Dough Yo’s X Veg Heads April 2019

Last Saturday I attended the grand opening of Dough Yo’s vegan doughnut shop in Southend and I had the privilege of being the first ever customer!

Dough Yo’s is run by my friend Nathan who is a very active member of the Essex vegan activism community, with Matt of Veg Heads cooking up burgers and hotdogs in the kitchen. The café is on Queen Street just off the High Street so very easy to get to.

I went with a few friends and it was great to see the long queue forming when we got there just before they opened. We also saw a few other friends while we were there. Us vegans love our doughnuts!

I went for a hot dog, coffee and chocolate hazelnut doughnut and it was all fabulous.

There were many different doughnuts on offer so I bought a “Homer” home for my Husband and my friends enjoyed some other delights.

So when you’re next in Southend I highly recommend you head down to Dough Yo’s and get your fill of vegan treats!

Plumes x

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Dough Yo’s X Veg Heads April 2019

Vintage Inns – March 2019

Vintage Inns run a network of country pubs across the nation and launched a vegan menu last year. I have heard people raving about it so when my friend Samarra and I decided to go to dinner this week we The Mint in Banstead. Samarra is Muslim so a vegan menu also extends the options she is able to choose from.

The menu online looked quite extensive and I had pre-chosen the pasty to start and the pasta for main but unfortunately neither of these were on the menu when we arrived to the pub.

Instead I went for the soup of the day which was tomato and basil which was lovely. It came with bread and a wedge of something that looks suspiciously looked like butter so I left that to the side.

For my main I had the burger which unfortunately doesn’t come with chips as they use the same fryers for non-vegan items. The burger came in a ciabatta roll which did not appear for for purpose as the burger poked out on all sides! The patty was really nice though. The salad that came with it just seemed like extra burger toppings and not the roasted vegetable and grain salad on the menu so when the waitress asked if everything was ok with my meal I raised this and she got the kitchen to make up the correct side.

I didn’t want a dessert but decided to go for a hot drink while Samarra was tucking into her crumble but again, unfortunately, they do not have any plant milk options so I went for a peppermint tea.

It seems like Vintage Inns have gone to the effort to produce a vegan menu but the execution just isn’t there. I don’t know if this just The Mint of extends to their pubs. I do think it is really poor to offer a vegan menu but not having a separate vegan fryer or offer plant milk. I may try a different Vintage Inn in the future but I won’t be rushing to.

Have you eaten at Vintage Inns as a vegan? Did you have a better experience than me? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

Vintage Inns – March 2019

Shrove Tuesday @ The Birds

As you probably realise from my blog posts I do try and get round to as many places with vegan options as possible but I can’t be everywhere (unfortunately!) so we have a guest post today from my Sister-in-law, Gemma who enjoyed Pancake Day at The Birds with a couple of friends.

So over to Gemma…

“A couple of friends from work and I decided we would go check out the options “The Birds” in Leytonstone had on offer. We had seen on Instagram they were doing a special pancake menu.

We shared the non spicy dirty fries, salt and pepper cauliflower bites and the chickenish burger.

The fries were fab but could have done with some more toppings.

The cauliflower bites were delicious and had a great sauce.

The burger was made from seiten and was quite dense but still super tasty with plenty maybe, bacon and perkins.

We ordered three of the pancakes on offer the orkay, nana and nuts and the stack all to share.

The stand out favourite was the stack which had plenty maple syrup and chicken style strips on top.

The others looked really great but only had toppings on the top. We thought toppings in between each layer with some ice cream would have made them less dry.

The oreo based pancakes should have come with coconut cream so when we enquired, we were told they had run out so we asked for more syrup and so we were brought a jug of maple syrup and some of the peanut butter sauce.

The birds menu is heavy with vegan options but they do a small selection of meat dishes. They also do a good brunch menu.

All of the drinks on the menu and specials board were clearly marked stating which were veggie or vegan friendly.”

Well doesn’t that sound fabulous?! I think I’ll have to get down there soon.

Have you been to The Birds? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

Shrove Tuesday @ The Birds

Hank Vegan Burger, Paris – Feb 2019

For our third evening meal in Paris we decided on Hank vegan burger. They have a few locations around Paris including a pizza restaurant. Luckily we had a branch a ten minute walk from where we were staying.

Hank now offer the Beyond Burger patty for a surcharge which my Husband went for. I’ve tried the Beyond Burger before so I went for their standard patty.

I thought these colas from Oxfam looked really cool. Who knew Oxfam made fair trade cola?

I went for the burger which came with tomato and basil sauce and black olives. All burgers come with vegan cheese onion and pickles.

This was a really tasty burger although the burger patty was quite soft.

My Husband had the barbeque sauce and marinated peppers burger which he enjoyed.

He also took one home that had mustard sauce and alfalfa sprouts. He thought the mustard didn’t pack enough of a punch but other than that he enjoyed it.

I also took a carrot cake home which had amazing texture but was quite light in colour and I think it could have had a bit more spice.

Have you been to Hank’s? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

Hank Vegan Burger, Paris – Feb 2019

brEAThe, Paris – Feb 2019

We booked a table at brEAThe for our second night (and my birthday) in Paris. We had a table booked for 7 but we didn’t have time to go back to the apartment from our day out before-hand so headed straight there and were welcomed to our table when the restaurant opened at 18.30.

They had a lovely list of cocktails and it was difficult to decide. I ultimately went for the cherry Negroni which was a strong as they described!

