In the past couple of months we have ventured out of our South Eastern suburban haunts on numerous occasions to sample some of the plentiful vegan food that the inner suburbs have to offer. Buying a pair of shoes from Vegan Wares has been a great way to entice us into tasting food around Collingwood as my one purchase has resulted in three visits; the initial selection, a second for a fitting and finally to pick them up.
Trippy Taco has been one of the stand-outs so far and you could say that I'm slightly obsessed with their Tofu Asado Burrito (ordering the same meal 3 times in a row is only a mild obsession, right?). I would love to be able to replicate the way they cook the tofu as I find that the smoky, char-grilled flavour is to die for. It took me ages to convince the man to return to Trippy Taco as he had a memory of it being just average when we first went there years ago, but now he's been converted! Our son has been with us once and thoroughly enjoyed a small but deceivingly filling plate of nachos. The smoky seasoning on the trippy fries is sensational too!
234 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy
Gasometer is a fantastic pub to sample some American styled diner food with plenty of vegan options on the menu to choose from. The man and I both tried the Southern Fried "Chicken" Burger on our first visit several months ago as I had read so many glowing reviews about it. I found that the burger was nice although the herbs in the seitan were a bit overpowering and it was incredibly filling too. The crispy seasoned fries with their soft fluffy interior were sensational.
On our second visit I spotted a Buffalo Tofu salad on the menu and thought that it would be a lighter meal. Upon ordering I was advised that it came with cornbread and not a choice of 2 sides as stated on the menu which was a bit disappointing. I'm not a fan of cornbread so I ordered some fries as well as my meal. The tofu was amazing, buffalo seasoning is not a flavour I have tried previously but it was so delicious. The salad comprised of lettuce, carrots, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, red onion, corn chips and facon although it was slathered in too much dressing for my liking. As suspected, I didn't like the cornbread! I found it to be a bit dry and didn't appreciate the sweetness of the corn nor could I detect any heat from the jalapeno so I was happy with my decision to order a side of fries. Again we walked out of there feeling too full and have fondly being calling it the Bloatometer ever since!
484 Smith Street, Collingwood
It was exciting when I heard a few years ago that Lord of the Fries had just opened a new store at Chadstone. I usually detest shopping centres but it's wonderful for us to having a place selling all vegetarian and vegan food 10 minutes from home. We have sampled different burgers, hot dogs and nuggets as well as chips with various sauces over the years and now have settled on the original burgers and chips with gravy as our standard order. I love that they offer mini sized burgers because it's not the healthiest food going around but at least I don't feel as bad eating it in a smaller size.
Lord of the Fries
Chadstone Shopping Centre
Check their website for the store closest to you
Shakahari used to be one of our favourite places to dine and has been our choice to celebrate birthdays and wedding anniversaries over the last few years. After a disappointing experience for my birthday in December, I'm not keen to go back again soon. December is usually a busy month for restaurants with Christmas celebrations but I was advised that the table would be ours for the night when I made the booking for a later time. It certainly didn't feel like that was the case when we arrived. We felt under pressure to order quickly, drinks were extremely slow to arrive after ordering and there were several kerfuffles with the service. I'm generally easy to please when eating out but was rather annoyed that our main meals were plonked onto the table and the waitress didn't even take note that there was no cutlery on the table. Some of the items on the menu that haven't changed are ones that I have ordered and not enjoyed. The latest additions didn't really appeal so I ending up playing if safe and ordering an Indian curry which I have liked previously. There are plenty of other veg*n restaurants around town that I still haven't been to yet so I'm certainly not in a rush to go back to Shakahari.
201-203 Faraday Street, Carlton
We have also revisited The Mercy Seat a couple more times which I have reviewed previously. The tofu scramble didn't seem to have as much flavour the second time I ordered it, so the blackened tofu and avocado burger remains as my favourite pick. Then man is still enamoured with the Creole "chicken" soul burger and won't order anything else. The Mercy Seat has expanded their menu to include some other items, the details of which I can't recall but I think they now have a range of focaccias.
The Mercy Seat @ 99 Problems
31 Johnston Street, Collingwood
0406 290 353