restaurant review #228 – Pasta Puur is a vegetarian restaurant in the center of Oostkamp, a small village just outside of Bruges. Pasta Puur started out as a catering and take away business, but evolved into a lunch restaurant. There are also several premade dishes to take away, several are vegan.
restaurant review #227 – Vanilla Black is a vegetarian gastronomic restaurant in the city center of London, close to Chancery Lane. We were here before two years ago, and really enjoyed our visit (see review). We saw there was still place for lunch when we were in London last October (after VegfestUK), and we decided to make an online booking for lunch.
restaurant review #226 – Full Circle Coffee is a vegan tea and coffee house in Ghent. It is located a little bit out of the city center, in between het Zuid and Sint-Anna square.
The interior is nice, spacious and there is also outdoor seating at the back.
There are several vegan cakes and donuts available. One orders at the counter and then your order is brought to you.
restaurant review #225 – De Vleesch Lobby is the restaurant from De Vegetarische Slager (‘the vegetarian butcher’), a Dutch brand of vegetarian and vegan products. We were at their restaurant in The Hague for lunch a couple of months ago, with friends. The restaurant is a little bit outside of the city center of The Hague.
I was a bit disappointed that the lunch menu only seemed to have rather simple fastfood snack items, as opposed to the dinner menu (with more elaborate dishes). But on the other hand, we were glad to at least be able to have lunch at this restaurant, as many other restaurants seem to be closed for lunch in the Netherlands.
As it is the restaurant of De Vegetarische Slager brand, all of their dish contain their products, like ‘kipstuckjes’ (‘chicken’ pieces) or ‘visvrije Mackreel’ (fishfree mackerel). Although I do like to eat their vegan range of products, I have my reservations about naming vegan products as animals or animal parts, as it consolidates an objectifying view on animals (this doesn’t apply to terms like sausage or burger as those are simply ‘shapes’ which can just as well be plantbased).
This is what we had for lunch: the smoked sausage (roockworst 6,5), huzaren salad (11€), ceasar salad (11€), and chiq’n sliders (burger with fries, 14€).
Normally there is no dessert card for lunch, but we were told we could have the pies (without the sorbet or icecream that normally goes along with it).
We had these desserts (each pie was 4€): cheesecake with strawberry (or was it raspberry?), chocolate peanut cheesecake and lemon poppy cake, with coconut cream wip. The cakes were lovely.
De Vleesch Lobby is a nice, place, the mirrors on the wall make it seem very spacious. The fake sausages on the wall gave it a nice touch. Seating were also comfortable and service was friendly.
Toilets are at the back. The restaurant room itself is accessible (on groundfloor), but there is no accessible toilet. Toilets were clean, with paper towels to dry one’s hands.
All in all: we had a nice – albeit simple snack like – lunch. Very friendly service. And nice decor.
De Vleesch Lobby – restaurant De Vegetarische Slager, location
2514 BH Den Haag
restaurant review #224 – d’Afspanning is a traditional restaurant in Beernem, about 15 km outside of Bruges. “Afspanning” is an old Dutch word for a restaurant or sleeping place along a travel route, where travellers dismounted from their horses and could stall the carriages and animals.
We had been wanting to go to this restaurant for quite a while. When I inquired a couple of years ago whether they wanted to make a vegan menu, I received a negative response. But times change, and now they do make a vegan menu on request! Do make a reservation though and mention vegan specifically, preferably two days in advance.
This review is from a visit a couple of months ago, in December 2018.
We were warmly welcomed and could take a seat in the ‘voute’ room . I have no idea how ‘voute’ translates into English. It’s a room which is usually about 3 to 4 steps higher than the rest of the downstairs area, and was traditionally the bedroom in old houses. A cosy small room, with an open fire burning, but unfortunately also with several stuffed animal heads on the wall.
We were reassured about the vegan menu, and were served some crackers with tomato tapenade and olives. Followed by a small appetizer with granny smith apple and avocado and wakame (seaweed). A peculiar combination.
For the actual dinner, we moved to the veranda room at the back.
This was our 3 course menu (42,5€ pp):
- vegetable tempura with tomatosalsa and smoked pepper powder
- lacquered parsley root, spaghetti from pumpkin, lettuce heart with wheat grains
- springrolls with apple and raisin, peach sorbet and plump coulis
The food was nice, reasonably priced, although the tempurah was somewhat monotone and a too large portion of fried battered vegetables to serve as an entree.
The atmosphere was very enjoyable. Tables are placed reasonably apart, and dispite there being quite some patrons, it didn’t feel noisy or busy. It was nice to have the drinks in the voute room.
Do keep in mind that this is a traditional restaurant (not a vegan restaurant) and the confrontation with animal products can be hard. As also the stuffed deer heads on the wall in the voute room. Otherwise a very nicely renovated interior. Toilets were spotlessly clean and tidy.
