recently the husband and i took a 4 day trip to san francisco, and we ate and drank far more than any person should. in our culinary adventures, one of our favorite discoveries was the somewhat new vegetarian restaurant, source. to say that we enjoyed our meal at this place would be a severe understatement. we’re officially smitten, and i’m looking for excuses to book bay-area travel just so i can get another taste of this restaurant.
source started out on a great foot. we arrived at around 6pm and the place was somewhat busy but not uncomfortable. they have an order and pay at the counter policy, which is my favorite! no waiting around and trying to get a server’s attention, no time gap between finishing the meal and leaving. source also rules due to the fact that it’s an all vegetarian restaurant, and EVERY ITEM can be made vegan! this isn’t obvious on their website, but it’s true! all the pizzas? veganizable. the mac and cheese? that can be vegan, duh. the lasagna? vegan version available. plus, all the desserts (and there are many!) are already vegan. other than a totally vegan restaurant, this is definitely my favorite model. (just be sure to ALWAYS specify vegan when you eat at source. play it safe!)
the menu at source is massive, so we had a pretty hard time deciding what to order. we were determined to have a slap up feast though, and finally settled on the “buffalo cluck” as an appetizer. all the fake meaty menu items at source have cutesy names that echo the sounds of the emulated animal. cluck for chicken style meat, moo for fake beef, quack for duck and so on.Tags: hot sauce, san francisco, sandwich, shepherd's pie
you probably already know that i’m obsessed with hot sauce. no seriously, i suffer from capsicum addiction. i put it on everything. EVERYTHING! so i figured, why not start sharing my favorite sauces with you guys?
…starting with one that most people assume isn’t vegan: frank’s red hot buffalo wing sauce.Tags: hot sauce
have you guys been to tony’s darts away yet?! if not, WTF are you waiting for? it’s the best place for vegan beer lovers in los angeles, period. the almost entirely vegan beer selection is massive (and so are the pours), the menu features some of our favorite products, the service is friendly, and the food is outstanding.
but we’re not here just to tell you what you already know, we actually have some brief updates about the restaurant. first off, tony’s darts away now carries HOT SAUCE. we have been begging them to stock the spicy stuff for quite sometime, and tony himself even promised in the comments section that they were working on it. for awhile though, we were forced to smuggle in our own. well, not any more! tony’s now carries two hot sauce varieties. one is a standard red chili sauce, and the other is an awesome concoction made by the chef with a vegan mayo base. the mayo one is so freaking good, i could drink it by the gallon. even though tony’s is an omnivorous restaurant, they have decided to make just one version of their creamy hot sauce, and it’s vegan. so that’s pretty cool.
secondly, tony’s has new buns for their sausages. in the past, people have criticized the buns for being too bready, and that is no longer the case. the new buns are light, soft, and sprinkled with sesame seeds…so tasty. we took the new buns and hot sauces for a whirl (pictured above), with a beer brat topped with creole mustard, garlic paste, sauerkraut, and diced onions. the sausage was excellent, and the addition of creamy hot sauce and the new bun made it the best dog we’ve enjoyed at tony’s. as of last sunday, the new hot sauce was not listed on the menu….so be sure to ask for it if you don’t see it.
we also tried a salad for the first time at tony’s, and were pretty impressed. we got the half pint—a mix of california field greens, tomato, cucumber, and house vinaigrette. it was very simple, but fresh and delicious. plus, the portion was pretty big for just 3 bucks! tony’s is in the process of adding a new and more substantial vegan salad to the menu, with tofu and quinoa, and i can’t wait.
i have had friends tell me more than once that it’s hard to find a seat at tony’s, because the place is always really busy. well, we were there on a sunday afternoon and it was super quiet and comfortable. we were chatting with the staff, and they remarked that saturday nights are usually surprisingly mellow, compared to friday nights which are crazy. just thought i’d mention that!
i’ve said it before, and i’ll say it again: tony’s darts away rules. the only problem i have with this place is that it’s not closer to my house. get over to burbank and eat at tony’s if you haven’t already. it really is vegan beer and food paradise.
