Tag Archives: lunch

Oh Snap!

I love a picnic, especially when I didn’t have to make the food! These mouth-watering quiches (olive and feta, and goat’s cheese) are from Pamela’s Pantry on Caxton Street and eaten in the city gardens.

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I could really get into quiche if it was like this every time.

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AROMAS

So when you’re trekking through the city, either on a shopping expedition (I wish!) or for whatever reason brings you to the CBD, there can feel like limited places to go. There are lots of places that serve vegetarian food, but Ben and I are quiet people at heart and enjoy somewhere to sit and relax.

It’s a damn shame that the Regent Theatre was shut down, but I’m so glad the foyer has been saved and that Aromas is still there. It’s one of the few places that feels away from the hustle and bustle of the street, even though it’s on busy Queens Street Mall.

There’s a limited menu and a lot of it is made off-site, but it’s good for a toastie and a huge iced coffee. Seriously. Huge.

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Recently I wanted something substantial so I ordered the spinach and cheese roll with salad and relish. It’s not going to win awards, but it was hot and nice and served with fresh greens. It perked me up and was washed down nicely with a huge soy iced latte (although there chai is nice too, and made with real tea).

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There is NOT a trendy crowd here, but it’s cool and dark and if you’re really good, I’ll buy you a packet of afghans. Holy caramel latticed chocolate biscuits, Batman, they’re good.

Aromas on Urbanspoon

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Easy Quiche for lazy people (aka me)

So I think the final frontier for ex-vegans eating eggs again is quiche. I’m not sure why, but I’d take a poached egg over quiche any day of the week, even though you’d think a poached egg is more “eggy”.

I’ve wanted to create something freezable for work and thought I’d give quiche a try, but also didn’t want to spend ages making bases. Then it hit me, from the packet of mountain bread I buy for me breakfast wraps:

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And so, dear readers, that is exactly what I made. I doubled it for lunchable goodness. When cold, I wrapped them individually in foil and froze.

Has this made me love eggs? Alas, no. I have been eating fewer eggs these days, reserving them for breakfasts, but Ben loves quiche and even as I type told me he was going to defrost a piece for lunch today.

So not quite delicious in my eyes, but if you already like egg, you might really like this recipe.

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DAKBLA

So I have no idea what “Dakbla” means, but in West End, it means nice Asian and Vietnamese food.

I first went to Dakbla with friend as a table of four and we had four meals and two entrees for less than $80. Impressive. Dinner also came with green tea from the manager, who was lovely.

Ben and I went back recently for lunch on a hot day. We felt like something light and full of veggies.

I immediately ordered a coconut water, as did Ben. These are the real deal and even come with young coconut pieces to fish out of your glass and chew on. So yum.

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Like many Asian cuisines, there are vegan options if you’re careful to avoid fish sauce.

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I ordered the Rice Paper Rolls with Tofu and Ben ordered the Temple Delight. Another vegan warning is that the tofu is made with egg, so vegetable dishes might be the way to go.

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Our meals arrived together, but the service was very slow. We think it was because it was lunchtime and only one other table had people at it, so by having us sit by the window for a long time, we looked good for business. This is a shame as we had very speedy service the first time we came here and the food really is lovely and affordable (most vego dishes hover around the $14 mark).

my Rice Paper Rolls were perfect: light and filling with a great dipping sauce. Ben’s dish was more filling and substantial and also delicious.

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My suggestion: If you don’t want a drawn out lunch (we were there for over an hour start to finish) eat here for dinner or at busier times.

Here’s another gratuitous coconut water shot, because it was a hot day and I was thankful for it:

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Dakbla Vietnamese and Asian Cusine on Urbanspoon

Enjoy.

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Super Duper Easy Chickpea Rissoles

So this is one of the easiest recipes in the world. I make them regularly and they’re full of protein and very flexible on the flavour balance.

I like to make these on the weekend and eat them for lunches. They freeze well and are nice hot or cold. I took this batch to a picnic on a perfect Sunday afternoon. Very yum.

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inGREEDients:

2 cans of chickpeas

2 eggs (if you want to make these lower calories, just use egg whites. I hate waste).

4 tbls flour

4 tbls parsley or other greens floating around (spinach, coriander, etc.)

Cumin, paprika, ground coriander

Salt and Pepper

Any other spices or flavours that you fancy

 

DO:

Drains and rinse the chickpeas. Chuck those puppies in the food processor and give them a blitz to get them started. Add all the other ingredients and blend until sticky (you may want to mix more or less depending on what texture you like).

Roll into balls or patties and bake on a well oiled tray until outside is crispy.

These are really nice with sweet chilli sauce. I had them the other day with a spinach and feta dip and they were delicious. You could also put this in felafel.

Makes about 2 dozen balls, depending on how small you roll them.

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So easy, you won’t have any excuses not to try them and report back!