All in all: we had a nice dinner, reasonably priced, and service was friendly.
Glad to have found another restaurant in the region where vegans are welcome!
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Nice dinner at restaurant d'Afspanning in Beernem (15km outside Bruges). Vegan menu on request. Review will follow on 🌿🌿brugesvegan.com🌿🌿 @afspanningbeernem 🎄🍁🎄🍁🎄🍁🎄🍁🎄🍁 #veganbelgium #veganoptions #restaurant #beernem #visitbeernem #dafspanning #dafspanningbeernem #veganbeernem #veganblog #vegansofig #vegan #vegandiningout
restaurant review #223 – Than Thai is a Thai (obviously!) restaurant in the city center of Kortrijk. We were here for lunch on a weekday, a couple of weeks ago.
The restaurant is divided into two rooms, bot facing the street, adjacent to each other. The interior is quite nice, comfortable and colourful. Staff were very friendly and welcoming.
Vegetarian dishes are mentioned seperately on the menu. A lot of them contain oystersauce though. We inquired about the possibility of vegan oystersauce, but it ws said not to be available that day.
Two dishes were said to be vegan: the tofu red curry with coconut milk (18,50€) and the garlic ‘black pepper’ tofu (17,50€). The dishes came with white rice (with fried onions on top).
The food was nice, big portions. The red curry is very (VERY) spicy though.
The restaurant room is accessible, but the toilets are with stairs (very dark!) going up, and are not accessible. Toilets were clean and tidy.
We had a nice lunch at Than Thai, good food, enjoyable atmosphere, although the curry was very spicy.
Note: after having posted about our visit in a local FB group, several people stepped up to share their experiences. There seems to be a lot of confusion about which dishes are exactly vegan. So best to double check. It would also be helpful if the restaurant clearly labels which dishes are vegan.
Than Thai, location
056/44 34 62
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We had a nice lunch at Than Thai in Kortrijk. Two vegan options standardly available. Tofu red curry with coconut milk and tofu with garlic. Review will follow on 🌿🌿 brugesvegan.com 🌿🌿 🌿🍁🌿🍁🌿🍁🌿🍁🌿🍁🌿🍁🌿 #vegan #vegankortrijk #veganinkortrijk #veganthai #restaurant #thairestaurant #veganbelgium #curry #garlic #tofu #veganblog #veganinbelgium
restaurant review #222 – SNCKBR is a vegan restaurant in the city center of Utrecht, just next to the concert hall Tivoli Vredenburg. We were here a couple of months ago, before going to show at the Tivoli. A couple of weeks ago, SNCKBR has been renamed into Waku Waku.
At the time of our visit, the opening hours were not correctly noted on the website. We already passed by at 4PM – expecting it to be open – but they were still setting up tables and told us it would be open at 5PM. So we returned. Although it was still early, the place soon filled up.
SNCKBR (Waku Waku) is a spacious place with a nice, newly renovated decor.
We had several reviews that service could be slow at SNCKBR (Waku Waku), so we decided not to take an entree or soup.
We ordered two mains, a the SNCKBR burger with fries on the side and a BBQ Peking Luck pizza. Luckily, the main dishes came relatively quickly.
The pizza was very spicy (with jalapenos). The burger was OK-ish (I’m guessing it was a storebought Fries or Gardein burger). The food was nice, although quite simple for those prices (pizza at 14,95€, burger 12,95€ + fries 5€).
As the main dishes were served within a reasonable timeframe, we still had some time before going to the show, so we decided to order a dessert anyway. But then the wait began. It took half an hour for one tiramisu to be brought from the kitchen (and it came after we asked about it, so otherwise I think we were in for an ever longer wait). What a bummer.
The restaurant is on ground floor, there’s just a small curb to get in.
Toilets were clean and tidy. Liked the stuffed teddy bear on the wall (no pic sorry – it didn’t turn out ok). Didn’t see an accessible toilet though (pity, since it seemed all newly renovated).
All in all: a nice dinner (but on the expensive side). Nice decor. Very friendly service. Bummer about the long wait for the dessert.
SNCKBR, location (now called Waku Waku)
3511 BC Utrecht,
+31 30 310 72 28
restaurant review #221 – The Gate is vegetarian restaurant in London. Actually there are already three The Gate restaurants in London (Islington, Marylebone, Hammersmith), and in March 2019 a fourth one will open (St. John’s Wood). We had already been to the one at Marylebone (see review here), so this time we went to the one in Islington. This was during our stay in London for VegfestUK, in the Fall of 2018 (see post here).
The Gate at Islington is a spacious place, and nicely renovated. A combination of old and new. There’s a restaurant room at ground level, and a room in the back which is up a few steps.
