You know that annoying saying, “Things Happen for a Reason”? Well, this time, I think it actually fits beautifully. Let’s chat about Mary-Ann’s Emporium & Eatery.
Address: 74 Mountainside Boulevard, Gordon’s Bay
Hours: 9am-4pm Mon-Fri, Closed Sat-Sun
Vegans all over Cape Town and beyond watched the devastating effect that a fire had on Mary-Ann and Mark’s dream when their restaurant, cooking school and warehouse were completely destroyed in November last year. With it, they lost all of their equipment, stock, furniture and fittings from the restaurant not to mention the product of many years of passion, and hard labour. But all was not lost. Miraculously, within 5 weeks they had reopened and the result: utterly astounding!
I sound like a stuck record: I have a “List”. I ALWAYS have a “List”. And Mary-Ann’s Emporium & Eatery was on the “List,” but I just couldn’t get around to it. When a friend offered to take me for lunch in their newly established premises, I jumped at the opportunity. What could possibly be on offer in such a short space of time?
Their stunning new venue has gorgeous views from the many windows and doors that let so much sunlight into the venue that some of the blinds needed to be closed. These doors lead onto a sizeable balcony (perfect for dining at night) and the exposed brick and “warehouse” height ceiling make this place FEEL like a health emporium! A buffet table proudly stands in the middle of the room and on my visit was adorned with everything from a vegan “Chicken” a la King to one of the best pizzas I had ever tasted, to bowls of salads, nuts, side dishes galore, etc. etc. etc. To summarise it: I was fairly overwhelmed by the sight of so much beautiful food.
We ordered iced coffees (with organic soya milk, although there was a choice of almond milk too), and got chatting with Mary-Ann and Mark Shearer (who are both very clearly hands-on folk which I love) about their journey to veganism as well as how they overcame their “loss”.
There wasn’t a single negative word uttered as they spoke of all the blessings that had come out of the event and how fortunate they had been thanks to the help of many a Good Samaritan.
The all-you-can-eat vegan buffet was a (ridiculously affordable) R120 a head, and we shared the dining room with several customers who sat to eat, but an even larger amount of ‘regulars’ who came to pick up a box of takeaways! If I lived in Gordon’s Bay I would rent a property close to Mary-Ann’s Emporium & Eatery just for the luxury of getting food that was THIS good on a daily basis!
The “Chicken” a la King was asparagus-based and beautifully creamy and I added some garden peas to it along with some freshly made wild brown rice and chickpea salad. I went back three times for the vegan pizza which had a cashew cheese filling and was honestly one of the most addictive things I have put in my mouth to date! Words cannot describe it!
To top it all off, we had some cheesecake (at an additional cost of course) for dessert, which again was heavenly!
If it sounds like I’m gushing, it’s because I am. I am shocked, nay, horrified that I had never been before, but I am glad about the way things turned out because my experience was perfect in every way. From the venue to the company, to food, and just good vibes – this place is now definitively one of my top eats EVER.
I should also mention at this point that it is actually an emporium too! You can get vegan goods GALORE from the many shelves scattered around the eatery. I’ve decided to a separate article about that, so I’ll review a few for you and let you know what exciting things I found.
It was an honour to meet Mary-Ann and Mark and I can’t wait to spend some more time with them, in their beautiful new spot and eat some of that insanely good food!
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
The Team at Mary-Ann’s Emporium & Eatery are in desperate need of the following items to help complete their school and restaurant:
- garden furniture (any type, wooden benches, etc.)
- wooden chopping boards
- salad bowls
If you have any to donate, please contact Claudia at firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternatively, you can give them any sort of donation at backabuddy (Click Here)
Or you can simply support them by ordering goods from their online store or by visiting the restaurant.