• February 1st, 2011mr meanerdublin, more restaurants (not LA)

    Perhaps the most famous thoroughfare in Dublin is Grafton Street. Immortalized by James Joyce, Christie Moore, U2 and (more lately) the touching musical romance movie “Once”, this eclectic street stretches from verdant St. Stephen’s Green in the south to Trinity College (one of the world’s great seats of learning), and the River Liffey to the north. A few steps west of Grafton St. lies Wicklow St., the heart of Dublin’s historical arts district, and home of Cornucopia, one of Dublin’s few vegetarian and highly vegan-friendly restaurants.

    We visited Cornucopia on a warm autumn evening, and immediately fell in love with the place, despite being initially disappointed with a loooong queue of people waiting inside the door. You see, Cornucopia is counter service and buffet-style, so one has to stand in a line, order from a server and then take a tray to a vacant table – if you can find one. I personally find places with this setup a little stressful – I mean, when you arrive you have no idea how long it will take to get served, and when you’re being served you’re worried about if you can find a place to sit and eat – otherwise you’ll be left standing with a heavy tray attempting to rush to a vacant table, trampling other human beings like some post-apocalypic feeding frenzy.

    OK, I got carried away there, but you get the idea. Let’s now talk about the food.

    Sweet Potato, Pea, and broccoli Dahl with organic brown rice, garden greens, and sprouted beans. €12.95

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  • November 18th, 2010quarrygirlbelgium, more restaurants (not LA)

    we only spent a day in brussels on our recent european vacation, but it was definitely one of the best days of the trip. we got the train over from london, toured an amazing brewery in the morning, did some sightseeing, and spent much of the afternoon in holed up in delirium cafe, a bar with a 200 page beer list. in between all that, we also managed to grab a lovely meal at den teepot, one of only 3 vegan restaurants in brussels.

    fresh off a tour of the cantillon brewery and a few lambics in their taproom (an experience i’d HIGHLY recommend if you ever visit brussels), we hit the streets looking for food. thanks to the happy cow app, we discovered that den teepot was only a short walk away. the small vegan restaurant located on the top floor of a health food store is open for lunch monday through saturday from 12-2pm, and when we arrived at around 12:10, it was already starting to get busy…

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  • October 31st, 2010quarrygirldublin, more restaurants (not LA)

    dublin may be known for its pubs, but it certainly isn’t known for its vegan-friendly cuisine. ireland’s capital city has only 5 restaurants listed on happycow, and none of them are vegan. in fact, all of the vegetarian restaurants are within walking distance of one another. about a month ago, we spent a couple days in dublin and completely exhausted its vegan offerings…i’m happy to report though, that what we did eat was quite good. especially at blazing salads.

    i’m gonna work backwards, and post about what we ate for breakfast on our last day before we left town. after being turned away from 2 other local restaurants because food wasn’t ready yet (WTF, that would never fly during opening hours in LA) we settled on blazing salads…an all vegetarian establishment with a vegan salad bar, lots of pre-packaged foods, and a bakery case. we arrived at around 10am on a friday, and not much was ready yet. the salad bar was in full swing, and the pre-packaged foods were still leftover in the case from the previous day, but none of the baked goods were available (including the vegan pizza we were hoping for). we settled on a couple of salad boxes and a ready made sandwich. we ended up having to eat while standing against the window, because blazing saddles has absolutely no seating. welcome to europe!

    the pay-by-weight salad bar had a pretty good selection (ALL OF IT WAS VEGAN, weee!) including leaves, sprouts, hummus, pickled vegetables, cous cous, and beans. yum!

    when it came to sandwiches, there were several to choose from in the deli case…

    we went with the tofu option—a pita stuffed with loads of vegetables and thick tofu chunks for €3.90. to be honest, this thing was AT LEAST a day old and a bit soggy, but that didn’t stop us from inhaling it. while it filled the void, i would advise only eating the fresh options from blazing salads. who needs a day-old sandwich?

    as we were leaving (about 15 minutes after we arrived), a fresh tray of vegan pastys and vegan pizzas were loaded into the pastry case…

    i almost died, because upon our arrival i asked the cashier if i could order some of their vegan pizza and she nonchalantly told me it wouldn’t be ready for “quite awhile.” WTF?????? IT WAS READY AS I WAS LEAVING. dude, if i wasn’t so full of day-old tofu and salad things, i would have ordered some pastys and pizzas for sure. 🙁 next time.

    overall, blazing salads is worth a visit for their great hours and entirely vegan salad bar. points off though, for not letting us know that hot items would be available soon….and also for having stale-ish shit in the prepackaged case.

    i will back. and if you are in dublin, you could do a lot worse!

    blazing salads
    42 Drury St
    Dublin 2
    (01) 6719552

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  • December 21st, 2009quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), paris

    this post was supposed to be a rave review about la victoire suprême du cœur, the oldest of very few vegan restaurants in paris, where i ate lunch recently on my 25th birthday.

    La Victoire Suprême du Cœur

    unfortunately, i found out that not long after my meal there, la victoire closed down and a new omnivorous restaurant called le pas-sage obligé opened up in its place. the good news is, although the new restaurant serves meat (ugh!), they do still have some of the old vegan options on the menu (woo!), including the veggie burger we ordered.

    just for the sake of it, here’s what our meal looked like:

    we started with a few baskets of fresh bread and a half carafe of red wine, because you just gotta in paris. all that romantic BS about bread tasting better in france is absolutely true, this was the best bread i’d ever eaten…which was only topped by a baguette i ate later that day.

    Degustation platter: Tapenades, mushroom terrine, pakora, seitan, vegetarian chicken, sautéed potatoes, salad. €15,5

    as a main course, i ordered the degustation platter, which was way too much food to eat, but i somehow managed. it came with several different tapenades including olive and sundried tomato, as well as crispy fried onion pakora, seitan, cubed vegan chicken, roasted potatoes and green salad. the pakora was some of the best stuff i’ve ever eaten in my life, and the seitan was also exceptional. i mean, just look at that beautiful plate.

    Veggiburger of house seitan, sautéed potatoes, salad. €13,5

    my husband ordered the house veggiburger, and of course i had to give it a try. the patty was perfect and juicy, and seemed to be made of the same excellent seitan that was on my plate. the potatoes and fresh salad were just great as well, and i am so glad that this dish is still on the menu at the new restaurant. if you ever find yourself in paris, this is a dish i would recommend.

    while we were there, la victoire was also having a lunch buffet for €12,8 which looked absolutely amazing. there was a table filled with colorful salads, fresh breads, and various hot dishes. as i was leaving, i made a mental note to definitely try the vegan buffet next time. sadly, it looks like that won’t be happening.

    since la victoire suprême du cœur has been around for over 14 years, and has been known as the best vegan restaurant in a city with so few meatless options, this news is extra depressing. i’m just super glad i got to spend my birthday at la victoire suprême du cœu before it closed its doors—it was one of the most lovely and memorable lunches of my life!

    new restuarant info:
    Le Pas-Sage Obligé
    29, rue du Bourg-Tibourg, Paris 4th
    Traditional Restaurant
    with a large choice of vegetarian and vegan dishes

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