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Vegan in Denver!

Published May 1, 2013 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

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I’d like to think that I’ve become much more of a minimalist over the years, and that’s why I was able to pack only a backpack’s worth of stuff for 4 days in Denver, but honestly, it has a little more to do with the fractured epicondyle on my left humerus. I really wouldn’t have been able to lift a roller bag into an overhead bin by myself, and I try to avoid checking bags if at all possible. (Especially after my gate checked bag got lost on the way to Vegas in February.) It made for much easier traveling though, and I even got to board the plane earlier, so I’ll probably try to do this for short trips in the future!

(This is a very picture heavy post, as I packed in all of my adventures into this one single post!)

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I flew Fronteir Air, whom I’d never flown with before. I had a light dinner consisting of a Mediterranean snack box (similar to Alaska Air’s offering) that turned out to be all vegan. It included bruschetta, hummus, pita chips, seasoned olives, dried cranberries, almonds and cookies. I chose a Colorado brewed Hazed & Infused to sip on while I nibbled for the 2 hour flight.

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Here’s Joanna displaying what’s left of their last snowstorm. She’s only been in Denver for a month, so she was excited that I came so we could do some exploring together. She also decided she was going to eat vegan with me the whole trip. She’s done vegan cleanses before and felt great on them, so she’s no stranger to what it’s all about. (Though I warned her that I was on vacation, so it wasn’t going to necessarily be health food on my part!) She’s been trying to avoid dairy, gluten and soy anyway, so I’m trying to encourage her to feel good ALL the time, and make a plant based diet a more permanent change.

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Her hubby doesn’t care for Indian food, so she expressed a great desire to eat it, which I was more than happy to accommodate. I’m almost always ready to eat Indian food!! I found Bombay Clay Oven on Happy Cow. They have gluten free and dairy free items marked on the menu, but what I really wanted was my fave… Saag Channa. They had it on their lunch specials, so I asked if they could make it vegan for me. After I assured our waitress that I eat dairy free versions all the time, she went back in the kitchen to inquire. (Turns out she doesn’t eat dairy either, so she was excited to find out that this dish is still delicious sans yogurt.)

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Jojo got a spicy Vegetable Medly Kadai, and we ordered some roti bread minus the butter, to go with our little feast. Best part? Even though it looks like a fancy place, with cloth napkins, excellent service and super good food, the whole bill was under 20 bucks!

After this we walked around a bit and I saw Joanna’s new work digs. Then I went and had a fantastic massage with Mallory Asti. It included much needed work on my upper body, full massage, and reflexology and energy work for my injured arm. She has an extra low introductory rate for new clients, so if you’re in the area, I highly recommend you check her out!

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Mexican fast food joint Cafe Rio called to us for a quick dinner of bean tacos. Both their pinto & black beans are vegan…

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and we loaded them with lots of green yumminess like lettuce, cilantro, guacamole and some pico and hot sauce for good measure. Another meal for under $10 per person.

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That night, before bed I was on Happy Cow and found a local (CO & CA) pizza chain, Patxi’s Pizza that made VEGAN DEEP DISH pizza! I was so excited, I could hardly get to sleep. I hadn’t had deep dish pizza in at least 12 years. When Joanna called me on her way home from work, I quickly explained all about it and called in our order so it’d be cooking while we were on our way. (Deep dish takes 35-40 minutes).

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We started with a greek salad (no feta!), no dressing. (The waiter said the dressing was vegan “except for the little bit of anchovy”, and Joanna promptly told him that it was not vegan then. Hah!) I splashed it with some of the red wine vinegar he brought to the table. Nothing to write home about here, just wanted to get some fresh veggies in before the pizza.

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The pizza was FANTASTIC. I ordered it right off the menu, no adjustments.

Authentic Chicago “Stuffed” Our flagship pie. A deep dish pizza with a layer of crust on the bottom, followed by toppings and cheese, all covered by another thin layer of dough, and topped with our homemade sauce. Also available in whole wheat dough. Prepared and cooked in a deep dish pan. 35-40 minute cook time.

VeganWhole wheat crust, fresh spinach, crushed garlic, red onion, Daiya vegan cheese. $20.50 for a 10″

Seriously recommend you try this if you’re near any of their locations in California or Colorado!