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ORAWGI

So I’m in love. I love raw food places because you can feel the care in the food. I’m serious! Nothing can be “slapped together” in a raw food cafe because everything is a process- blending, chilling, dehydrating, marinating, etc.

Orawgi (meaning Organic, Raw and low GI) is run by the supremely talented Jamie Louise Stevenson. I like to think her parents read her Treasure Island as a child. It’s actually located inside another building- BioSolar- on Ipswich Road in Wooloongabba. Their Facebook page is here and the owner also runs the yoga studio next door.

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The decor is white and bright but a lot of fun. I forgot to take a picture of the wall that was just black and white photo frame wallpaper with the staff’s colour photos stuck on it, but it was very cute. There were quite a few people there and the three staff were bustling and busy.

Ethics is the name of the game here. Everything is vegan (except for honey in smoothies) and organic and made in the store. It’s not cheap, but when you consider the labour that goes into making an organic dehydrated pizza base or quiche or bagel, it’s worth it! Take away containers are biodegradable and non-plastic wherever possible.

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I oggled the display cabinet but decided upon the pizza straight away. I think most of the meals were $15 but a lunch deal is $20 and includes either a drink or something sweet. I ordered The Jefferson Special smoothie (walnuts, protein powder berries and honey) with my lunch and it also came with salad. I had the garden salad and the kale salad (although you can just have one or the other if you want). This might not look like a huge serve, but I was FULL by the time I’d finished.

That is not a real orange. It is my "magical orange" which will summon my meal when ready. Hehehe

That is not a real orange. It is my “magical orange” which will summon my meal when ready. Hehehe

The salads were tasty- the kale one had purple carrots and a Asian soy-ish flavoured dressing with lots of sprouts and seeds. Fresh.

How do I describe raw pizza? Hmmm… well the veggies included tomato, capsicum and florets of broccoli (trust me when I say that broc on a pizza can work!) on a crispy base. The base is made from nuts that are made into a “dough”, rolled thin and then dehydrated (dried without cooking) until crispy. The sauce was amazing- it tasted like sun-dried tomatoes and perhaps capsicum buzzed up in a Vitamix blender until super-fine and smooth. There was also a drizzle of cashew sauce- cashews, garlics and I’d have to guess perhaps some nutritional yeast- which serves as the “cheese”. This is not Dominos people, this is nutrient dense food that tastes great.

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I also ordered a brownie to take away but they were all out so I had the chocolate and salted caramel tart. It’s a hard life. Even though it has coconut oil/butter in it, it lasted all the way home via the fruit and veg shop without turning into a gloopy mess. I don’t know what I liked more: the base or the toppings.

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The verdict?

Can you marry a shop?
Orawgi on Urbanspoon

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COMFORT AT MY TABLE

So for my first day of holidays, I went to lunch with two friends, one of whom I hadn’t seen in ages. I’m really not familiar with Milton because I’ve always been scared off by the terrible parking situation.

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If I’d known Comfort at My Table had been waiting for me all this time, I would have been there years ago. It looks like quite a small café from the front but opens into a large airy space with big white tables and mismatched chairs. The décor is decidedly girly- pale pink walls, floral bunting and a shabby chic feel, but this didn’t stop heaps of local businessmen from popping in for a meal or a take-away coffee while we were there, a good sign considering there are lots of other coffee places nearby.

Comfort specialises in breakfast but also serves lunch and sweet things. One friend ordered a sandwich and the other scrambled eggs with mushrooms. I ordered the avo toast with Danish feta and tomato relish for $10.80 and a poached egg on the side ($1.50). My first thoughts were “That’s not a cheap avo toast”. I stood corrected when a huge and delicious pink plate came out with a slice of roasted lemon and plenty of rocket as well as a really tangy creamy danish feta (I always thought feta had to be one or the other). You pay for care and things made at the café itself. It was divine.

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I also ordered a pot of chai which is supposed to be a specialty. It came out properly brewed in a pot with honey on the side (even though I stayed strong and didn’t have the honey). It was a lovely tea. I thought it might be T2 Chai, but it lacked the liquorish hit T2 has. The waiter didn’t know either- it’s a secret! He also said that he once guessed it might be T2 but confirmed that it wasn’t. Whatever it was, it was lovely as were the waiters who were present, very pleasant and attentive but never intrusive.

They also serve Krazy Lemonade, a local product I’ve had at the West End markets many a Saturday. All the baking is done in house. Overall, it was a well done: service, décor, food and pricing was all spot on. There really wasn’t any vegan options already on the menu, but the avo toast could easily be done without feta and there was toast and fruit toast available. If I wanted a hot vegan option, I’d be incline to order toast and then add some sides like thyme mushrooms, chat potatoes (yum), baked beans, avocado and roast tomato (providing everything was not cooked in butter of course). Soy milk and gluten free bread were available.

