Friday, January 9, 2009

The Vegie Bar.

Tim mid-Grooming and Cale being.. Cheeky?!
I have food poisoning. I think. I dunno. It's a really bad time. Fuck. I'm so annoyed.

Sophie and Cale invited me to eat with them at Vegie Bar last night because Sophie wants to work there, I guess. I hadn't been there since my accident in 2007 but I had enjoyed it the couple of times I'd been there prior-to losing my teeth and my dad especially likes this place and often reminds me of when I took him there and "What was that bar called?". I invited Tim and Pip and suddenly I was fifth-wheeling (jokes. we're all friends. but couplesville + Lena seems to happen a lot).
Vegie Bar is normally quite busy but there's never been a long wait in getting a tbale and there's pretyt good service and the place has a pretty successful "it's all happening" kind of vibe, y'know? There's a tiled specials menu above the bench seats and a cabinet displaying desserts. Apparetnly the outside area is really nice and once I went to a birthday dinner here and we sat upstairs and it was real homely up there.
My only big complaint is that there was no salt and pepper shakers on the table andw ehad to ask for salt, which I would have assumed would have prompted a "woudl you like some pepper?". MAYBE this is because they're so confident with their own seasoning that they dont ened to provide this service, but COME ON, really?!?!
There's a great amount of stuff on the menu and we fickle vegans deciphered our way through it and ended up with the following.
Sophie had the Gado-Gado, which despite being not Pip's favourite south east asian dish, she approved of the sauce (we all did, I dipped chips in) and I suppose it was delicious enough to get through despite my feeling that disregarding the sauce it looked like a kind of plain meal. It was nice that they served the sauce on the side, but I like this dish for its full-drowning-of-vegetables effect it can have when served with the sauce everywhere. I should have gotten a report from Sophle but I didn't. Sauce Delicious, good amount of veggies and tofu.

Tim had the Vegan Supreme, of which I could not partake so I have no opinion other than Tim's which is that Tim is Supremely Vegan and this pizza was quite Supreme and he ate the whole damn thing and let Pip have A BIT. And Pip is very good at sneaking tastes of other peoples food for her own judgement and for the fun assortment of flavours it provides. Tim likes to eat, and he at the whole thing, no complains. Cale said that they've changed the cheese, so those of you who are on the ball with Vegie Bar, WATCH OUT- THEY'VE CHANGED CHEESES ON THE VEGAN PIZZA. Crazy. Absolutely wild, this place.

Pip and Cale did twin-orders of the Bean Burrito thingy made Vegan. Pip seemed pretty non-plussed about it, but made little complaint. The Guacamole was fine, I guess. I had ordered a bowl of chips with tomato sauce (not pictured- a bowl of hot chips. and a dipping bowl of tomato sauce. use your imagination people, it was very mystical and avant garde looking so if you're lost on this one then maybe I should take a photo of a potato) which was probably what I enjoyed most about eating the things I ate. It looked real cute though, a nice bready parcel of beans on soem rice and corn chips, some guac as a condiment and a nice leafy salad.

And I had this. It is a rissotto of (apparently) three kinds of mushrooms (Pip and I counted one: BUTTON. whatever), white wine and truffle oil. If I were a vegetarian it would have chevre and parmesan. Which may have made this dish more pretty and maybe may have saved it. Complaint the first: They used BROWN RICE to make this risotto. PRetty sure the best choice would have been Aborio, thanks guys. There was a lot of information and the dish was promising but I couldn't handle the intensity or something. I dunno. It really needed saving. I put a fuck load of salt on it, as is now much custom due to low blood pressure + a taste for salty food anyway, but that didn't seem to do much. The best way I could explain the disappointment I had for this dish was the following way.
IMAGINE SOMEONE IS TELLING YOU A REALLY INTERESTING STORY ABOUT SOME AMAZING FUCKING SHIT AND IT HAS ALL THE KEY PARTS TO MAKING A GOOD STORY AND THE LANGUAGE IS REALLY GOOD BUT THE PERSON TELLING YOU THE STORY IS TELLING IT IN A COMPLETELY MONOTONOUS VOICE. I don't know about you but if/when this happens I think I'd want to be listening to the story, and I'd want to be enjoying the story, but the voice is just not engaging me AT ALL and I keep tuning in and out of it and I don't really see the point of the story anymore even though there is the promise of one.
This is the first time in a long time that I haven't been able to finish a meal. I just. Couldn't handle it. I guess. Maybe it's me, maybe the Risotto is fine. BUT I AM prepared to take the risotto accountable for my food poisoning. WHATEVER. Fuck you, risotto.
+++ Also Because I couldnt finish it and I didnt wanna waste it i thought mayeb I could take it home with me and mayeb make it tastier. APPARENTLY Vegie Bar doesn't allow this, which makes no sense.