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Come dinner we had the extreme pleasure of finally (in my case!) meeting Amber of Monk and Mao. She moved to Seattle right before we did, but unfortunately (for me!) they moved back to her hometown of Denver before we ever got to meet up! So yah, totally one of those moments where you meet someone and instantly bond.

We chose Watercourse Foods based on their yummy beers and their vegan nachos. Amber and I settled in with some ale, nachos and seitan buffalo wings…

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The lighting was a little tricky, so sorry about the picture quality there! The seitan wings are a huge portion! I didn’t really care too much about the ranch dressing, which I found reminiscent of soy milk, but the wings themselves were really good. Our nachos were delicious, but Amber nailed it when she said it was the “bottom of the bag” nachos. Almost all of our chips were in tiny little pieces, so that at the end I was just eating them with a fork. I’m not really complaining about that though, because it was heavy on the refried beans, and I love me some refried beans, eaten by fork or hand.

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Joanna had the THE MAXIMUS BURGER – Homemade pinto bean and quinoa burger served on our kaiser roll and topped with lettuce, tomato, red onion and special sauce,  with some steamed kale that I made disappear at the end of our meal. (Yes, I will eat your kale. You don’t have to ask me twice.) I also got to sneak a taste of the burger patty and it was pretty darn good.

The nice thing about Watercourse, as explained to us by the server, is that everything on the menu is vegan unless it says it has a cheese option. And Amber says they’ll usually confirm with you about if you’re sure you want dairy cheese when ordering those. So needless to say, this is one of her frequent haunts.

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We all had such a great time! Joanna made a new vegan friend in Denver, and Amber and I chatted until Joanna practically dragged me to the car! :) Hahaha! Thanks Jenna for remembering that this is where she lived, and providing the catalyst for our meeting. I had totally forgotten that’s where she moved!

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I was lucky enough to get some acupuncture from Joanna for my injured arm Saturday morning. She’s a talented little lady if you have any acupuncture/body talk/Reiki needs in Denver. You can find her over at the Om Flow!

Then I hit the leftovers for breakfast. ; ) It was super hot outside by mid day, and even though it was only 67, my weather app said it felt like 77. And that it did. So we did the only logical thing to do… we hit the ice cream shop.

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Sweet Action is a regular ice cream shop with vegan options. And man, everyone I talked to loved this place! Seems like they carry at least 2 vegan flavors per day. This particular day they had cinnamon roll & boysenberry swirl. Surprisingly enough, the boysenberry won out in my personal taste test. It was like a yummy, frozen berry cheesecake in a cup! Heavenly!

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They also regularly carry pre-packaged ice cream sandwiches, and this day, they had two varieties. They had double chocolate cookies with coffee ice cream, and Joanna got the almond cardamom cookies with vanilla. That sucker was huge! I ate all of mine and made a concerted effort to finish hers until she shut me down. (She literally took it away from me.) I had to admit, I had probably eaten enough sugar anyway. The cookie was nicely spiced, and the vanilla ice cream, well, it was a little vanilla in comparison. I think the chocolate/coffee combo would probably have been tastier. I’m not a huge sweet tooth, but there’s something very satisfying about eating ice cream on a hot day, with the windows open. We walked around a little and I found a cute second hand dress and a pair of vintage looking shades. Then we had to head home to get me ready for the airport.

I felt a bit bad that I didn’t go to healthier vegan places with Jo, and dragged her down a path of vegan junk food with me, but she insisted that it was still superior. :) It was a great little holistic get away for me too, and I always love a little quality time with my bestie. Thanks Jojo!!

So if there are any places you think I missed out on, please comment below as I’ll probably be out to visit my Denver ladies again. The only other place I was curious about trying was Sputnik, which is attached to a music venue. We passed it on Thursday night, and they had a punk rock show going. They have a small vegan menu in addition to their regular bar food.

Next trip for me is going to be next month, Memorial Day weekend for Vida Vegan Con in Portland (a.k.a. Vegan Mecca) so that should be a whole mess of photos and info and meetups too! Can’t wait!

Highline – Seattle, WA

Published January 27, 2013 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

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I’ve been super beat lately adjusting to the new job wake up time. Getting up at the time I got used to going to bed for the last 3 months, has been a bit rough, so I apologize for the little hiatus of slacking here at the blog. Also, because Highline is one of our favorite places in Seattle so far, I wanted to make sure to give you a proper review, so I took my time writing it over the course of a few visits.

