Before we headed off on our next stage of travelling which involved more road tripping throughout remote areas, I needed to stock up on foods. As well as general supermarket shopping we made a trip into the PAWS (People and Animal Welfare Society) vegan store and cafe which is centrally located in Beaufort Street in the city. PAWS stock a wide variety of vegan goodies - personal care and household products, pantry items, confectionery, pet care products, clothing, books, non-dairy alternatives and a freezer full of a variety of mock meats and ice-cream.
It was nearing lunchtime and the huge selection of meals at the cafe beckoned to us to give them a try. Amongst the choices were mock meat burgers and hot dogs, nachos, pies, aromatic curries from the bain marie, raw food and falafels. I choose the latter, the young man was sold on nachos and after a lot of indecision the man ordered a Cajun chicken burger.
I didn’t capture photos of the others meals and allowed their hungry bellies to tuck in straight away. The young man’s nachos didn’t look particularly appealing – corn chips topped with a salsa, sour cream and what appeared to be melted Toffuti cheese slices. The omission of guacamole didn't bother him as he isn’t a fan of avocado and he mentioned that the nachos were slightly better than the ones he used to get from his school canteen. The man loved the spicy kick in his Cajun burger although he would have enjoyed it more if it included a larger quantity of salad.
The falafel pockets (available in small and large sizes) differed from a falafel wrap you would typically find in a kebab shop as it contained a heap of additional condiments. Fresh jalapenos, olives, grated carrot, shredded cabbage, spring onions and coriander chutney were some of the items that made this unique. My photo doesn’t show the falafels hiding underneath the mass of salad but be assured that they were present and very tasty. Although it was a challenge to eat this without making a mess, it was totally worth the effort. The man had a serious case of food envy over my meal. The small size was perfect for my appetite that day, I recommend ordering the large if you are particularly hungry.
All of the staff at PAWS were extremely friendly, some went out of their way offering Ollie bowls of water while we ate at their outdoor tables. There was also plenty of indoor seating available on small tables, communal benches and lounges. The store and cafe were constantly busy throughout our visit and I noted that the curries, falafels and raw plates seemed to be rather popular with the regulars.
The Herdsman was another interesting store we visited. They stock a range of chilli sauces the man’s family have been particularly fond of for years, so anyone who visits Perth is requested to stock up on “Hogans”. When we pulled into the parking bay, The Herdsman was a familiar sight to the man and I. His first casual (under age) job had been there squeezing oranges although it was called Herdsman Market years ago. I also recognised the store's signage from one of Kari’s recent posts about her shopping experience there.
It is basically a gourmet type of supermarket reminiscent of the Thomas Dux grocers around Melbourne. They stock many expensive boutique brands in the pantry aisles you don’t see at regular supermarkets. As well as the requisite Hogans sauces, we also purchased a lovely tomato relish and some Sheese smoked cheddar. Cheezly was also available in the refrigerated section.
The majority of our time in Perth was spent catching up with people, at the beach, by the pool and taking nostalgic tours around the man’s primary and secondary schools and houses that he grew up in. It wasn’t until our last afternoon that we made it to Kings Park and we regretted not spending more time there as the beautifully laid out gardens are enormous and it boasts stunning views over the city and gorgeous Swan river.
For many years I haven’t been very enthusiastic about travelling to Perth as I’m not really much of a city person. As it's so far from Melbourne I always insisted that this trip needed to be paired with further travels throughout Western Australia. Clear blue skies and warm weather every day combined with a rental house (including a pool) being a 5 minute stroll away from a gorgeous dog beach turned out to be difficult to leave. I could have happily kept on reliving more of those lazy repetitive days for a lot longer than we did.