• January 5th, 2010quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), NYC

    one thing i really hate about traveling to nyc, is that i always find a wonderful restaurant with food so delicious and lovely, it makes me sad that i can’t pack a lifetime supply and smuggle it back home in my suitcase. sure enough last week when i visited the big apple it happened again, and the one restaurant that screamed “holy shit why don’t we have this in LA?!?!?!” the loudest, was curly’s vegetarian lunch.

    curly’s vegetarian lunch is a meatless hole in the wall located in the east village, with a larger than life menu full of greasy diner food that more than makes up for their lack of square footage. to call this place vegan-friendly would be an understatement, considering ANY item curly’s offers can be made vegan (and the most appetizing of the selections are already).

    we arrived around noonish on a weekday and were welcomed in from the blustering cold by a friendly gentleman who looked like curly himself, judging by the newspaper clippings hung allover the walls. the service was impeccable; a friendly waitress immediately took our order and was always ready with a refill of hot coffee. we settled on two of the menu items that were vegan by default, the open-faced turkey sandwich and the tofu scramble.

    open-faced turkey sandwich: sage and garlic rubbed soy fillet over corn bread stuffing and toasted rye, napped with gravy and served with cranberry dressing, garlicky kale and butternut squash. $12.95

    while both dishes were great, and the experience overall i cannot fault….the one thing that keeps haunting my dreams is the FUCKING TASTY TURKEY SANDWICH. i know, i know i rave about food a lot on this blog, but please believe me…this deserves extra attention. first off, it was massive. the plate was so full of food, i only ate about half of it and i went from starving to bloated. secondly, it comes with ample servings of all the food groups we vegans crave: tons of greens, check. seitan, check. ridic amount of gravy, check. not to mention the squash, oily yet fluffy stuffing, and sweet chunky cranberry sauce. wowowow. lastly, this plate (enough to feed 3 people) was under $13….in manhattan. that is less than real food daily, and even m cafe holiday plate prices. oh, and this is offered all year round.

    seriously, so many nyc restaurants get talked up, but this REALLY WAS amazing. please put this on your ultimate, must, no matter what, to do list.

    on to the next dish! although it was a little late, it was our first meal of the day….so my husband went with the vegan tofu scramble plus added spinach. (curly’s serves breakfast all day!) this thing came fried up with mounds of yellow tofu, sauteed greens, wedges of toast and deliciously crispy curly fries. not quite as good as my sandwich, but definitely a wonderful indulgence.

    scrambled tofu: with toast and curly fries. plus spinach. $8.70

    look at all that food! eh?!?! i have been brought up to believe that you are supposed to pay more in manhattan for everything…but this was a shit ton of breakfast for under $9, and i challenge you to find a deal that good in LA!

    i cannot even stress how superb our experience at curly’s was, and i urge you to visit them whenever you are in nyc. the place is SUPER SMALL (for the LA crowd, it’s about the size of the meet market/flore cafe/the vegan spot) but they do wonders to actually transform it into a comfortable dining experience.

    i will be back for sure, because curly’s has earned a place in my heart as one of my favorite restaurants ever.

    curly’s vegetarian lunch
    328 East 14th Street
    New York, NY‎
    (212) 598-9998‎
    Mon-Fri: 11am-11pm
    Sat–Sun 10am-11pm

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  • December 8th, 2009quarrygirlLA restaurants, vinh loi tofu

    vegan turkey by vinh loi tofu

    for the holiday season, vinh loi tofu is offering full size vegan faux turkeys, and you just have to try one! we ordered one of these for our thanksgiving celebration with my omnivorous family, and it was definitely a crowd-pleaser.

    vegan turkey by vinh loi tofu

    the vegan loaf is shaped like a real animal, with little fake legs and a hole for stuffing. it isn’t realistic enough to be gross though, if anything it made for a great conversation piece and i thought it was kinda cute. we pre-baked a batch of homemade stuffing and carefully put it inside the vinh loi turkey before heating it.

    vegan turkey by vinh loi tofu

    the turkey comes already cooked from vinh loi, but we put it in the oven for a while to heat it up. after about 40 minutes it was just right, and the outer skin was perfectly crispy. the soy meat inside was soft and juicy, and the overall flavor was amazing.

    vegan turkey by vinh loi tofu

    there were four of us, and we didn’t even finish off half of this thing. in fact, i still have tons of leftovers in the freezer. the turkey cost $49.50, and was worth every cent. it’s definitely some of the best fake meat i’ve ever had.

    call vinh loi tofu to order a delicious vegan turkey for your xmas meal. you can have a traditional holiday feast, except without the murder. oh, and they also have a vegan ham tray as well! YUM.

