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dijon

Last week I started a series of posts called Les Vacances de Mme Gnoe, about how I fared as a vegan on a recent holiday in the South of France. Obviously I survived. ;) It may help other newbie vegans going on a journey — or those worrying about going to the land of bouillabaisse, fromage and cassoulet.

Vegan Month of Food buttonIn the first post I related what to eat en route. Today I’ll write about our first dinner in France, when we spent the night in Dijon.

As a vegan it’s wise to be prepared when going on a trip. So if you’re not sure you”ll connect to the internet, do some homework before you leave!

HappyCow's Compassionate Healthy Eating Guide

My first ‘stop’ was at Happy Cow.net: a worldwide database of vegetarian restaurants and grocery stores, also marking them vegan(-friendly). There were two places listed in Dijon: Les Pieds Bleus and Le Shanti. The first was one being described as “simple family type cooking, buffet style, in a typical French canteen atmosphere” — sounds great! So we dropped off our luggage in the hotel and set off in the direction of Place Emile Zola.

Alas… The restaurant was closed for vacation and would reopen the next day when, of course, we had travelled on! This was a surprise to us as in the Netherlands restaurants do not usually close during tourist season. This holiday we were about to learn that the French do things differently. ;)

So we went to search for option #2, Le Shanti, window-shopping and making pictures of the medieval city on our way. This time we found the venue open. There were yummy things on the menu like veggie burgers, wraps, soups and salads. But… you get the picture? More like a place to have lunch or a just quick bite, not for a special occasion like your first holiday dinner!

Back to the city centre it was, where wecould pick from a choice of restaurants on the aforementioned Place Emile Zola. Considering Lebanese first, we felt more like having Japanese and ended up at the Sushi King, “retaurant Japonais” (and that’s not my typo ;).

Menu of Sushi King Dijon

Here they served a vegetarian sushi menu consisting of miso soup, salade de choux (cabbage tsukemono) and three kinds of maki rolls: cucumber, avocado and daikon radish. The usual condiments: soy sauce (sweet or salty), pickled ginger and wasabi condiments. Since I’m a sucker for chuka wakame I ordered an bowl of salade d’algues as well. For dessert I enjoyed a whole pot of Japanese green tea.

Miso soup
Cabbage tsukemono
Sushi
Chuka wakame

We had dinner outside, cozy among other establishments on the city square. The food was good but nothing special and, aside from plain or vinegar rice, these were the only vegan/vegetarian dishes on the menu. I haven’t asked whether the fried noodles with vegetables were (or could be made) vegan and it didn’t really seem like the place to serve food off the carte.

Green tea (Japonais)The waiters were fairly quick and friendly, except for one young man who managed to whisk away our plates a little too early first and ignored us when we wanted to order another drink afterwards. He probably didn’t have his day. ;) We did.

So. If you like to have a decent meal but aren’t too demanding, I can certainly recommend the Sushi King for a vegan dinner in Dijon!

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Street in Rosières

Although many people seem to think so, it’s really not that hard being vegan. But travelling can be a bit daunting, especially going to places famous for their cheese, fish and meat-worshipping cuisine.

This summer Mr Gnoe and I had our first ‘big’ vacation abroad since I went ExtraVeganza. We’d decided to go to the Hautes-Alpes in France. When visiting the Auvergne some years ago, it was often difficult to find anything vegetarian on the menu — aside from omelet, “sans jambon, s’il vout plaît“. So I admit I was a bit worried there’d be nothing to eat…!

Vegan Month of Food buttonIn a series of posts called Les Vacances de Mme Gnoe, I’d like to ramble about how I fared on this trip. Obviously I survived. ;) It may help other newbie vegans going on a journey — or those worrying about going to the land of bouillabaisse, fromage and cassoulet.

Today’s post is about our two day car trip to Oze, via Dijon. What provisions kept us on the road?

Bought or bRought?
I already wrote about the Bento En Route we had for lunch. It consisted of Indonesian leftovers accompanied by cold Thai carrot soup. For snacks there was some healthy fruit, a small bag of potato chips, liquorice and Napoleon candy as treats.

Bento En Route #194 (part 2): cold carrot soup
Bento En Route #194 (part 1): lunch for two
Potato chips
Bento En Route #194 (part 3): summer fruit snack

All these refreshments we brought from home. At the gas station I bought a bottle of Orangina with pulp to get into a French mood, and a bowl of fruit salad at the next pit stop. Can’t find the picture of that so I think I accidentally deleted it. O_o

Orangina

The second day we only had a three hour trip left, so we just bought a drink, in my case Pago citrus fruit juice, and I ate the Utrecht opal plums I’d brought from home.

Pago citrus
Opal plums

So the first part of our holiday I mostly relied on our own provisions. But I haven’t told you yet what we did on dinner time in Dijon. I’ll do that later in a restaurant ‘reviewing’ post!

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On our journey to the Hautes Alpes we had an Asian style lunch along the autoroute. All leftovers, packed by Mr Gnoe.

Bento En Route #194: lunch for two

The second tier from the left was actually more fanciful than it looks now, but we dropped the box when getting it out of the car. We were a bit impatient to have lunch, hence the carelessness. ;)

From left to right

  1. Homemade atjar ketimoen (cucumber pickles) with pickled white onions, gherkins, caperberries and a super chilli from the balcony. A small yellow heirloom tomato.
  2. Tempé goreng and a variation of heirloom tomatoes.
  3. Gado-gado leftovers: salad, cabbage, steamed carrots & green beans, baked tofu, spring onion and pecans for lack of peanut sauce.
  4. Can’t remember exactly what was in this tier but it must have been something like a salad with tofu, cucumber, spring onion and sesame seeds. Dressing in the small container. No need to mention the carrot – that one’s obvious!

Bento En Route #194: cold carrot soup

But that was not all. We had a long way to travel so we’d also made some Thai carrot soup. Contrary to what the thermos says, it was chilled. Yum! In celebration of summer we also had a huge snack box full of fruit: seedless grapes, strawberries and cherries.

Bento En Route #194: summer fruit snack

Of course we brought lots of other provisions -kind of a vegan emergency kit- but our main ‘meals on wheels’ consisted of the above. And then there were foods we bought along the road, but that’s something for another post. VeganMoFo is coming up soon!

What do you bring when you’re travelling?
Do you have any suggestions for our next trip?

Gnoe goes ExtraVeganza!

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