• June 14th, 2011grassroots, LA restaurants

    i have driven by grassroots in south pasadena many times barely noticing it and passing it on by. well, i’m here to confess how foolish that was! grassroots is a small market and wonderful kitchen filled with healthy, organic, and vegan options in their store as well as a prepared food section. i was so hungry i walked straight up to the line for prepared food which was about 6-7 people deep. while i waited in the line that moved quicker than i anticipated (about 5 min) i glanced around and saw vegan mock meats, vegan desserts, and kombucha galore! waiting in line also gave me the much needed time to decide what to order. they had wraps, tacos, salads, burritos and, (as QG will be happy to hear) BOWLS!

    vegan beef bowl

    for my meal i went with the vegan beef bowl ($9.99) and it was A-MAZING!
    the food line at grassroots looks like that of a subway sandwich shop. you place your order and watch them put all the ingredients together in front of you while you confirm that they include only ingredients you like.

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  • June 10th, 2011quarrygirlbrooklyn, more restaurants (not LA)

    holy wow, guys! i think we all need to book a trip to brooklyn just to eat at vinnie’s pizza. the brooklyn pizzeria has two locations and an ASTOUNDING SEPARATE VEGAN MENU with options like bbq beef pizza, both follow your heart and teese cheese, garlic knots, hot dogs, beef rolls, drumsticks, and custom desserts. i’m going crazy just thinking about it.

    reader jp sent us this picture and blurb after trishells’ papacitos post

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  • June 10th, 2011quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), philadelphia

    if i could only eat one meal out in philadelphia, you can bet your arse it would be a vegan philly cheesesteak. thankfully, JL goes vegan is the same and she’s written us a lovely field report on the coveted sandwich. i really wanna go to philly so bad someday, and when i do, this thing is on my bucket list.

    I recently found myself on an Amtrak from New York to Philadelphia to attend a cooking intensive. The great thing about taking a three-day vegan culinary class is that you don’t worry about where to eat — you eat what you cook. I arrived Friday morning, the class was to begin at 2:30, so I had only one meal out. I met up with my friend who lived locally. She knew I wanted a vegan Philly cheesesteak sandwich for lunch and suggested Mi Lah.

    This small, vegan restaurant is bright and bustling. As I read the menu I became quickly distracted by the specials of the day (from rice noodles to veggie burritos to mofongo veggie bacon and chorizo to corn masa cakes) and had to snap myself back to my mission: eat a vegan Philly cheesesteak!

    But first, the salad…

    Mango, avocado and mix green salad with spicy Caribbean lime dressing $6

    This was the “small” salad. The portion was generous and the fruit and vegetables were extremely fresh.

    Then it was show time.

    Mi Lah Cheesesteak with sauteed mushrooms and peppers $8

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  • the nice thing about staying with locals when traveling is that you get introduced to nice little neighborhood spots. on my last trip to ny i stayed with my friend in brooklyn and she suggested salud (in flatbush) for lunch one day. although salud serves some meat they are very knowledgeable about veganism and the menu clearly states veg and vegan options.

    fiesta wrap at salud

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  • June 7th, 2011quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), woodstock

    hey everyone! time for another field report from JL Goes Vegan. this one comes to us all the way from new york state and covers a restaurant called garden cafe on the green, near the woodstock farm animal sanctuary. if you ever wanna hang out with some sweet animals and eat some tasty food on the east coast, do yourself a favor and bookmark this page!

    My husband and I recently took a “vegan day trip” from metro NYC to Woodstock, NY to tour the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary (check out this brief vlog of the farm sanctuary tour).

    After a couple of hours of walking the grounds and meeting the incredible animals saved from the factory farming, I have to admit we were hungry. But not for animals!

    The Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary has a few restaurant suggestions on their website and I went with the one that was all vegan and offered wine and beer (natch), Garden Cafe on the Green.

    So, yes, we started with adult beverages.