Tony’s Darts AwayTags: beer, burbank, hot sauce, sausages, the valley
1710 W. Magnolia Blvd
Burbank, CA 91506
Hours: 11AM-2AM M-SAT & SUN 11AM-1AM
my first introduction to portland was a good one. after waking up at 3 in the morning to catch a 6 o’clock flight from los angeles (i know, crazy right?) we arrived in oregon frazzled well before 9am. but it was nothing a good breakfast and some strong coffee couldn’t cure, so we headed to one of the few places we knew opened early—paradox cafe.
paradox cafe is a cozy little laid back diner with free wi-fi, bottomless cups of coffee, and organic food cooked to order. their breakfast menu was filled with plenty of appetizing vegan options, and after much debate we finally settled on the vegan fiesta burrito and the vegan paradox benedict.
the fiesta burrito was massive for under 9 bucks and came with a boat load of nicely seasoned breakfast potatoes. paradox certainly didn’t skimp on the vegetables either, this thing was filled with broccoli, cabbage, carrots, and others of the like. the tofu chunks were thick and soft, all mixed up with vegan chili and whole beans. the breakfast potatoes were also top notch; big slightly salty chunks that were great slathered in hot sauce and salsa.
now, whenever i go out to breakfast and see a vegan benedict on the menu, i pretty much have to order it. we have some damn good benedicts here in los angeles, so i was anxious to see how paradox’s would hold up.
the paradox benedict definitely didn’t disappoint. the heaping plate came with a large soft slice of sourdough bread covered in vegan sausage, tofu chunks, vegetables and a creamy hollandaise sauce. i was expecting the sauce to be more yellow, like traditional hollandaise, but this stuff was more like a brownish breakfast gravy. either way, it was phenomenal and i couldn’t get enough of it. the benedict came with the same excellent breakfast potatoes as the fiesta burrito, which were even better mixed up with sauce and bits of green onion.
in addition to amazing vegan breakfast served all day, paradox cafe also has a quite charming atmosphere. the funky old/new decor and breakfast bar with stools remind me slightly of the RR from twin peaks. if i lived in portland, i could see myself camping out at paradox for hours with a laptop, taking advantage of the free wifi and refillable coffee.
so when in portland, hit up paradox for a great breakfast. they also have vegan lunch and dinner offerings if that’s your thing, but i highly recommend the benedict.
3439 SE Belmont
Portland, OR 97214
503-232-7508 / 503.232.5525
Monday – Saturday 8 am – 9 pm
Sunday 8 am – 3 pm
P.S. this place also has the best fucking hot sauce ever. it’s this stuff called secret aardvark that we saw all over portland. damn, i wish i could get this stuff in LA. i will always remember the fist time i tasted it at paradox. it was magical.Tags: benedict, breakfast, burrito, hot sauce, oregon, portland
if you find yourself in england jonesing for some fast food, you can always count on red veg. they deem their fare “proper fast food”, and they are absolutely right—the sloppy little diner has two locations, one in london’s soho and the other in brighton, and both serve up quick and tasty american-style classic burgers and hot dogs that don’t disappoint. the brightly lit interior, along with cheap tables and chairs, and food served in greasy paper sleeves make red veg feel like all the fast food joints back home in the states, with one catch…red veg is 100% vegetarian, and everything on the menu can be veganized.
on our recent trip to the uk, my husband and i stayed in brighton for one night. the only evening we spent there was a rainy one, and to be honest, all we wanted to do was huddle into pubs that were located very close to our hotel. when we finally drank so much that we needed sustenance to continue, we wandered over to red veg, the closest vegan-friendly restaurant that was open after 8pm. we found ourselves in a neat little cafe full of vegan junk food…complete with punk rock posters on the wall and blaring loud music coming from tiny speakers. the staff was cooler-than-thou but very friendly, and most importantly very knowledgeable about veganism.