    vinh loi tofu
    18625 Sherman Way #101
    Reseda, CA 91335
    (818) 996-9779

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  • November 26th, 2009quarrygirlLA restaurants, madeleine bistro

    update november 2010: madeleine bistro is doing thanksgiving with the turkeys AGAIN this year!! thanksgiving day from 10am – 3pm. this was honestly the most special thanksgiving meal of my life…so i highly suggest you book a table asap. if you aren’t free on thanksgiving day, madeleine bistro is also doing take-out holiday meals. give ’em a call!

    beautiful turkey at madeleine bistro

    hey my fellow herbivores, i hope you all had a lovely holiday and managed to avoid the stench of dead flesh…we sure did! we had a magnificent brunch at one of LA’s top vegan restaurants, madeleine bistro. the los angeles vegan thanksgiving offerings this year were plentiful, so we had quite a hard time deciding where to eat. the deal was pretty much sealed though, when we saw that madeleine bistro would be bringing in healthy, happy turkey friends from animal acres to join in the celebration!

    we booked a table for mid-morning and were happy to see that madeleine bistro would be offering not only a thanksgiving five-course fix prixe meal, but also some holiday specials a la carte as well as their regular brunch menu. we were shocked at how crowded the restaurant was with vegan a-listers when we arrived, from famous actors and authors to bloggers like moi. rad, right?! we settled in and ordered some entrees and sides, all of which were excellent and exceeded our expectations.

    fresh organic donut with organic fruit compote. $2

    fresh organic donut with organic fruit compote. $2

    we started off with some fresh organic donuts, which we’ve had before, and they were phenomenal. so crispy and sweet on the outside, yet unbelievably light and fluffy within—these set a new standard for animal-free sweets. i can honestly say that the donuts at madeleine bistro are the best i’ve ever had, even trumping the (in)famous ronald’s.

    vegan biscuits and gravy. $7

    vegan biscuits and gravy. $7

    next up, we had an some biscuits and gravy from the holiday specials menu.

    vegan biscuits and gravy from madeleine bistro

    i fucking adore biscuits and gravy, and i seriously have to get them whenever they’re available. the portion from madeleine bistro was absolutely amazing. the gravy was thick and meaty-tasting (but not in a gross way)…and while the biscuits were small, they were moist and packed with flavor.

    thanksgiving sandwich: herbed seitan, cranberry mayo, caramelized onions, gravy. $15

    thanksgiving sandwich: herbed seitan, cranberry mayo, caramelized onions, gravy. $15

    for our first main course, we ordered the thanksgiving sandwich from the holiday menu. this sandwich is one of the best things i have ever had the pleasure of eating…and i have eaten a lot of stuff! the turkey-style seitan was crispy and pleasantly oily, a perfect compliment to the fluffy vegan mayo and soft warm bread. and the cranberries added the perfect amount of sweetness without being overwhelming.

    vegan thanksgiving sandwich at madeleine bistro

    i know, i know….15 bucks seems like a lot to pay for a sandwich, and i am the first person to bitch when something is overpriced. but this thing was seriously worth it. not only was it massive (the pix don’t do it justice), but the flavor combos were just plain brilliant. my only complaint is that madeleine bistro doesn’t offer this sandwich all year!

    the Skillet, tofu scramble, seasonal vegetables, tempeh bacon, home fries. $15

    the Skillet, tofu scramble, seasonal vegetables, tempeh bacon, home fries. $15

    for our second entree we ordered the skillet, which is available year round on the madeleine brunch menu. omg this shit was INSANE. soft, fluffy, and slightly wet tofu all mixed up with fresh vegetables and salty tempeh. it was beautiful. take that, and add in the best home fry potatoes ever (i’m not lying!)…and you have a virtually perfect breakfast. the portion was hearty as well—we ended up with more food than we could eat!

    vegan thanksgiving with turkeys at madeleine bistro

    while the food at madeleine bistro was exquisite and we had no complaints, the most special part of our thanksgiving celebration was spending time with the wonderful turkeys from animal acres. on a day when so many animals are slaughtered with perverted notions of joy and thankfulness, it was great to hang out with these beautiful creatures after a completely satisfying vegan meal.

    vegan thanksgiving at madeleine bistro

    i’m thankful for an awesome and cruelty-free holiday, complete with beautiful birds and amazing food from madeleine bistro.

    madeleine bistro
    18621 ventura blvd
    tarzana, ca 91356
    (check the website for hours, it’s complicated)

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  • November 26th, 2009quarrygirlnews, other

    warning! the following content is NSFV!

    please send this video around to your omnivorous friends and family members. they probably need a reminder of what they are really eating today for thanksgiving dinner.

    video via the extreme vegan. follow @extremevegan on twitter.

    there is nothing happy or kind about this holiday.

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