Viva La Vegan!

I recently went for a road trip adventure to visit my friend Jeremy in Bundaberg. He's been working there most of this year at the Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery. I was looking forward to hanging out with Jeremy, checking out the vegan options, and seeing the turtles lay eggs.

After one stop at Tiaro, and my almost 4.5 hour drive on Sunday from Brisbane to the centre of Bundaberg, Jeremy and I first headed to the recently opened (the day before!) Eden at Boylands. Located in a nursery, out the back right in with the plants, the owners' Mum started us off with a plate of dessert samples. Best way to start a lunch really.

Eden_dessert_samples

They've recently opened this restaurant with a lot of vegan options. Due to the place being in Bundaberg, there's a lot of non-veg options on the menu. The all-vegan family is hoping to get rid of the non-veg options in the future - let's hope it's soon.

Jeremy and I ordered various dishes to share, starting with (one of my favourite things) Perfect Pancakes: hot, fluffy pancakes served with seasonal fruit, caramelised bananas, dark chocolate syrup and dairy-free ice cream AU$8: 

Eden_Perfect_Pancakes

 This was then followed up with the Burger of Eden: hearty plant-based cutlet, stacked with lettuce, tomato, onion, beetroot, grilled pineapple, avocado and cashew cream AU$8.50:

Burger_of_Eden

 Here's a photo of Jeremy with our drinks. One was an apple ginger beer drink. The other was lavender lemonade. Both were yum.

Eden_-_Jeremy_with_drinks

The meals fortunately didn't all come out at once, as I was getting full. We pretty much grazed for a few hours at the nursery. Our next meal was the Roast Vegetable Lasagne served with a side salad AU$13:

Eden_roast_vegetable_lasagne

Unfortunately we just couldn't fit anymore food, so no desserts, sorry. Great family-run, local business in a relaxing setting - make sure you check it out if you're in the area.

After our lunch, we headed to Barolin Rocks Dive Site for snorkelling for awhile. Also stopped at Nonna's Gelateria (aka The Windmill) at Bargara to check out the raw options they have - mostly from their main storefront at Nana's Pantry.

That night we went to Mon Repos for the turtle watching tours, which took place at the Mon Repos Turtle Centre at Mon Repos Regional Park. We were able to see a couple of turtles laying eggs with rangers measuring the turtles - it felt a bit intrusive.

turtle_egg_laying

Check out my even worse photos on Twitter here and here. Then the eggs had to be moved up on the dunes so the water wouldn't them away. We all were able to hold a couple of eggs each as we took them from one of the rangers and gave them to the other. They felt like water-logged ping pong balls. Here they are:

turtle_eggs

On Monday, Jeremy text me in the morning to let me know that actor and author, William McInnes was going to be speaking at the Bundaberg Library. I think he's great, so I went via Alowishus to get a smoothie, and settled in with the retired folk at the library to listen to William speak about his holidays and promote his new book. Here's a photo - I had a great seat.

Jeremy met me after the talk and we headed to Nourish Cafe for lunch. This "clean living" cafe has a variety of vegan and raw options. We ordered the Living Stack: A hearty salad of avocado, lettuce, tomato, shredded beetroot, carrot, purple cabbage, sprouts & red onion drizzled with our house-made, organic maple & Dijon mustard dressing & piled on top of our chia bread AU$12.50:

Nourish_Living_Stack

Also the Naked Burrito: cos lettuce, roast vegetables, chunky salsa & topped with avocado, aioli, coriander and cashew sour cream AU$12.50:

Nourish_Naked_Burrito

We followed up the raw lunch with raw dessert - the only two vegan options. Raw chocolate berry crumble:

Nourish_raw_choc_berry_crumble

And Raw rose and raspberry tart:

Nourish_raw_rose_and_raspberry_tart

They were a bit frozen when served, but the intense heat of the day soon sorted that out.

We spent most of the day checking out various op-shops in the area, and I bought a few things.

My good friend, Brian (who you probably know as the Vegan Black Metal Chef) really loved Bundaberg Ginger Beer when he was here in Australia at the beginning of the year. So we had to get a few photos for him outside The Barrel (the factory.) I bought some special Christmas Spiced Ginger Beer while I was there too. Here's one of the photos (also on Twitter):

LC_at_Bundaberg_Ginger_Beer_Factory

As most of the op-shops shut at 3:30pm (!) we headed to Nana's Pantry to buy a few bulk goodies, and to try the spiced ginger beer sorbet. We then headed back to the gallery, walked around for awhile - even in the rain which was beginning to set in. Later on we headed to Hello, a Korean restaurant where we both ordered the only vegan option on the meal - Bibimbap with tofu.

I left by 9am on Tuesday, it was great to stay in an art gallery. Here's some of the art exhibited here by Jeremy Kiraly. On my way home I made a few stops at a truck stop, then just outside of Gympie to buy $45 worth of fresh fruits, and again at one of my favourite places among the pines. If you know where this is, I'll meet you there one day:

Pines_en_route_home

I had such a great time with Jeremy in Bundaberg and was really impressed with the amount of vegan food options available. Make sure you go there one day to check it all out.

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