We're baaaack!

Sorry for the lack of social media posts over the last two weeks, we've just returned from an AMAZING family holiday in Florida and the jet-lag coming home was a nightmare! 

As part of a family celebration we were lucky enough to fly first class (very posh!) so obviously we had to take photos of our first class veggie food! 

We spent almost every day at Disney and Universal theme parks and honestly, as much as we love stuffing our faces with fast food and sweet treats, we were craving fresh fruit and vegetables by the second week!

Being a huge tourist destination in America we thought there'd be plenty of meat-free options for us in the parks, but apart from the odd bean burger or "health sandwich" (a chicken sandwich without the chicken...) there sadly wasn't much choice available in the quick service restaurants. (There may have been more options in the table service restaurants, but we didn't fancy those at the time).

Our favourite quick service meal was in Disney's Hollywood Studios at Fairfax Fare, Sunset Boulevard. We had the Fried Green Tomato Sandwich which was juicy, crispy and so sooo tasty! It was also the best value for money meal we had while in the parks too, around $10 each for a sandwich and fries. We highly recommend trying it out!

Fried Green Tomato Sandwich at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Fried Green Tomato Sandwich at Disney's Hollywood Studios

In Universal's Islands of Adventure we had the first veggie thing we could find, a fried vegetable rice burger patty with fries. I can't remember the exact name of it, but it was from The Burger Digs in the Jurassic Park area. The best thing about the burger was the lettuce, tomato and pickles from the "free" salad bar, the patty itself was bland and flavourless. 

Vegetable Rice Burger at Universal's Islands Of Adventure

Vegetable Rice Burger at Universal's Islands Of Adventure

However, we did return to Island's of Adventure later in the holiday and found a great little place called Doc Sugrue's Desert Kebab House serving vegetarian kebabs in The Lost Continent area. For around $12 dollars we had a lovely seasoned fresh vegetable kebab with a side of chips/crisps and a drink. If only we had of found this place on our first visit to IOA!

Vegetarian Kebab at Universal's Island's of Adventure

Vegetarian Kebab at Universal's Island's of Adventure

Universal Studios didn't offer much variety for us either, and what they did have was pretty much the same as the Disney areas. We ate at Beverley Hills Boulangerie on Rodeo Drive, this was our first try of the "health sandwich" and it was.. okay. It was basically a cress sandwich with cucumber, cheese and tomato, served with a side of coleslaw and a slice of melon for around $10 each. 

Health Sandwich at Universal Studios Florida

Health Sandwich at Universal Studios Florida

We timed our visit to Disney's EPCOT well as it was during their annual International Food & Wine Festival so there was plenty on offer for everyone. If you're not familiar with EPCOT, a large part of it is World Showcase, a mile long strip split into 11 areas each representing a different country from around the world - a perfect opportunity to sample international cuisines! Our first stop was in La Cantina de San Angel restaurant in Mexico where we tried the Empanadas con Queso (fried tortillas filled with cheese), a decent portion with fresh tangy Mexican slaw. 

Empanadas Con Queso at Disney's EPCOT

Empanadas Con Queso at Disney's EPCOT

We also sampled a South Korean vegan BBQ which was tiny but tasty. In Germany we tried giant salty pretzels and chose creamy vanilla ice cream over crepes in France. We ate A LOT in EPCOT. 

So, that's it! If you're a vegetarian and you're visiting Walt Disney World or Universal Studio's Florida any time soon, be prepared for lots of fries, lots of sandwiches and lots of cheese. Of course all of the sweet treats were suitable for us, but the sugary portions are so huge that you're destined for diabetes after the first bite.. 

A selection of sweet treats in Disney's Magic Kingdom

A selection of sweet treats in Disney's Magic Kingdom

Of course we did eat outside of the theme parks too, but we'll save that for another time ;)






Edinburgh Fringe Festival

We crossed the Scottish Borders at the weekend, armed with loaded chipotle chilli nachos ready to exhibit at the Edinburgh Vegan Festival, an incredibly popular two-day event held at The Roxburghe Hotel in Charlotte Square. 

EVF formed parted of the Fringe Festival this year which brought a great atmosphere to the streets of Edinburgh and there really was something for everyone. Comedians, theatre shows, live music, street performers and amusement rides all added to the vibe of the city and it was a pleasure to be a tiny part of it. 

There was hotdogs, pies, falafel, curry, bean burgers and jackfruit wraps on offer for lunch and a huge selection of sweet treats for afters, but despite the choice we still managed to sell out before closing time! As we've always said, one of our favourite parts of travelling around food events is getting the chance to try other vegan produce. Our favourite stops this time were SGAIA's amazing vegan eggs benedict, Sharaf's tasty falafel salad wrap, Affogato's gelato and of course no vegan event would be complete without a trip to Missy's Vegan Cupcakes..

Selling out for us it was a win-win situation for us- it meant our food had went down a treat in a brand new city which was awesome, and it also freed up some time to take advantage of the mini golf which was conveniently placed right outside of the hotel!

It was our first time branching out of the North East but it certainly won't be our last. We loved every second of the Edinburgh Vegan Festival. Our fellow stallholders were lovely as always and it was great to meet the vegans and veggies of Edinburgh - what a friendly bunch of people you are! Thanks guys, we'll be back very soon! :) 

Remember to send your photos to us @GrumpyPandaFood or tag #GrumpyPandaFood and we'll be sure to repost them here! 


Thanks for visiting us veganlifestartsat40 :)

Thanks for visiting us veganlifestartsat40 :)

Thanks for the photo  bammaaa_  !

Thanks for the photo bammaaa_ !

Thanks for posting  puggle_lover_x3  !

Thanks for posting puggle_lover_x3 !

Thanks for visiting us!  yasminvspython

Thanks for visiting us! yasminvspython

I see you shiver with antici...


Those of you who know us personally will know we're HUGE fans of Richard "let's do a physical" O'Brien and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, so when the chance came up to be front row for the stage show in Sunderland yesterday, we were absolutely thrilled!

If you're a Rocky Horror fan yourself, you've probably already heard how crazy the touring stage show can get, it's certainly no average trip to the theatre! Audience participation is key, and the Sunderland crowd certainly didn't let the cast down last night. Brilliantly bad heckles, rice throwing, water pistols and many encores of the Time Warp made for a truly unforgettable night! 

Rewind back to last week when I was panicking about our (lack of) costumes. Now, the audience are encouraged to don their best RHS attire - cue the 6ft tall burly men in nothing but corsets, suspenders and pearls walking the streets of Sunderland without a care in the world - but unfortunately I'd left it too late to order appropriate corsets so I had to get creative.. did someone say tighty whitey's and fishnets? Perfect!

Being at the centre of the front row was amazing. The cast were absolutely brilliant and played off the badly timed heckles with ease, I imagine it must get tiring for them but they did a fantastic job and gave back as good as they got!

I was a bit dubious about Diana Vickers playing the role of Janet Weiss (originally Susan Sarandon), but she was great and really got into the character. For me, Dominic Anderson *drool!* as Rocky Horror was even better than the original (Peter Hinwood) and although no one can possibly compare to the fabulous Tim Curry, Liam Tamne took on the role of Frank N Furter perfectly - he's probably my second favourite stage show Frank, just behind David Bedella. Richard Meek was our Brad, Kristian Lavercombe our Riff Raff and Steve Punt our narrator - a very talented cast!

I'm still recovering from last night, but I'm already on the lookout for tickets to the next show! Find yours here http://rockyhorror.co.uk/tour

Don't dream it, be it!