my husband got the mushroom vegburger pictured above, and he absolutely loved it. it came out in record time, and was pretty cheap. i don’t remember exactly how much, but i remember it being more than reasonable. the picture doesn’t look that appetizing, i know, i know…but this is really just fast food. nothing fancy, just cheap awesome fast food…except, we can actually eat it due to the lack of dead animal bits. the patty was really decent, and the mushrooms were well cooked. we’d totally order this again.
i went with the vegwurst and carmelized onions with loads of hot sauce. the frank was pretty small, but whatever, it tasted good. the onions were delicious and perfectly sauteed, and the hot sauce topped it all off nicely. now while this dog was nothing to write home about (not everyone can be the frankenstand), it definitely filled the void and reminded me of old school fast food fare that i haven’t had in well over ten years.
we topped everything off with an order of fries to split, and they were great. total thin fast food fries, red veg has got the formula down! and they even served them with a side of vegan mayo! um……..mayo on my fries?!!?!?! oh, you crazy brits!
so if you find yourself in brighton on a stormy evening and need to dry off with some easy burger joint cuisine, check out red veg. they won’t let you down. i assume the london location is just as good, if not better, because it was the first one they opened.
americans should definitely hit up red veg when in england. it will remind you of all the cool burger places that you can’t eat at back home. go get vegetarian fast food, it’s the way of the future!
red vegTags: burger, england, fast food, fries, hot dogs, hot sauce, uk
21 Gardner Street, Brighton, BN1 1UP
Telephone: 01273 679910
Monday to Saturday 12 noon until 9pm
95 Dean Street, London, W1V 5RB
Telephone: 020 7437 3109
Monday to Saturday 12 noon until 10pm
Sunday 12 noon until 6.30pm
follow your heart never ceases to amaze me. they are this awesome entirely vegetarian health food supermarket attached to a kick-ass vegetarian cafe, where almost any dish can be made vegan. the more i shop there, the more i realize how freaking special it is. i mean, it’s been around since 1970, which means they must be doing something right. then they go ahead and offer one of the most extensive, mouth-watering menus in the land. and everything i’ve eaten in their cafe is amazing. sunday’s breakfast was no different. a slice of vegan perfection, indeed…except for one thing. a quarrygirl pet peeve, un-advertized ingredients arrived on my plate. in this case, it was bell peppers (which i despise) sneaking into my side of breakfast potatoes. grrrr.
despite the bell peppers, this mini-feast was absolutely wonderful! i had really high standards for a tofu benedict, after trying flore’s variation, but i can definitely say that follow your heart brought their A game with this one. the little tofu cutlets were topped with thick, fresh slices of tomato, slathered in the creamiest sauce and topped with slightly cooked leaves of spinach. as if that wasn’t enough, there was a clump of breakfast style scrambled tofu on the side and a mound of perfectly seasoned soyrizo. of course the first thing i did after snapping these photos was cover the whole plate in brother bru-bru’s, the insanely spicy african hot sauce supplied at the cafe.
i think i am in love with tofu benedicts. vegan hollandaise sauce is some of the most rich and sinful stuff i’ve ever eaten, a perfect compliment to all the fresh vegetables and the modest slices of tofu. the tofu just needs to be heated, not cooked elaborately or even seasoned. once the sauce is poured on, it infiltrates and turns the tofu into a tasty little protein sponge. it doesn’t stop there either, it oozes down and gets totally soaked up by the porous english muffin as well. i’m telling you, this sauce improves everything it touches. thankfully, they basically drown the plate in it, so there was enough hollandaise to scoop on top of the scrambled tofu and soyrizo as well.
luckily, the bell peppers were confined to a small section of the plate. while it could have been a lot worse, unfortunately the whole side of breakfast potatoes had to be quarantined.
so there ya have it, another awesome breakfast at follow your heart. i’ll give it an overall A-, points were deducted for unadvertised ingredients. if you hate any food, you should check to make sure it won’t be arriving on your plate. (the burger also comes with unadvertised pickles!)
