Not strictly vegan? No worries!
Following a vegan diet doesn’t mean that one has to eliminate their options in strictly vegan restaurants. By supporting plant based dishes in vegetarian or even regular restaurants we can push chefs to look into and produce new recipes ! Here are some vegetarian restaurants and buffets with vegan options in Europe which are worth visiting !
- Spirit – Rotterdam
Just a quarter from the center of the city, at Spirit’s buffet one can find fifty different types of breakfast, an abundance of lunch options and desserts and vegan ice cream as well ! In a space decorated by big plants and an imposing painting of the Bodhi Tree, calmness and balanced energy prevail.
As a fan of ethnic food, I took two sticks with satay tempeh with dipping sauce from peanut, shiitake dumpling and yellow vegetable curry. Even though I am always a little reserved with tempeh, this time it tasted amazingly with the satay sauce (made out of peanut butter and coconut milk). So delightful that I regretted having just two ! The steam dumplings filled with Asian mushrooms also did not let me down at all. Fluffy dough and juicy mushrooms ! What more can someone who loves both ask ? Finally, even though the yellow curry may not be a fancy and difficult to make dish, it beautifully completed my meal alongside my other two choices. My vegetables were not overcooked but crispy and I was happy I was taking all their rich vitamins !
Of course I didn’t just stay on the salty options, since right next to me was the fridge with the vegan ice creams. I got a scoop of chocolate (from maple sirup, apple, pear, rice cream, soya yogurt and soft tofu) and a scoop of coconut (again from maple sirup, soft tofu, rice cream, soya yogurt, coconut cream, grated coconut, dark chocolate and lemon juice). How happy was I for not eating again sorbet ice cream ! I remembered its usual texture and I realized that being vegan doesn’t have any restrictions !
The only thing I would suggest to be careful in buffets would be in general the portions of food we choose. Besides that the cost depends on the weight of our dish and not the variety we take, it’s a shame to throw away food which we may not want at the moment. Remember that especially abroad, everyone asks for take away with their leftovers.
- Teresa Carles – Barcelona
Deeply influenced by the traditional Catalan cuisine, Teresa Carles created a restaurant in the centre of Barcelona, embracing the vegetarian and vegan philosophy. The few options on the menu made me realize right away that it’s carefully structured with particular emphasis in few calories. Also, I was impressed by the huge variety of fresh juices there was, which they produce themselves (Teresa’s juicery).
So here I could not avoid the vegan tapas ! I tried them with carrot, baked sweet potato, beetroot, baked in spicy tomato sauce. Crispy and warm it was all I was looking for that rainy night. For starter I also got the eggplant rolls, filled with dried tomatos, mushrooms, cashews cheese and vegetable mayonnaise. With such a familiar taste, it made me feel like they were cooked by my mom !
For my main course I could not be happier ! I got the home-made lasagna from whole grain flour and five levels of clear pleasure : spinach and pine, cooked pumpkin in masala chai style, cashews cheese, boletus mushrooms and sauce of fresh and dried tomatos. Again, I had this feeling of home-made food full of love and care for the customer.
Finally, for dessert I tried the vegan millefeuille. An impressive dessert which is not delightful just on the outside. With a vegan catalan cream and fresh fruits, I was not embarrassed for a moment to show my enthusiasm ! I may feel day by day that being vegan becomes easier and easier, when it comes to coming across these recipes I cannot help but appreciate how a vegan community is sensibly being created.
I definitely left Teresa Carles full and with a huge smile !