• September 16th, 2009quarrygirlvegan bakers

    vegan-twinkie

    about a year ago, los angeles was buzzing with the news of amazing vegan twinkies that tasted way better than the real thing. these twinkies were so popular, not only did they get rave reviews from the vegan blogs, but also the non-vegan foodie blogs, as well as the LA times! however these fluffy, delicious, cream-filled vegan twinkies disappeared completely earlier this year when the bakery that made them decided to take a break.

    well now it’s with much excitement that i announce to you, the original LA vegan twinkies are back! that’s right, starting today no whey vegan bakery will be accepting private orders for a short time through their website. if you never got a chance to try these amazing baked goods, now is the time.

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  • May 13th, 2009quarrygirlnews, other, vegan bakers

    hey los angeles vegans, i have some pretty exciting news for you! on thursday may 14th at noon, jennshaggy of vegan twinkie fame will be selling some of her beloved treats as well as a slew of other no whey baked goods in hollywood to benefit various animal charities. since jenn has retired from baking officially, and her goods are no longer available, i highly suggest you get out to hollywood tomorrow and pick up as many twinkies and cookies as you can carry!

    here are all the important details:
    what: no whey vegan bake sale for charity
    when: thursday may 14th, noon until sold out
    where: 7200 Melrose Ave Los Angeles, CA 90046 (outside the fratelli cafe near melrose and formosa)
    baked goods: twinkies, pinwheel cookies, sugar cookies, snickerdoodles, cakes, and fudge
    price: everything will be between $2-$4

    vegan-twinkie

    if you have ever tried no whey twinkies, you know how bad ass they are. don’t miss this rare opportunity, these baked goods are no longer available!

    vegan-twinkie-2

    also try the pinwheel cookies, they are my personal favorite.

    pinwheel-cookies

    i don’t know what you have planned for your lunch break on thursday, but whatever it is, drop it and get down to this bake sale at noon! see you there!

    [googleMap name="vegan bake sale with no whey twinkies!" description="outside fratelli cafe at melrose and formosa"]7200 Melrose Ave Los Angeles, CA 90046[/googleMap]

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  • December 28th, 2008quarrygirlother, products, recipes, salads, tofurky, vegan stuff

    it’s no secret that we don’t really celebrate xmas. to me it’s just an annoying holiday when the bars and vegan restaurants are closed. however, that doesn’t stop me from taking the day off work and filling up on holiday-themed food. it also doesn’t stop my awesome parents from buying us tons of gifts. :)

    this year on xmas day, my husband and i attended a slap-up vegan holiday party, meaning we couldn’t have dinner with my parents until the next day. we decided to invite them around to our place on boxing day for an informal vegan celebration. we provided the main course and desserts, they brought us some side dishes and some unexpected gifts. it was awesome.

    one dozen vegan twinkies from no whey vegan baking. 6 regular flavored, 6 red velvet with cream cheese frosting.

    one dozen vegan twinkies from no whey vegan baking. 6 regular flavored, 6 red velvet with cream cheese frosting.

    we went a little over board with dessert, and ordered 12 twinkies from no whey vegan baking. needless to say, there were tons left over and we sent my parents home with a whole container full. everyone loved them, especially my dad who has been dying to try a vegan twinkie for like 6 months. while the normal yellow cake with white frosting filling variety was well received, my new favorite is definitely the red velvet twinkie. the cake is moist and insanely decadent, and the filling isn’t frosting, but instead vegan cream cheese. absolutely delicious.

    red velvet cake with a cream cheese filling

    red velvet cake with a cream cheese filling

    for a main dish, we cooked up a standard tofurky. although i prefer the celebration roast, which we made on thanksgiving, the tofurky was only $7.99 at the santa monica co-op. you can’t beat that price.

    tofurky!

    tofurky!

    my parents brought with them some wonderful sides including the quarrygirl recipe for potato salad, and a broccoli salad that my mom veganized. you can see the original broccoli salad recipe here.

    vegan broccoli salad with raisins, vegenaise, "bacon" bits and onion.

    vegan broccoli salad with raisins, vegenaise, "bacon" bits and onion.

    in addition to food, my parents also brought with them some surprise presents. thanks mom and dad! knowing what fans we are of veganomicon, they brought us isa chandra moskowitz’s other two wildly successful cookbooks: vegan with a vengeance and vegan cupcakes take over the world. yay!

    vegan cookbooks! w00t!

    vegan cookbooks! w00t!

    they also brought us some shirts in honor of the quarrygirl.com mascot, tofu robot. check out the cool t’s they found online at spicy brown.

    tofu robot clothing from spicy brown.

    tofu robot clothing from spicy brown.

    so overall, it was a great feast with some extraordinary vegan twinkies and some vegan gift surprises. a fine, fine holiday indeed.

