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Vegan Babe Fest 2014: Portland for Melisser’s Bday

Published January 10, 2014 by Vegan Derby Cat Party
The babes. More hairspray and vintage than you can shake something mod at.

The babes. More hairspray and vintage than you can shake a vegan corn dog at.

We spent an awesome weekend in Portland last week for Melisser’s birthday, and I’ve slowly been trying to get all the highlights into a post for you this week!

We hopped into the car Friday evening and drove straight to meet up with the gang (most of whom we’d never met, but they turned out to be fantastic!) at Blossoming Lotus  Thomas and I had eaten lunch there once before, on our moving trip from Florida to Seattle back in November 2012, but not since. I was so hungry it was tough for me to decide what to eat. Thomas, however, settled on his right away…

Pot Pie with an enormous biscuit top!

Pot Pie with an enormous biscuit top!

Pot Pie $16, roasted portobello, carrot, turnip, and parsnip enveloped in a creamy herb filling, topped with a truffled biscuit crust. This thing was full of mushroom, so I stayed away, but it was a popular dish at the table, and Thomas did a great job of polishing his off. The picture doesn’t really do it justice. That is one BIG biscuit!

Ratatoullie!

Ratatoullie!

I finally decided on the Ratatouille $15 (Gluten free, Soy free), crispy polenta cakes in a roasted red pepper and tomato sauce, with roasted eggplant, zucchini, squash, onions and herbs, topped with walnut parmesean. Again, sorry for the dimly lit photo. This was really delicious. Two giant pieces of polenta with incredibly flavorful veggies, especially the eggplant. SO much food!

After this we went to a really weird drag show, then a super sweet arcade (GroundKontrol), and then a final end of the night stop at the closest food carts.

Fried dough. ALWAYS a good idea!

Fried dough. ALWAYS a good idea!

That’s where we found the yummiest truck of all [in my opinion], the Whiffies hand pie truck! While it may not be fully vegan, 1 of the 3 savory pies is vegan, and all 5 of the sweet pies are too. We ordered the Tofu Pot Pie and the Grannie Smith’s Apple Pie, both nights we were there! SO DELICIOUS. 😉 The other reigning champ for the rest of the table was the Potato Champion truck, where vegan poutine was gleefully ordered and shared on both nights as well.

Birthday hand pies.

Alex. Jon. Melisser. Birthday hand pies.

The Whiffies employee was also the one who gave us the rainbow birthday candle that would serve to adorn Melisser’s every meal all weekend. Said employee recognized me from the blog, and introduced himself as we were leaving. (Thanks for saying hi!) Turns out he was Rian of This Vegan Mouth, who blogs about all the amazing eats in Portland. (Check it out!) So nice to meet vegan interwebs friends in person! After this we finally went back to the house to hang out.

Melisser rented this super cute, 3 bedroom basement apartment for all of us to crash at on airbnb.com, which  made the weekend that much more fun.

Did you ever see that episode of Punky Brewster where a kid gets stuck in an old fridge?

Somehow I brought this, and how kids can get stuck in fridges up, so Kerry decided to disprove the myth immediately.

The non-believer.

Just for the record, Kerry doesn’t drink!

Kerry writes a vegan skate blog at veganskateblog.com. (It’s about skateboarding though, not derby!) Turns out that at least with this particular model of fridge, he was absolutely correct. (The one in Punky Brewster had an old-fashioned latch.) Very little effort required to open it from the inside. But just to make sure, we all had to try it.

Alex & Kerry, being fridge scientists.

Alex & Kerry, in a fridge. For Science.

Thomas and I in a fridge. For science.

Thomas and I, in a fridge at least twice the size of ours at home.

** DAY 2 **

Brunch was at Paradox Cafe, so Thomas and I decided to ride our bikes over. Seattle’s a bit too steep and crazy for me to get around much on my bike, so I was looking forward to getting to share Thomas’ favorite activity on flatter terrain. It turned out to be a really nice ride.

Vegan & Gluten free cornbread.

Vegan & Gluten free cornbread.

We beat everyone there because we biked, but that gave us longer to check out the menu. I immediately spotted the cornbread, but was bummed because it only said gluten free. However, the waitress assured us that it was also vegan, and that the menu needs to be updated, so we ordered it to start. It had green chilis throughout it’s slightly crumbly texture, and was from the less sweet camp of cornbread. Now we both prefer the more southern, sweeter cornbreads, but will eat absolutely any cornbread we can get, so we liked it anyway. It had a nice crisp outside, moist inside, and good flavor.

