Monday, October 5, 2009

Almost vegan in London

I spent my first and last nights of the trip in West Kensington, London. Since those days weren’t part of the actual tour, I browsed nearby restaurants ahead of time, and found two I wanted to visit. For lunch on the first day, I walked just down the street from my hotel to eat at 222 Veggie Vegan.

Though the name was unexciting and the décor was sparse, when I saw the selection on their lunch buffet, I was thrilled. It was an international vegan smorgasbord! My first plate had (clockwise from top left) curried chickpeas with brown basmati rice, oven roasted potatoes, a fantastic mixed vegetable stir fry, cubed tempeh-corn patties, and a mixed bean and grain salad with avocado.

I returned to the buffet for whole wheat spaghetti with olive oil and herbs, as well as some glorious fried plantains. Oh so good.

Dessert wasn’t included, but I decided to kick off my vacation with a caloric bang, so I ordered this very thin, crèpe-like whole wheat pancake, stuffed with sliced banana and filled-and-topped with rich chocolate and vanilla sauces. Very unique, very tasty.

Day 35 was my final night outside the states, and after saying many sad goodbyes to the friends I’d made along the way, I headed down the street from that same hotel to the other restaurant I’d pinpointed: Hell Pizza.

This place was delightful. The inside of the restaurant was all black, with red trim and furniture. Glowing scarlet lamps hung from the ceiling, and devilish artwork paraded across the walls. I was tickled. I ordered a snack-size pizza, hold the cheese, with garlic, asparagus, and green pepper, plus corn and olives on half, and a small loaf of garlic bread on the side. As I munched, I thumbed through a British magazine all about the paranormal and supernatural. Fun!

Since it was my last night, I had to splurge on dessert. I chose the Unearthly dessert pizza, which had bananas, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, chocolate, and custard. It was ridiculously yummy—I love the way the bananas partially caramelized in the oven. The custard made it not vegan, but it was close! If you’re ever in London and have the chance to visit either of these restaurants, I highly recommend both.

Next up...France!

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  1. I see lentils! That's my favorite on this page, though the custard dessert makes me wish I was more of a baker than I am :)

  2. Okay, this food looks way better. In fact it just looks highly delicious. Well... besides the pizza. I've grown highly fond of the Hawaiian pizzas that they have here in Germany. Phenomenal, and really cheap.

  3. Oh, but the pizza was gooood...they had zillions of topping options, so you'd be able to concoct something tailored to your tastes. Not surprisingly, I'm not into Hawaiian pizza...but the Turkish food in Germany? Grab yourself some of that!

  4. Mmmm...I would have loved to join you at Hell Pizza! What a unique name for a restaurant...and how was that magazine?!


  5. I want to check out that Hell Pizza place!

  6. Your photos look great! I've been meaning to leave you something complimenting you on this, so here goes.

    The shots of the food and bev. that are outdoors (daytime of course), or next to windows end up using more natural light which is oh so much more flattering when doing photography, especially anything food related. You have an excellent eye for details, and accomplish quite a lot with a point-and-shoot.