    We decided to share a starter…

    Curried Panko Crusted Fresh Green Pea Fritter, $9

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  • after a long day of traveling and getting by on only snacks, papacitos in greenpoint, brooklyn was the very first stop we made from jfk airport. i was so starving and tired i only took this single barely lit photo of my enchilada plate. papcito’s is incredibly vegan friendly and everything is clearly marked on the menu. for their filling options on tacos, enchiladas, etc, they have four vegan options: seitan, tempeh, grilled veggies, and soyrizo.

    seitan enchiladas

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  • June 3rd, 2011quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), sacramento

    hey readers! time for a field report from sacramento by geanna of green vegan living. she shares some gluten-free goodness from sugar plum bakery, and tells us about a vegan specialty shop called never felt better. we had the pleasure of trying sugar plum’s treats when they were based in los angeles and LOVED THEM, so i can imagine this stuff is just as good, if not better. enjoy!

    Sugar Plum Vegan Bakery has only been open a year, but they are a great asset to the city of Sacramento. Not only do they offer delicious vegan baked goods, they also have quite a selection of gluten-free, sugar-free and soy-free options AS WELL AS regular savory menu items (like taco Tuesdays and all-you-can-eat Sunday morning brunches).

    Morning Glory Banana/Chocolate Chip muffin. $3

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  • hey everyone! time for a quick bite from patricia’s recent trip to the east coast. since she’s such a regular blogger around here, i’ve set her up with her own user name. check it out above, the author of this entry is “trishells”! hope you enjoy all her posts in the future, and this one about atlas cafe in nyc!

    when i walked into atlas cafe i thought my brain was going to explode. look at that menu:

    LOOK AT IT! and that was only one wall. on the opposite wall was another chalk board filled with just as many different items. i didn’t even allow myself to look at the whole menu i just found the thing that seemed least typical for me to get in la and stuck with it: vegan pepper steak panini. it was pretty good but not amazing.

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  • May 29th, 2011quarrygirlwashington dc

    hey peeps! time for yet another field report! this one comes to us from our dear friend patricia (an awesome certified massage therapist and yoga instructor!), who recently went on a trip to the east coast. here is one tasty installment from her journey, that’s making me think i need to book at trip to washington dc just to eat and drink. a foodie field trip, or eat-cation, if you will! enjoy:

    i recently took a trip to the east coast and was so happy to have some awesome guidance from @kmudrick on where to eat and drink. one of the places he suggested when visiting dc was Busboys and Poets. this place blew my mind. i mean, just look at the sign “food, books, film, coffee, stage, internet, bar”. woah.

    la desperately needs a place like this. a place where you can sit and work, read a book, enjoy a show, have some grub, or relax with a coffee or beer. it’s so cozy with a great feeling of community and super cool art.

    we loved this place so much we went to the 14th street location (there are three) two days in a row.

    enough chatter, let’s get to the grub!

    Tempeh with vegan mayonnaise, arugula, roasted red peppers, saute'ed onions on rosemary sun-dried tomato loaf

    the restaurant is not entirely vegan but the menu is about half vegan. they clearly mark gluten free, veg, and vegan to make ordering less complicated. on the first visit i had the tempeh panini ($8.95). this was literally THE BEST SANDWICH I HAVE EVER EATEN. hands down.

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  • May 28th, 2011quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), philadelphia

    hey peeps, time for a field report from one of our favorite people! kevin from veganbrew.com brings us this awesome post regarding vegan thai food that doesn’t suck (a rarity to angelenos!) enjoy…

    Living in South Philly for the past decade, I don’t know how I didn’t check out Circles sooner – even though several people I know have raved about it. It took a “Hey, wanna check out Circles tonight?” text from one of my friends yesterday to finally get over there.

    Circles has been around for a few years for takeout & delivery, but only recently opened up a “dining” room restaurant extension. It’s not really an extension so much as another building across the street, where food gets shuffled back and forth over a small, slightly-larger-than-an-alley South Philly street. I love Thai food, but I’m always suspicious of places that are overly vegan-friendly – I hate playing a game of 20 questions (fish sauce? shrimp? oysters? etc) which has been my experience.