Solstice Corn Cake

Solstice Corn Cake

I had also spotted the  Solstice Corn Cakes, which are [vegan & gluten-free] corn pancakes with apples and toasted walnuts, but couldn’t decide if I wanted something more savory instead. Fortunately, Brittney was up for sharing one. YUM.

Mine

Mine.

I ended up ordering the Tempeh-Avocado Tostadas $6.95, Black beans, quinoa, tempeh, arugula, (I had them sub kale!), son risa sauce and avocado; served with homemade salsa. Totally delicious, huge portion, and cheap. If I lived in Portland, I’d eat there all the time.

Deconstructed burrito.

Deconstructed burrito.

Thomas got the The “Big” Burrito $8.50, A blend of steamed vegetables, tofu and our house chili; wrapped in a giant wheat tortilla, topped with salsa & green onions; served with breakfast potatoes. Only he got his deconstructed, served with corn tortillas to make it gluten-free.

(And yes, we’re trying to eat gluten-free now. He thinks that might be way he gets an allergic reaction on his face, and I know some wheat things give me hives in my mouth, so I thought it wasn’t a bad idea.)

Put a candle on it.

Put a candle on it.

I’m not exactly sure what Melisser had, but we made sure to put a candle in it!

And here we all are looking very full!

And here we all are looking very full!

After this, Thomas and I decided to head over to the vegan mini mall. And of course, we have footage…

I picked up some super elusive and exclusive Portland soy curls at Food Fight Grocery, and then picked up a couple of cute tops at Herbivore Clothing for my ever growing collection.

New shirt!

New shirt!

Then we cruised back home to get ready for a night of food and dancing.

A lovely little sunset was waiting for us outside to bike back.

A lovely little sunset was waiting for us outside to bike back.

Dinner was at White Owl Social Club. Melisser ordered this GIANT (Okay, Large) Hatch Chile Taco Mac, Vegan Mac and Cheese with Seasoned TVP, for us to share. It says the Large serves 4, but this was plenty of food for 6 people to share as a light meal.

Chile Mac

Chile Mac

Also shared were the Fried Moonbrine Pickle Fritters, With Sizzle Pie Vegan Ranch, and the Jalapeño Garlic cheese fries, Shoestring Fries smothered in vegan Cheese Sauce and Jalapeño Garlic Relish. YUM! No complaints on any of that! 🙂

Melisser blowing out her birthday pickle fritter. Fries also pictured, albeit dimly! -Thanks for the photo Thomas!

Melisser blowing out her birthday pickle fritter. Fries also pictured, albeit dimly! -Thanks for the photo Thomas!

After some fun with the photo booth, we headed out to Star Bar to get our dance on.

Elvis Face!

Elvis Face!

But Star Bar had another thing to offer us besides cool vintage tunes to dance to, they also had VEGAN JELLO SHOTS?!! Though half of the gang doesn’t drink, Alex and I were down, and Melisser decided to join us since it was her birthday.

Blurry, boozin babes.

Blurry, boozin babes.

The well chilled vegan jello shots have a pretty thick consistency, but they give you a little toothpick to help break it up. They come in Kamikaze flavor, which is really not the greatest, but hey, vegan jello shots! Who woulda thought? Thanks, Portland.

** DAY 3 **

A thoroughly unflattering last pic of me & Thomas at our temporary weekend residence.

A thoroughly unflattering last pic of me & Thomas at our temporary weekend residence.

Everyone slept in Sunday morning so we got a late and lazy start on our last day. Our last meal came from the Vita Cafe. They have lots of great sounding food, but we settled on these:

Chicken Fried Steak

Chicken Fried Steak

Melisser’sCHICKEN’ FRIED STEAK $8.50, Batter dipped deep fried organic tempeh, mashed potatoes and almond gravy, looked awesome, but sadly (for me!) the gravy is made with almonds. So Thomas ordered it and had them put the gravy on the side so I could try it. I did dip my piece in a little gravy though, and it was super delicious! I would totally recommend it!

Cheesesteak!

Cheesesteak!

I had the SEITAN CHEESE STEAK $7.50, Sliced seitan with sautéed peppers, onions, mushrooms (no thanks!), and real pepper jack cheese, vegan cheese (+$1) , served on a baguette. It came with some yummy pickle slices and was so good that I devoured the entire thing in no time.