I say proper review, because I’m the type of person that reads a lot of reviews, and I found some of the reviews I read about Highline before going to be highly inaccurate. So I will start by setting the record straight!

Debunking the Highline myths created by happycow and yelp reviewers…

The first thing you need to know about Highline is that it is a BAR. A pub. A lounge. A venue. They also serve food, but that doesn’t automatically mean you can bring your children in here. It is NOT a family restaurant, that’s why it says NO MINORS on the front door. IT IS A BAR.

The second thing  you need to know is that Highine isn’t a dive bar contrary to what several reviewers seem to believe. Not to say that dive bars are bad in any way. I love dive bars, but bars with granite counter tops don’t qualify as dive bars in my book, maybe that’s just me.

The third thing I read and found untrue, was that it’s in a trashy neighborhood? Umm? It’s right on Broadway, in Capitol Hill. Do you think that’s a bad neighborhood, because I don’t. Yes, it’s directly upstairs from a store that sells lingerie and adult toys, but it’s actually a very nice store, with a thoughtful layout and a professional staff. :)

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Things that are true about Highline?

They have delicious food, it’s all vegan, and most of it wouldn’t really be considered health food. Now, there are a few salads on the menu (which I have yet to try!), but what they do exquisitely well is bar food. For example, they have vegan fish and chips. Seriously. The above burrito is actually what brought us in for the 1st time. They had it as their daily special, and Thomas needed a burrito fix badly one afternoon, so we decided to go check it out.

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I had the THE PELE wrap $8 / Maple teriyaki tempeh with pineapple, spinach, cabbage, red onions, miso-sriracha aioli, which as you can imagine was absolutely awesome.

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We shared the pickle chips, which have become Thomas’ new favorite food. They come served with ranch dressing. They kick butt.

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Here is the full bar as glimpsed over the shiny granite counter top. Highline doesn’t just pour icy cold beers, they also have a large list of house infused liquors and signature drinks. I’m a big fan of the ginger infused bourbon. In fact, that’s mostly what I drank all night on New Year’s when we came back for a special NYE edition CAKEAROKE (karaoke with vegan cake).  Here is my New Year’s cupcake being presented to me by Joe the bartender.

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Granite aside, it’s a pretty punk rock place, which we love. A lot of the staff is in, or tours with bands, and you’ll find lots and lots of ink, piercings and dreads on both the help and the customers. They also HAD a bad bathroom situation going, (but they would give you a key to the nicer bathroom in the hallway adjacent to the bar, if you asked!) but that has recently been remedied!

And this is not just a place for vegans either, pretty much everyone cool that we meet seems to love Highline, and like the food. Here’s their appetizer list…

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I really need to try those sweet potato tater tots next! And here are their nachos…

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They’re supposed to come with a nooch sauce too, but didn’t the day I ordered these. Didn’t matter, they were still super good.

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Along with some pickle chips, we also split an order of SATAN FINGERS with buffalo sauce that were fantastic.

I highly recommend Highline if you’re in Seattle. We plan on taking all of our friends here when they visit. We have yet to be there for a band night, but they have all kinds of things go down here like all you can eat spaghetti and movie nights, trivia night, the aforementioned cakearokee, and an industrial night too.

Highline is located at 210 Broadway E, Seattle, Washington 98102. Open Mon – Fri: 3:00 pm – 2:00 am and they open extra early on the weekend for BRUNCH! Sat – Sun: 11:00 am – 2:00 am (206) 328-7837, highlinevolume@gmail.com, http://www.highlineseattle.com

Annapurna Cafe – Capitol Hill, Seattle

Published December 26, 2012 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

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Had to tell you about a recent discovery in Capitol Hill. Not only is Annapurna close enough to us to walk to, but they have everything  vegan clearly marked on the menu, and it was the best service we’ve had since I can remember. Not only is the food clearly marked vegan, but they know what it means. After ordering, the server inquired if we were vegan, and told us he’d hold the mint sauce, which has dairy.

(I’m going to go ahead and just apologize for the very poor pictures. Even though I have this amazing cameraphone now, this place is really dimly lit, and I didn’t want to keep drawing attention to us with multipe attempts at flash photography!)

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We started with the vegetable pakoras (fried veggies battered in chickpea flour) which came with tamarind sauce and mango chutney.

