Monday, August 2, 2010

Back out West...

The boy, a couple of friends and I went to Galway over the August Bank Holiday weekend. I've been wanting to visit "Food for Thought", a little vegetarian and wholefood café in Galway City, for a while now, so we decided to check it out. Based on Lower Abbeygate Street, Food for Thought is a homely little eatery run by a friendly couple and their food is delicious. The way in which you have to go to the deli counter to order your food before you sit down to eat is similar to Cornucopia in Dublin, where all the main courses are set out in baking dishes on the counter. It's nice to be able to see exactly what you're ordering, but not so advantageous in that you can only really choose from what is available at the time. The guys both had the Vegetarian Lasagne with a mixture of salads, and my friend Katie and I both had the Vegan Shepherd's Pie. I wasn't aware at the time that I could have chosen some salads to go with my pie, but was given a small side salad anyway - I think it was because most of the salads weren't actually vegan and either had a dressing with honey or mayonnaise in them, so they didn't mention it to me. For €6.50 our plates were piled high with food, and it was the cheapest, most satisfying and tasty lunch I've had out in a long time. The shepherds pie had a mashed sweet potato topping, which was far nicer than regular potato, and the inside layers were rich,  tomatoey and filled with soya mince. The café is not strictly vegetarian, as I noticed it has some chicken and tuna dishes on the menu - the only vegan main courses are the shepherds pie and soups, but of course you can also get an array of salads and sandwiches made especially for you. The bread that came with the lasagne was a lovely stodgy homemade bread of a cake-like consistency, which was really filling and flavoursome. Everyone loved the food there, and it was such amazingly good value that if I lived in Galway I'd certainly be a regular customer.

Here's my friend's plate with the salads, although I am unsure whether they were vegan or not: Potato Mustard Salad, Mixed Bean Salad & Celery and Apple Salad.

Galway also has a milkshake bar in the Eyre Square shopping centre, so we popped along to try it out. I've been here before and was very impressed with the gingernut and peanut butter combo, but this time opted for my favourite biscuit of all time: the pink wafer. IT WAS HEAVENLY - really sweet and creamy. I definitely want to experiment with this at home sometime, although am hesitant to buy a whole pack of pink wafers as I know the packet will be gone in an instant if I get my hands on them! The milkshake bar in Galway is so much cheaper than the bar in Dublin, but is still extortionate when you consider how cheap the shakes would be to make at home. I really cannot justify visiting the Dublin bar very often, especially as the soya shakes come to a euro more than the normal dairy shakes!

A few more discoveries over the weekend included some out-of-this-world Apple & Pomegranate Soya Yoghurt by a company called Sojade. It had lovely little chunks of apple in it and I ate it for breakfast, drizzled over some fresh strawberries. I've really got into my soya yoghurt recently, although all I can really get locally are the Alpro varieties. I particularly like their raspberry and vanilla flavour and wish they did bigger pots.

I also tried some dark chocolate with freeze dried raspberries by Divine. It was nice, but not really my type of thing - I prefer nuts or orange or mint in my chocolate. I picked up a few small Nakd bars as well, as they were so cheap in the health food shop in Gort. The Pecan Pie and the Gingerbread ones are definitely my favourite!

We spent the weekend exploring Coole Park, Yeats' Tower, Galway City & the seafront at Salthill. I loved walking along the beach and finding colourful shells and pebbles to bring home with me.

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