Viva La Vegan!


Saturday started very early with my friend, Rico picking me up at 4:30am to head to the Brisbane airport where we parked his car for the weekend in an unusual spot...  The flight was good with both of us trying to get some rest, unfortunately we didn't travel with Qantas so I didn't get my usual breakfast that I'd grown accustomed to the previous two weeks.  A mutual friend, Sundara picked us up at the airport as he'd arrived earlier from Canberra.  We were all tired from very early starts and just wanted to get some breakfast.  We had a couple of options and proceeded to try to actually get from one side of the city to the other.  Unfortunately not only was it raining and horrible weather - yet again! but there was some sort of Christmas parade that had closed off just about every street.  It was very annoying and we were getting more hungry.  I don't understand how hard it is to put "road closed" signs up and have the detours indicated...

Anyway, after about an hour and a half and with the help of Sundara's trusty GSP, we finally made it to Joy Discovery a great little place owned and run by followers of the spiritual teacher, Sri Chinmoy, similar to the My Heart Garden restaurant here in Brisbane.  Great, healthy meals served with friendly staff early in the morning.  I had a lasagne and a selection of the salads AU$15.50 - I LOVE my photo below: 


Sundara had the Three Pates of hommus, tuscan bean, carrot and coriander with turkish bread and corn chips AU$10.50


Along with the Lentil Pie AU$4.80


followed up with the Chocolate Peanut Cheesecake AU$7:


Another excitement from this restaurant was that Joy Discovery were selling my favourite chocolates, Constant Craving Chocolates, hand made in Australia.  So Sundara and I bought a few of these - I particularly love the coconut and coffee flavours (even though I never usual have coffee or coffee flavoured anything) After breakfast/brunch we dropped Rico off at his B&B then heading to Sundara and my apartment.  I caught up on a bit of sleep and then rehearsed my set of songs for the next day's performance at Vegan Festival before we headed out in the rain for dinner at Bliss Organic Cafe:


Bliss Organic Cafe is owned and run by Kas and Shane Ward.  Kas also organises Adelaide's Vegan Festival and as well as running the cafe has a 3 year old son! Kas and Jess from The Cruelty Free Shop (who started Cruelty Free Festival in Sydney) were the two special ladies who planted the seeds in my head of putting on Brisbane's very own vegan festival at the 2008 Vegan Festival in Adelaide, and the rest as they say is history!  Kas and Shane especially opened their wonderful Bliss Organic Cafe for our select group the night before the Vegan Festival and the meals were superb!  This was our menu:


Joining myself and Sundara at dinner were Jess from The Cruelty Free Shop and her son Robbie, Lee and Sue from Cruelty Free Super, Jeremy from Vegan Perfection, Dave from Funky Pies and Jess' friend Michelle and her son Tom.  We all shared some rice balls: vegan ricotta, pumpkin and parsley with beetroot chutney AU$7.90


Sundara and Michelle had the Pumpkin and sage Soup AU$9.90:


Jess, Sue, Tom and myself all had the Malai Kofta balls AU$16.90:


Lee, Dave, Jeremy and Robbie all had the Chickpea, spinach and potato curry $AU 13.90:


and Sundara also had the Bliss Burger AU$14.90:


Kas created all of these recipes and makes all the meals herself.  Sundara and Sue both had this great hot apple juice with cinnamon, lemon, thyme and cloves AU$3.90 Mental note to myself to make this when I get home as if feels great for the throat and would be amazing for the vocal chords.  As soon as we'd walked into Bliss, most of us had eyed off the minty Chocolate mousse with mocha soy-cream for dessert.  Sundara, Lee and myself had this: 


(sorry about the dessert photos, it was getting dark by now...) 

Sundara also had the Lemon slice delight:


Jeremy had the Cherry Cake:


Dave had the Banana split sundae:


Jess, Robbie, Michelle and Tom didn't want dessert, I thought for a moment they were trying to be good, however I found out later they were at Chocolate Bean Cafe!  We all went home for an early night before the festival.


When I woke up it was a beautiful day: the sun was shining, the birds were singing, and I got to wear my new dress that I'd bought last week in Sydney!  It was another great day catching up with interstate friends as well as the usual crew I'd been hanging out with the past two weekends: Jess from The Cruelty Free Shop and her son Robbie, Lee and Sue from Cruelty Free Super, Jeremy from Vegan Perfection, Angie and Dave from Funky Pies and more!  Adelaide's Vegan Festival was outdoors in Whitmore Square this year.  I performed some of my original songs in the afternoon that I will post footage for on my YouTube channel soon.  (Sundara took over 300 photos of my performance, see below for just one!) It was a great day had by all and I can't wait to see what Kas has planned next!


After the festival a few of us decided we obviously had to go somewhere to eat, the only place really open was Vegetarian Delight a restaurant that has been running since 1999.  Sundara, Jeremy from Vegan Perfection, Rico and I arrived early so we ordered some entrees while we waited.  Satay sticks AU$5.50 for three:


Samosas or Curry Puffs 3 for AU$7.50:


Then our other dinner companions arrived: Angie from Funky Pies, Alistair Cornell who is a very active activist in South Australia, who has worked with PETA and Animal Liberation in the past, and Sue who presently works for PETA, so they ordered Spring Rolls AU$5.50 for 3:


and Steamed dim sims 3 for AU$5.50:


Then all seven of us shared the main meals, starting with Combination Rice Noodle AU$14.80:


Salt and Pepper Tempura AU$13.80:


Sizzling vegetarian Beef AU$15.80:


Vegetarian Chicken with Cashews AU$16.80:


Chinese seasonal mixed green vegetables AU$14.80:


Okra in Black bean sauce AU$13.80:


Peipa tofu AU$13.80:


Tofu in Sweet and Sour AU$16.80:


Not the sort of meals and food most of us like, but it was good nonetheless.  Jeremy, Angie, Alistair and Sue all left to go home and even though it was 10pm, Rico, Sundara and I wanted to check out the Eggless Dessert Cafe for dessert.  Jeremy had been given a business card by their owner that day at Vegan Festival which said they were open until late.  We weren't sure exactly what late meant in Adelaide speak but we thought we'd give it a go.  The place was so busy!  The owner came to have a chat with us when he heard we were from Brisbane and he explained to us that they are open late because a lot of students want somewhere to go later on at night and not many places cater for them.  As his partner gets bored cooking the same things all the time, she regularly changes the menu so each month they serve different desserts - what a great idea!  Rico ordered the Strawberry and Apple Pie AU$8:   


I had the Berry Blondie consisting of a moist golden brownie with mixed berries, vanilla ice crea and mixed berry couli AU$7:


Sundara ordered Cinnamon sweet potato Churros with melted Belgian chocolate AU$8:


I also ordered a hot chocolate (AU$4.50) but it was a bit too much chocolate so Sundara finished that off for me along with his own Ice chocolate AU$5.50.  We were pleasantly surprised with Eggless Dessert Cafe - what a great end to another great weekend!


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