After one of my lovely ladies went back to work, the other and I wandered down Railway Terrace to Park Road. We discussed how the café would be lovely for a Kitchen Tea or Baby Shower- it was definitely feminine, but more Shabby Chic meets Happy Modern, and not over the top.

I know Comfort has been around for a while, but I really was delighted at how “correct” everything was and how much I enjoyed my breakfast for lunch.


Comfort at My Table on Urbanspoon

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GUZMAN Y GOMEZ

So I love me some Mexican. Mexican-styled beans with chipotle and rice are a staple in our house. We had been to Guzman Y Gomez at the Emporium and so got quite excited when we heard GYG was opening down the road from us at Southbank. I’m not going to wax lyrical about a “fast food” joint, but I will tell you that we both really liked it.

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We ordered a veggie burrito, veggie quesadillas and guacamole with corn chips. You can also order the burrito sans tortilla in a bowl, although they do have GF options. You can tell that someone has actually had to stand at a grill cooking onions, capsicum and mushrooms. Everything is made from very “real” ingredients. It was a bit on the early side of lunch so service was especially quick. We didn’t get drinks here but have always enjoyed the alcoholic slushies they sell- perhaps it’s the white trash coming out in us? 🙂 We spent just under $25 for our three items and were very happy in the tummy.

The thing I like about GYG is that it’s some of the easiest veganisable (I know, I know, not a word. Sue me) food around. Guac is included automatically for vego meal options and they practically expect people to mix and match. We have a carni (vore, not val) friend who likes coming here because he doesn’t like cheese and they reliably leave it off for him. You can get gluten free very easily. Everything is very mild and hotter flavours are added at the sauce station. The non-reusable serving-ware is easily broken down and they have two bins- recycling and “Everything Else”.

It really is the kind of place that’s easy to go with a diverse group of people and although it’s obviously not fine-dining, it’s a large, cheerful and efficient place that sells real food that’s really tasty. ‘Nuff said.

 

 
Guzman y Gomez on Urbanspoon

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Lazy Sunday

So I spent a very leisurely 4 and a half hours having lunch with a friend from my old workplace today. We’ve kept in touch because, even though we are very different ages, she’s a kindred spirit.

We ate: homemade beetroot dip with goat’s cheese and Portugese sheep’s cheese (from the Swiss Deli at West End) with pits chips for nibbles, pumpkin and chickpea curry with spinach and coriander and a side of rice for main and chocolate and coconut tart for sweets.

UH MAY ZING.

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Plus a beautiful garden and sunshine to sit in. Plus Jade the dog. Can’t forget Jade.

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IMAG2468Excuse the knees 🙂

 

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TEMPO CAFFE AND BAR

So yes, I must begin by saying that’s how Tempo spells cafe. Just so you know.

Anywho,

Tempo is a West End Boundary Street option which offers street dining where other cafes sometimes don’t have the room. We went for an indulgent Saturday lunch and it didn’t disappoint. We ate out the front but I’ve also grabbed a juice inside before. Outside you are going to have the glory of West End walk by and curious birds hoping for a crumb, so if you want solitude, head into the cave-like interior.

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Tempo advertises itself as Turkish, but the lunch menu is mostly modern Australian cafe fare, although dinner is more traditional Turkish. If you look up Tempo on Urbanspoon, you might notice there are two entries. One is rated 86% and the other 68%. Weird. I think it’s the difference between lunch and dinner. The dinner diners rave and the lunch diners smile politely or dislike the slow service.

Well we didn’t have dinner but we found Tempo pleasant. I ordered the Haloumi burger and chips with a juice and Ben ordered a vego brekkie with a beer. Yeah, I know, brekkie with beer. Men.

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Service wasn’t fast but it certainly wasn’t anything to complain about on the day we went there. Having said that, we were having a late-ish lunch at about 1.30/2pm. My juice was freshly made and refreshing, and any beer is good to Ben, although he didn’t like the selection very much and ended up drinking Heineken. Never his first choice. Although I have recently written about how Turkish is great for vegan options, the lunch menu was a little more limited. Despite that, there was still a vegan brekkie- very cool!

Ben’s breakfast was huge and delicious. There’s a piece of haloumi hiding under there somewhere.

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Ben’s only criticism is that it was a but oily, as you can see by the shiny avocado. My burger was exactly what I felt like- solid noms and carbs that hit that cheesy, potatoey spot one feels from time to time (which is why I love spaetzel and cheesy gnocchi so much).

IMAG1203Overall, Tempo gave us a break from the cafes and restaurants we often wander into without thinking. It wasn’t life-changing, but it was generous portions and standard West End prices (read: medium). It’s probably somewhere I’d prefer to go to with friends but wouldn’t go to with Ben regularly. We were full, happy, sitting in the sun and full of haloumi.

‘Nuff said.
Tempo Cafe on Urbanspoon

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