PachaMama has seen a few changes over the years since it replaced Aunt Maggies as the wholefoods store-cum-cafe on the corner near Barkly Square in Brunswick. It originally was endless shelves of tempting groceries with a little cafe area at the back. But during the pandemic the array of groceries dwindled. At the end of last year I noticed it had a new menu and the cafe area had taken over a lot of the warehouse. So when Faye and I were looking for a place to eat just after Christmas, we mt there for lunch.
The decor is very welcoming with lots of wooden furniture and some comfy ottomans by the bookshelf. I loved the spacious feel which was enhanced by all the light coming in from the big windows onto Sydney Road and Barkly Street. It feels much lighter than when it was filled with grocery shelves, though there are still some at the back.
I ordered the Pyramid Bowl ($19). The menu describes it as herby green falafels, pickled turmeric cauliflower, hummus, cucumber and seasoned leafy greens on a base of basmati rice topped with sundried tomatoes, roasted pistachios, parsley and vegan dill coconut yoghurt dressing. But when I checked back to photo I can see carrots and olives as well. It was delicious and such a nice change from the usual falafel bowls with, hummus, cucumber, tomato and pita bread. The hummus was quite thick but I really liked the dressing.
Faye had the Breakfast Bowl ($21). She had the vegan option with extra beans, mushrooms and vegan feta instead of eggs and goats feta. It was a generous bowl of spiced black beans, mushrooms, roasted tomato salsa, and smashed avocado on a bed of leafy greens topped with vegan feta, pickled onions, sundried tomatoes, black sesame seeds and vegan chipotle mayonnaise. I think I would have liked the option to add hash browns but it looked pretty good.
I was curious about their sandwiches and returned there recently when I needed a quick lunch before a swim. It was too late to get a Mama Mia toastie with roasted vegies, sundried tomatoes and vegan feta. However there was a toastie in the display cabinet. While I waited for it, I had some of the Good Brew Kombucha on tap. I chose the chlorophyll, sencha mint and apple kombucha which was really refreshing.
The I'm Vegan Toastie ($13) was delicious with vegan cheese, pesto, sweet potato, capsicum, eggplant, sundried tomato, nutritional yeast and rocket. Unfortunately when I have visited for lunch recently I have not perused the grocery shelves. Maybe next time.
Pachamama Wholefoods and Kitchen
74-78 Sydney Road, Brunswick, 3056