definitely a favorite sunday breakfast spot, so i’m sure you’ll be reading about again sometime soon. and i really gotta try out their lunch and dinner menu as well! oh and when you check out the cafe, don’t forget to fill an entire cart with vegan groceries from their market on your way out.Tags: breakfast, hot sauce, tofu, tofu benedict
well, i didn’t actually order a taco, but hugo’s tacos in the valley definitely scratched my mexican food itch. god, so good and so vegan…what a great place to intersect. this creative yet wonderfully traditional mex left me wanting more. string beans, white beans and zucchini all seemed a little out of my comfort zone, but when they came rolled up with some guacamole goop on seasoned rice or in a huge, thin white tortilla, i definitely remembered i was at a taco stand. superb.
the food withstood the car ride home and was so much tastier than it looks.
it’s so hard to take a picture of a taco stand burrito. you don’t want to cut it in half because it should be eaten whole, but then it just looks so boring. take my word for it, the thing was huge and there was a lot of exciting stuff on the inside. at hugo’s you pick and choose your salsa & filling for every dish, and lucky for us, they have two different vegan filling options. we got this burrito stuffed with zucchini, corn and string beans along with salsa habenero.
not bad! the vegetables were well cooked, and even though the salsa habenero wasn’t quite spicy enough, some extra hot sauce solved that. at under $6, the best thing about this burrito wasn’t the taste, but that it was such a great deal. seriously, i’m used to paying like 9 bucks for a burrito of this enormousness. the bowl was pretty good as well…
this dish originally comes with cheese, so vegans beware! the bowl pictured came covered in salsa negra with a soyrizo, potato & zucchini filling. i was stoked to try the soyrizo, because i love the stuff at home and have never heard of it being used at a taco stand. hugo’s definitely delivered—it was well seasoned, perfectly browned and juicy. one of the bestest fake meaty things i’ve ever had.
while i can’t really ask for much more than a soyrizo option, there are definitely some things on hugo’s menu i would change. i’m really not sold on the white beans. while it mostly tasted like traditional taco stand food, the beans kept throwing me off. some lard-free refried beans, or even black beans would be appreciated. also, the zucchini, corn & string beans filling was kind of meh. i wish they had a mushroom option or something instead. string beans really don’t belong in a burrito, they belong with gravy and mashed potatoes and other shit like sprouts. but these are pretty minor annoyances…i like to nitpick.
overall, hugo’s was a great find. i am gonna go back and try out some of their taquitos and tacos as soon as i get a chance. they are cheap, fast, serve large portions, and offer food that you can be sure is vegan. for a mexican place especially, this is very rare. no lard, no chicken stock, and they even have bloody soyrizo on the menu!
come on, vegans! let’s give hugo’s tacos our support!Tags: burritto, hot sauce, mexican, soyrizo
September 3rd, 2008Uncategorized
now, i’ve talked about naja’s place before…but i really didn’t do the hummus justice. i was too busy babbling on about how great pliny the elder is. let me set the record straight and say that naja’s serves up the best plate of hummus in town.
the hummus may actually be the only vegan thing on naja’s menu (which is filled with disgusting items like chicken strips and kabob plates), but it really is worth making the trip out for…especially if you love tap beer. what makes naja’s hummus special isn’t just the way it’s perfectly blended to the right flavor and texture, but also all the delicious garnishes that come on top. spices, homemade pico de gallo and the hottest green sauce ever cover the mound of already scrumptious hummus. this is so damn good on its own, i don’t even need to add hot sauce!
let’s not forget, naja’s also has 88 beers on tap. that alone is reason enough to check this place out. plus, they were open early on labor day…rather than closing all together. this place knows how to give the people what they want.
and while you’re there, be sure to try out pliny the elder. it remains the hoppiest, most wonderful beer we at quarrygirl.com have ever tasted. sitting and drinking just 2 pints is absolutely maddening (this is la, so we have to worry about driving home after a visit to the bar)! we were digging pliny the elder so much, that we swung all the way over to rock n roll 7-11 to pick up a supply of bottles. even at $5 each, these were a bargain.