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Thomas had the Monk Stir-Fry Tofu and mixed vegetables stir-fried in Tibetan style with garlic and ginger sauce, served with brown rice $9.95. I snuck a little taste and the sauce was delicious.

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I got the Saag Chana Fresh spinach cooked with Chick peas and freshly ground Indian spices $9.95. Even though I was incredibly full, I literally could not stop eating this until it was gone, save for some brown rice. Very nicely spiced.

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We also got an order of roti bread, which served as a wonderful vehicle for the spiced sauces and chutney. Overall a wonderful meal, extremely attentive waitstaff, and a pleasant, cozy restaurant.

Annapurna is located in Capitol Hill at 1833 Broadway, Seattle WA 98122. 206-320-7770. Open 7-days a week. See website for hours. Happy hour is 3-6pm with $3.99 appetizers.

Roadtrip Post 2: Day 4 Counter Culture & Easy Tiger – Austin, TX

Published December 12, 2012 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

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Day 4 of our road trip was the day before Thanksgiving. We were happy we were getting to spend the entire day in Austin, because we were now going to spend actual Thanksgiving day driving through the rest of Texas, instead of LA as we had originally planned. So I sought out what I thought would be a sure thing, so we could go pig out properly in one of Austin’s fully vegan establishments.

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And that sure thing was Counter Culture. Originally, I had hoped to eat there the night before, but by the time we got into town and checked in at the hotel, it ended up being far too late, so we hit the bricks to seek it out the next day for lunch! The weather was super nice out, so we sat outside.

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We got there during happy hour, and started out with a couple of really tasty local brews from Hops & Grain: A sustainable brewery in Austin. They had two selections which just so happened to fit our beer palettes perfectly.

An ALT-ERATIONa blended base of German Pilsner malt with hefty portions of Munich, Vienna and just a touch of de-bittered black malt, for Thomas.

And a PALE DOGan American Pale Ale. A blend of Vienna and Caramel malts with a sweetness of grapefruit and tropical fruit, for me. $4 each.

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We ordered a SPICY BAKED ARTICHOKE DIP – Creamy baked artichokes with a touch of jalapeño, accompanied by a selection of bread, $7 which you can also get Gluten free for an extra $2. Really delicious, and so much bread. We ate all of it.

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We also ordered a GARBANZO “TUNA” SALAD to split, since we were really hungry and had trouble deciding on our entrees. A scoop of garbanzo salad centered on a bed of mixed greens, tomatoes & thin red onions with vinaigrette dressing, Gluten-Free, $7. I ordered it over kale, though!

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I ordered the LENTIL LOAF – Herbed lentils & vegetables topped with house-made ketchup and served with a side of tahini mustard sauce, Gluten-Free, $12. I ordered it with GARLICKY GREENS and PAC MAN kale salad. Look at those little carrots cut to look like pac man! So cute. I really can’t pass up a lentil loaf if I see one. This one tasted really good, but the texture could have been better. It was kind of dry on the outside and dense on the inside. We figured it might have been because it was gluten free. The tahini mustard was terrific on the garlicky greens, and well, more kale for me. I was happy and stuffed. Didn’t get quite through the loaf.

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The same way that I’m a sucker for a lentil loaf, Thomas is a sucker for vegan pulled pork. He got the JACKFRUIT BBQ sandwich. Shredded jackfruit covered in organic chipotle bbq sauce, topped with onions & pickles. (There’s a GF option for this too.) $8. It got a superior rating from him of being “Really Good”. I tasted it too. It was. :) He got it with a side of cornbread which wasn’t sweet enough for either of us. There are two kinds of cornbread in the world, and we are of the cakey, sweet cornbread loving school. This is from the other one. Still, it’s cornbread. It’s still good.

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Before leaving, we packed up two Thanksgiving sandwiches for our day of driving ahead. I really wish we had packed up some of the pumpkin cheesecake too, but Thomas is allergic to cashews (we think) so I decided against it.

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Later that night, we headed back out down 6th street to enjoy our last night in Austin, and decided to check out Easy Tiger, a Bake Shop and Beer Garden. They have a lot of good beer on tap, and it’s a really cool location. The store front on the street level just looks like a counter for a bakery. If you go down stairs, there’s a full bar and restaurant area including shelves of board games, a huge out door area that includes covered tables, and also a wide open area that has several ping pong tables.

