Friday, November 24, 2017

Eating Out: Ciao Gelato

This is the last of my catch up posts before I can start blogging about my Molly holiday adventures! Though I am by no means up to date with posting all of the food I have been eating out over the past year, I have just at least posted the ones that I visited during Molly's stay. This post concerns one of my greatest joys in life - ice cream!

I had long heard about the amazing vegan options at Ciao Gelato in Nundah. Trouble is, Nundah is not exactly near me! But finally I was able to get out there one day. I visited another vegan friendly cafe for lunch (I'll talk about that in a future future future post), but for dessert it was always about ice cream!

Not everything is vegan, but they always have several vegan flavours (fruity sorbets but also some other options, flavours vary), a variety of vegan chocolate covered pops, vegan brownies, vegan sundaes, and... well, you'll see at the end. The best bit is that for the most part they are not coconut cream based! The sorbets are water based (and yet... so creamy... so magic)... or rice based, and sometimes nut based. Hurrah! On, and those cones at the bottom of the case are all dipped in vegan dark chocolate!

Vegan Flavours at Ciao Gelato


To start with I had a vegan Chocolate Cherry Pop. Think chocolate sorbet with cherry fluff in a dark chocolate shell. Yes please!

Chocolate Cherry Pop at Ciao Gelato


They also have a selection of vegan brownies, which you can have as is or turn into a brownie sundae (yes, they have vegan hot fudge sauce). Extravagant! I didn't try any of these, I just contented myself with admiring the brownie case.

Vegan Brownies at Ciao Gelato


I needed to sample as much as I could manage, so for my second course I decided to go a more refreshing route with their amazing passionfruit sorbet served in a dark chocolate dipped cone. This was so creamy and fruity, with the perfect sweet yet tangy blend of passionfruit flavour. Oh my heart, I want it again!

Passionfruit Sorbet in a Chocolate Cone at Ciao Gelato


I live a good half an hour away even when using a toll road, and it was a pretty hot day, so while I was enjoying my first and second treats they had put something very special in the blast chiller for me. I needed it to be rock hard to survive the trip home, which it did! You may have noticed something in the lower corner of the cabinet and wondered what it is. I teased a bit earlier that they had something very special, and here it is.

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Ice Cream Cupcake at Ciao Gelato


A vegan Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Ice Cream Cupcake. Peanut Butter. Cookie Dough. Ice Cream. Cupcake. Let that just sink in. What magic is this? Why, it is a dark chocolate cup filled with ice cream, topped with salty peanut butter, and finally crowned with some chocolate chip cookie dough. What sweet heaven has descended upon us? They have some other flavours as well, but I don't know why anyone would choose something that doesn't involve this combination. Peanut butter for life! Here is an inside shot!

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Ice Cream Cupcake at Ciao Gelato


Nundah is also home to several vegan friendly cafes, so even though I won't be stopping by too frequently (just not a place I ever actually go near in my regular life), I can definitely make a case for stopping by every now and then for lunch and ice cream! If you are visiting Brisbane and are into ice cream, I would certainly suggest making the trip out to try this place. I'll drive! After all, taking a visiting friend for ice cream is an excellent reason to get myself over that way.

Ciao Gelato - 1/1207 Sandgate Rd, Nundah, Brisbane - 0479 036 947

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Dim Sim


Big Dim Sim update ahead! But nothing terrible. Wednesday was a big day for my baby girl. She had her senior check and vaccination. For the first time in forever, she was quite wiggly when they were taking her bloods! Silly baby. Then there was a problem with one of the blood tubes when it got to the lab, so we had to go back to get more! I have been worried that her kidneys were going to be quite a bit worse, but they are actually fairly stable, maybe slight progression if anything at all. She is also medicated for an overactive thyroid, and her results (we even did an extra special test to confirm) show that her current medication dose is likely a bit too high. So we are reducing her dose and rechecking in a month. She is now on the tiniest dose of thyroid meds ever! She is maintaining weight though, which is good. She is a tiny eater, and is on appetite stimulants to keep her weight up. She is happy to eat her dry food, but fussy about her wet food. So we have started blending her k/d stew tins up into a slop, and she loves it! Slurping it down!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Eating Out: The Green Edge

The Green Edge is a Brisbane institution. It was our first vegan grocery store, and it also has a restaurant space offering breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. I stayed away from eating there for a while, because the food was often underwhelming. However there are new owners, and they are doing wonders with it. So many new products, and the food has improved as well! So I have been there quite a bit. Prepare for food photos!

The first time I went back to eat was to have dinner with a friend. I was there early, so I had a Gingerbread Latte while I read my book. It was mild and sweet.

