Wednesday, July 8, 2015

What I Ate Wednesday

I love to eat out at restaurants, so when we're road-tripping I always find out what restaurants are on our route - bonus points if they are vegetarian/vegan! On the way to visit my parents this past weekend, we stopped in my hometown of Hamilton to munch on vegan goodies from Democracy on Locke. (That's my girl waiting for our food, above.)

My husband and I used to live around the corner from the restaurant several years ago. We had a cute little apartment with slanted walls in the top of a tiny house. Back then, Locke Street was mainly made up of antiques stores. We enjoyed browsing for (and occasionally buying) small curiosities. I was surprised by how much fancier the street looks now. More eateries, patios, salons and shops.

The lovely gal behind the counter at Democracy told me that the restaurant serves about 80% vegan food, with some vegetarian options and a chicken option.

The menu in the window is fully vegan though -which is always nice. I'm so used to scanning menus for the one or two suitable options.

I love the casual, cheery decor in the restaurant too. My daughter came away wanting to paint a chalkboard wall in her room. Let's just add that to our growing list of summer projects.

We had the dogs with us, so we couldn't eat in the restaurant. (My husband and son stood outside with the doggies while I ordered because it was too hot to leave them in the car.) Hence this picture of my Tempting Tempeh sandwich in the car - it was a creative and tasty sandwich, with marinated tempeh, caramelized onions, roasted butternut squash, seasoned kale chips and smoky mayo. I loved the creamy butternut squash and the crispy kale chips.

My favourite dish of the foods we ordered was my son's Nachos Supreme ($14) - tortilla chips smothered in Daiya cheese, topped with diced tomato, black olives, peppers, scallions and cashew crème. This would be a great place to stop in for nachos and a beer.

Having spent $47 on our quick takeout lunch, I passed on desserts, but I'm definitely going back for vegan butter tarts and brownies one day.

For lunch the next day, we went into the town of Dunnville to The Minga. It's a rare find - a vegetarian restaurant in a small town. I ordered my favourites - a quinoa and veggie wrap with vegan ranch sauce and a homemade lemonade.

And I couldn't resist this pretty pink vegan donut for dessert.

I would go back to The Minga for all my restaurant meals when we're at the cottage, but my mom isn't a vegetarian and my kids like more "junky" food so I have to compromise...ha ha. We went to the Thirsty Mate one day - it's in a really pretty spot overlooking the Port Maitland Marina and the Grand River.

I quickly scanned the menu and saw that there weren't many options for the vegetarians (my three immediate family members) or the vegans (me). It's mostly fish. When my husband sees a menu like this he immediately gets sulky. I am usually so hungry by that point that I will do anything to make it work. So we ordered grilled cheese off the kids' menu for my husband and son. I got a green salad and sweet potato fries and my little gal got a salad. I imagine the dip for the sweet potato fries probably isn't vegan. I didn't eat it. I try to stay under the radar as much as possible, but my mom (who ordered fish) told the waiter they need more vegetarian options. He kindly agreed.

After our strawberry-picking expedition, we put strawberries in pretty much everything for a couple of days. Like this iced tea/sweet tea, made with decaf green tea and a cherry herbal tea.

And now - finally - for a look at what I ate for one full day. I started off my Monday with a banana, strawberry, chia seed, orange juice and soy milk smoothie.

Lunch was leftover pasta and vegetable soup. I also had soup in last week's WIAW post, which is kinda weird, seeing as it's summer. But hey, the air conditioner is on...

For a snack, I smothered some toast in the breadmaker strawberry jam I made using our fresh-picked strawberries.

For dinner, my husband picked us up some bean and rice burritos from Mucho Burrito. Hey, it's summer, who wants to cook all the time? I had some raisin bran cereal in the evening too, and probably some other sweet snack I've forgotten about.

Where do you like to dine in summer?

Linking up to:


  1. Well done finding tasty options!

    1. Thank you! If only I could make a job out of finding tasty food. ;)

  2. Jo, everything looks yummy as usual. I love the look of that ice tea too might be good with rum.
    I have been making raspberry green tea with whole strawberries a lot lately.

    1. I hadn't thought of mixing it with rum - nice!

  3. I'd probably have loved those nachos too, your son ordered well! I feel sulky too when I go somewhere that doesn't have vegan options. I went to a vegetarian cafe once who offered a great vegan savoury menu, then I inquired about getting a dessert from their fabulous cake display and they were all "oh sorry, we don't serve vegan dessert". I got the sulks big time!

    1. He did order well! :)

      I understand the sulkiness - I get like that too, but my husband would get up and leave. I want to eat!! Ha ha.

  4. Everything looks great Jo! Must run in the family, I could eat out everyday. I have been grilling outdoors a lot lately, lots of Veggie burgers and Vegetables. The weather has been perfect so my porch becomes my Summer Kitchen.

    1. Thanks hon! Yes, I think the craving for decadent restaurant food probably does run in the family. Another thing we can blame our folks for. ;) Veggie burgers are a great convenience for summer, aren't they? So glad you are getting great weather!! :)

  5. Ooooh great looking meals :) It really is a real treat to find a restaurant with more than one or two vegetarian/vegan options on the menu! hah I usually end up being so indecisive though as I am not used to that many choices ;)

    1. Thanks so much!

      Yes, I am more indecisive with more choices too. It feels like a more "crucial" decision...ha ha. :)