Cheap Vegetarian Eats + Great Company = Lentil As Anything

Many vegans and vegetarians in Melbourne know about Lentil As Anything aka Lentils, a restaurant chain run by volunteers, with more vegan establishments than vegetarian. The food is for everyone who walk in the door, be they rich or poor. You pay as much as you can afford, because they aim to provide for the unfortunate.

It's such a great place, community-wise. Everyone sits together and chats, trading stories about their day, their kids and even their pets. It is a wonderfully warm, and welcoming, atmosphere to partake in. Good food, good company, good times.

My partner has been volunteering for Lentils for some time now, and on occasion, when there are leftover food, he brings a meal home for me. Being a volunteer there means you get a free hearty meal or two for your time, and these days, it comes in handy when you're trying to save money for something important.

These days, we've been especially thrifty because we have big plans, and this means finding ways to pinch serious pennies even with food and groceries. I started volunteering at Lentils two Fridays ago, because, even though I'll gain a free meal out of it, I'm working for it, and I'm getting vital experience out of it that will go towards my resume. At the same time, a few sessions a week means I shave dozens of dollars from my weekly grocery shop. I think this is a great deal and will go a long way in budgeting while still having nutritious and satisfying meals. If you have a container,  they'll encourage you to take as much as you so desire. Next day's lunch: sorted!

The people at Lentils are extremely friendly and welcoming, and strongly appreciate any help in the kitchen or maintenance of the restaurant floor. I felt right at home as soon as I stepped into the kitchen, and it made me wonder if I missed working in the kitchen professionally. I'll keep working there, and who knows, I may decide against going to university next year in favour of working in a restaurant. I used to work as a pastry chef and cake decorator in cake factories before I decided that I absolutely disliked the profession.

So, wear comfy shoes, loose fitting clothing (it gets a bit warm in the kitchen), and a great big smile. They'll let you right in, reward you with a hot plate piled high with food,  and say they hope to see you again.

There are several locations throughout Melbourne, including but not limited to; Footscray, Abbotsford Convent, Preston, Thornbury, and St Kilda. I encourage you, my readers, to check them out.


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