After wandering around Fitzroy a bit (the hip, near-city suburb where I was staying), Kristy from Kblog picked me up and we went to the famous (at least in vegan blog land) East Brunswick Club. We were joined there by Caroline and Tim, Miss T, Cindy and Michael, Lidia and eventually Toby. I didn’t take photos because I was in a bit of shock (but check out Miss T's post or Cindy and Michael's post for photos and commentary). A regular pub with lots of vegan offerings? There were about five specials on the menu, all $10 and all vegan. Plus 5 or so vegan desserts.
Kristy and I got two meals and shared—Chicken Parma and a Bacon Cheeseburger. Both were really great, but I think I preferred the burger. For dessert, we joined the crowd and indulged in Cherry Ripe Cheese Cake. It was probably the best vegan cheese cake I’ve ever had. In addition to fantastic food, the company was great. I was given lots of advice about where I should eat while in
A possum at the uni...
The conference didn’t start until after lunch on Tuesday, so I spent the morning wandering around Fitzroy again. There’s a lot to see in that suburb. I popped in to Friends of the Earth, a radical book shop/café/grocery store. They use their window space to facilitate house sharing, and to speak out for causes.
Just up from Vegan Wares was the almost mythical Las Vegan Bakery.
I filled up on home made, bottomless chai tea and a ‘Chilli Non Carne Calzone’. It was so warm and hearty and perfectly spiced, and it was the perfect way to warm up (
After a postgrad day and some free conference drinks, I headed in to
The conference catering was very considerate of those who had made ‘special dietary requests’. Vegan, gluten-free cakes were available for morning tea, fruit for afternoon tea, and filling pasta and rice dishes for lunch. The problem was, everyone else helped themselves to the vegan food! One day I nearly didn’t get any lunch. The final day of the conference, servers were guarding the special diets section and quizzing people on their needs before they let them get into the food. I appreciated that.
Some of Melbourne's street art.
Wednesday night, the conference had organised women’s drinks. After presenting my paper that morning, I thought I had earned some champagne. The only vegan hors d’ouevres were spring rolls, and the servers made a point to find me when they passed that tray around. Although I ate a fair few spring rolls, I didn’t feel satisfied so I went to Trippy Taco before calling it a night. This was one of the many suggestions offered to me at the EBC on Monday. The taquitos were the most highly suggested, but after eating so many deep-fried spring rolls I decided on a black bean burrito. It was huge, and considering it was only about $8 it was great value. Beans, salad, soy cheese, and some other stuff made a really tasty and filling dinner.
Thursday night was the conference dinner, which I didn’t go to. I heard from people who did, though, that the entire meal was vegan—special dietary requests or not. Instead of the dinner, I went out with some people for drinks at bars which were far too trendy for me, like this one with no sign but a bicycle on the wall.
We went back into
Friday was the last day of the conference, and I was glad to see the end of it. It’s an exhausting exercise—especially if you don’t know anyone there and constantly have to be extroverted and meet new people. To celebrate the end of the conference, I went out for drinks and dinner with some other people I met through the conference. Another bar which was too trendy for me (called Polly Cocktail Bar) and then the ridiculously popular Vegie Bar. I ate a Tempeh Burger with peanut sauce and chips, and was relatively unsatisfied. It was good, but not great, and there just wasn’t enough of it.
I’ll save the last—and most exciting—day of the