• September 19th, 2011quarrygirlblue palms brewhouse, LA restaurants

    i love pubbin’, i love grubbin’, and blue palms in hollywood is the perfect place for both.

    we’ve been fans of the craft beer bar since it opened 3 years ago (the draught selection is bonkers!!!), and back in 2008 we sang the praises of their blackened tofu platter. i’m happy to report that since then, their cruelty-free options have expanded to include several field roast sausages and a veganizable homemade veggie burger. of course when i heard about all this, i rushed over to check it out.

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  • November 10th, 2010quarrygirledinburgh, more restaurants (not LA)

    the baked potato shop in edinburgh scotland would have to be one of my favorite places on the planet. the all vegetarian establishment is more of a hole in the wall than an actual restaurant, and with a small ordering counter and just one booth to sit at, most of their business is take-out. as their name would suggest, they specialize in baked potatoes with various fillings, but also have several other menu items including vegan sausage rolls, samosas, soups, salads and cakes.

    we arrived to a wet and dreary edinburgh in late september via the caledonian sleeper, and walked uphill in the pouring rain to open the baked potato shop at 9am. now please be warned: even though the shop opens at 9, baked potatoes are not available until 11am. since the weather was awful and most places were closed at that hour, we set up fort in a nearby shopping mall and decided to just wait until the potatoes were ready. 2 hours in a mall may not sound that bad, but the time we spent sitting in that food court under florescent lights with loud 80s music blasting felt like an eternity. anyways, i am happy to report that when we got back to the baked potato shop at around 10:50am, the potatoes were ready and well worth the wait.

    vegan haggis medium baked potato. ₤3.95

    we had a hard time deciding what to order, with the whole shop being vegetarian and over half the menu being vegan. there were cold fillings like hummus, cous cous, and pasta as well as hot fillings like beans, chilli, and curry. but when we saw that vegan haggis was an option, we knew we had to try it. haggis is a traditional scottish dish made from all kinds of disgusting sheep parts, but the vegan version was a quite delicious blend of kidney beans, lentils, nuts, vegetables, oatmeal and seasonings. i’ve never had the real thing so i can’t tell if it tasted “authentic”, but it sure was good. i really wish vegetarian haggis was available here in los angeles.

    there are 3 sizes of potatoes available at the baked potato shop, and i highly suggest you get a small or a medium. the medium size is pictured above, and is more than enough for one person. if you look closely, i think it’s actually 3 smaller potatoes split in half. whatever it was, it was incredible. perfectly warm and soft on the inside and slightly tough on the outside.

    vegan curry medium baked potato. ₤3.85

    we also got a medium potato filled with curry, and it was fantastic as well. the filling was a mix of chickpeas, carrots, and cauliflower in a tomatoey-indian sauce. honestly, the perfect food for a cold and rainy day. like the haggis potato, this one was massive even though we ordered the “medium”. so much food, and a damn good deal at under ₤4.

    hot sausage roll. ₤1.40

    even though we were stuffed to the brim with baked potato, we couldn’t resist ordering some items off the “savouries” menu as well. first up we tried the vegan sausage roll, a long flaky pastry filled up with what i think was soy sausage. i could eat about a million of these things, and like baked potatoes, i think vegan sausage rolls need to become widely available here in the states.

    vegan samosa. ₤1.15

    there are also two vegan samosa options on the shop’s menu—one is filled with haggis, and one with traditional vegetables. after trying the vegan haggis on a potato, we went with the traditional samosa option and it really hit the spot. the enormous stuffed pastry was filled up with warm mushy potatoes, indian spices, and peas. so tasty, we couldn’t get enough.

    while the food is amazing at the baked potato shop, the atmosphere and service are wonderful as well. the walls are lined with colorful gig posters and as i mentioned earlier, there one cozy booth if you are lucky enough to snag it. we were there early on a weekday and the place was empty, so we were able to sit in and eat. thank goodness, because the weather outside was awful and we had nowhere else to go!

    as we were enjoying our meal and ordering item after item, the vegetarian shop owner struck up a conversation with us about everything from fake meat, to our travels, to black licorice. he was so genuinely nice and friendly, not something i’m used to here in los angeles. after we’d shared stories about visiting places around the world, he made us a special cup of tea with hibiscus he’d gotten in egypt!

    it tasted so good, and on top of that, what a kind gesture. i will always remember this sweet little shop for its delicious animal-free food, and also for its friendly owner, charles.

    seriously if you are ever in edinburgh, you absolutely MUST visit the baked potato shop. its such a charming little place, with such wonderful healthy food. i promise you will fall in love with it like we did. my advice: get there early so it’s not crowded, but not so early that they aren’t serving potatoes yet.

    the baked potato shop
    56 Cockburn Street
    EH1 1PB
    0131 225 7572
    Open Mon-Sun 9:00 (11:00 if you actually want potatoes) – 21:00

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  • August 23rd, 2010quarrygirlchili addiction, LA restaurants

    hi folks, just a quick post to tell you about some fantastic current and upcoming chili addiction menu items that you should all be aware of.

    i’ll start with the food that is actually available right now: vegan sorbet! did you even know that chili addiction offered dessert?!? i didn’t until my last visit, and now i am gonna be HOOKED. this stuff is so good, and just perfect for the hot weather. after stuffing myself with various kinds of vegan sausages (more on that later), the chili addiction dudes offered me a sampling of 3 of their sorbet flavors—lemon, lime, and banana. i am usually not a sorbet fan, but this was incredible.