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When I asked the waitress about their Dog Fish Head 60 Minute IPA (my fave!), because it said (Randall) next to it, and she told me what the Randall was. (The brown wine bottle looking thing in the pic below with the Dog Fish Head sticker on it!)

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It’s one of only 4 in existence, and it’s a device Dog Fish Head came up with to run beer through it to give it extra hoppy taste. I decided to give it a try…  Honestly, the taste wasn’t much different, but it did make the beer kind of warm! Their other beers were nice and cold, though!

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I was still full, but Thomas was a bit hungry, so he ordered the Vegetarian version of their house made sausages. It’s actually vegan and consists of Beets, Lentils, Brown Rice, Flax Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Herbs, and Smoke, and comes served with Sautéed Pickled Peppers. You can get just the link $5, or on a pretzel bun for $7, but the pretzel bun isn’t vegan.

Okay, it’s way better than it looks! After trying it, I ended up ordering a link for myself. Extremely tasty! As we left I asked if any of the breads were vegan in the bakery upstairs, and the girl told me the only one they had at the moment was the 9 grain bread, so we took a loaf to go for the road. (Literally!)

Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for the details of the rest of our trip!

Roadtrip post 1: Day 3 Magnolia Cafe – Austin, Texas

Published December 11, 2012 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

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So my road trip pictures begin with Day 3 (Tuesday before Thanksgiving), due to my phone smashing to its death in New Orleans, but I’ll give you the run down on days 1 and 2. It was mostly just driving. We decided to only travel up to Winter Haven on the Sunday we began, in order to give us a better jump on getting to NOLA the next day at a reasonable time, and also so that we could do one more quick visit with Thomas’ mom and sis.

We only spent the night in New Orleans. Our car was so weighed down with stuff that it was scraping against the bumpy roads of the city, so we made a quick exit the next morning, but we decided to take an extra day in Austin since we were getting in late, and it has such an awesome reputation.

We stayed close to the fantastic 6th street bars, and took a long walk down to Cheer up Charlie’s (I like the Willy Wonka reference, but everyone knows to fast forward that song in the movie, right?), where they have 2! vegan food trailers (One was Arlo’s) parked on the premises. Unfortunately for us, they had just closed when we got there (contrary to what it said on happy cow!) So we had a beer and hung out for a little while. Now it was getting late and we were very much in need of a 24 hour diner of some sort. We overheard mixed reviews about heading to Magnolia Cafe from a nearby table, and decided to just go with that. The cab ride was kinda pricey, but at least he agreed to come back out there to pick us up, as there weren’t any cabs patrolling that neighborhood at that hour.

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Guess what? Magnolia Cafe is not vegan friendly! But if you read the happycow reviews, it kinda says it all there. Our waiter had no idea what vegan meant at all, so I was kinda bummed I had to do this awkward waltz of food interrogation (I hate to be that person), in Austin of all places! But I did get fed, and that was the most important thing at that moment. However, he was proud to tell us that their [not vegan] pancakes were featured on the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, so there’s that. Also, the table cloth was pretty darn cute.

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Thomas is vegetarian, so had a much easier go of it. He did not get the pancakes either. Also, flamingos.

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So I got some hummus tacos with sprouts, avocado, and tomato served with salsa. He said the tortillas didn’t have lard. I believed him. I was happy to have food in my tummy. And hey, it was fresh!

If you need late night food, maybe you should try The Vegan Yacht. I had debated that one too, but didn’t want to get fooled again in case they weren’t actually open until 2am on a Tuesday before Thanksgiving. Sounds pretty yum, and their motto is “SAFE, HEALTHY, FRESH VEGAN DISHES THAT ANYONE CAN ENJOY. CLOSE YOUR EYES, POINT, THEN ORDER. IT WILL BE TASTY.” Sounds good to me.

Also check out one of Vegan Lazy Smurf’s food guides for Austin for more info if you’re traveling there. Very extensive research! :D

Stay tuned for the rest of our road trip posts. Though I may continue to slip in some concise current updates too!

xoxo,

Ty

Sweat Records – Vegan Brunch & Empanadas!

Published October 18, 2012 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

Hey guys! After a strong start out of the gate, I’ve been trying to catch up from my serious slacking last week at VeganMofo. We’re getting closer to crunch time for our move to Seattle, so I won’t even attempt to pull off any more full week mini themes. Friday is my last day of work, and next week is going to be pure craziness of trying to pack and store and donate all of our earthly possessions.