Gingerbread Latte at The Green Edge


When my friend arrived, we ended up twinning for dinner, ordering the same things off the specials board. We started with some pumpkin soup, which was simply amazing. I haven't seen it there since, but I wish it would come back! And we also both tried the mac and cheese. Could be a bit cheesier, but was very yummy and comforting. This pops up on the specials board fairly regularly, so keep an eye out for it!

Pumpkin Soup Special at The Green Edge


Mac and Cheese Special at The Green Edge


For dessert we both had a piece of Black Forest Cake, and I had a turmeric latte. They have several goodies in their bakery case, which are provided by a number of local providers. I am pretty sure the cakes come from Flour or Life. Black Forest is one of my favourite flavours. I wasn't a huge fan of the icing on the top and side of the cake, but that is easily scraped off and the rest was great.

Black Forest Cake and Turmeric Latte at The Green Edge


Another time I had breakfast before the start of a bake sale I was organising there. I was super excited to try the Facon and Edge Muffin, which has a hashbrown, bacon, and a vegan egg on it. The egg is a vegan fried egg that you can find in the freezer section, it is an Asian brand. Not sure what it would be like on its own, but it was good on this!

Facon and Edge Muffin at The Green Edge


I stayed for lunch afterwards, and enjoyed some pan-fried dumplings from the specials board and a Sin Brightening juice (apple, carrot, spinach, beetroot, parsley).

Dumplings and Skin Cleanser Juice at The Green Edge


Another time I stopped by for lunch to try the famous Bacon Double Cheeseburger, which was really good! With a side of their delicious chips. I also got a Liver Cleanser juice (apple, beetroot, celery, cucumber, spinach, spirulina)... for balance!

Liver Cleansing Juice at The Green Edge


Bacon Double Cheeseburger at The Green Edge


I also got a slice of carrot cake to take away, but unfortunately I didn't think it was that great. A bit dry, and again not a huge fan of the icing.

Flour of Life Carrot Cake


On my most recent solo lunch visit there, I went green. I got the Mega Matcha Burger (which is on the specials board, but has been there for months) and a Green Juice (celery, kale, spinach, apple, ginger). The burger had yummy local tempeh, a veggie patty, beetroot, sauerkraut, and salad.

Green Juice at The Green Edge


Mega Matcha Burger at The Green Edge


The Green Edge is somewhere I certainly now recommend for people to go and eat at, the food is really good! Plus you then have the option of picking up some essentials or some treats from their HUGE range!

The Green Edge - Shop 2b 229 Lutwyche Road, Windsor, QLD - (07) 3861 1132

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Wednesday


This cutie is Wednesday, and she is the sister of Sinders. You can't see because she is hiding in a box, but she is a lovely black charcoal tabby.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Eating Out: MisoHapi

Sticking with some more Jojo and Nick eating adventures. For our final time together, we met up for lunch in West End. After some discussion about where to eat, we settled on MisoHapi, a Japanese place with vegan options. I had never been here before, though Jojo and Nick had during their time here. I love Japanese food, so I was excited!

We had many plates of Avocado Rolls and (teeny tiny) Inari, which are staples!

Avocado Roll and Inari from MisoHapi


Sadly they were out of the Tofu Croquette Agadashi, but we did enjoy some Tofu Nigiri and a really yummy Eggplant Dengaku.

Tofu Nigiri and Eggplant Dengaku from MisoHapi


I was keen to try the vegan Miso Ramen, a yummy bowl of miso broth, noodles, vegetables and tofu.

Miso Vegan Ramen from MisoHapi


Jojo and Nick each had some Miso Soup, and shared a Tofu Don Salad.

Miso Soup from MisoHapi


Tofu Rice and Salad from MisoHapi


And they taught this Brisbane girl something that she didn't know! Half way between West End and South Bank there is a Gelato Messina, and they have vegan flavours! I got a scoop of the chocolate sorbet, which was rich and lovely. In a cup as the cones are not vegan, sadness.

Chocolate Sorbet from Gelato Messina


And then it was time to say goodbye. It was so much fun having them nearby and getting to hang out and eat food with them! I still have one more food adventure we had to share, though that will have to wait for a bit later. Here we are!

Jojo


MisoHapi - 124 Boundary St, West End QLD - (07) 3846 5472

Gelato Messina - Shop 1, The Melbourne Residences, 109 Melbourne St, South Brisbane, QLD - (07) 3844 0416

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Sinders


This little cutie is Sinders! She was an adoption kitty at work. I have been away for two and a half weeks, so I will find out when I get back if she has a home or not yet. She is so sweet and cheeky! Next post I will share a photo of her sister.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Eating Out: Easy House and Flour of Life

I know what you are thinking. How many times am I going to blog about getting yum cha at Easy House? The answer is, a lot. And these days, you can't make a trip down there without stopping at the all-vegan Flour of Life Bakery on the way home. It just wouldn't be right!