Pip will back me up. Risotto was annoying and disappointing.
Dessert, however, saved the vegie bar last night.
There were two vegan options available from the display last night. One was an apple rubarb crumble (could not partake of crumble, but I ate some of the berries which was like HOLY FUCK WOAH OMG AMAZING) which Sophie and Cale shared. Lovers.

Pip and I shared the Choc Royale. Pip dug into it before I got a photo but this cake was gluten free and amazing. I've made a similar cake a couple of times, served warm. This wasn't warm but it was damn humungous and damn delicious and layered and rich and ohmygoodness.

My only real excitement about this place was when I discovered, as -ahem- relieving myself in the single-room ladies toilet, was the AMAZING TOILET. Holy shit.
So. The toilet is a water saver. HOW? All a toilet does is flush lots of water and constantly refill its basin and water water everywhere but not a drop to drink and WE'RE IN A DROUGHT, PEOPLE. FUck. So Anyway, the sink is for washing yourself after doing your what-have-you in the loo, and it is attached to the Cistern of the toilet.
So. what you do is, right, You flush the toilet (half or full, whichever appropriate) and then the TAP TURNS ON. OMG. Magic. So the tap turns on and you wash your hands and then you're like OMG HOW IS THIS SAVING WATER THE TAP ISNT TURNING OFF HOW DO I MAKE IT STOP.

but Stop. Hammertime, check yourself. For reals. Because what the tap is doing, is refilling the cistern. HOLY SHIT.

But really, this place?

Not worth the vomit/diarrhea/nausea party that continues to follow.

Sorry Dad (who is 61 today), I'm not taking you back here.


Theresa said...

Haha, I went to Vegie Bar when I visited Melbourne and it was sooooper crowded and seemed really popular but I didn't think it was that great. I get shitted off when I have to wait for a table and I don't like crowds. But also, the menu wasn't *that* exciting, and the food was only okay. Mind you, it would be a definite bonus compared with anything we have in Townsville... but after a week of fantastic Melbourne veg restaurants, I was let down.

I'm glad now that I didn't get food poisoning. Sheesh, that sucks.

Léna, said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
holly fluxx-snaxx said...

oh my god lena, i am SO anti vegie bar.
i've talked to one of the chefs there before (who was a raging meat eater, as are many members of staff there) and i asked him, 'what is good for vegans to eat at vegie bar?' (because i'd never really enjoyed eating ANY of their vegan options, and i wanted to know what he would recommend)
he said, 'why don't you just eat lettuce?'
and i think you can really taste this attitude in their meals.
the food is bland, they seem to use low quality ingredients, and the meals are totalz expensive and the drinks are stingy.
but despite all this, i must say, their vegan chocolate cake is AWESOME.
i'm so sorry you got food poisoning1!!! :(
x x x x <3

lisa said...

For me the best thing about the Vegie Bar is that you can go and get a big dish of veggies and tempeh or tofu for not very much money. Sometimes all you want is something super-healthy and super-plain. I steer clear of the place mostly though and never bother to order any exciting-sounding flavours; everything they do is bland, which is fine if it's bland you want, but crappy if it's flavour you want.

Miss T said...

I've also had questionable vegan-friendliness at Teh Vegie Bar ... I was told that if I chose to order a vegan-optional dish then I had to expect some changes to the flavour. Apparently those changes include making it taste like crap, and as it turned out, it was just vegan anyways, so it was crap all along. Luckily when I complained (I am *so* a fan of complaining) I got a free dinner, and I really do like the pizzas.

And I do like their monster-mega-ginormo serving sizes ...

I'm Philippa O said...

wow! everything everyone is saying about the place is so spot on! why oh why are some veggo places so anti vegan??? why does it seems a vegetarian meal must have cheese and egg all over it? here's some news - vegan food IS vegetarian, assholes! if you can't make a VEGETARIAN meal without cheese and egg taste good, you are a SHIT chef! not your customer (who doesn't want to eat cheese) is a shit person.
anyway - lena, you and i said pretty much the same things about this place!

Anonymous said...