Take a tasty trip to ‘healthy heaven’

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THE proof is in the pudding. You don’t have to sacrifice taste or style to enjoy vegan food – sweet or savoury.

Sweet Bones, an organic, vegan bakery at Braddon’s Lonsdale Street Traders, proves this every day it swings its doors open for business.

Most dishes on the rotating menu are a tapestry of flavours and based on seasonal fruit and vegetables. If you’re thinking “boooring”, think again.

Take my Tex-Mex burrito, for example ($13). It was packed with big cubes of firm tofu, garlic, tangy lime verde, kale, corn, salsa, quinoa and sour cream. It arrived with a nice side order of nacho chips. It was a trip to healthy heaven. It was big on taste. And it guaranteed I was going to walk away super satisfied, which I did.

So did my friend who was presented with a large plate of gluten-free nachos (also $13) created with refried beans, olives, grated carrots (good for the eyes, don’t you know), hot jalapeno and corn salsa. We loved the heat and taste of jalapenos. The dish looked chaotic, as a pile of nachos loaded with goodies can do, but they sure hit the spot.

Also on the blackboard was a coconut bacon and cheesy cheddar burger, featuring caramelised onion and mushroom ($13), an ingredient-rich granola ($13). Specials included banana bread made in-store and served with coconut butter ($4), as well as raw, organic, frozen, hand-made pie slices with cashew cream ($13).

Sweet Bones is compact and it’s easy, when crowded with customers, to wonder if you’ll ever get served. We adored the sweet seating area out back, with its eclectic range of furniture, plant containers, mirrors and other bits and bobs scattered about. This area is graced with the sun, however, and it’s quieter than sitting in the common area in the centre of Lonsdale Street Traders (lots of tables and lots of buzz for those preferring to be in the thick of it).

My friend’s latte would have gone well with one of Sweet Bones’ great cupcakes (no eggs or milk). It wasn’t the best coffee available in Braddon, but she preferred it over dandelion tea.

Sweet Bones now create “eco-friendly organic cakes” – wedding cakes (three tier), other special occasion cakes (8”, 10” and 12”) and cupcake towers. They have a rustic, glamorous feel to them (one was on display when we visited). The only thing that might be a bit “dear me” is Sweet Bones’ warning that “nice people” provide two months’ notice to have one made. That’s a bit rich for some, but I suppose it’s infuriating to rush with fussy cakes requiring lots of tender loving care.

Sweet Bones, 8/27 Lonsdale Street, Braddon. Closed Mondays. Call 0413 067890.

Photo by Brent McDonald

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Wendy Johnson
Wendy Johnson: Food reviewer for Canberra CityNews magazine since 2004, covering stories for true foodies to digest.

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