So what an entirely fantastic weekend! The food, people, and location were beyond great. We really want to try to make an effort to get down there more often. See you soon Portland! 🙂

What are your favorite Portland eats?

Skatecation in Florida: 2 Orlando & South Florida

Published December 18, 2013 by Vegan Derby Cat Party
Hers and His skates

My gear, Thomas’ dismantled inlines, and my vegan Dansko mary janes

Well, my 2 weeks of vacation finally came to an end yesterday. I was planning on going back to work on Friday, but they were slow and I was still in vacation mode, so when they called my Thursday, I figured, What the heck?! (I’ve never had a 2 week vacation from work before. It was pretty nice.) So since I’m all back and rested, I might as well tell you about the rest of our trip.

Last night in Florida!

Last night in Florida!

First, I didn’t end up skating in South Florida after all. I would really have liked to, but their practice was the last night we were there, and we ended up going out one last time with our friends and having a blast. I figured my own practice was only 2 more days, so I’d make it. I still think that it was worth lugging my gear to Florida to be able to skate the previous week though. One week off skates is fine. 2 weeks makes a tremendous difference!

Before we left Orlando, we did get a nice lunch at Dandelion CommuniTea Cafe in. Thomas and I had eaten there before but my parents hadn’t, and I was also after some of Raphsodic Bakery‘s good’s, which they happen to carry.

Caramel Pistacio?

Caramel Pistachio?

I shared the above cupcake with the table as an appetizer, and it was crumbly (I think gluten-free), but totally delicious. (I couldn’t remember the name very certainly.) For lunch I had what Thomas had last time we were there, the Sweet Potato Burrito $9.50. Funny enough, I seem to have forgotten to take a picture of my own food. But hey, it looked like a burrito, came stuffed with (you guessed it!) sweet potato, quinoa, sweet onions, corn & sweet ginger cilantro sauce, with a yummy side of black bean dip. Definitely recommend.

Side Sampler $8

Side Sampler $8

Mom got the side sampler, and enjoyed it until she hit something spicy. She’s pretty sensitive to heat, where the rest of us douse things in hot sauce, so I went ahead and took the queso off of her hands. It came with black bean dip, sassy salsa, whirled peas guacamole, and the “subtly spicy” vegan queso.

Black Bean Quesadilla, $9

Black Bean Quesadilla, $9

Dad had the black bean quesadilla. Even though he was supposed to be avoiding spicy foods and this was filled with black beans, tomatoes, corn, red onions, peppers, cilantro, spices and some of that same vegan queso, this man eats the hottest peppers and sauces in the world with no problem, and this was pretty mild. He liked it, and I ate some of the leftovers later. They were pretty darn good.

Sunday holiday dinner!

Sunday holiday dinner!

The next day Thomas and I headed to the grocery store to get things for a little holiday dinner with my parents, sister and niece and nephew. Since I could only get the week after Thanksgiving off this year, I made a point for us to have a little make-up holiday dinner together. I made two Field Roast celebration roasts, (which everyone loved!) fresh roasted brussel sprouts and acorn squash, and finally LEARNED THE SECRET OF MY FATHER’S BLACK BEANS!

My father makes the best black beans I’ve ever had anywhere, and it’s not just because he’s my dad. They’re really that good. In college he used to freeze them so I could take them back to school with me. A couple of years ago I had him try to tell me the recipe so I could write it down, and that did not work at all. This time I made him actually show me what to do in the kitchen with SUCCESS! I already made a huge double batch two days after I got back. Half for my derby Christmas Party, and half for us. This is truly one of the best presents he’s ever given me! I LOVE YOU, DAD! The only thing I can tell you is, everything they tell you  in books about cooking black beans is wrong.

Most importantly of all, my father is doing GREAT! It’s going to take some time for him to get back up to speed, but his surgery was successful and he’s recovering well so far. The best Christmas present of all! 🙂

And just for good measure, here’s a picture of Midna, who was extremely happy to see her parents after 9 days apart:

Me and my princess!

Me and my princess!

Skatecation in Florida: 1 Central Florida

Published December 6, 2013 by Vegan Derby Cat Party
Here's me and my new bangs enjoying the balmy weather without enduring tanning, from the safety of our balcony.

Here’s me and my new bangs enjoying the balmy weather without enduring tanning, from the safety of our balcony.

Hello from Celebration, Florida!