However, I did want to tell you about our lovely little brunch at Sweat Records in Miami two weekends ago! They do these vegan brunch events every few months, and I was really hoping to meet up with LJ again this time, but our timing was off, and we missed each other. Since we’re both moving out of state fairly soon, the next time we meetup will probably not be in Florida!

Here is the menu that was being offered and all the details…

Since we got there around 1, it was in full swing and absolutely packed. Consequently, we were too late for some of the selections. We we missed out on the muffins, and I was only able to scrape up a few of the Rosemary Potatoes that had been passed over for being stuck to the foil, which were incredible! She did have LOTS of Pumpkin French Toast left though, as well as the Apple, Fennel & Sage Seitan Sausage (Yum!), Fresh Fruit & Herb Salad, and Kale Salad with Cranberry Poppy Seed dressing. Needless to say I completely pigged out on kale. :) It was the first and last thing I hit. I even took some plain while she was making more salad, much to Francesca’s surprise. What can I say, I really dig kale!

On our way in I had noticed the vegan empanadas that Sweat Records is always tweeting about, and made sure to grab a few on our way out.

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After reheating a couple of days later, I found out they had a wonderfully flaky cornmeal crust and tasty fillings that ended much too soon.

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I also picked up some HURRAW! lip balm in two flavors to try out. I had been meaning to test drive these for awhile and to be honest, I’m not really sold on them so far. I still prefer my Urban Decay at this moment in time, but I may keep trying because they smell so good! Especially the root beer!!

Also for good measure, I give you a picture of Ganon. :)

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(PS – This is my 11th Vegan Mofo post this month! Still doing fairly well, right?)

Sublime Happy Hour – Fort Lauderdale, Fl

Published October 8, 2012 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

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So to start off my mini-theme this week of restaurant reviews I forgot to tell you about, I’ll start with this entry from my birthday week back at the end of August. I ended up taking the week off. I had PTO, I was going through some stuff, so it kinda just worked out. One of these nights, I decided to go hit Sublime for happy hour and get some dinner after having a sort of disastrous birthday dinner out the night before. (The company was good, the restaurant, however, was not!) I’ve never been the biggest fan of Sublime, but I have had some really nice times at happy hour, so I decided to give it a go. The same bartender that had been there the last times I had gone (it had been at least a year or two) was there, and he’s just great. I didn’t even end up reading my kindle that I brought along for company. I was also really impressed with their further expanded beer list. I started with a Terrapin Hopsecutioner, which I ended up taking the last of. So delicious!

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I ordered one of their sushi rolls to start, and they also brought out their always yummy complimentary polenta. As far as the sushi goes, I always notice how BLAND their wasabi is. I mean, truly, no kick whatsoever. Also, I had to scrape some of the veganaise off. It was just a lot. Besides that, very, very tasty. Mmm, capers!

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After this I switched to a Rogue Dead Guy beer and sat and drank it for awhile trying to decide if I wanted to eat anything else.

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I ended up deciding on a half order of what I want to say was fire-cracker noodles? I tried to check the website, but the menu listed on there seems incomplete. (I couldn’t find the sushi rolls on it, either.) He brought me an extra side of Sriracha sauce after I complained that the wasabi wasn’t strong enough, hah! And it’s true, this “spicy” dish did benefit from the extra hot sauce. It was really very good, even though sadly, I got full right away, and ended up boxing up the majority.

So I ended having a really nice birthday dinner after all, just a day late.  Thanks, Sublime! :)

Gourmet Greenhouse – Hollywood, Fl

Published October 2, 2012 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

I decided since I didn’t have a theme for this month, I could maybe do mini-themes? So, at least my 1st two posts will be from raw vegan south Florida restaurants that I had eaten at a while back, and totally forgotten to tell you about! :) Then I may stay on high raw posts for a bit, so it would seem that I have a direction. Maybe.

So my friend Jake says he likes this place because it’s weird. And really, the setting is strange…

Gourmet Greenhouse is located behind a costume shop, in a metaphysical center off of Hollywood Blvd. In order to gain access to the restaurant, you have to park around the back, walk through their garden area, take a trip across the gift shop, and finally climb a staircase in the back. The restaurant is located on the second floor overlooking the aforementioned garden. When we got up there, we found we were the only patrons, and nearly alone. We made our presence known, and the one person staff came out to greet us and give us menus.

