Real deal as in cramped, over crowded, dirt cheap and musty smelling.  Look at this amazing score for ONE DOLLAR:

icecubetraysI looooove cutesy ice cube trays, that can double as chocolate moulds, and these are divine!

I also loooove the green tea flavour of Nushie’s ice cream.  My sister bought this for me and kept it in mum’s freezer for my next visit:

nushiegreentea
I’m really pleased at how vegan offerings in Melbourne seem to be increasing all the time, ditto for raw food.  I think I’m more pleased about those ice cube trays though!

Cornutopia Taco Van at Preston Market

I was at Preston Market the other day (hello vegan donuts!) and, by some amazing coincidence, I was really hungry.  I was thinking about what to eat when I looked up and saw this:

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A food truck!  A Mexican food truck! I am yet to try one of the food trucks around Melbourne.  Can you believe it?  I had fifteen minutes to myself to do a quick bit of shopping.  I used ten of those fifteen minutes to buy something from Cornutopia.

I asked if there were vegan options and was told that certainly, I could have things made vegan.  I needed something I could eat while walking so I opted for a vegan burrito.  It was filled with corn, beans, lettuce, a lovely rice with a lemon or lime tang and homemade chipotle sauce.   It would have been nice to sit at the chairs and tables provided but I had to get back to the family waiting in the car.  So here’s a messy action photo:

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I managed to eat half and left the rest for later in the day as it was very filling.  It cost $10 which I think is the same price as the meat tacos.  I was kinda hoping the non-meat taco would be cheaper.  It was delicious but I do feel $10 was a bit too much.  That may make me sound stingy but… you know.  It’s just that I can put this together myself, with home made tortillas, for much less.  Still, it was something nice to try in that “I’m gonna pop some food, I got 20 dollars in my pockeeeet” child free fifteen minutes of quiet way, before the “where are the donuts I want a donut where’s my donut HIS DONUT IS BIGGER THAN MINE I WANT A BIGGER ONE THAN HE HAS” onslaught.

Cornutopia rocks up to the Preston Market but check their facebook and twitter pages for updates on their location. http://www.cornutopia.com.au

Pasties and donuts at La Panella in Preston

La Panella Bakery is well known to many Melbourne vegans.  La Panella have been making vegan and vegetarian pastries and goodies since 1996.

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I’ve been there a few times and to be honest, nothing has blown my mind.  I do like the vegan pasties and the curry pie was okay but well, they’re only a couple of bucks each and when you pay that for a pie you shouldn’t really expect anything amazing.  People have raved about the ‘vegan croissants’, which to me are simply a sweet bread in the shape of a croissant and nothing like a croissant at all.  I also tried some kind of tart once, I can’t remember if it was lemon or vegan custard tart and I only managed to eat half as it was just bland and the filling on the runny side.

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I walked past there yesterday on my way to the Preston Market and I took some snaps.  I bought a pastie with sauce for $2.20 and ate it on the walk to the market:

lp1

Then I stuffed my face on the totally vegan hot jam donuts from the donut van at the market ($4.50 for 6 donuts.  I had two then took them to the car for the family…):

donuts1

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I know La Panella is a favourite for so many vegans but unfortunately I can’t share in their enthusiasm.  Still, I’d be happy to get a pastie the next time I’m nearby and I do think it is worth a visit as you may find something you like  🙂

La Panella Bakery is located at 465 High Street in Preston and is around the corner from the Preston Market.