    Circles clearly marks everything on their menu that is vegan, and most of the menu is able to be made vegan. Yay!

    My friend and I started out with some appetizers:

    Seitan Satay: Grilled thinly sliced marinated seitan served with peanut sauce and cucumber relish. ($6.95). Vegetable dumplings: Sauteed leeks with an Asian ginger seasoning and a vinaigrette soy sauce. ($5.95)

    Seitan satay, which are yummy grilled thin strips of seitan on skewers served with a peanut sauce. Awesome! And Pan Fried Dumplings, which had a nice spicy kick to them.

    Then we ordered two gigantic entrees as well:

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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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  • May 18th, 2011quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), NYC

    update 5/18/11: turns out the “soy bacon” on the village natural burger isn’t vegan! the restaurant is aware of this and is supposedly changing the menu. full update at the bottom of the post. meanwhile: beware.

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    hey guys! i’m happy to announce we have a field report today from a legit writer—can you believe it? simon goddard, music journalist extraordinaire and author of the mozipedia (one of our favorite books, look!), penned us this post about his culinary adventures in manhattan. from pizza and burgers to vegan fish and chips…i want it all. enjoy!

    Oh, New York! It’s a bit of a temptress. I’m a fiercely loyal Londoner and still every time I set foot in Manhattan I have my doubts as to which is the greatest city on earth. As the song goes, I like the sight, the sound and even the stink of it. In London we have signs which read “No parking, clamping in operation.” In Manhattan they have signs which read “Don’t even THINK of parking here.” Therein lies the singular genius of New York, a masterpiece of concrete, clay and invincible human character.

    I digress. I was lucky enough to be working there again this month so promised the estimable Quarrygirl I’d scribble some words for her blog about a few of the nicer things I put in my mouth. And here they are. Whenever in New York, I almost always end up in Greenwich Village at some point, if only for a sneaky stroke of the Bleecker Street Records cat (irresistible) or to marvel at the 300 year-old English Elm in Washington Square (unbelievable). So for all similarly besotted cat-botherers and tree-huggers who may find themselves in the area hankering for impeccable death-free nibbles, here are three personal recommendations.

    Village Natural

    For years this has been my favourite vegetarian spot in New York, even if I’ve always been in the daytime when it’s fairly quiet and “vibes” are minimal (it’s a bit “yoga” if you know what I mean) but the food seldom disappoints. It’s Vietnamese-owned though the menu ranges from Asian to salads, burgers and Mexican dishes. I’ve tried various mains here, but you can’t beat the burgers.

    Black Bean Bacon Burger: Vegan. A delightfully unique veggie burger topped with guacamole, crispy soy bacon, lettuce, tomatoes and onion. $9.50

    My favourite is this black-bean burger. It comes open with a dollop of guacamole, a generous fresh salad topped with a strip of crispy veggie bacon***(read update below) brought vigorously to life by a side of orange and ginger dressing. As a meal it strikes a perfect balance between guilty “bad” burger food (and it is a glorious big, flat, more-ish monster of a burger) and enriching “good” healthy salad: you definitely don’t miss fries.

    The only disappointment this visit was dessert. In the past they’ve done the most amazing vegan tiramisu, probably the best I’ve ever tasted and one that I’ve all but sadistically enthused about to Quarrygirl to jealousy-inducing extremes. Alas, for whatever reason it wasn’t an option on the blackboard this time. To compensate, I ordered the vegan mocha pie which looked like this:

    Mocha Pie. $4.95

    It had a porridgy-base, a chalky texture and altogether tasted like somebody had dropped a triangle of brown shoe polish on some oatmeal, then tried to make it smell better by administering a few extra squirts of Tweed by Lentheric. That is, it was cloggy with a wretched perfumed hue and not remotely mocha-ish. If their tiramisu was a 10, the mocha pie just scraped a 2. But despite this Hindenburg of sweet catastrophes, the sometimes slow-to-react zombiefied waiters and the sad fact they serve a handful of fish options, I still rate this place highly. I just pray they get that tiramisu back on their menu before I next darken its door.

