Last night, about 30 members of Cool Cuisine visited de Vere’s Irish Pub, where a grand (and tasty) time was had by all. Cool Cuisine, founded by Davisite Anya McCAnn, “is a coalition of individuals and organizations seeking more plant-based dining options.” Through meetups at restaurants and potlucks, Cool Cuisine seeks to support people who want to eat plant-based diets (for whatever reason, and whether they are vegans or not), while also encouraging local restaurants to provide more plant-based restaurant items. In other words, all are welcome – check out the Facebook page or the Meetup group to be updated on future events.
I’ve been to several successful Cool Cuisine restaurant meetups now, including ones at Symposium, Nami Sushi, Davis Noodle City, Yeti Restaurant, and Three Ladies Café. In some cases we were given special menus, whereas in other cases we just enjoyed the vegan items already on the menu. But de Vere’s was certainly an unexpected surprise, vegan food not being typically associated with Irish pub fare.
In this case, de Vere’s is trying out several vegan appetizers until the end of September: roasted cauliflower, pakoras, and avocado toast. They also serve the Beyond Burger, one of the new plant-based burgers on the market. (If you haven’t tried one yet, it really does taste and look quite a bit like beef).
I thought the avocado toast was particularly outstanding, with a lovely combination of flavors. As the picture at the beginning of this article shows (see also the description on the menu), it was much more than just bread and avocado. The roasted cauliflower was also really, really good. I was less excited by the pakoras (a dish I typically like), although it’s possible that they were overwhelmed trying to make so many of this difficult dish for all of us. Finally, we were treated with a special vegan dessert. Yum!
So, if this sounds appealing to you, go check out these appetizers while they last. If de Vere’s sees that these are popular options, they will continue to offer them, or perhaps other vegan options.
Again, one need not be a committed vegan to enjoy the occasional (or frequent) plant-based meal or side. As Cool Cuisine's website states, reasons that people eat plant-based diets include: “To sustain the planet, to sustain our health, and out of compassion for all living things. We also may eat this way for economic reasons, ethical considerations, world hunger issues, and religious beliefs.”
As for the future, how about some vegan boxty, shepherd’s pie, or colcannon? Just some thoughts, de Vere’s! And thanks for the lovely evening.