    lemon, chocolate covered banana, and lime sorbet

    most sorbets i’ve tried in the past have been thick and icy, but not this. it was extra smooth and silky, with an almost milky texture, like real ice cream. i asked what made it so creamy, and johnny (the chef wizard at chili addiction) explained that he has a special contraption that helps the fruit reach that magical texture. not only is it delicious, but it’s relatively guilt-free as well. made from only fruit and sugar, this treat has no excess fat or scary ingredients—just pure, natural goodness.

    now, let’s move onto the stuff that isn’t available just yet. very soon, chili addiction is ditching their store bought vegan sausages, and switching to homemade ones using match meat and a variety of herbs and spices. they are still waiting on casing for these sausages before they are available to the public, but i got to sample them and i promise that you guys are in for a treat! here are the flavors you can look forward to (please note i tried these in patty form, but i’m pretty sure they will be shaped sausage style once they hit the menu)…

    vegan bratwurst sausage

    the bratwurst was amazing. as a burger, i loved it…but i can’t wait to try it as a sausage with some sauerkraut as a topping. as much as i love all the pre-made veggie dogs and sausages on the market, this has got it beat.

    vegan cilantro sausage

    the cilantro sausage was quite delicious as well. i myself am a coriander lover, so this was right up my street.

    vegan chipotle sausage

    next up was the chipotle sausage, the perfect blend of match and hot spices. i loved this thing so much; and it was served with a fantastic side of homemade salsa. i didn’t even know chili addiction carried salsa, but i am gonna ask for this as a side from now on.

    honestly, this can hold its own with the freshest of stuff from real mexican restaurants. it’s that damn good. and the sausage ruled too.

    vegan italian sausage

    then came the vegan italian sausage, and it took everything to a whole new level. this baby was all loaded up with seasoning and fennel, the closest thing i’ve tasted to proper meat ball since going vegan. i really wanna try this in some pasta, or maybe atop a bowl of chili mac.

    vegan breakfast sausage

    lastly, we tried the new vegan breakfast sausage…and i’m not gonna lie, this was my favorite one. decades ago when i was a wee meat-eating quarrygirl, i remember visiting my aunt in tennessee, and every morning she’d cook up batch after batch of her “extra special” sausage. of course it was all full of animals and gross stuff, but i really loved it at the time. suffice to say, one bite of this creation, and i was transported to those childhood memories in the deep south. authentic-tasting beyond belief. i can’t wait to see what chili addiction decides to do with this, but i sure hope it’s some kind of breakfast sandwich.

    sorry to tease you all with these mouthwatering sausages that aren’t available yet, but look out for them at chili addiction soon! the sorbet is on the menu now, though. so go and eat that up with all of the other amazing dishes chili addiction has to offer!

    chili addiction
    408 N. La Cienega Blvd
    Los Angeles, CA 90048
    (323) 203-1793
    closed mondays!
    lunch 12pm-3pm
    dinner 5:30pm-9pm
    (sundays they close at 7pm)

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  • August 11th, 2010quarrygirlLA restaurants, tony's darts away

    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.

    the ultimate vegan spread: firestone walker union jack ipa, vegan chili, 2 types of hot sauce, vegan beer brat with creole mustard, garlic paste, sauerkraut, and diced onions.

    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.

    black diamond jagged edge ipa and a half pint salad.

    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 Away
    1710 W. Magnolia Blvd
    Burbank, CA 91506
    (818) 253-1710
    Hours: 11AM-2AM M-SAT & SUN 11AM-1AM

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  • July 15th, 2010quarrygirlLA restaurants, tony's darts away

    i just can’t get enough of tony’s darts away!

    it’s the only real bar in los angeles with a vegan-friendly menu, the food is excellent, and they’ve got over 30 beers on tap. seriously, tony’s is amazing. i hit up the burbank boozer recently with a couple friends, and as to be expected, we had an excellent time.

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  • May 22nd, 2010quarrygirlLA restaurants, tony's darts away

    tony’s darts away in burbank has only been open for 5 weeks, and it’s already one of our favorite haunts. we’ve raved about the extremely vegan-friendly beer bar twice before, and i’m happy to report that with time it keeps getting better and better.

    first off, they’ve added 2 cask pumps to their something like 38 beers on tap. when we were there last, they were pouring craftsman (not pictured), and it was really damn good. i think it was poppyfields.

    vegan beer brat with sauerkraut, grilled onions, brown mustard, and garlic paste. $6

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  • March 31st, 2008mr meanerhealth

    Sausage Boy

    It constantly amazes me how the evidence around the health benefits of a vegan lifestyle are pushed aside, and the facts about meat consumption are at best ignored and at worst hushed up.

    At the very least, most reasonable people understand that a diet of burgers, steaks and fried chicken is extremely unhealthy, but surely, the occasional banger wouldn’t be a problem? Not so fast, Batman…

    Consider this article from today’s Daily Mail newspaper in the UK: “Why eating just one sausage a day raises your cancer risk by 20 per cent”… it goes on to say:

    Eating 1.8oz (50g) of processed meat a day – the equivalent of one sausage or three rashers of bacon – raises the likelihood of the cancer by a fifth, research shows.

    The sobering statistic adds to growing evidence that too much meat in the diet can be deadly.

    I very much doubt this applies to Tofu Dogs, or I’d be a goner, the amount of those I eat!

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