We made a flying visit to Brisbane on the weekend to celebrate the wedding of two dear friends, and we did our level best to squeeze more food and friends into our 28-hour stay. On our arrival, the Academic and the Dilettante immediately whisked us off to the Buddha Birth Day Festival at Southbank.
Our visits to the festival in Melbourne told us that there'd be mock meat and lots of it. Indeed there was, though the snacks available were quite repetitive and not of the highest standard.
Mattheworbit's festival food favourite soon became ours too - Langos! Eating deep-fried Hungarian bread might not be the most traditional way to honour Buddha's birthday, but it worked for us. It certainly supplied us with the same gluten-glued stomachs that a full mock meat meal would have provided.
On Sunday morning we dragged our hungover bodies to West End for breakfast. The Burrow has recently opened in a space we knew as a Turkish restaurant and it's lovely in daylight hours! It's airy, yet cool and shady, with a couple of small tables visible upstairs.
Ordering our coffees and meals at the counter felt a bit awkward but we were well looked after. Michael's flat white almost beat him back to the table and we didn't have to wait much longer for food. The beer baked beans, served with toast and topped with guacamole ($12), were a highlight.
We took a circuitous suburban route back to the airport, meeting Terry and my mum at The Green Edge in Enoggera. The strip mall-on-a-clearway setting might not be encouraging but inside there's a gorgeous communal table (fully occupied when we entered at noon!), a modest cafe kitchen and more vegan groceries than I imagined were stocked in all of Brisbane.
Either the Academic or the Dilettante had called ahead to let them know we were visiting, and we were well looked after. (I've got a hunch that these folks are generally helpful and charming regardless!) We battled massive, messy and tasty burgers (satay tofu for Michael, veggie for Mum and mushroom for me, each ~$12), I downed a super-sugary vegan cookies'n'cream milkshake (~$7) and deeply regretted our lack of time and appetite for one of their vegan sundaes. They were kind enough to pack us off with walnut-crusted brownies for the flight home.
It's easy to feel nostalgic for Brisbane's blue skies and 25 degree autumn days. On this visit I was unexpectedly impressed by the city's newer veg*n venues and options too.
37 Mollison St, West End
(07) 3846 0030
veg breakfast $5-12
Accessibility: The Burrow has a sizable step up on entry and a reasonably spacious interior. Orders are placed and paid for at the counter. We didn't visit the toilets.
The Green Edge
191 Wardell St, Enoggera
(07) 3855 5755
veg burgers ~$12
Accessiblity: The Green Edge has a flat entry (from memory) from the street but steps from the gravel car park out back. It's quite narrow inside; orders are made and paid for at the counter.