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Festive feasting: All the amazing things I've been eating recently

How is Christmas not here yet? It feels like it's been bobbing on the horizon for weeks, not ever getting any closer. I've been spending the build up to the big day doing my favourite thing: eating all the vegan food. Here are a few lovely things I've enjoyed recently:

I finally got to try out Unity Diner, an all-vegan, not for profit place that's run by Earthling Ed. When we stopped by, the diner was full, which was a balm to my vegan soul - it's great to see so many people turning out for vegan food. 

Unity Diner's menu is a list of great junk food staples, from burgers to buffalo wings, wedges to loaded fries. 

Faced with all that loveliness, I could only order the tofish fillet burger - I'm a sucker for nori wrapped tofu in all its forms. Himself chose the Moving Mountains burger, which has a particularly gorgeous-looking brioche bun. 

I'd love to tell you that I loved the food, but I had a raging migraine, so I was fairly discombobulated I don't remember a thing about it. I guess I'll have to go again so I can enjoy it all over again!

One meal I definitely remember was the vegan menu at Foxlow, a small group of restaurants that focuses on British food. Foxlow rolled out a vegan menu for World Vegan Month in November, and were running a competition with a prize of three courses of plant based fancy food. Improbably, I won, and me and Mr Flicking the Vs got to go and fill our vegan faces. 

I don't to upmarket restaurants often (especially if I'm paying) and I don't go to restaurants that do British food, because they're not known for being a haven for the non flesh-eating. I was a bit unsure as to how well an upmarket British food restaurant might cater to vegans, but it turned out to be one of the best meals I've had recently.

This is the smashed sweet potato with dukkah and sourdough. Looks standard vegan option, but tastes like sheer heaven.

The spice-roasted cauliflower with chickpeas, wilted spinach and curried aubergine sauce is the stuff vegan dreams are made of. We ate all three courses with big sloppy smiles on our faces, murmuring 'this is good' every so often. So good, in fact, that I'd happily go back on my own dollar - high praise from an impoverished student!

Another company also putting more effort into levelling up its vegan options is Crosstown Doughnuts, which opened up an all-vegan branch not so long ago. I only got to go and enjoy it the other week, and press my face up against the donut counter like Augustus Gloop at the Chocolate Factory. Crosstown do some of my favourite vegan donuts in London, and I loved being able to choose from an entirely plant-based selection.

Slightly less exciting, but equally festive - the vegan Christmas sandwich. When did Christmas sandwiches become a thing? It seems like Christmas officially starts when the Christmas sandwiches hit the shelves, inspiring lots of taste tests ranking the best and worst. For a second, I got suckered in - I went and actually bought a vegan Christmas sandwich from Pret.

It's called the Very Merry Christmas Lunch sandwich, and includes grilled carrots, crispy onions and baby leaf spinach with our festive vegan stuffing and port & orange cranberry sauce. Sadly, it didn't make me feel as festive as Santa building a snowman while eating a mince pie. I ended up feeling more like Scrooge, spluttering 'Bah Humbug', as chewed through layers of damp stuffing. There was a complete absence of texture, it was the sort of food I could heartily recommend to people with chewing problems. You'd be able to make your way through it using gums alone, so damp and flimsy was it.

Still, that's not the point is it? No one buys Christmas sandwiches because they actually like them - it's more about bringing a little bit of Christmas to whatever place you have to take a five minute lunchbreak before going back to trying to finish your to-do list before the Christmas holidays hit. I can totally get behind that. Festive feasting, wherever it happens, and whatever form it takes, can only be a good thing.

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  1. I wish christmas sandwiches were a thing here! and I am glad your fancy vegan meal turned out well. Your tofish burger looks delicious (that is such as shame about the migraine). And I wanted to know what sort of doughnut you had in the photo - I had hoped to be creative enough to guess but am just too tired for such stuff.

  2. Did you try the M&S no turkey christmas sandwich? I am a complete sucker for Christmas sandwiches, despite my brain knowing logically I'm a fool, and agree the Pret one is lacking. I loved the M&S one though, even though individually I don't like most of the components (a creamy mayo-like dressing, very faux-meat turkey-style chunks, onions). Somehow it came together and was like the best chicken sandwich I've ever had, veganised!


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