Fries, Fries, Burgers & Fries
AKA Frying To Australia
By Shari Black Velvet
In December 2013 I visited Australia for the first time. While there I took the opportunity to visit a few vegan/veggie diners and stores. Although I had limited time in the four cities I visited, so didn't get to visit too many, here are the ones I did.
It looks quaint and tidy inside and I did notice a record player with music by the likes of Alkaline Trio. Woot. The menu is to die for. Total fast-food diner food like fries and vegan BLTs and burgers. The menu has so much awesomeness I would have gone there every day if I could. If I'd have known it was so close to our hotel I'd have gone there the day before but alas. I had a vegan BLT and fries, both of which were amazing. I chose a vanilla malt shake to go with it. The shake wasn't quite so nice, it tasted a little watery, so I probably wouldn't choose that again. I also couldn't resist hot donuts with strawberry sauce for dessert as they were only $5. These looked and tasted a bit different to the donuts I'm used to. They were smaller and harder. Not really soft and fluffy. You got quite a few for your $5 though, and they were still pretty nice. The whole meal filled me up, and I'd definitely recommend Two-Bit Villains as being a diner to visit if you're ever in Adelaide. It's upstairs in Adelaide Arcade, Shop 128 & 130, Balcony Level, Adelaide Arcade (Access from Rundle Mall across from the fountain or from Grenfell Street) so not the easiest place to stumble on, but definitely a place to seek out. Their website where you can check out the menu is at http://two-bitvillains.com
Since we were leaving the next day, I then decided to have a walk down to Bliss Organic which is a 100% vegan cafe and store. It sells more raw and healthier products than Two-Bit, it also has a fridge/freezer where you can buy vegan cheese, chilled and frozen products and groceries, also vegan items, books, merch, pet food etc. Bliss Organic is at 7 Compton Street, Adelaide, South Australia and its website is at http://blissorganiccafe.com.au. I was still full from the meal at Two-Bit Villains so ended up not buying much. Knowing that we were leaving for Perth early the next morning and going to a show that evening, I knew I wouldn't have much time to eat (as much as I wanted to) or drink, plus my suitcase still had lots of my own crisps and energy drinks. I bought a packet of raw kale chips though, which were very nice. I'd definitely frequent this cafe and store if I had more time in Adelaide and imagine many local vegans love it. It has lots of staples and things a vegan would want.
Landing in Perth the next day, my accommodation was on the same road as PAWS vegan cafe. Yay. So after checking in and sorting my bag out, I walked down the road in search of PAWS. Wow, it was definitely easy to spot with its big sign on the front. There were tables and chairs outside as well as inside, although quite quiet inside at that time (early afternoon on a Wednesday). PAWS (which stands for People & Animals Welfare Society) was bigger than I thought. There was a counter to order hot food and then it also had a groceries section, plus fridges with chilled food and drinks in. I decided to have a vegan cheese burger and fizzy organic raspberry. The one downside to PAWS was that they didn't have free wifi. You could see that PAWS had wifi in the wifi section of your phone, but when I asked if they had a password I was looked at blankly and told they didn't have it. Shame as I'd have sat in there longer and maybe eaten more if I could have gone online at the same time. PAWS can be found online at http://www.paws.org.au/raw-food-cafe and they're at 120 Beaufort St, Perth if you're in the area.
I bought a packet of Choculence which was on one shelf - which were like vegan chocolate Penguin bars. It was insanely hot in Perth and when I opened them I found they were all melted! Still nice though... PAWS also had some free animal rights stickers on their food counter so I grabbed a couple to take with me.
The Bon Jovi show was that night and then we were flying out early the next morning, so I didn't have much time in Perth at all. Next stop was Sydney. I found some Australian soy chips at the airport which looked interesting and were vegan so bought a packet. Om nom nom! Why do we not have these in England? They actually taste amaze.
