The last week's been full of awesome hang outs, meet up's and, of course, food. When Green Day announced a last minute show at Brixton Academy there was no question about it, we were going and we were going early - not to queue for hours to get on the barrier as I would have 10 years ago but to pay two of my favourite vegan spots a visit, Ms Cupcake and Franco Manca.
I don't get to go to Brixton often enough and it's actually been well over a year since my last Franco Manca sourdough pizza experience.
Franco Manca don't do any speciality toppings or vegan cheese just plain simple tomato topped veggie covered pizza. You can tell that they trust in their preparation of the classics because there's a tomato, basil and garlic pizza right there on the menu. No cheese, no veggies, nothing. Just pizza at it's simplest. I was feeling fancy so I threw some mushrooms on mine.
This was the first time Nick had visited Franco Manca and he was super impressed by the quality of the pizza. Franco Manca are cheap by both London and pizza standards and they even have a great vegan beer on the menu, Green Daemon, which I'll be ordering again next time.
Obviously Green Day were awesome, it's not often that they play smaller (ha, I know, Brixton's not small but it is in comparison to a stadium!) venues these days and it's certainly not usual for them to play Dookie from front to back! It was epic and we had Ms Cupcake treats to munch on the slow train back to Brighton.
Friday saw a sunny start to the bank holiday weekend and I just had to pop to Street Diner to check out new kid on the block, Toston Tolon, and their vegan friendly arepas.
Toston Tolon's vegan option comes stuffed with black beans, plantains and chilli sauce. Unfortunately both of the cooling parts of the arepa experience, cheese and a mayo based dressing, are not vegan meaning that this delicious arepa burnt my mouth like crazy!
It was definitely delicious and if you have a better spice tolerance than me (um, so that's everyone then!) you should definitely give this unique vegan option a whirl. I would love it if enough vegans visited that it would be worth it for TT to add vegan cheese to their repertoire, I think the Veganic Pizza Cheese would be perfect here.
Obviously I had to chase it with some baklava from Sultans Delight because I'm actually physically incapable of walking past Brighthelm gardens on a Friday without grabbing a piece.
Sunday saw me breaking a long-time boycott and trying out Brighton's Loving Hut. The Brighton Vegans meet up group converge upon Loving Hut every Sunday and as well as the forging of new friendships there was the additional bonus of this frankly delicious Ocean Burger and chips.
The burger itself was made up of two delicious nori coated, breaded, and fried fish fillets, creamy coleslaw and, oddly, an apple slice which I removed after one bite and ate on the side. I'll definitely be ordering this again and I'd also like to try their Scramble Tofu Roll, Happy Chick'n Burger and Sweet and Sour Soya Balls. What can I say, I'm weak, consider this boycott well and truly over!
Sunday night saw Nick and I heading to Moshimo to learn to roll our own sushi. It was such a fun class, they'd never run the class with vegans before and whilst there were a couple of teething problems they'd thought it all through pretty well. We'd let them know about our dietary restrictions in advance so we had a totally different box of ingredients which included avocado, mock duck teriyaki, asparagus, cucumber, vegan cheese, kampyo and teriyaki mushrooms as well as a little pot of oil to rub on our gloves because everyone else was using mayo.
The guy leading the class was great and made making sushi seem so simple.
Me and my structurally dubious teriyaki mock duck gunkan, or battleship, sushi.
Nick being awesome at rolling some cucumber maki.
I would definitely recommend this class to other vegans, it was super fun and we ended up completely stuffed full of sushi. There are even two drinks included in the price, saki or Asahi beer. The only thing they really need to change to make this class more vegan friendly is to have a separate chopping station for fish free sushi, going first at the chopping board worked well the first time around but we were much less comfortable chopping our second rolls on the board even in spite of the clean knife.
On Monday I met up with some people from the Brighton Vegans meet up group again for another Street Diner visit. I'd heard on Twitter that Honeycomb Cakes were trial running a raw, gluten free, vegan brownie so I headed straight there to grab one.
This raw brownie was made with both dates and prunes which made it extra sweet and delicious. It was a little crumbly in places but it mainly held together well. I'll definitely be buying it again and at £1 I think it's a total bargain. I'd love to see this adorable cake stand back with even more vegan options next time. Our group actually ended up eating three of these before heading to our next destination, Boho Gelato.
As soon as we joined the line snaking out of the door we were wondering what was going to be on the far left side of the cabinet where the vegan options are located. I actually squeeked a little when I saw the PB Sea Salt Caramel and I definitely willed the people in front of us in line to choose something else!
This was the perfect way to end the bank holiday weekend, great company and great ice cream. What more could you want?!