It was purely coincidental.
“I think it’s time” Scott said one February morning.
“Time for what?” I replied, puzzled as to what hair brained idea he’d come up with now.
“Time for me to stop eating meat. I think that’s going to be my thing for my 30th, I’m just done with meat right now, I’m bored of it.”
Scott doesn’t mess around when he decides to do something. On a hungover Sunday morning at the University of Sussex’s halls of residence, he tearfully announced he was going to stop drinking. Ten years later he hadn’t drunk a drop (although he has decided that drinking Whiskey is also going to be his ‘thing’ now that he’s turning 30).
In all fairness to him, a month has gone by and he has done really well. He’s eating fish though, which is new for him, so I guess he’s a pescatarian really.
I’ve joined him for the past week or so because it makes sense for us to eat the same things, and I am also wanting to drastically cut down on my meat intake. I also really enjoy cooking, and like the challenge of making interesting and tasty veggie meals. I know Scott had been running out of ideas for dinners while I’d been out of town (he’s basically been eating noodles with veg / chips / cheese) so I took it upon myself to go out this weekend and get inspired.
A Seitanic Experience
On Saturday we went for a little wander around Brighton town, and I spotted that Beelzebab have a kitchen in the Hope and Ruin. I’d been wanting to check these guys out so off to the Hope and Ruin we went, and so began my very vegan weekend.
To be honest I didn’t really know much about Beelzebab other than they do vegan kebabs, which are said to be very tasty. Upon looking at the menu I noticed the kebab ‘meat’ was made from Seitan, which got me excited as I’ve been wanting to try Seitan since that vegan KFC type place opened in Dalston a few months ago. I’d heard lots of people, both vegan and non vegan really rated it, so that seitan stuff has got to be good, right?
We decided to go for the ‘Beelzebab’ (seitan ‘doner meat’ in pitta with vegetables, homemade tzatziki and chilli sauce), BBQ ‘Fooled Pork’ fries (the ‘pork’ was actually Jackfruit, and I must say, what a revelation!) with a ‘Dirty Kraut’ Hotdog (tofu dog, seitan ‘kebab meat’ saurkraut, gherkins, chilli sauce, mustard and ketchup).
I don’t think either of us really knew what to expect. I *think* I thought for whatever reason the food might not be that flavourful, but then again why wouldn’t it be? My own silly preconceptions.
After a short wait, the food came over, and I was pretty impressed at what I saw. The portions were HUGE! I’ll tell you now that what we ordered was definitely too much. The Beelzebab was massive. I couldn’t wait to try my first bite of seitan! I picked up a piece of the seitan ‘meat’ and was really shocked. It tasted like doner kebab!! How!? What is this vegan wizardry? I haven’t researched enough into the magic of it all but believe me when I tell you that stuff tasted like MEAT. It was a very ‘meaty kebab’. I had a few bites and found it extremely filling. I could imagine that maybe some vegans wouldn’t like this because it is so much like meat. I couldn’t believe it!
On to the Fooled Pork Fries: another vegan secret that I’ve been dying to try – Jackfruit. I’d heard all about this a couple of years ago when I saw people making ‘pulled pork’ baps from jackfruit on the internet. I quite liked the taste and texture of it, and I can see why people like it. Perhaps people that are trying veganism or are new to it might enjoy this, I certainly did. My only qualm with this dish really is that there really was TOO MUCH BBQ Jackfruit. There was loads!! I think I would have liked less toppings and a few more chips. Not really a complaint as such but hey. It was great.
Finally, and my personal favourite – the Dirty Kraut Hotdog. I’d never tried a tofu dog before, but believe me when I say I genuinely could not tell the difference between this and your bog standard dirty weinder hot dog sausage you get from a jar. It had that salty, briney, weiner taste, but without the guilt of reclaimed meat. I’d definitely choose this over a normal hot dog in future. The Saurkraut was a tasty addition.
Feeling Clean ‘n’ Full
Scott and I noted how absolutely full we were, but without that dirty, greasy feeling you get after eating kebabs and the like. It was like a ‘clean’ fullness if that makes any sense?
As I mentioned before, I really didn’t know what to expect. I certainly didn’t expect it to taste as good as it did. I would absolutely go there again for a hot dog sometime. Thank you Beelzebab for a very tasty vegan time!
Have you been to Beelzebab? Enjoyed reading about part 1 of my very vegan weekend? Leave a comment!
More vegan shenanigans to come in part 2 of my very vegan weekend writeup, where I’ll be talking about my afternoon at Vegfest Brighton 2017.