By the time we got to our hotel, faffed around for a bit on the internet etc it was evening. We went for a walk in the direction of Sydney Opera House, taking photos. I ended up having an early night so didn't eat out until the next day. Lord Of The Fries was my No. 1 listing for Sydney. This is a small takeaway selling fries, burgers and hot dogs. Almost like a veggie McDonalds without the sit-in area. More just a counter-top where you'd order, wait for the food, then take it away. It has mini burgers and bigger burgers. I chose the mini burger deal and had a Guru Burger, fries and organic cola. Lords Of The Fries was busy. When I got there there was a queue out of the door (the place is too small for a queue inside). It doesn't say it's vegetarian so I'm sure many meat eaters buy burgers and hotdogs there not realising they're meat free. I really love Lord Of The Fries and would love to see one in every city. Lord Of The Fries is at 537 George St and found online at http://www.lordofthefries.com.au. Lord Of The Fries is also in Melbourne. Shame it's not all vegan but we can't have everything. Well, not yet anyway.
After a trip up Sydney Tower Eye and wander around the city centre I ended up in Westfield mall (oh, I saw a cool lady leafleting animal rights leaflets outside so stopped and told her I was vegan and believed in animal rights too, was happy to see someone there in the city centre spreading the word) and stumbled across Pure Health. Spotting 'vegan' on the board outside, it pulled me in and I looked to see what I might fancy buying. I ended up with more soy crisps (cheaper than the airport ones), and to counter-balance the fries and burger I'd had earlier I chose a Raw Revolution bar and healthy smoothie. I made my way back to our hotel to get ready for that night's gig.
Hello Brisbane. You are our final stop in Australia. We got to Brisbane dinnertime-ish. After the trek to our hotel, which included me pulling my suitcase up a million steps up a steep hilly park and almost wanting to pass out when I got to the top, I convince my roommate to have a walk into the city and come with me to a vegan eaterie. We found Vege Rama in the food court in Myer Centre. It was a counter amidst many others, selling vegetarian food. It wasn't all vegan, so some things I couldn't eat. I opted for the vegan pizza wrap and an organic cola. The pizza wrap tasted nice except for one item inside which I wasn't too keen on (maybe an olive or something like that). Check out Vege Rama's website at http://vegerama.com.au
I was happy to discover LUSH while by Myer Centre - and obviously couldn't resist going in to buy something before venturing back to the hotel. Loving that my fave handmade cosmetics store from the UK is all the way across the other side of the world too.
Next day I went in search of Govinda's Restaurant which is located at First floor, 99 Elizabeth St, Brisbane City. It has 3 locations but this was the closest. As the name suggests, Govinda's is heavily Indian influenced. Govinda's are part of a not-for-profit Hare Krishna Food For Life organisation and for every meal you purchased, a percentage goes towards financing 300 weekly meals given out for free... which is pretty cool. Being a picky eater that hates most foreign food with the exception of Italian, there wasn't too much on the menu that I thought I'd like, especially since Govinda's was vegetarian and not vegan - so I ended up just eating a plate of chips. Lasagne, quiche etc were all veggie but not vegan. Samosas which were vegan, I'm not a fan of. The restaurant was quite big though and it was good to see that it was very busy although I'd like to see a few more vegan options that weren't indian.
The following day after an early morning tour of the city, I decided to go to the other Vege Rama location. It is on Adelaide Street and also sells veggieburgers (the one in Myer Centre doesn't). This was one of my fave meals of the trip. The veggieburger was delicious and I was in vegan heaven. I naturally instagramed a pic right afterwards.
Our final day in Brisbane consisted of a trip to Surfer's Paradise. We got the train and bus up there and back and while there I spotted a veggie burger on the menu of a cafe overlooking the beach... so we stopped for one final meal. The cafe wasn't vegetarian, but the veggie burger was calling my name. I needed one final piece of hot vegan fastfood before my flight home. This veggieburger was super-nice as were the fries. The seagulls helped me out eating the last few fries as I was full and fit to burst.
Me on the beach after my final Australian veggie burger (in my flight clothes as we were going to the airport after getting back to the hotel):
If you go to Australia, go to some of these diners and stores. If I ever go back, I'll go back to them all.
Visit www.happycow.com for more vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Australia and all around the world.