Thursday, December 31, 2009

Almost vegan comes home

We left Amsterdam and drove back into France, boarding the ferry at Calais. On board the ferry, I splurged on some good British Indian food for lunch—vegetables tikka masala with basmati rice and pappadum, and a sliver of apple pie for dessert.

We were dropped off at the same hotel we’d stayed at upon our arrival in England. On the bus on the way there, we said most of our real goodbyes. A few of us, after cleaning up, went to the hotel bar for some final drinks together. I was so sad it was my last time to see all these great people, but I told everyone I wasn’t going to say goodbye, just "See you later." Because hopefully, someday, I will!

On my own for the evening, I walked just around the corner from the hotel to eat dinner at Hell Pizza.

I’d scoped this place out ahead of time, and was so excited to eat there. I love the dark, evilish theme—the interior is all black with red lighting, lava lamps, flaming seats, and wicked chandeliers. Seven of the pizzas are named after the deadly sins, and they have coffin-shaped to-go boxes. They had stacks of magazines about metal and industrial music, paranormal activity, the occult, tattoo and body modifications, etc. on the counter that I paged through as I waited for my order—a small pizza, no cheese, with green peppers, asparagus, garlic, and oregano, plus corn and olives on one half. I also got a small loaf of garlic bread on the side.

It was great! I loved the crispy-outside, tender-inside crust. On a whim, I ordered a mini dessert pizza to end my meal (hey, it was the last night of my trip!). The guy who was serving me recommended the Unearthly Ambrosia pie—berries (all my favorites: blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries), sliced bananas (awesomely caramelized from the oven), and melted chocolate (three types!), topped with a mouthwateringly rich custard. Wow! I’ve never tasted anything like it.

I spent the rest of the evening packing, and retired early, because I had to wake up before dawn the next day. I ate breakfast with Greg (for the last time!) and he helped me gather all my luggage to bring out to the shuttle. I packed myself a peanut-butter-and-jam (half raspberry, half boysenberry) sandwich for the road (er, air).

I was dropped off at the airport, where I bought some grapes and a banana to snack on and bummed around for awhile till I could board my plane to Dallas. Two meals (check them out here) were served during the 10-hour flight, and again, American Airlines impressed me with the quality of their veg food.

After a brief layover in Dallas, I flew home to Kansas City. How surreal it was to be back!

Picture to come

Although I was more than happy to gorge on bread and pastries for 35 days, I was inordinately stoked for my first meal upon getting home—a grocery store salad bar haul of chickpeas, kidney beans, artichoke hearts, peas, shredded carrot, red pepper, green pepper, green onion, and who knows what else I threw in there. In the end, I truly do love healthful, wholesome, nutritious food.

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  1. That dessert pizza looks insanely delish! Maybe you need to re-create it now at home?? :) Happy New Year!!

  2. Glad this trip has done good things for you. Good luck in 2010.

  3. hey there! I stumbled across your blog while searching for vegan stuff in Amsterdam. I'm a fellow NINfan about to embark on a Euro mini-tour next month, so your posts have been very informative. (eerily watching the 2001 live DVD while web-surfing right now!) thanks so much for sharing your wonderful experiences! looks like you had an amazing journey! it's good to know I won't starve too badly over there. :)

  4. Kati—Oh, it was! I should try and recreate it at home. It would be quite a project, considering I'd need to invent a good vegan custard; I'd want to make the pizza crust from scratch too.

    Diane—I'm so glad you found my blog, and that my entries helped give you hope/excitement for eating in Europe! You will LOVE it. As a NIN fan and vegan, you are not only automatically awesome ;] but probably also not unlike me as far as what you'll enjoy about the cities and experiences. Hope you keep reading, and tell me all about your trip when you get back!