Saturday, September 25, 2010

Vegan Ireland

When one thinks of Ireland, they do not really think of too many vegan-friendly things. I was determined to have good vegan grub when I was in Ireland. The tour I was on took us around the majority of the Republic and breakfast/dinner was included. If I had to eat one more serving of only potatoes, toast, and beer, I was going to cry. Too much starch! So, before I left America, I did some research on vegan-friendly restaurants in each of the cities we were to stay at. Below are my findings... was my friend in this quest. While I was in Killarney, I found the only vegan-friendly place listed, Stone Chat

 To start, I had the house salad which was filled with lots of great vegetables! It was very tasty.

For my entree, I had the mushroom stir-fry with tofu. The mushroom sauce was quite good. I really enjoyed this as an entree (huge fan of mushrooms) and it was such a great meal change from what I had been eating for 3 days.

After Killarney, we headed to Galway for two days. I got a terrible cold while in Galway and I think a lot of it has to do with the weather change (90 degrees to 60 degrees via one plane flight) and the fact that I was eating crap instead of the real meals that I'm used to. So, I skipped a day of touring the Irish countryside to sleep and explore Galway on my own. I found the only vegan-friendly restaurant there and had some hearty, cold-curing food. Food For Thought was a quiet, homey sandwich bar where people come in for a bit of food and tea to get out of the rain. It seemed like the perfect place to do some reading or homework.

 Vegetable soup of the day with black bread.

Vegan shepherd's pie with side salad. The pie tasted a bit like a breaded ratatouille to me. I really loved the soup and it was so great for my cold. This place changes their menu daily in order to try out new things for customers. I really loved Food For Thought! Definitely my favorite vegan-friendly restaurant in Ireland.

The last big city we stopped in for a few days was Dublin. To my surprise, there are not many vegan-friendly restaurants in Dublin listed on Happy Cow. I would think it being the capitol that there would be more. I chose to try Cornucopia Wholefoods. It was similar in set-up as Food For Thought. It's a lunch type spot where they change their menu daily. It is located in a busy part shopping part of Dublin, just off of Grafton St. Here I chose the curry with two types of salads, a microgreens salad and a cabbage type salad.

For more information on vegan dining in Ireland, check out Happy Cow, Vegan & Vegetarian Guide, and VegGuide.Org.

For good measure...
Me in Ireland at the Cliffs of Moher! Smiles.

Vegan Paris: Part Two

In August, I went on an adventure throughout Western Europe on my own. Over two weeks, I pretty much went around the entire Republic of Ireland (heritage trip <3 ), stayed in my old stomping ground of London for two weeks, and from London took the Eurostar train for day trips in Paris and Brussels. 

A long time ago, I gave my thoughts on vegan Paris, but I did not get to try any restaurants when I was there last. This time I did! Le Passage ObligĂ© is not strictly vegetarian or vegan. It used to be until last year. They are now vegan/vegetarian-friendly. For more information on vegan restaurants and events in Paris, visit the Vegan Paris website. 

I started out with a fried onion salad which was very good!  

After eating part of my salad, I had their wild mushroom roast with blackberry ginger sauce and three vegetable puree. The roast was a bit dry, but the sauce was very good. I burnt my mouth on the puree! It was so hot.

Overall, it was a decent choice of restaurant for vegan options. Their menu is marked "(v)" for vegan and "(vv)" for vegetarian. My onion salad was the only vegan appetizer and there was one other vegan entree. There were no vegan desserts.

I don't know much about vegan things in Paris, but I hope they get more restaurants! With such culinary history, I'm sure they could do wonders in Paris with our lovely friend, the vegetable.

Sorry I have not posted new recipes. I have been very busy with school! I'm hoping to try out a new recipe next week. Until then, I still have vegan Ireland and vegan London (part three) to tell you about!
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