Vegan cooking is like chemistry. Those simple recipes that you used to take for granted now require a lot of imagination, thought and love to create in a cruelty free way. There are many things that I have not tasted in over 3 years many of them baked goods. Brownies, croissants, jam cookies. All these are things I took for granted when I consumed animal products, buying them in packets off supermarket shelves. While I enjoy baking I never seem to find the time, so when Liam told me we were off to a Vegan Deli for the morning I might have squealed a little.
Smith & Deli is a brand new magical land, a New York style deli with beautiful handcrafted vegan cakes and sweets as well as cheeses, sandwiches and various yummy things to create a meal in your own home.
The first thing my eyes were drawn to was the glass cabinet filled with freshly baked sweets. Cinnamon donuts, breakfast pizza slices with tofu egg, pretzels, chocolate brownies...... and then.... my heart stopped. There she was, all golden and flakey. The one thing I never thought I would eat again in my life. A delicious, 'buttery' croissant. I could not believe my eyes. How on earth did they manage to veganise a recipe who's core ingredient is butter? Incredible.
Next Liam and I perused the chalkboard menu. I loved the names of all the epic sandwiches they make. Soo many great puns like the Free Willy (Tuna salad sandwich) and even one called the Eggsorcist ('Egg' salad). It took us a good 15 minutes to choose our food and I'm happy to say I purchased one of everything I could possibly hold. No joke. Smith and Deli are very reasonably priced and I slapped down a good $50 just on food. Tee hee hee.
As I type this tears well in my eyes as try to explain to explain the overwhelming nature of being able to consume everything in a store. Every day as a Vegan you are constantly asking questions, searching menus and shelves for cruelty free options. It is exhausting. To see so many delicious things made with so much love and attention made me super hungry and nothing goes better with $50 worth of baked goods than hot coffee.
Now here is where things started to really take effect. I walked to the counter and as I went to order a soy flat white, I realised they had no cow milk for Liam. For the first time ever it was Liam who was going to have to change his standard drink order. Oh my gosh. I could not stop giggling.
There are no tables and chairs at Smith & Deli, it's all take away. Liam and I plonked ourselves down on the curb and began our vegan feast. First on the menu was the breakfast pizza and the ham and cheese croissant. So say it was incredible would be and understatement. Everything was so fresh and lovingly made. The croissant was so buttery and textured and the taste of spiced scrambled egg was some kind of vegan sorcery.
I spent the rest of the afternoon at home eating all the baked goods from brownies to pretzels, I ended up on the floor in a food coma.
Smith & Deli is such a warm and wonderful place. From the food, to the staff you can tell that everyone there is passionate about what they do and just want to make your day a little bit special. I can not wait to hit up Smith & Deli on my 30th birthday. I am hoping to eat one of everything in the cake cabinet.
If you'd like to visit this vegan wonderland you can find Smith & Deli at:
111 Moor Street,
Open Monday to Saturday 8am-7pm