My Husband chose the mushroom and seitan ravioli to start which was very nice when I tried a bite.

For my main I had the cep linguine. The sauce was tasty with a strong mushroom flavour although I was disappointed that my “artichokes” consisted of one half of an artichoke.

My Husband chose the burger and he was sadly disappointed. The garlic mayo lacked a garlic punch and he said he couldn’t taste a difference between the bun and the filling despite the gooey cheese and the onion ring. He said the burger we regularly have at Leon is much better and a third of the price at £5.45 against this plate at €16.50.

I was happy with my dessert of Millefeuille which came with a blackcurrant Chantilly cream and chestnut cream.

Have you tried brEAThe? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

brEAThe, Paris – Feb 2019

Food I’ve enjoyed this week

I’ve had some great food this week, but didn’t have enough to say to give them each their own post so thought I’d do a little round-up.

So Veganuary is over and 250,000 took the pledge to go vegan for January. This was more than all previous years put together! We’re definitely onto something! If you didn’t take part and you’re not already vegan you don’t have to wait until 2020, you can get support from the Veganuary website all year round.

So onto my food…

Monday was not only payday but the day Papa John’s in the UK launched vegan cheese. We ordered the garden party pizza and the cheese and marmite scrolls. Unfortunately our branch didn’t have the scrolls so I received a refund for this part. The pizza was really good, I just think there should be a bit more cheese on it.

On Tuesday my Husband met me before in London before we went to our evening class and we headed to Mooshies, a vegan burger bar on Brick Lane. We both chose the guest burger – The Magic Mushroom. This contained deep fried oyster mushrooms with a hash brown and siracha mayo. This was so tasty although a little spicy for me!

On Wednesday I met my Sister-in-law, Gemma to go to a talk so we ate in the nearby Leon beforehand. We both went for the Love burger which is quickly becoming my fave grab and go burger! (I also nabbed one on the way home on Friday!)

On Thursday I was working from home and had a lot of veg in the fridge that needed using up so I made a stir fry of cabbage, radish, spring onion, cauliflower and mushrooms. I chopped up an avocado on the side and stirred in some vegan halloumi.

Dr Michael Greger is a vegan doctor who wrote the book “How Not To Die”. He offers nutritional advice on his website https://nutritionfacts.org. He has a daily dozen of thing awe should have everyday. Beans, berries, other fruit, cruciferous vegetables, greens, other veg, whole grain foods, flaxseeds, nuts, tumeric, exercise, and vitamins B12 and D. I’ve been trying to include these in my daily routine (my morning smoothie helps a lot!) and you can download an app to help track them.

I went swimming with my Mum in the evening and her Husband made us a sweet and sour tofu noodle dish. Great after getting out of the pool!

On Friday it was snowing so I didn’t want to go far for lunch so I picked up a ready meal from Mark’s and Spencer. For some reason some of the ready meals are in foil containers so should be oven baked. I didn’t realise this until I got back to the office so I transferred my cashew mac to a bowl before microwaving it. This was really creamy but lacked a cheesy flavour, I would recommend adding a bit on nooch if you’re at home. The mushrooms are a fab addition to this dish.

The other thing I bought from M&S was their banana and oat drink. This used to be their banana, oat and honey drink so I’m glad they’ve now removed the honey to make this product vegan.

That’s it for the food. In other news I’ve been watching the Marie Kondo show on Netflix, mainly to help with my Japanese studies. I’m pretty minimalist anyway and didn’t have stuff to get rid of. We recently had a clear out when we moved but I did decide to organise my one drawer (my Husband takes up the others in our chest). When I sent the photo to my mum she said she’s been doing this for years and it wasn’t a new craze at all!

The other exciting development is that our new kitchen has been delivered and is currently sitting in our spare room ready to be installed next week. I’m looking forward to having an oven again after six weeks. Expect to see lots of baking!

What have you been eating recently? Any great new finds? Did you take part in Veganuary? Are you planning to stick with it? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

Food I’ve enjoyed this week

Frankie and Benny’s – January 2019

I’ve only visited Frankie and Benny’s once in the 6 years being vegan and that was a couple of months ago when they did an offer on International Chicken Nugget Day with their vegan nuggets as well as their regular chicken ones.

They have really expanded their vegan offerings and one of things I like is that they are spread throughout the main menu in the normal categories not in a separate menu you have to ask for or a little section on the back of the menu.

We started with the cheesy garlic bread. The basic garlic bread is vegan and then you can choose to add mozzarella or the vegan alternative.

My friend Louise chose the beet burger (which is a beetroot and soya patty) it came with all the normal fixings including vegan mayo and she chose to have it with sweet potato fries. Louise isn’t vegan but eats a lot of vegan and vegetarian food and she really enjoyed this.

I chose the “I’m no chicken parmigiana” which is two Fry’s schnitzels covered in tomato sauce and vegan mozzarella with spaghetti, you can then choose salad, green vegetables or fries. I wasn’t in the mood for double carbs so I went for the vegetables.

I think this could have done with some more sauce but other than that I enjoyed it.

There are plenty of other options that I may be heading back for, such as the Mac and cheese and the not dog.

Update I previously said the only vegan desserts they had were sorbet but I have been corrected by my pals on Instagram (thanks Stephen and Liz!) that they offer a chocolate cake as well as sundaes. I must have missed those VG symbols on the menu. Just need to offer some vegan shakes and they’re all there!

Have you tried Frankie and Benny’s new vegan options? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

Frankie and Benny’s – January 2019