I had made a reservation online, and we were warmly welcomed and took place in the ground floor restaurant room, with a view at the bar.
Everything on the menu at the Gate is vegan, except for the non-vegan options labelled as such (NV = not vegan).
We had a lovely dinner. Mezze platter (£22) to share as a starter. Mushroom risotto (£16) and tortillas (£15) as mains, with sweet potato wedges on the side (with aioli, £4) and chocolate dish (£8) as dessert. Delicious!
Food was served very swiftly and service was friendly.
The ground floor of the restaurant is wheelchair accessible, and there’s an accessible toilet on the ground floor (clean, but a bit shabby though).
When the bill came, a bit surprised to see a service charge of 12,5% automatically added to the total amount.
All in all: we had a lovely dinner. Nice food, friendly service, nice decor.
A bit on the expensive side though (but it is London …).
The Gate Islington, location
370 St John Street
EC1V 4NN London
020 7833 0401
And then this happens …
Something is posted on social media about veganism, a poster, meme, or a vegan campaign, or about the living conditions of animals in agricultural industry, or maybe you just posted a comment about your experiences while dining out, and comments like ‘mmmmm, steak!‘, ‘I’ll be putting some more on the BBQ tonight‘ or – like in the meme – ‘Bacon!‘ appear. Or someone posts a photo of a hamburger, hotdog or sizzling animal flesh.
I always wonder why they post this. Is it simply because they have nothing meaningful to say? Do those posting such comments really think it adds anything to the conversation (or do they simply not think at all 😛 )? That they can somehow ‘win’ the meateaters on their hand? Or do they think it’s funny and a way to provoke vegans? (who then even write a blog about it, tsk 😉)
I think it may point to some form of anxiety to think these issues through. Not daring or not willing to think about the ethical issues surrounding eating animals. And the environmental and health aspects. Falling back on the secure, the familiar and known, transpiring a fear for the unknown. Doubling down: ‘my meat’ and nobody is going to take that away from me! Consciously on uncousciously there’s a conflict of conscience: eating animals somehow feels awry, but one doesn’t want to think about it, talk about it. Don’t go down that road!
Whether or not I will reply to such comments depends on the context. But most of the times I will just leave it for what it is. Or post a witty remark, while at the same time trying to plant a small seed, to make them think about their inner conflict. Or post this blog.
How do you react to such comments. Ignore of reply?
Previously posted in Dutch on my other blog Graswortels.
restaurant review #220 – Greenway is a Belgian vegetarian brand (restaurants and products) and was founded in the mid nineties. There are three Greenway restaurants in Belgium: in Ghent (it’s been ages since I was there!), in Louvain and in Antwerp. There’s also a Greenway foodstall at the train station of Gare du Midi, where we had a nice lunch before boarding on the Eurostar to London (previous reviews of Greenway here).
In 2018, Greenway announced that all it’s restaurants would become fully vegan!
This is from a visit at the Greenway in Louvain a couple of months ago (end of 2018). We’ve been to the Greenway in Louvain several times before, but on this occassion, we went to try the Beyond Meat burger, a new vegan burger that has been getting quite a few headlines lately for its supposedly ‘meaty’ taste and texture.
Greenway in Louvain is in the city center, next to the Oude Markt (Parijsstraat).
The Beyond Meat burger does live up to its reputation: it does taste really meaty! For some vegans this might be a deterrent, for others precisely the thing they are looking for! Mixed feelings here: I didn’t really fancy The Beyond Meat burger, my husband really liked it.
It came with potato wedges on the side and melted vegan cheese. At 13,50€ a bit steep, especially since the burger is rather a small burger.
We also shared a speculaas cake, which was lovely!
The interior at Greenway Louvain is spacious, modern, although not so comfortable seatings (no real chairs, but benches and bar stools, two sofas at the front though). The entrance at restaurant level is accessible, toilet is not. Toilets are downstairs, and they have been painted colourfully painted, which makes a bit more bright. Toilets were clean, with paper towels to dry ones hands.
Glad to have tried the Beyond Meat burger! Great addition to the menu at Greenway.
I wish a Greenway restaurant would open in Bruges one day 😉
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Have you tried the Beyond Meat burger? It's really … meaty 😄. Available at Greenway restaurants. Mixed feelings here. Jim loved it 🖒, I found it quite creepy 😛 🍔🌿🍔🌿🍔🌿🍔🌿🍔🌿🍔🌿 #greenwayfoods #greenway #greenwayleuven #beyondmeat #beyondmeatburger #veganburger #vegan #fortheanimals #veganism #veganrestaurant #burger #hamburger #nomeat #noanimalswereharmed #leuven #veganleuven #veganbelgium