This is rather late, but the last couple of days have gone crazy due to real life stuff (friend breaking up with girlfriend, spending lots of time at our house). Yesterday the weather also picked up quite a bit, which is awesome as I was thoroughly depressed by the darkness and rain that we’ve had all week.
Down by the Royal Canal there’s a pop up market on Thursdays and Fridays. It’s strictly a food stall thing, which I was a bit disappointed with at first – I think I’d been dreaming of big loaves of sourdough. While it’s mostly a carnivore’s dream, there are some really solid vegan options. These two stands are my favourite…
The one named Falafel wrap sells great falafel. The one beside it sells baked potatoes with a variety of fillings. Most are omni, but they do a great Moroccan spiced chickpea stew thingie that they pour on top (no butter, no cheese). It’s really tasty and hugely filling.
The falafel stall sells three options. A wrap, which involves flatbread spread with hummus and chilli sauce, with three smushed falafels and salad. The other options are a falafel plate or a meze plate. My heart entirely belongs to the falafel plate.
Four big homemade falafels, made on the spot by a very nice man. (I, unsurprisingly, call him The Falafel Man) Underneath those delicious pucks of joy is half a large flatbread and some iceberg and tomatoes. Top row of compartments has (on the left) a kind of red cabbage coleslaw that comes naked, i.e. with no mayo or dressing. Next is fresh parsley chopped up with garlic and a little lemon juice. Next is a big scoop each of homemade baba ghanoush and hummus, all topped with some pickled hot peppers.
This plate is a little bit of heaven for me. I could eat the baba and hummus til they came out my ears. The falafel are hot and crispy and substantial, though not overly salted like many I’ve tried. The salads aren’t the fanciest, but they balance everything out nicely. My only complaints about this plate are that the flatbread isn’t hot (boo!) and that it comes in a styrofoam container with plastic cutlery.
Next time I get it, I’ll be able to skip the cutlery now that I have my shiny bamboo to go ware. I’m a little hesitant to wave a reuseable lunch box under his nose for my own portion though, despite having serious issues with the packaging of choice. Any suggestions as to the best ways to broach the “styrofoam is evil” topic, without calling styrofoam “evil”? Should I just “get over it” given that I have this maybe once a month? Should I just get the damn wrap, which is packaged in paper?
A big part of the reason I became vegan is because of the environmental impact. I recycle like a woman possessed. I only use eco cleaning products. I use public transport as much as possible. I turn off light switches and compost and all that jazz. At this point, lunch is my biggest failure when it comes to recycling (and type 5 plastic, but that’s another rant). I understand that my styrofoam plate is a drop in the ocean compared to all the people queuing up for pulled pork rolls served in plastic boxes with plastic cutlery, but it’s one I’m interested in starting a conversation on.