On Sunday, December 15th, Cannonball Cafe, owned by Karen Matalon, Laura Matalon-Chandley and her husband Ian Chandley, launched their vegan menu in all four of their locations: Loshusan, Sovereign North, Manor Park and New Kingston.
As more people have dietary needs or are trying to change their lifestyle by eating cleaner, more restaurants are jumping on the bandwagon and creating vegan options. Vegans typically eat a lot of plant-based foods—such as lentils, chickpeas, tofu, peas, spinach and kale. They may eat rice and whole wheat bread but avoid meat, dairy and eggs.
“It’s a global trend,” said Matalon-Chandley. “Restaurants are offering vegan options as more people are discovering they have a gluten intolerance and other allergies that are forcing them to eat a more plant-based diet. We wanted to offer more choices to our patrons.”
They invited some loyal customers to sample the fare. Long-standing vegans, producer Carleene Samuels, filmmaker Simon Mais and non-vegans Garfield “Bucka” Taylor and Lecia-Gaye Taylor and their daughter Jordan Taylor stopped by to try the new menu.
Vegan for over 25 years, Carleene Samuels tried the blackbean chickpea waffle sandwich. The sandwich, made of chickpeas, is filled with two blackbean patties and topped with a sorrel chutney sauce. “I eat a plant-based diet and happy to see Cannonball introducing vegan options on their menu. It’s something I think people should try, even if it’s once a week.” She enjoyed her blackbean patty chickpea waffle sandwich and felt it was a full hearty meal. The sorrel chutney was an added kick.
‘I like that the owners of Cannonball are forward-thinking enough.’—Carleene Samuels
Documentary filmmaker and strict vegan for 8 years Simon Mais, also had the blackbean chickpea waffle sandwich. He said, “As a former pro-football player, I suffered several injuries and eating a plant-based diet helped me recover faster. I’m happier and more energetic and my body handles stressful situations better. I’ve also watched a lot of documentaries about how eating a plant-based diet, even if it’s once a week, is better for the environment. I like that the owners of Cannonball are forward-thinking enough to incorporate a vegan menu and the diversity of the dishes is also a plus,” he said.
If you’re into Jamaican food, you can have the pepperpot soup and if you’re feeling for a more international fare, you can try the curried chickpea stew or the blackbean patty chickpea waffle sandwich.
Mommy blogger, Lecia-Gaye Taylor said although she is not vegan she likes to incorporate vegan options into her diet as much as possible. Eating healthy helps too boost her energy and has been instrumental in helping her bounce back after the birth of her daughter two years ago. She tried the pepperpot soup which her daughter also enjoyed. Her husband, Garfield ‘Bucka’ Taylor mentioned that during her pregnancy Lecia-Gaye ate a lot of callaloo omelettes at Cannoball for breakfast, so it’s nice to now be able to have pepperpot soup as a family in the same restaurant. Garfield Taylor had the Blackbean wrap.
The menu includes a breakfast option of chickpea waffles. The lunch options are the Blackbean wrap, Blackbean chickpea waffle sandwich, Curried chickpea stew, Garden salad with jerk tofu slices, Rosemary lentil stew and pepperpot soup.