so go check out naja’s, drink some good beer and stuff your face with spicy hummus. great times guaranteed. the service at the bar isn’t great, but hey, after a few drinks you won’t mind so much!Tags: beer, hot sauce, hummus, pliny the elder
when i feel like wasting time at work, i often like to scan laist.com. it’s a great site that keeps me abreast of all the vital happenings in my city—pertinent information, like how the dodgers are doing, when/where sobriety check points are scheduled, and which indie bands i’ve never heard of are playing near me. sometimes i get really lucky, though, and they review restaurants with vegan options that drive me out of my mind. this was the case with their review of hy-mart deli. when i read it, i knew i HAD to go. i went with the highest of hopes, and even then, hy-mart still managed to exceed my expectations.
the modest sandwich shop is small inside, with only 4 tables, a fridge full of beer & soft drinks, and an ordering counter. i went with my husband who decided to grab a seat and while i picked out two wraps for us to share. this is when i made a huge mistake.
i placed my order making sure to ask for no tzatziki, yogurt, or dairy of any kind…but in my lameness, i picked out one sandwich that was called “gyro gone wild”. it looked great—full of avocado, hummus, cucumbers and other treats…little did i know it would would also be full of MEAT. imagine my horror when i realized back at my table i was holding a wrap full of flesh. the worst thing is, my husband had already started eating it! ugh, what have i done? i called out before he could take another bite and told him to check his meal for animal bits, and sure enough, they were in there. he assured me it must be a mistake, and asked me what i had ordered. when i told him it was a gyro, he shot me an annoyed glance that made me know i’d fucked up. “but meat wasn’t listed as an ingredient!” i exclaimed, defending myself. “no shit, a gyro IS meat,” he explained, “it’s like ordering a hot dog…they aren’t going to list ‘meat’ again as an ingredient.” ugh.
i reluctantly brought the sandwich up to the counter and explained my stupidity to the friendly owner who’d made my sandwich and rung me up in the first place. i told him i was happy to buy another sandwich, a vegetarian one, as this was my mistake. but he wouldn’t have it, and insisted on making me a replacement. he omitted all dairy sauces and even threw in extra hummus in their place. he was so nice and cool about the whole situation, i couldn’t believe it. i was impressed.
i was even MORE impressed though, when i bit into what turned out to be the best falafel sandwich i’ve ever eaten in the valley, and the valley is full of falafel. it was called mediterranean madness and boy, was it mad! it wasn’t really a sandwich, but more like a huge burrito wrapped in lavash, filled to the brim with goodness. the version i got was stuffed with falafel, hummus, grapeleaves, cucumber, onions, tomatoes, tabooleh, lettuce, avocado and hot sauce. god, was it sooooOOOOoooOOOOo good! and the thing was freaking huge! i don’t think i’ve ever had so many foods i love all together in one wrap. the second sandwich (the one that replaced the meaty gyro) was filled with similar ingredients. i don’t remember the exact name, but it was scrumptious!
while we were chowing down our amazing lunch, the owner came by and tried to give me a dollar. there was a price difference, he explained, between the sandwich i returned and the new one. i couldn’t believe it! how could i take a dollar when it was my mistake all along, and he’d basically given me a FREE sandwich…what a sweet gesture. of course, we insisted he keep it.
as i rode away, completely replete and full of falafel, i thought about what i’d learned. 1.) gyro is another word for dead animal, and 2.) i CANNOT WAIT to return to the hy-mart deli to eat another perfect sandwich and to support such kind & friendly ownership.Tags: armenian, falafel, hot sauce, hummus, sandwich, wraps
who has time to cook breakfast during the week? we sure don’t. and since we don’t want to be forced into skipping it entirely or microwaving a frozen boca burger each morning, we make one huge tofu scramble on sunday, and eat it all week long. this week’s tofu scramble was (and still is, there’s so much of it!) awesome. probably because we based it on the kick-ass ppk recipe for scrambled tofu.
