Grater Goods…A Vegan Revelation.

Grater Goods Deli & Butchery

Hound #2 had a list of Friday errands to run so we hopped in Gertie the 1975 Series III Land Rover on a bright, crips sunny day & toddled off into town (Christchurch). Lots of very basic, boring things to do like pick up dry cleaning, visit the new, monstrous Durham Street New World (our life is so exciting) & then we had planned to check out a mate’s pre-auction warehouse viewing session but we had more than an hour before that kicked off.

So…lunch!!!

For the month of June, Hound #2 is going vegan for reasons I won’t get into but it creates a bit of an eating quandary…but I had read about Grater Goods (vegan deli & ‘butchery’) in several local publications & I had just missed out on their amazing Mushroom Market the prior Saturday. So this lunch option was proposed & readily taken up…

The Blackboard Menu

Grater Goods is housed in an old industrial building hidden away at 105 Orbell Street & conveniently located round the corner from Junk & Disorderly (always worth a squizzy). We perused the blackboard menu & queried “How can you have a Rueben sandwich without corned beef???” to which Flip Grater offered a very acceptable explanation of exactly how they do it with vegan ‘meat’ and vegan ‘cheese’…so we took the bait – with fries.

Inside Grater Goods…

Man oh man…what an awesome sandwich! I would seriously have a blind folded meat eater taste it, and mos def not be able to say if it was not a real (with meat) Rueben sandwich. And the fries were top notch too & I have no idea how they make the mayo or aioli but delish just the same.

The Vegan Rueben – Estupendo!

So if you are in the neighbourhood…or not, do yourself a favour & take a chance & have the vegan Rueben…you will not be disappointed.

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Going Vegetarian in Hondarribia, Spain

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Going Veggo In Hondarribia @ El Curry Verde

Having a vegetarian restaurant in Spain is almost an oxymoron as Spain is the king when it comes down to eating meat – especially pork or jamón. Hondarribia is not short of a bar or twenty that will readily serve up all the wonderful Spanish carnivorous treats and you are quite hard done by to get any green veggies with any ordered meal. We had wandered by El Curry Verde hundreds of times (it is on one of Hound #1’s fave walks), read the menu and said “we have to go here”. But we didn’t…until Hound #2’s vegetarian-bordering-on-vegan Dad paid us a week long visit which prompted our initial & most enjoyable meal. But we had to return…

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El Curry Verde offer an a la carte menu but they also have a version of the infamous menú del día  where for €17 you get a first & second course and a dessert or for €14 you can choose a second or main course and a dessert. Unlike most menú del días in Spain, wine is not included in the price but the wine list is quite modestly priced with bottles of red, white or rosé starting out at an accessible €8.

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Top Left: Hound #1, Sweet Rosé, Veggie Spring Rolls

For vino we opted for the Egiarte rosado which we thought, on its own, was a tad too sweet for us but it worked wonders with the food. We both love El Curry Verde’s version of spring rolls so I had them as my primero course with my €17 menu while Hound #2 talked them into making them up in a main size for her segundo course. Stuffed with vermicelli noodles & diced veggies these are a taste treat – just be careful you do not burn your mouth being too eager to bite into one!

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Falafel Tacos…

My main course was a tummy filling falafel taco – perfectly cooked & full of flavour with a sensational salsa on the side. Loved the generous use of fresh herbs & veggies that lent the taco a crispy freshness and as I said before, a bit of a rarity in the Spanish restaurant or food scene.

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And to finish off our estupendo meal we both chose the inventively served cheesecake – filling up whole insides of a mason jar. Delish it was too — crispy, crunchy topping with a tart & sweet cake.

We will mos def be going back and if you are in Hondarribia, crave some super flavourful veggie comestibles, make a bee line for El Curry Verde!

Going Veggie…Km.0 in San Sebastián.

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Km.0 Vego in San Sebastián

We’d scheduled a ‘day out’ in San Sebastián to visit the Kursaal Gallery and a new space we’d recently read about called the Tabakalera, an old tobacco factory that has been totally renovated and had just recently opened to the public in September 2015. The Tabakalera is a truly awesome, massive space (including a rooftop terrace with spectacular views) – well worth a wee bit of a diversion if you happen to be wandering round San Sebastián.

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Deal to Make You Squeal

Post the Kursaal perusal and prior to the Tabakalera we thought a spot of lunch was needed, so we tracked down a vegetarian restaurant called Km.0 that Hound #2 had read favourable mentions of in the same article that alerted us to the Tabakalera space.

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Main Plates: Vegan Lasagna and Vegan Albondigas (Veggie Balls)

Km.0 offers a sweet deal for the plato del día – for €9.75 you get your choice of a main plate, a dessert and a bebida (we went with vino tinto). Hound #2 decided to give the albóndigas de trigo y avena (wheat and oat balls) con ‘pipperada’ a try while my tastebuds & slightly bigger appetite leaned towards the lasaña de veduras con crema de calabaza (veggie lasagna with pumpkin cream). Very, very yum & lots of it – we only noticed after cleaning the plates we’d actually chosen vegan dishes…wonderful when really healthy food tastes great too!

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Serious Chocolate Thing

For a sweet finish to the meal, we both could not go past the tarta de chocolat y platano (chocolate and banana cake) – not at all sure how you make a vegan dessert like this as it was seriously rich & chocolatey – especially the ultra smooth mousse stuff on the top.

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So get yourselves to the Tabakalera for a decent squizzy and drop into Km.0 for nibbles, lunch or dinner – and they have Keler on tap!