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  • December 18th, 2008quarrygirlflore cafe (closed), LA restaurants

    yo, los angeles: a new vegan-friendly restaurant opened today in silver lake and i was eating it. welcome to the hood, flore cafe. we are pleased to have you.

    flore cafe: LA's newest vegan eats!

    flore cafe: LA's newest vegan eats!

    flore cafe is the lesser little brother of the awesome los angeles vegan eatery flore. i say “lesser” because the menu is smaller, there are fewer places to sit, and um….IT ISN’T FUCKING VEGAN. that’s right, although flore AND flore cafe are owned by a vegan, flore cafe still serves up piping hot plates of chicken menstruation (eggs) and offers a bagel topping of puss and blood (cheese). a total disappointment coming from vegan management.

    don’t get me wrong, although flore cafe sins with disgusting animal by-products in some of their dishes, the place is super vegan friendly. 90% of the menu is animal-free…they just have tons of icky eggs on their breakfast menu, a real cream cheese option for the bagels, and pastries riddled with butter and other crap. the soups, salads, sandwiches, and wraps are all vegan. plus, they have an awesome selection of vegan waffles and vegan desserts. i will take what i can get.

    now before i get all into the food, lemme say…not long ago, i posted about the tragic closing of one of my favorite los angeles restaurants, the vegan spot. i posted time after time about this little sandwich shop that could(n’t), but sadly after a good run, they had to close their doors. well now it seems that just 2 weeks later, this new vegetarian coffee house has sprung up in their exact location. flore cafe is owned by a woman who is the sole owner of flore and was one of the two owners of the vegan spot. i guess she took the opportunity of the vegan spot’s failure to expand her flore empire, and add start selling eggs at the same time. eww. eww. eww. why?!?

    the upside of all this, for the vegan community, is that the super tasty breakfast items (which are only offered until 1pm at flore) are offered until 4pm at flore cafe. so that awesome tofu benediction, that tofu scramble, those cruelty-free waffles can be yours well into the afternoon. i hooked up the sweetest tofu scramble today at around 2pm. considering it was their grand-opening and all, i gotta say they cooked this up quite perfectly.

    tofu scramble: tofu, tomato, basil, mushroom, red onion & spinach. $6.95

    tofu scramble: tofu, tomato, basil, mushroom, red onion & spinach. $6.95

    while flore cafe is missing my favorite item that constantly appears on flore’s menu (KALE!!!!!!), they made up for it in tons of spinach and fresh avocado. my scramble was, to say the least, divine. i am looking forward to having it again. at $6.95, it was pretty fairly priced and came with large cuts of firm tofu, all mixed in with flavorful vegetables. they didn’t use nutritional yeast or beat the crap out of the tofu, like most scrambles i’m used to. this dish just had cubes of tofu sauteed with natural ingredients, all up in an impressive sauce.

    on top of a bloody great scramble, flore cafe eased my vegan spot separation-anxiety with the best dessert of all time: the vegan twinkie. vegan twinkies kind of put the vegan spot on the map. cooked up by no whey, a los angeles-based vegan baking company, these twinkies have gotten all kinds of press and have been known to sell out within hours of delivery. i was so stoked to see them at this new vegetarian coffee shop. i love it when good things stay the same.

    vegan twinkie. $3.50

    vegan twinkie. $3.50

    okay, so before i pass out from my food coma, let me remind you that the opening of flore cafe is both depressing and exciting news rolled into one. the best vegan food in los angeles, by far was provided by the vegan spot. they had amazing sandwiches, melty fake cheese, and my favorite meal EVER…the chef salad. now that they are gone, i am super glad a new vegetarian cafe has taken their place, but goddammit, it isn’t the fucking same.

    this flore cafe doesn’t have all the melty fake cheese, no insane mind-blowing wheat meats, and definitely no chef salad. it’s funny, how a vegan restaurant can turn its nose up at “fake meats,” refusing to offer them, then open a cafe that sells REAL FUCKING EGGS. i just don’t get it. why any vegan would open a restaurant and sell egg dishes and dairy-filled pastries is beyond me. ah well.