I’m happy to report that my dad is recovering very well from his surgery on Monday, which is actually the reason we’re currently in Celebration. It’s also about halfway between downtown Orlando, and Thomas’ hometown of Winter Haven, so it worked out pretty nicely.

Right before we left Seattle, I did my first attempt at 27 in 5 (27 laps in 5 minutes is one of WFTDA’s minimum skills) and got a very respectable [for a 1st try] 24. Having had a week break due to Thanksgiving between my last two practices, I knew I didn’t really care for such a big gap between sessions, so I googled leagues in central Florida right before we left Seattle for our 9 day trip. (I brought my gear backpack & helmet with me on the flights as my personal item with no issues.) Orlando Area Derby Revolution got back to me first, but unfortunately none of their practices coincided with my days here. Then I was lucky enough to get ahold of the Lakeland Derby Dames, who were willing to let me drop in on Wednesday night.

But before that, we went to check out Ethos Vegan Kitchen at their new location…

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The new place is HUGE! They’ve lost some of the greener, homier touches of the old place like the Dr. Bronner’s soap in the bathrooms and a patio area (from what I could tell), but it’s a really nice space with an impressively long full bar to boot (not pictured).

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Thomas went for the All American Burger $8.95, right away. He got his with the chips and mango salsa. He said it was all good, and that the burger tasted like Gardein, but we didn’t get conirmation on that.

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After some deliberation, I settled on the Coconut Curry Wrap $8.95, made gluten-free with a brown rice wrap, and upgraded for a side of black beans and [white] rice. I really liked the flavor of the black beans, even before the Tabasco & Sriracha, but did wish it’d come with the less authentic brown rice instead. The wrap was more like a soft taco, and a little diificult to manage without a fork, but I’m thinking it was just the way the brown rice wrap worked out. It was just a little salty for me, but the raisins and walnuts helped to give it some contrast. I liked it more the longer I ate, and ended up eating the whole thing instead of taking half home, like I’d originally thought.

My mom actually got excited to see me in my getup, and snapped this photo of us heading out to Lakeland! :)

My mom actually got excited to see me in my getup, and snapped this photo of us heading out to Lakeland! 🙂

When it came time to leave for practice I was still pretty full. I got a little nap in on the way to Lakeland since Thomas drove, and cars make me nearly narcoleptic. Once it was time to go in, I didn’t give it much thought again until about halfway through. The girls were all really great and friendly, and I was super thankful for the awesome endurance practice they gave me. About halfway through I did feel a bit nauseated, so I’m not sure if it was the overeating or all the vegenaise or nerves, or all of the above! 😉 I did make it through their whole practice though, which I was super proud of since I’m not on a competetive team yet, and just a week shy of three months in.

If you want to check out their team, the Rockabilly Rebels, watch their quick video, here’s the link on Vimeo! Like it if you can, because they’re trying to win a contest! And if you’re interested in joining them, they have a recruitment night coming up on Monday!

As always, thanks for reading! We’ll be heading down to South Florida on Saturday, so stay tuned for part 2! 🙂

Still haven't been in the pool yet, believe it or not! Last chance today!

Still haven’t been in the pool yet, believe it or not! Last chance today!

Vegan MoFo 2013:14 Seattle Week of Food

Published September 30, 2013 by Vegan Derby Cat Party
From the Queen Anne lookout point.

From the Queen Anne lookout point.

My parents were here this last week, and boy did we eat! We had a fantastic time, and the days just flew by. So even though I was hoping to beat my number of MoFo posts from last year, I’m not the least bit sorry. Also, congratulations to Sara, who won the Barnana giveaway! I hope you enjoy your snacks, Sara!

And now as I squeeze in my last MoFo post, with less than 2 hours to spare, I’m going to take you on a crash course of Seattle vegan food! Here we go…

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We started off their trip with a drive up to Greenlake to pick up Thomas, and headed straight to our fave place for Mexican, El Chupacabra, located in Phinney Ridge. This is the perfect place to take anyone who loves Mexican food (and even those who don’t!). They can make just about anything on the menu vegan, and everything is marked clearly. They have Gardein chicken & steak, as well as Morningstar meat for vegetarians, and plenty of other choices for omni diners. This is my taco salad w/o cheese, and with vegan steak. Delicious!

