• hey everyone! time for an OC field report from reader nicky tracy. in the following post, she explores a mostly vegan and gluten-free bakery called sensitive sweets in fountain valley. i can’t wait to check this place out!

    Vegan dining options in Orange County aren’t exactly few and far between, but when you’re gluten-free and have an insatiable sweet tooth, that can be a whole ‘nother story entirely. Naturally when I got wind that an all gluten-free and vegan-friendly bakery had opened up in northern Orange County, I couldn’t wait to investigate. Sensitive Sweets, located off of Brookhurst and Slater Ave in Fountain Valley in a little strip mall next to Le V Cuisine and Golden Scorpion Tattoo, offers some of the best vegan gluten-free breads, cupcakes, cookies and muffins I’ve had yet, without charging an arm and a leg and without the nasty aftertaste typically left behind by garbanzo/fava bean-based baked goods.

    Although not everything in the bakery is vegan (the lemon bars and fudge brownies both contain egg and the marshmallows they use contain gelatin), most of their sweets are vegan-friendly and those that aren’t are clearly marked otherwise.

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  • May 19th, 2011quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), orange county

    hey dudes, we’ve got yet another awesome field report for you today. it comes to us all the way from allison ritto in orange county, where she checks out the vegan options at matador cantina in fullerton. i love vegan mexican food, and this place is dangerously close to bootlegger’s brewery…tacos and beer this weekend, anyone?

    In an Orange County city of over 100,000 you’d think vegetarian and vegan restaurants would be in abundance. But the only time a completely vegan restaurant can be found in Fullerton is when the Seabirds Truck rolls into town. My hometown, full of college students, health food stores and not one but two Farmer’s Markets, does not have a single dedicated vegan eatery- yet. There are paltry options at a few places if you have the patience to research, quiz the staff, and cross your fingers. I was completely skeptical when I heard that Matador Cantina, in the heart of Downtown Fullerton’s restaurants and bars, was advertising vegan tacos. Mexican food usually falls into two categories: unsafe but “authentic” (lardy beans, rice made with chicken broth) or safe but quickly tiresome fast food (sorry, Chipotle). When eating at most sit-down Mexican restaurants I am lucky if I get a bean and veggie burrito and chips without cow grease to soak up the tequila and quell my salty tears of disappointment. Many places will shrug and try to sell you tortillas with manteca, sauce made with chicken stock, and veggies cooked on a meat juice-soaked grill and insist that your burrito is vegetarian because there isn’t a big chunk of pork in it. Yes I’m talking about you, Super Mex! It’s not because they hate us vegans, they probably just don’t understand, so I resist the urge to vandalize those poor ignorant businesses. So when a restaurant DOES care, and goes out of their way to call an item vegan in black and white on the menu for the world to see, my heart does a little hippity-hop.

    From Matador's Facebook page: "The Vegan Street Tacos are made with seasoned “soyrizo,” a house-made meat alternative with sautéed Poblano peppers and grilled onions. This offering is also available as a meat substitute for any menu items at no additional cost."

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  • January 24th, 2011quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), orange county

    Hi, kids. JennShaggy of “Vegnize It…Don’t Criticize It” and author of the newly released cookbook “Veganize This!” Well, I feel luckier than overnight YouTube celebrity. Why, you ask? With the help of a vegan friend, I discovered FreeSoulCaffe on a recent trip to Tustin, CA. It’s an “Animal-Friendly, While, Sustainable” establishment that serves “Fine Vegan Foods and Organic Coffees & Teas” in a clean, gorgeous environment. An all vegan coffee café? Fuck’s yeah, dude!

    Unfortunately for me, I went during breakfast hours…meaning only the breakfast menu was available. But the food we ate was so good, I was happier than a fat kid in a candy store.

    For starters, check out this heavenly display of baked goods:

    Here’s the selection of cakes and cheesecakes, including Pineapple Coconut Cake, Golden Chocolate Cake, Pumpkin Cheesecake, etc.

    And here’s even more! This case includes Pumkin Scones with Spice Icing, Green Tea Pistachio Biscotti, Creamy Peanut Butter Cookies and FreeSoul Brownies:

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