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  • May 4th, 2011quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), new orleans

    hey everyone, time for another field report from vegan scraps! she brings us the lowdown on vegan eats in new orleans, so take notes.

    I’m a native New Orleans girl, so I was psyched to be able to head down to visit my family for a few days, although I was a little concerned about finding vegan food. Let’s be honest, “vegan” isn’t a word that is generally associated with Nawlins’, that is until now! I did my researched and couldn’t wait to try Cafe Carmo downtown. They are not a 100% vegan restaurant (in fact New Orleans doesn’t have a total vegan place, but some options) but they make most everything vegan, and even have some vegan dishes listed.

    Carmo is a multi-cultural culinary influenced cafe with different unique salads, sandwiches, international dishes, and soups of the day, not to mention some dessert and drinks!  On top of the food being crazy good, they use local organic produce, and are green certified! The staff is helpful and very friendly, gives off that ‘comfort of new orleans vibe’. Ok, enough chit chat let’s get to the good stuff shall we?

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  • May 4th, 2011quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), tucson

    it may be just one state over, but i’ve never been to arizona (airport layovers don’t count!). the grand canyon doesn’t interest me much and i’m not a fan of road trips, but after reading this field report by JL goes vegan about an amazing little vegan restaurant in tucson, i think i need to book a trip. a food field trip! see if you agree with me…

    I’ve just returned from a work-related trip to Tucson, Arizona where I visited one of the few (only?) vegan spots in town, Lovin’ Spoonfuls. I left in love.

    True confession #1: I have a friend who lives in Tucson. When I suggested meeting at Lovin’ Spoonfuls he suggested otherwise. He, an omnivore, had been and wasn’t impressed with the “it tastes just like ham” sale he felt he experienced. So, on my own, I checked the place out.

    Lovin’ Spoonfuls is a cute, storefront restaurant in a shopping plaza. You order at the counter and your food is brought to you.

    As I do, I said to the server “I’ve never been here, and probably will not be back again, what should I have?” Turns out, that sort of freaks staff out. With no definitive answer I then said “I don’t want tofu” and she then guided me toward the Santa Fe Platter, which came with a green salad. Since I had a refrigerator in my hotel room, I decided to try an appetizer, the Cashew Mushroom Pate, too.

    I placed my order and then ordered a glass of wine. The server said “Wine by the glass is our house wine, in a box.” And you know what I thought? You don’t scare me. I got the wine. When I said that I would sit outside I was told they don’t have a license that allows for alcohol outside. So I sat inside.

    First up, the house salad, which came with the entree…

    House Salad with Sesame Dijon dressing

    Next up, the appetizer…

    Cashew Mushroom Pâté $5.75 This award winning paté is a savory blend of mushrooms and cashews, served with toast points.

    I could have made a meal out of this appetizer. The pate is flavorful, yet light. I allowed myself only half (and packed up the other half to go).

    And then it was time for the entree…

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  • May 3rd, 2011quarrygirlvegan events

    hey everyone, time for another festival field report. this one by jacquelyn drayton comes to us from stagecoach—you know, the big country music festival that happens every year in indio, CA. check it:

    I travel A LOT for work, so a country music festival in the middle of the desert was the last place I thought I would be able to find anything remotely vegan. But like an angel that fell from heaven, Texifornia Tamale Company appeared. Thrilled that I wouldn’t have to dine on a warm apple and smushed vegan protein bar at the bottom of my purse for dinner for a second night in a row I hopped in line!

    They had beef (blech) and two vegan options. The “Tamale dog” and vegan chili.

    I opted for the tamale dog which is a faux sausage wrapped in a tamale smothered in vegan chili which set me back about 9 dollars. Not to bad for a place where a simple slice of pizza will cost you about the same…

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