This trip to easy house was a special trip, because I went with Jojo and Nick back when they were here in Brisbane. I was so excited to take them to one of my favourite places! Here is what we ate.

Fried Taro Dumplings and Savoury Pork Buns. The taro dumplings were a bit too deep fried for me, but one was OK. The pork buns are encased in a lovely, flaky pastry and are definite winners.

Fried Taro Dumplings and Savoury Pork Buns at Easy House


My beloved Radish Cakes!

Radish Cake at Easy House


All the steamed dumplings! We had Coriander (my regular favourite), Chicken & Bok Choy, and Snow Pea Sprout (a seasonal special).

Coriander Dumplings, Chicken and Bok Choy Dumplings, Snow Pea Sprout Dumplings at Easy House


Steamed Bean Curd Rolls (you guys know how much I love these), Steamed Pork Buns (an essential) and Eggplant in Black Bean Sauce. The eggplant can be a bit hit and miss. When it is a hit, it is amazing, unfortunately this day it was a bit of a miss.

Steamed Pork Buns, Eggplant in Black Beans, Steamed Bean Curd Rolls at Easy House


Sesame Prawn Rolls - I am not a fan of faux prawns at all, but you really can't taste it in these. Especially with the yummy sweet and sour sauce!

Sesame Prawn Rolls at Easy House


After lunch, we did a quick stop at the beach for Jojo and Nick to see what the Gold Coast is all about for people who aren't sun-adverse like myself. It is beautiful, though. They went for a bit of a frolic in the sand, I hid underneath the trees further back.

Mermaid Beach


Mermaid Beach


Then it was on to Flour of Life for treats! Jojo and Nick got a bunch of stuff for themselves and to take back to Farm Animal Rescue (where they were volunteering). I got a box for myself as well! I got my favourite Strawberry Flan, and also beloved Apple Rhubarb Crumble. I also tried a cinnamon and raisin scroll, which was OK but a bit dense. I got an apple turnover for my dad, which he said was just OK.

Flan, Apple Turnover, Cinnamon Raisin Scroll, Apple Rhubarb Crumble


But seriously, their strawberry flan is life.

Flan


Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Dim Sim in the sun


I had to bring Jojo and Nick home quickly to meet Dim Sim! She is so relaxed about new people now, and I love to show off her perfection! I didn't snap a photo of them together, but here is another photo of her enjoying some winter sun.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Eating Out: Cafe O Mai

Hello friends! My two weeks with Molly have come to an end, and we had such a magical time having adventures in Brisbane and Melbourne. I will have so many posts to share it all. Before that, however, I am so behind on posting about places I have been eating out at. Some of these places I also went to with Molly in the last two weeks, so I figured I should at least post about those from my archives before I start talking about my most recent visits. Plus it gives me time to sort out my millions of photos and catch up on everyone's blogs!

Cafe O Mai is a Vietnamese cafe that I had heard great things about, so when my friend was in town and suggested we catch up there for brunch I was definitely keen! They have a great vegan section on their menu, though the breakfast options are smaller compared to the lunch options (stay tuned for an upcoming Molly post about those!).

But first, some chickens! My friend was chicken sitting, so we stopped by there first so that the chickens could be fed.

Chickens


Chickens


Then it was onto the food! The breakfast menu has both Vietnamese and 'traditional' options, but of course we were there for the Vietnamese. We both ordered the same thing, starting with a serve of rice paper rolls. These were fresh and yummy, and came with a great peanut hoisin dipping sauce.

Vegan Rice Paper Rolls at Cafe O'Mai


It was a hot day (you guys, this was back in December last year... that is how behind I am with things), so we refreshed ourselves with some fruity frappes. I had watermelon and lime, and Jen had lychee and mint.

Lychee and Watermelon drinks at Cafe O'Mai


Despite the heat, we both ordered the small vegetarian pho, which was definitely the star of the show. The broth was so good, and it was full of noodles, tofu, mushrooms and vegetables. It was great!

Vegan Pho at Cafe O'Mai


I very much enjoyed my visit there, though it has taken me quite a while to get back! But I highly recommend it.

Cafe O Mai - 15 Cracknell Rd, Annerley, QLD - (07) 3255 9778

Cute Kitty Photo of The Post

Dim Sim side eye


Dim Sim giving some serious side eye!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Sydney OzComicCon 2017 Part 2

Anyone else keep getting confused about not starting a blog post with the VeganMoFo headed and prompt of the day?

