----- More Paradise -----
Looking over the haul from Grants, we noticed that the really good shiitake-based vegan meat substitutes we dig so much were sold through a local company called Nelakee. Turns out you can buy directly from their showroom, located in the heart of the bustling and always-colorful Scarborough:
There were no paparazzi or flash photography allowed inside this hallowed lair - just a desk, a nice lady and a room with some fridges. But we did score some seriously gnarly snacks including, but not limited to: a bag of drumsticks, all kinds of shiitake-based mock chicken and beef stuffs, and some really boss shiitake jerky. They also sell products by Loving Hut, which you may know as a chain of international vegan restaurants, and you may not know is a front for a cult. But a cult with some killer moves in the kitchen, so...crucial times.
And while we were so close, we took it as an excuse to check in on our favorite monolithic Scarberian Chinese supercenter, Pacific Mall (aka A Specific Mall):
If you like cheap groceries, bootleg DVDs, trinkets and what-have-you, and little buddhas with functional penises...
...it's definitely worth the trip.
I think we can all agree, Heatiness is basically THE worst.
Keep it away at all costs.
...in case you ever need to make tea for a giant or a minotaur.
There were tons of these veg-specific food and snack spots...
...cohabitating with some MAJOR bum-outs:
...sorry, that sounded vegan in the assholish way. I get it. In the end it's just cheap protein, coming from a country with a huge and dense population still only a few decades out of the starvation of the Cultural Revolution, so cheap sustenance is both automatic and amoral and a specialized diet is a luxury. It's a happy coincidence that there is as much variety of vegetable protein as there is animal. Ni hao, Buddhism!
So, then we found the Best shop:
And speaking of Buddhism, another great unsung T.O. spot is Graceful Vegetarian, a Buddhist veg restaurant on the outskirts of Pacific Mall. It's dim sum style but has a full regular menu too. I was glad to see they were still kicking. Highly recommended spot if you can get yourself out there, and it's a great place to hit up over Christmas, New Years and those holidays when everything else in town is closed.
Satay "chicken" skewers
"Shrimp"Dumplings and BBQ "Pork" Bun
Pancake with Curry Sauce
All in all another great expedition. And what Chinese superstore trip is complete without a random but always-timely Joseph Campbell quote?