now i’ve eaten a lot (and i mean a lot!) of tofu scrambles in my time, and this was actually one of the best. i make them constantly at home, either with mix out of a box, using recipes online, or simply by throwing everything from my cupboard and fridge into a pan with some tofu…and this was the first one that can hold its own with breakfast from my favorite restaurants. the tofu was spot on, firm and not mulchy at all, and the spices were blended perfectly, enhancing but not overpowering.
each morning the scrambly mixture just needs to be spooned out and microwaved for 1 minute to be the perfect breakfast again and again. we also cut up some fresh tomatoes each morning and split a chipotle field roast sausage, both fresh off the grill. and of course i cover mine with the hottest of hot sauces and garnish it with a goop of sour supreme every time, i just can’t help it.
all hail the ppk—they rule and so does this scramble. it has been a great sunday and monday breakfast so far, so i know it will help get me out of bed and get me through the rest of the week.
adapted ingredients and more after the jump.Tags: breakfast, hot sauce, scramble, tofu, tofutti
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i write this post for two reasons: to give you a wonderful, hearty chili recipe that can be ready in no time, AND to show you a great new product i just discovered.
extra protein seitan and worthington chili
this chili recipe is awesome, and soooooo full of protein…but even more importantly, i hope it introduces you to a WHOLE NEW VEGAN PRODUCT that’s been right under your nose for years: worthington!
have you ever even heard of this product? i hadn’t until recently. but now that i know it exists, i find it in every ralphs i visit, from city to city.
recipe after the jump. (and even if you are familiar with worthington, you’ll wanna read how to make this ultimate seitan chili meal anyways!)Tags: chili, cholula, hot sauce, onions, tomatoes, worthington
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i used to love the holiday season. i’d look forward to it all year long, not because of the silly holidays themselves, but because every november through january, i could go to my local health food store and stock up on the recently deceased unturkey.
since the unturkey’s passing, i’ve unsuccessfully been searching for a substitute. now don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with tofurky, and i do appreciate the fact that it’s everywhere. it’s just that unturkey set such a high standard, i can’t help but search for something better to replace it.
luckily, this january i stumbled across the celebration roast at my favorite whole foods. i had a good feeling about it, and i was wise enough to buy 3 roasts, which were all gone within a month! while it’s still not quite as good as the unturkey, it comes pretty damn close!
the catch is, celebration roast is made by a company called field roast, and in los angeles their products are very hard to come by. as of this posting, the whole foods in el segundo (the mother of all health food stores) is the only place i’ve been able to find them.
i suggest you make a trip out there and grab anything field roast you can get your hands on. while they no longer have the celebration roast (DAMN!), they do have some really tasty vegan sausages. again, not to dog on tofurky, but these are just SO much better. if only they were more widely available. not even this massive whole foods heaven carries all the products on the field roast website, which i imagine are amazing as well.
for now, i’ll just have to look forward to the holiday season and get by with my sausages. they make a great breakfast atop some potatoes and smothered in hot sauce.
Tags: celebration roast, field roast, hot sauce, whole foods
i don’t like mondays! nothing is worse than waking up after 2 relaxing days filled with downtime, vegan meals, and alcohol, knowing it’s time to go to work and start a brand new week. luckily, today i knew i wouldn’t have to stress out about making dinner…i had all the ingredients on hand to make crescent pups, the perfect monday night meal that can be ready in minutes.
this is a really quick & easy recipe to make, and all the necessary ingredients have months of shelf-life. that being said, if you keep your fridge stocked, you can have crescent pups ready to go anytime as an impromptu appetizer, a hurried dinner, or an unexpected snack. they come in especially handy after weeknight gigs—-nothing beats coming home tired and half-drunk after rocking out and having pups to turn to.
recipe after the jump…Tags: baking, faux meat, hot sauce