Belated veganversary celebration

About 13 months ago, H (my daughter) and I (sort of) decided to try being vegan “for a month or so, just to see how we go”.  It was pretty much the same way I went lacto-ovo vegetarian about 20 years ago, and it had the same result – we never looked back.

We can’t actually remember the date of either declaration because, at the time, we didn’t realise they were going to be the start of anything big, but we’re pretty sure we went vegan in January 2013. Unfortunately, in January 2014, H was nursing a very sore mouth after her wisdom tooth surgery, so it wasn’t until this weekend that we finally got our Veganversary celebration.

We weren’t really sure how to celebrate, so we Googled and found some suggestions from PETA and from Georgina Paiella – but to be honest, we just wanted to eat something delicious and have a nice day. We decided on a food crawl of Fitzroy with lunch at Trippy Taco, which is H’s favourite place to eat.

Smith Street

It wasn’t awfully hot, but boy, was it humid! We dressed for comfort and set off early. We caught the 86 tram from Northcote and jumped off in Smith Street, Collingwood, so we could check out some vintage stores for clothes and bits and pieces. I’m always on the lookout for green bakelite and H was looking for a dress. We found lots of fascinating bits and pieces at Vintage Garage  – vintage bottles of Leed lemonade (a favourite from my childhood) and some gorgeous (but TINY) evening dresses – but nothing was quite what we were looking for, so we turned our attention to food.

Berrissimo

Tired and clammy in the humidity, we headed excitedly for Gelato Messina…but the door was closed! Sadly, we were too early – they don’t open until 12 noon on Saturdays. We nearly wept, but with the hope of Berrissimo only a few blocks away, we dragged ourselves through the side streets to Brunswick Street.

Berrissimo vegan nutella frozen yoghurt

Frozen nutella yoghurt, chocolate balls, strawberries and strawberry boba.

Berrissimo didn’t let us down. I chose a small cup of the vegan nutella frozen yoghurt, topped with vegan chocolate balls, strawberry pieces, strawberry boba (tapioca balls) and complimentary chocolate sauce. H couldn’t come up with a better combination, so she had the same. We settled ourselves on the comfy window seat and savoured the cold sweetness, and the chance to put our feet up for a little while.

Eventually we realised we couldn’t hog the window seat any longer, and we meandered all the way back to the start of Brunswick Street and then back up to Gertrude Street, enjoying rummaging through all the interesting shops, like Sheila Vintage, Rose Street Market and Scally & Trombone. We even passed the new Cruelty Free Shop that will be opening next weekend, right next door to Lord of the Fries.

Trippy Taco

By the time we staggered up to Trippy Taco in Gertrude Street, we had convinced ourselves that they would be packed out and we would end up sitting in the gutter eating takeaway. But, to our surprise, there was an empty table for two, right inside the door.

H chose vegan black bean tacos and fries, and I just chose vegan taquitos (but, as usual, also ate half of her fries).

Trippy Fries sprinkled with smoky seasoning

Trippy Fries sprinkled with smoky seasoning – I never want them, but once I’ve had one, I just can’t stop!

As usual the food was fresh and crisp and hot (well, the salad wasn’t hot) and delicious. The taquitos were topped with a generous helping of guacamole, that I scooped up with my salad. H is never too keen on the sultanas they add to the salad, and picked them out and tried to hide them under her cutlery. Ha! I wonder how many dishes are returned to the kitchen with the sultanas left on the plate.

Vegan Taquitos (front) and Vegan Black Bean Tacos (rear)

Vegan Taquitos (front) and Vegan Black Bean Tacos (rear)

We continued back down Smith Street, checking out Sixes and Sevens,  and a few other shops along the way, but our stomachs were SOOO full and we were hot and our feet were sore, and we just wanted to go home. We’d just jump on the next tram home…and then we saw them…people with ice creams…BIG, beautiful ice creams…Gelato Messina was OPEN! Could we? Should we?

Gelato Messina

Well, it’s not every day you celebrate your first veganversary, and we agreed we could just have one single scoop in a cup – just for a taste. With our heads held high, we bravely marched into the crowded shop and after a surprisingly-short wait, we left – each carrying 2 scoops in a cone. We both had bitter chocolate sorbet, mine with orange sorbet and H’s with lemon.

Gelato Messina - bitter chocolate sorbet with orange sorbet (rear) and lemon sorbet (front)

Oh, that bitter chocolate was really, really worth the agonising stomach ache! And I think we had answered our original concern about “how we would go” as vegans.

The best decision

Over the past year, being vegan has been anything but a hardship! We haven’t missed out on anything we wanted or pined for animal products. We’ve had a lot of fun, met lots of new people and animals, discovered some fantastic new foods and restaurants, and absolutely loved the relief of knowing we’re not supporting animal agriculture anymore.  Having a go at being vegan was the best decision we’ve ever (sort of) made!

Are you old enough to remember Leed?

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8 thoughts on “Belated veganversary celebration

  1. I remember Leeds 🙂 And Gold Medal, which used to be sold from a truck that would drive around. I think the pineapple flavour was our family favourite!

    Happy Veganversary, that is one fantastic celebration! Mine is coming up in April (I think late March/early April). I might take the family to Loving Hut, they like the fried entrees and the southern fried chicken 🙂

    • Oh, now you’ve got me thinking about the soft drink delivery trucks! I wonder if they still exist at all. I have vague memories of Slades or Loys (I think they were) delivering soft drinks when I was really, really small. I only remember getting Bitter Lemon or Ginger Beer (I think they were my dad’s favourites), so I always thought the delivery trucks only brought really weird flavours. They didn’t really appeal to a 3 year olds taste buds. 🙂

  2. I think I remember leed – but not well – I think we had noddy’s and black tarax and schweppes when I was little.

    Congratulations on your veganversary – sounds like you had fun – I want to have a jaunt down smith street now for mexican and ice creams – glad you were able to get to gelato messina and I didn’t realise the fries at trippy taco had smoky seasoning – now I really want some.

    • Thanks Johanna – it was a really fun day. Those fries are really quite weird, because we don’t normally like smoky flavours too much – but I find these really addictive. The smokiness is fairly subtle…I shouldn’t think about them. They just make me hungry for oily, smoky, salty food. Yum!

  3. Happy veganversary! I can’t think of a better way to celebrate… except possibly to blow a lot of cash on a pair of Vegan Wares while in the neighbourhood of Trippy Taco. 😉

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