Sunday, July 22, 2012

Work Trip

Although travelling for work is not always the most fun ever, there are worse things. Especially when work trips bring opportunities to eat exciting vegan food with exciting vegan (and non-vegan) people. I spent the past week away from Townsville doing a few different things.

On Sunday I arrived in frigid Melbourne, ahead of two days of executive committee meeting for a professional association. Not that fun. But, made bearable by the really lovely dinner I had with Mel, from Veganise This! Mel not only responded to my "please, will someone have dinner with me?" request, she also picked me up from the airport and then dropped me off at my hotel after dinner. Did I mention how lovely she is?! When Mel suggested we visit the Gasometer pub in Collingwood, I did a quick blog search and found both she and Cindy & Michael had posted about the wondrous vegan pastrami burger, so I couldn't say no. And when we arrived at the pub, I looked at the options but just couldn't get past the idea of that pastrami burger. And it was everything it promised. The vegan goat cheese was really incredible, the cole slaw was a good foil to the rich seitan and cheesy toppings, and the chips were just perfect. The whole thing tasted like caraway and dill, which somehow matched the dark and somewhat gloomy (in a good way!) interior. The apple hot toddy, for just $5, was a good way to beat the chill that I always feel when it's below 25 degrees! The pub was pretty dark so this is the best photo I managed.

Mel blogged about dinner here, and you can see the photo of her meal there. You can also see, at the bottom of the post, the really delicious lemon slice she gifted me. It was such a good snack at the end of two long days of meetings! Thanks, Mel!

Tuesday afternoon I flew from Melbourne on to Sydney for a workshop I had co-organised. I had a free half-day in Sydney, so on Wednesday morning I wandered to Glebe and paid a visit to the Cruelty Free Shop. I got a few things to eat immediately, but most of my purchases made it home to share with Andy.
TVP beef slices, vegan gummy bears, sweet & sara coconut marshmallows, a pie, and a choc-mint truffle ball which I ate straight away!

For lunch, I took advantage of the oven in my apartment and cooked up the Funky Pie.

Funky Chunky flavour, with big chunks of something beef-ish and mashed potatoes, inside of the flakiest puff pastry ever.

Dinner that night was at Mother Chu's, with Andy's brother. I didn't take any photos, mainly because I was too busy stuffing my face with really delicious food. The catering at the workshop was pretty ordinary, vegan-wise, and for dinner on Thursday we all went to Thai Pothong in Glebe where the (slightly modified to suit my vegan-ness) vegetarian banquet was way too much food, all of it delicious. Again, no photos, because I was at a work function, across the table from a sociology rock star (making googly eyes at him, probably).

Since I don't have any more food photos, I will finish off with this bag I bought at Salvo's in Glebe, to carry my (borrowed from work) laptop in style.


Cindy said...

I'm very sorry to have missed your pre-Melbourne tweet, but even more glad you got to meet Mel - she really is lovely. :-)

radioactivegan said...

I'm on work travel right now too (well, in the airport waiting to be on work travel). I'm hoping to explore some vegan places. I'm super excited because the conference had an option for "vegan" on the registration form. I'm 99% sure that's because of me calling for the last five years asking for vegan meals. They've finally relented :)

Anonymous said...

your funky pie looks so good! nice and flakey! enjoy your trip!

Kate said...

Sounds like a fun trip! Glad you made it to the Cruelty Free Shop in Sydney, there's so much great stuff to choose from. Also love the bag, I'm a big fan of buying second hand stuff :)

Kari said...

It sounds like you managed some great things around the work. I'm glad you had such a nice dinner with Mel in Melbourne, and that you squeezed in a trip to the Cruelty Free Shop in Sydney (I suspect Andy was pleased about that too!). And your new bag is lovely :)

Hannah said...

Oh, I'm so envious! I travelled so, so often for work during the past 16 months, but I only once did I actually have time to have a meal out. It was always just dawn-wake-up, straight from airport to meeting, straight back. The one time I was able to stay overnight, we finished so late and I had to be up so early that I didn't get dinner out then either!

I think I'd even pick work trip food shopping over work trip eating :P

Mel said...

Thanks for your kind words, it was so lovely to meet you! I'm glad you liked the lemon slice and that it came in handy, it was quite easy to make and everyone at home enjoyed it too. Good to hear that the rest of your week went well and that you were able to track down some goodies to share with Andy. :-)

urban vegan said...

I hate traveling for work--but it looks like you had a great time, got to meet a lovely friend, ate lovely food and bought a lovely bag!