Work lunches: Fatto a Mano and Storm in a Teacup

Working just off of Smith st, I tend to be spoiled for choice when it comes to buying lunch. While most days I take my own lunch, it’s easy to forget it when there’s so many good options about. Fatto a Mano is a favourite among many at my work (and everywhere else if you judge by the line going out the door most days at lunch time) for their delicious organic baked goods. For some reason I always crave something from Fatto on Mondays, the only day in the working week that they AREN’T open. What is up with that?!

The following pictures are from a range of different visits to Fatto over the past 6 or so months (although most definitely not all of the visits that have taken place, wink wink).

fatto1The spelt pizzas are a favourite as they are a quick and easy option, and very reasonably priced at around $4. There is always a variety of vegan pizzas to choose from, looking beautiful with their symmetrical toppings.

fatto3From the pizza slices I’ve tried, I prefer the ones with tomato or capsicum, or as many veggies as possible. The potato and olive one shown here was okay, but a little bland.

fatto2This one wins the award for best variety, with a combo of pumpkin, zucchini, capsicum and potato. These are a great quick lunch to eat on the go, but I find it best if they are slightly warmed as the base can be quite chewy.

SAMSUNGThis is one of the vegan, gluten-free pies. When I tried this one, I found it hard to believe it was vegan as the top had this real cheesiness to it. Upon further inspection, I discovered what I think might be grated potato? Delicious!

fatto5Fatto a Mano have other savoury vegan options, as well as a range of vegan sweets. It tends to be different from day to day (and depending on how early you make it in). Above is some kind of peanut butter caramel ball, it’s kind of like a rice krispie treat with a light rice bubble filling. At various times they have also had variations of crostata (fruit pie) – I can confirm the deliciousness of a few versions of these, giant choc chip cookies, and cherry coconut balls in a similar style to the one above.

On a more recent note, I popped into Storm in a Teacup, a cute little tea shop and cafe on Smith st for the first time the other week after remembering hearing that they had vegan toasties on offer. I walk past the shopfront every single day, but had not yet been in. The day I ventured in, there were no toasties in clear sight, however I was met with this wonderful veganised green machine salad.

stormPacked with rocket, spinach, sprouted chickpeas and green lentils, zucchini, fennel seeds, tuscan kale, sunflower seeds and pomegranate, with a big dollop of Botanical Cuisine nut cheese (lemon and dill from memory). Seriously delicious, satisfying and kept me going all arvo. Unfortunately I did not have time to sit and enjoy their main pull – teas, but now I’ve tested the waters I will have to arrange a tea date to follow up.

Fatto a Mano Organic Bakery
228 Gertrude St, Fitzroy
Tues – Sat – 6am – 6pm

Storm in a Teacup
48A Smith St, Collingwood
Mon – CLOSED
Tues – Sun – 10am – 6pm

La Panella Bakery

I’m pretty sure every vegan in Melbourne knows about the wonderful La Panella Bakery.

Located in Preston, this completely vegetarian bakery offers a wide range of vegan treats, from savoury pies to sweet scrolls. You can buy hot pies – ready to eat, or cold ones from the fridge to take home and freeze/cook later. Whenever I go, I stock up with a few spares.

The prices are super decent – sausage rolls and pies go for around the $2-3 mark, and sweet treats vary according to the item. You can quite easily walk out of there with a bag full of goodies for under $20.

It isn’t gourmet quality, but it satisfies that craving for a good old pie and sauce when you need one. Oh and did I mention it is dirt cheap?!

This bounty is from a trip I took a couple of months ago, and continued to eat for the following weeks.

lapanella1 First up, a coffee scroll. A doughy piece of goodness, with a sticky sweet coffee flavoured icing.

lapanella3I can’t remember if this was the classic or the mushroom pie.

lapanella4They kind of look and taste the same to me – both are filled with a chewy TVP-based mince with a rich gravy-like sauce. Classic!

lapanella2The pastie! I was never the biggest fan of pasties, probably because it was always the only veggie option in lieu of pies and sausage rolls. This pastie was generous in size and packed with various vegetables, including what seemed like shredded potato. It had a kind of strange side flavour – hard to explain, but once I tasted it I couldn’t not.

lapanella5This is whatever the first pie wasn’t. I’m guessing classic, because it just has one little symbol on top.

lapanella6Mmm…pie.

lapanella11Sausage roll. Who knows what goes inside a sausage roll? Not me. This was a good replica of that sausage roll you’d get at the school canteen with one of those squeezy packs of tomato sauce that would always spit at you when you cracked it open.

lapanella7As you can probably guess, this is the curry pie. A different kind of gravy, with a few extra veggies thrown in. A nice alternative, but I prefer the plain.

lapanella8What’s this – a hot jam donut? You betchya!

lapanella9Almond and walnut hedgehogs. I wouldn’t recommend these – you can’t really taste much chocolate, so it kind of feels like eating a block of wax. Sorry La Panella, I still love you though!

lapanella10And finally, lemon and jam tarts. I liked the lemon – it had a bit of tang to it, however the jam was sickly sweet. From memory, they always are though.

So there you have it, my last La Panella haul. You all know where it is…get on board and enjoy some cheap, classic baked goods.

La Panella Bakery
465 High St, Preston
Mon – Fri – 6am – 6pm
Sat – 6am – 5pm
Sun 6am – 4pm