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My mom has just been getting into good beer, and was dying to check out a brewery for dinner, so naturally we took her to Elysian in Capitol Hill. We were still a bit full from lunch, so I just helped Thomas eat his VEGAN BURGER $11 – Field Roast vegan patty charbroiled on toasted ciabatta with sauteed peppers & onions, tomato jam and organic bibb lettuce. I had been there a couple of times before, but never to eat, and was surprised to see that they had a few awesome sounding choices that were clearly marked vegan. This sandwich was just as good as it sounds. Tomato jam? YES. My parents LOVED this place.

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Tuesday was my dad’s birthday, and my day off, so we went down to stroll by the waterside and to check out Pike Place Market. This is how they found out about the lie that is Seattle weather. This was supposed to be a “really crappy day”.

After a brisk start through Pioneer Square, the clouds cleared, the sun came out, and so did my umbrella. (Though the atypical storm we had the last couple of days sort of made up for it, I guess!)

Mom & I in Pioneer Square

Mom & I in Pioneer Square

We ended up in Ye Olde Curiosity Shop, where we were fascinated by their resident mummies… (for more weird attractions in Seattle, click here)

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And where I stumbled onto this antique Vampire Killer Kit (Eep!) containing a bible, a crucifix, holy water, a stake and a mallet. (Why does everyone want to kill us?!)

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After all this strolling it was snack time, so we headed to Pike Place Bar & Grill. I got the hummus and veggies with pita.

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We had drinks at the hotel, and then headed down to West Seattle’s Elliot Bay Brewing Company for dinner where my mom got the flight of beer she’d been after. After having some excellent bourbon with my pops earlier, I opted to try the root beer that they have on draft, which was terrific. They have vegetarian items clearly marked, and I got the Quinoa Garbanzo Salad $8.95 sans cheese. Mine was pretty good, except I thought the house made pickles they served along side were a bit too acidic. Thomas had the Pan Seared Tofu sandwich (not pictured), which sounded vegan except for the side of lemon mint aioli. (PS-Menu says all breads are buttered except the spent grain buns!) My parents really like this place too.

Sorry for the lighting on this one!

Sorry for the lighting on this one!

I got out of work at noon on Wednesday, so I was able to meet up with my parents for lunch. I took Britt’s recommendation for an omni/veggie sandwich shop, the Honey Hole in Cap Hill. We had passed it many times, but never checked it out. They veganized the Bellisimo $8 for me by holding the cheese and subbing Vegenaise for the red pepper mayo.  Smoked Tomato Field Roast, roma tomatoes, sauteed onions, banana peppers, fresh basil, vegenaise, and a splash of red wine vinegar on a demi baugette. OH MY YUM. I will definitely be back here so Thomas can check it out.

Mighty-Os from another day

Mighty-Os from another day

I thought they might enjoy a trip to Mighty-O Donuts in Wallingford after this, so we headed north. They must’ve had a busy day, because they were pretty low on donuts when we got there, but luckily, you can’t go wrong with Mighty-O. We got some apple spice mini donuts, a chocolate glazed, french toast and lemon poppy seed. So good. My dad said if he lived here, he’d be there all the time.

After a drive out to Golden Gardens Park to watch the sailboats, we drove over to pick up Thomas, and stopped in at Chuck’s Hop Shop in Greenwood for happy hour with their incredible selection of beer. (No pictures, sorry!)

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We tried to find a place in the International District for dinner, but my mom didn’t have the recommendations list on her, and we were too late, so we headed back to my mom’s new favorite place: Elysian. I had this FANTASTIC dish, TOFU SALAD $13 – Sweet chili sauce marinated tofu slices, baked on banana leaf and served over rice vermicelli, shredded Savoy cabbage and fresh grape tomatoes; with pickled daikon and carrot ribbons and Thai basil-lemongrass vinaigrette. Garnished with hoisin sauce, fried shallots, crushed peanuts and lime wedges. That’s 2 for 2 Elysian. AND they have some of the best tasting pumpkin beers out right now? Yeah, this might be one of my new faves too. Everyone loved their beer and food all over again.