Saturday night in Sydney for OCC is the best night, because it is pizza and ice cream night! For the last three years I have always gone and met up with friends in Newtown for dinner at Gigi, the best pizza place around! As well as meeting up with two of my friends, another OCC friend came with us as well. This friend was not vegan, but was quite curious and excited to see what we would be eating.

I was excited to finally be able to try the croquettes from Gigi's, in the past they have always been sold out. These are perfect little mashed potato balls coated in nuts. Amazing.

Croquettes from Gigi


We shared some pizzas, including the Ripieno Zucca e Spinachi (pumpkin cream, spinach, tomato and mushroom calzone), the Cavolo (cauliflower, artichoke, pine nuts, currants, capers) and the life-changing Melanzane (eggplant, tomato, basil).

Calzone from Gigi


Cauliflower from Gigi


Eggplant from Gigi


Afterwards we went to Gelato Blue, the most amazing vegan ice cream shop. So. Many. Flavours. Two of us got sundaes, and two just got a cone or cup. I went for a sundae, which had three choices of scoops. I chose the old favourite Peanut Butter Cornotto, and two new friends - Pana Cotta and Waffles, and Strawberry Balsamic Greek Yoghurt. The latter was so amazing, I wish I could have had more!

Sundaes from Gelato Blue - Peanut Butter Cornotto, Panacotta and Waffles, Balsamic Strawberry and Greek Yoghurt; Chocolate, Strawberry, Something else


Tragically, dear readers, by this time I was so, so, so sick. I had a hard time eating or even tasting food. The potato croquettes were perfect for the unwell palate, and the tangy greek yoghurt ice cream was amazing, but a lot of the other flavours of things got lost. There was even some left over pizza, which I sent home with a friend because I just didn't know if I would be able to finish it the next day. That is how serious this situation was. But it is nothing against the food, which is phenomenal. I have posted about how much I love both of these places before. And my OCC friend thought everything was amazing, which is great! I love showing people how wonderful vegan food can be.

Sunday morning. Life was grim. I just managed some overnight oats and fruit salad. The struggle was real. But the end was almost nigh. I forgot to mention, on Saturday the fruit salad came with a tub of yoghurt. HEAD DESK. Today it came with a tub of coconut cream, which was very thoughtful. Of course I can't eat coconut cream, but that is not their fault. Lunch on Sunday was meant to be some sort of vegan pumpkin roll thing, but apparently they realised they could not make that vegan, so I got this random VEGAN BURGER. Eh, it was something. I ate it.

Vegan Burger


The day came to a close and I hightailed it from the venue as soon as possible to go and have a little lie down. Because this was the last day of the last con for many of us, there was a party being held that night that I really needed to go to. After my lie down, I decided to fuel my sick self with potatoes. No other food was acceptable. So I first went to Grill'd and amused the cashier by ordering just some chips and relish to eat in. Grill'd makes the best chips.

Chips from Grill'd


As I was walking down to the venue, I passed a juice place that made me a very gingery beet and carrot juice, which was good. However it was then that my choices went awry. As so often they do, at Lord of the Fries. Readers may recall that my views on LoTF range from adequate to eh to ick. Unfortunately, tonight was an ick factor. Granted, my sickness may have contributed. I also honestly think that the Sydney one is just not as good as other ones, the chips are always terrible. I was just going to order the vegan poutine, but ended up getting the Vegan Halal Snack Pack, minus the chili sauce. They also had a Twin Peaks themed cherry pie milk shake that I was excited to try. The milkshake tasted like cherry pie on the first sip, then just tasted like bland vanilla. The chips just were mushy and soggy and not good, though the toppings were amusing. But I couldn't finish them. Here is a really bad photo of the HSP in some really bad light.

Vegan HSP from LoTF


I stayed at the party for a little bit, said goodbyes, hugged or elbow bumped (I was the walking plague at that point), and then dragged myself back to bed and to sleep. And now, for the saddest story of all. The final morning. I had planned to get up and go and get breakfast at this amazing new vegan place called Shift Eatery, but I was so tired and so sick and so wishing I was dead that all I could manage was to drag myself to the hotel lounge for this.

Hotel breakfast


I ended up at the airport three hours early... I couldn't even check my bags... because there were people taking all sorts of different flights. When I finally got through, I went and got a juice from their weird place called Joe & The Juice and I also got some very green salads from Sumo Salad.

Sumo Salads and juice


I was so glad to finally get home! And then I got a chest infection and went on antibiotics and spent abut four days lying around doing nothing. It was a definite damper on my final OzComicCon experience, but I will always be grateful to all the wonderful people and for all the amazing memories.

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Dim Sim


Nothing better than being reunited with Dim Sim!