Las Vegan Bakery/Café

Las Vegan Bakery/Café in Melbourne

Las Vegan Bakery/Café
22 Smith St
VIC 3066
Ph: (03) 9415 9001

Upon entering Las Vegan, it was apparent to me that my anxiety levels were quickly rising, so Mr. AA & I opted for a table outside, even though the weather was a little questionable. The space is small and cramped with badly arranged furniture that makes you feel like an intrusion. I didn’t take any photos inside because it felt too awkward, but there’s potential for the space to feel a lot more comfortable, it just needs some attention. Thankfully, our waiter was kind and relaxed, and after looking at the menu, I could see these guys had a sense of humour.

Las Vegan Bakery/Café in Melbourne

Everything on the menu is reasonably priced, though I’m not sure much of it would appeal to a non-vegan. There was a few mock meat & fish options, lentil options and black bean options. The specials of the day were eggplant parmas and lasagne – both were tempting! However Mr. AA & I were both drawn to the same item on the menu: the mushroom mince.

Las Vegan Bakery/Café in Melbourne

Mr. AA chose the sloppy joe burger with chips and I chose the mince on rice with salad. The mis-matched plates amused me… I’m not sure if this was an attempt at being kitschy or a symbol of their firm hippy/recycling beliefs. Either way, I didn’t have a problem with it – it made me feel like I was eating food made with love in someone’s home.

Las Vegan Bakery/Café in Melbourne
Las Vegan Sloppy Joe Burger with mushroom mince.

Las Vegan Bakery/Café in Melbourne
Mushroom mince on rice with gourmet salad.

We were both big fans of the mince – it has a really good, mild flavour and a realistic texture. Admittedly, I was expecting a higher mushroom to TVP ratio – in fact, I was hoping for no TVP at all because I don’t really dig it, but in this case, there’s no question about making an exception. It was pretty damn tasty. Also – two thumbs up for serving this with brown rice, not white.

The “gourmet salad” was fairly plain and barely dressed, but I liked the grilled eggplant and capsicum in it and I honestly prefer salad to be under dressed as opposed to over dressed and soggy. My only complaint here is that the olives weren’t pitted, so I almost broke a tooth! Watch out for those little suckers.

Las Vegan Bakery/Café in Melbourne

The chips were… pretty amazing. Perfectly crunchy on the outside and fluffy on the inside – they’re exactly what Mr. AA & I look for in a chip!

We (*I*) also grabbed a slice of the raw lemon cheesecake to take home. There were Mr Nice Guy cupcakes on display and a dense looking chocolate bundt cake with icing dribbling all over the place (which looked delicious!) but I wanted to take a chance and try something that I’d only ever made at home, to see how someone else’s version compared.

Las Vegan Bakery/Café in Melbourne
Raw Lemon Cheesecake.

This was, hands down, my favourite item. I took it back to the car with the SOLE intention of sliding it out of the bag and taking photos before the agave spread out and looked ugly/messy. My stomach was full and I planned to save it for after dinner that night, but… Well, look at it, guys. I couldn’t resist having a little taste and before I knew it, I’d stuffed the entire slab of compressed nuts into my face and my hands were sticky with agave. But I didn’t care. Because it was incredible.

These guys do take-away and have gluten free options. One thing I didn’t take a photo of (and wished I had) was the glasses of juice we ordered. It wasn’t fresh juice, but I suspect it was organic and the size of the glasses was impressive. You know how most places serve a $7 juice in a slim high ball glass with lots of ice? Not these guys. They’ll give you your money’s worth!

Recipe Review: Meatballs

Last night, I made the meatballs recipe from The Hardcore Herbivore. I’ll admit I’m not a stranger to Caitlin and her blog. She entertained me with her punk rock tom foolery while Mr. AA & I were in Canada earlier this year and she was an absolute riot to hang out with!

Meatballs Fried
This is what they look like when fried & served with pasta sauce & risoni.

A while ago, I made her banana-coconut cupcakes with lemon glaze without the glaze and they were positively delightful! I’d been eyeballing the meatballs on her blog for a while, but was apprehensive because TVP weirds me out. A lot. I’ve never really understood or caught on to the whole mock meat thing and I don’t think I ever will… But I decided to take a punt with these and I was pleasantly surprised!

Meatballs Baked
This is what they look like when baked and served with pasta sauce & tubular spaghetti.

Honestly, these were a pretty radical thing for me to make & eat… But my feelings towards the end result were nothing but positive! The lentils dominate over the TVP, so if you’re not a fan of TVP, it’s no big deal. All it really does is add a bit of chew to the texture of the “meatballs”. There’s a good amount of flavour in these – but not so much that they’ll want to battle it out with your pasta sauce.

I wish I’d counted how many the recipe made – it was quite a few. Possibly enough for 6 people (or 4 really hungry people!). All I know is we had left overs and I can’t wait to eat them.

I baked most of them and fried a few just to see what the difference was. Frying them is a little difficult, as they mixture is soft, so you have to be super careful when you want to turn them around in the pan. Baking, on the other hand, is totally the way to go. Not only is it healthier, but it also makes your life easier and the meatballs develop an awesome crust in the oven!

Oh and by the way, that Bird in Hand wine isn’t too bad!