Mom & Dad :)

Mom & Dad 🙂

For dinner Thursday, we went to a chinese restaurant in the International District recommended by a member of their hotel’s staff. It was Zagat rated and had a Seattle’s Best sticker on the door from a few years ago. Unfortunately it also had a bad smell in the foyer, and was a  HORRIBLE experience. They barely had any veggie choices at all, if you can believe it. (Even the tofu dishes weren’t vegetarian! WHAT?) We got 3 plates of nearly identical Budda’s Delight variants that were ugly as sin, and sadly, completely foul. Basically, we couldn’t get out of there fast enough. Then we got to chatting in the car about restaurant choices…

Ironically, my parents had been eating vegetarian since they watched Forks over Knives up until recently. (My mom’s not a tremendous meat eater and has been on and off vegetarian her whole adult life.) Somehow on Monday at Chupa, Thomas & I got the impression that my father didn’t want to go to any vegan places, so we’d been trying really hard to find other options than the ones we knew. Apparently they’d pretty much planned on eating vegan during their trip here with us! This made the rest of their stay a lot easier, and we got to laugh off the disgusting meal. After this there were no more dining mishaps, and we even went out for ice cream to celebrate to put that horrendous meal behind us!

Ice cream makes everything better.

Ice cream makes everything better.

I could’ve sworn I took a picture of my ice cream, but I guess I didn’t so the pic above is from the beginning of the summer, on a hot day at Blue Bird Creamery, which is where we went. That’s me holding a split scoop sugar cone of their two vegan flavors, Coconut Milk Chocolate Chip & Horchata. The horchata is to-die-for, and was a favorite at our table.

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Friday night we went to one of faves, Georgetown Liquor Company. Their motto is: STRONG ENOUGH FOR A CARNIVORE, MADE FOR A HERBIVORE! It’s a vegetarian bar that can make almost everything vegan. Not only do they have killer food and craft beer, they also have art, pinball and old school video game setups. I got a few rounds of NES Tetris in after I finished up my cider and this FRAC $9.77 : Lentil-sage Field Roast, Apricot Chutney, (W/O Primrose brie), fresh arugula and roma tomatoes toasted on ciabatta.

Large Southwestern

Large Southwestern

By Saturday I was really craving pizza, so we headed to Pizza Pi, an all vegan pizzeria located in the vegan strip of the University District. We usually don’t even look at a menu, we often just order what they’ve got on special, but this day, we all took our time making our selections. Ours was divine; the Southwestern has chipotle ranch sauce, chicken, green peppers, grilled onions, and bacon. So, so good. My parents go the ever-so-green St. Patrick’s Revenge, which has spinach and artichoke sauce, green peppers, broccoli, spinach, fresh basil, and they added chicken to it.

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We totally pigged out and ended up going back to the hotel to drink, hangout and watch bad tv & movies. We had a GREAT night, and Thomas and my dad made a run for some late night munchies including a Taco Bell fresco bean burrito for me. 😉

All Hail Kale with grilled tempeh.

All Hail Kale with grilled tempeh.

Sunday was their last day, and we started out with a flat tire that needed to be plugged. Luckily they got us in right away, and Thomas remembered that the Lake Union Veggie Grill was right around the corner, so we had a feast at this all vegan chain. I ordered the All Hail Kale salad (above) that is delicious on its own, and really needs no dressing. I’ll give you the quick run down below.

VG Rollers for the app. Two of them were picked up, and then replace for the picture taking! Hahah.

VG Rollers for the app. Two of them were picked up, and then replace for the picture taking! Hahah.

The Buffalo Bomber with chili.

The Buffalo Bomber with chili.

The Savory Kale Caeser with dressing on the side!

The Savory Kale Caeser with dressing on the side!

The Baja Wrap with Chili.

The Baja Wrap with Chili.

They really LOVED Veggie Grill too. They’re hoping that they get down to Florida one day, but I told them if they just move here, they can have it whenever they want!

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We did a little bit of bowling at the Garage, quickly checked out an apartment (Thomas & I found a place, and are moving at the end of October!) and then headed to Capitol Cider for our last happy hour of the trip.

This was actually from Thomas' birthday dinner, but they're the exact same no matter what Chupa you get them at!

This was actually from Thomas’ birthday dinner, but they’re the exact same no matter what Chupa you get them at!

My dad wanted to make sure he got one more meal in at El Chupacabra before he left, so we hit the Alki Beach location where I got the veggie tacos with black refried beans instead of pintos (no cheese). He was crazy about their chips & salsa, and happy with their selection of sauces. He said they were some of the best tacos he ever ate, which is a huge compliment from my father!

It was SO WONDERFUL to have my parents here. I hadn’t seen them for 6 months! Which is the longest I had ever gone without seeing them. We’ll be hitting South Florida in December though, so we don’t plan on letting it go that long again.