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He brought us this tasty nut pate and carrot sticks right away. Unfortunate[for Thomas]ly, it was made with cashews, so Thomas was left out, and I gobbled it all up by myself.

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As it turns out, this place isn’t all raw. The menu was about 50/50 raw and cooked foods. Thomas ordered the Portabello Mushroom Sandwich [sic] $8 (Perhaps to get even for the cashew spread? Yes, we both have a food sensitivity, and mine is grody mushrooms!) It came with sautéed onions smothered in spicy mango bbq sauce, served with crackers and a pickle. He liked it, but we didn’t find the sauce to be very spicy. A good or bad thing, depending on your palette!

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I had the Raw Yellow Squash Spaghetti and Almond/Flaxseed Meatballs with a side salad $8, which was really tasty! I thought the prices and serving sizes were really reasonable, especially compared with other such niche restaurants in the South Florida area. In fact, if it weren’t so out of the way, and open so few hours, we’d probably have been back more often.

Who knows, maybe we’ll pay them another visit before we leave for Seattle? Oh, and speaking of that, I haven’t done a single thing to prepare. I fly out of here on October 30th, so my real them for VeganMoFo is blogging while simultaneously preparing for our move to Seattle. Which means that since I’ve now gotten my 2nd post ready and taken care of, I should really go work on my closet, and stop looking at antique china on eBay! :D

<3

Gourmet Greenhouse is located at 5809 Hollywood Blvd. Hollywood FL 33021. (954) 518-0551. Open for lunch Tuesday through Saturday, 11 am to 4 pm.

Greenwave Cafe – raw food in Plantation, FL

Published October 1, 2012 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

Happy October, and Happy Vegan Mofo (Vegan Month of Food)! I have a ton of food pictures and blog posts that should have been, waiting in the archives of my phone and laptop. So along with getting ready for my move to Seattle at the end of the month, I’ll also be doing a catch up and clearing out of all the blog posts from over the summer and of this month. It’s going to be the usual mix of restaurant reviews/recipe reviews/recipes along with a shift into more fall and pumpkin goodness. A big hello to all of you fellow Vegan Mofo-ers who are just finding me for the 1st time!

Greenwave Cafe is a great little raw place in west Broward county. When I felt myself headed for another raw eating kick a couple of months ago, Thomas & I came here to ease back in. They’re open as a cafe Tuesday through Saturday, from 11am-9pm and Monday as a produce market from 8am – 2pm. They also sell produce during the week, and their amazing dehydrated onion bread that I used for my raw vegan nachos!

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I love their warm, yummy soups! I’m always starving when I go here and the fact that they bring you a tasty soup right away while you wait for your meal is very much appreciated!

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This time Thomas got the raw pizza. If I remember correctly, they made the “cheese” for him with almonds instead of cashews. This was, as expected, really good!

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This time I got what Thomas had the previous time, the extraordinarily tasty burrito! So good! Though you really can’t go wrong here. The service is about as slow as you can expect from most raw places, as the food is prepared to order, and is clearly a bit more labor intensive, but the food is bursting with flavor and creative and fresh.

Pizza Fusion Ft Lauderdale – Bruschetta Pizza

Published August 26, 2012 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

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Just showing off the yum pizza I ate last Saturday at Pizza Fusion, Fort Lauderdale. This is the Bruschetta pizza on multigrain crust made vegan with soy cheese, and it’s one of my favorites. There is actual an Very Vegan pizza on the menu, but it has mushrooms, so I’ve never tried it. That being said,  it’s easy enough to veganize quite a few of their existing offerings or create your own. I even got my soy cheese substitution for free with my Foursquare checkin. :)

Although Pizza fusion can be a little pricey, it’s a great place to dine with a group of mixed diet people. Not only do they have 2 kinds of vegan cheese (Daiya and soy), but they also have gluten free crust, “regular” pizzas, salads, organic beer & wine, etc.

I asked the girl if the gluten free crust was vegan and she gave me a very weak “Yes” (which I didn’t trust), so I passed. Oh yah, they also have vegan brownies if you’re needing a dessert fix.

Check out their website for locations. I do appreciate a chain that’s trying to be green and mainstream healthier versions of things we all love, like pizza. I may be eating high raw right now, but sometimes there is just no substitution for pizza!

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