I hope you all had a great MoFo! Thanks for reading, and welcome to all the new followers!!!

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Vegan MoFo 2013:9 Wayward Vegan Cafe, Seattle & A Twin Peaks Day trip

Published September 10, 2013 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

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So I’ve been WAY behind in telling you about my favorite places to eat thus far in Seattle! I’ve just been letting the pictures pile up in my phone. So thank you MoFo, for giving me the kick in the pants I needed. But before we get to that, I’m going to tell you more about our Sunday afternoon… Well, we drove out to Snoqualmie Falls.

What?! You never heard of Snoqualmie Falls? That’s probably because you know the town of Snoqualmie a whole lot better as the fictional town of Twin Peaks.

That’s Snoquamie Falls right there at the 1:42 mark of the intro!

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Twin Peaks love has never died amongst the spooky, David Lynch loving set, but especially in Seattle. We’ve seen more than one framed portrait of Laura Palmer right over a bar, and there’s the 2nd Twin Peaks party in 2 months coming up around the corner.

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Thomas also made a point to take us to the actual diner used for the Double R. (You can read about the history of the diner here.) Unfortunately, a fire in 2000 was cause for a gutting and a remodel, but that doesn’t keep them from keeping the tourism alive and wrapped in plastic.

Everything in Twedes was indeed wrapped in plastic, but I'm not sure that was intentional. ;)

Everything in Twedes was indeed wrapped in plastic, but I’m not sure that was intentional. 😉

Thomas' photo of the modern day Double R!

Thomas’ photo of the modern day Double R!

So needless to say, the cherry pie wasn’t vegan. But Thomas is vegetarian (even though he’s about 95% vegan, in diet, clothing, etc.) so he went right ahead and ordered the requisite pie and black coffee. The coffee WAS good, though I just had a small sip, since I haven’t drank coffee in years! But all this diner ambiance was making me want some vegan diner food of my own. So we agreed to drive straight to Wayward right after.

Since our favorite vegan bar, Highline closed their all vegan kitchen recently, we’ve been driving up to the University District a lot more to get our greasy vegan fix. And although Wayward isn’t a bar, they did start doing beer, wine, and on tap mimosas (no cider yet) right before Highline closed, but we still have Vegetarian/Vegan bar Georgetown Liquor Company down in Georgetown.

And now for the food…

Country Fried Steak $9

Country Fried Steak $9

The Griddle Combo $9

The Griddle Combo $9

Fried Mozzarella Wedges $8

Fried Mozzarella Wedges $8

Meatball Sub $10 and The Warlock $9

Meatball Sub $10 and The Warlock $9

House made meatballs with fried cheese wedges and a mayo slathered, toasted hoagie roll. This thing was a beast!

House made meatballs with fried cheese wedges and a mayo slathered, toasted hoagie roll. This thing was a beast! A delicious, yummy beast.

Mac Daddy is a $12 double decker burger that took me two days to eat. But it really hit the spot. Twice.

Mac Daddy is a $12 double decker burger that took me two days to eat. But it really hit the spot. Twice.

Bikini Bowl $8 off the gluten-free menu was incredible and has kale, quinoa, tempeh, & tahini dressing

Bikini Bowl $8 off the gluten-free menu was incredible and has kale, quinoa, tempeh, & tahini dressing

Chiggen Parm $9 chicken fried tofu, and cheese on buttery grilled cheese style bread.

Chiggen Parm $9 chicken fried tofu, and cheese on buttery grilled cheese style bread.

The Wizard $9 has definitely become Thomas' go to sandwich. He doesn't even look at the menu anymore. He gets his with fries. That broccoli slaw was mine :)

The Wizard $9 has definitely become Thomas’ go to sandwich. He doesn’t even look at the menu anymore. He gets his with fries. That broccoli slaw was mine 🙂

The best part about Wayward Vegan Cafe? We’ve never had anything bad there! The food is always delicious, and as you can see by the Bikini Bowl pictured above, they do even have some healthier options. They have a good range of gluten-free items that cover Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner, and the only thing they don’t serve all day is the Dinner items, which are just from 4-9pm.

Not only that but it’s on the same block as Vegan Haven (all vegan grocery store), Araya’s Place (Vegan Thai restaurant) and just on the next block  and directly across the street from Vegan Haven is Pizza Pi (Vegan Pizzeria).

Wayward is located at 5253 University Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105. Open daily 9 AM – 9PM. 206 – 524 – 0204.

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!

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