    furthermore, flore cafe is only open from 7am to 4pm. ok, great…they are open like 3 hours earlier than the vegan spot was. but all of those 3 hours are hours when i am usually asleep. i used to stumble out of the bar with my husband frequently on friday night at around 9pm and order an impromptu meal from the vegan spot. i guess that avenue of pleasure is forever closed off. hmmmm, at least if i am randomly in silver lake at 7:30 am, i know where to get some good tempeh bacon! ho hum.

    now that i have done a good job talking shit on the new development that is flore cafe, let me say they have done wonders with the space.

    i wish i could have gotten more pix of flore cafe’s interior, but dude, i was all self-conscious. busting out a camera and being outed as a blogger is the last thing i need. let me tell you, though, flore cafe has a new paint job, great furniture, and sweet decor. i felt so hip when i was there. rad.

    what used to be a shabby, depressing sandwich counter is now a shic little cafe with tons of sunlight, a pleasant interior and comfy seating. i would actually rather eat in at this coffee shop than at the real flore. they have huge windows, a booth, sweet little tables and chairs, barstools along the wall, and outdoor seating. the vegan spot just had a cracked-out chicken mural and some really depressing tables that looked like they were about to collapse. flore cafe, at least is trying.

    picture taken from a spacious booth. CLASSY DIGS!

    picture taken from a spacious booth. CLASSY DIGS!

    so, i’ve only been there once, but i can say i will be back to flore cafe. the food is awesome, the atmosphere is chill, and the prices are alright. HOWEVER…vegan spot, IT IS NOT!

    to break it down: a.) flore cafe has eschewed all fake meat, yet at the same time embraced NON-VEGAN shit like eggs and cheese and butter and whatever. that totally grosses me out. b.) flore cafe is not open when i want it to be. i can never get drunk at 9pm and decide i want some flore cafe…because it will have been closed for 5 hours. c.) there’s nothing new or inventive on the menu at flore cafe, almost all this shit can be found at flore itself. see for yourself:

    floremenu1 floremenu2

    tasty menu….BUT….god, did i mention HOW MUCH i will miss the vegan spot’s roast beef cheddar sandwich, philly cheesesteak sandwich, french bread pizza and chef salad?!?!??! i think that this will be a long and drawn-out break-up.

    so, vegetarians and vegans, hustle your ass over to flore cafe between 7 am and 4 pm. they have salads, bowls, twinkies and some tofu breakfast items. i’m so stoked that a vegetarian cafe filled the location of my old favorite restaurant. but let me tell ya, and i can’t make it any more clear…I STILL MISS THE VEGAN SPOT! boo hoo.

    but my tofu scramble was still mad decent.

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  • October 18th, 2008quarrygirlLA restaurants, the vegan spot (closed)

    update! since the time of this post, these amazing chocolate twinkies are available for order from no whey vegan bakery. i highly suggest you get a batch! now, read on…

    i absolutely love chocolate. it’s the best. if i see a chocolate dessert, it takes every bit of will power i have not to devour it. i’m pretty glad to be a vegan, meaning i can’t eat most of the tempting chocolate treats that i encounter in day to day life. because if i could, i’d be a hell of a lot fatter.

    i also love vegan twinkies. so imagine how excited i was to learn last week that la’s most famous vegan twinkie baker, jenn shaggy had whipped up a special batch of her legendary treats in double chocolate flavor. yep, chocolate cake and chocolate frosting…my dream come true. i booked it to the vegan spot to pick up some of the goods as soon as i could, and while i do love everything on the vegan spot’s menu, this time i was just coming for twinkies. they were even better than i could have imagined.

    double chocolate vegan twinkies

    double chocolate vegan twinkies

    i was lucky enough to be handed a box of 5 beautiful chocolate vegan twinkies by the gifted baker herself and i couldn’t help but ask how the hell she does it. she wouldn’t let me in on the secret twinkie recipe, but she did tell me that she loves experimenting with flavors making different style twinkies for all occasions. a wizard in the kitchen at only 23 years old, i’m really hoping jenn shaggy opens up her own restaurant some day. from twinkies to dorritos, she has figured out a way to make anything vegan. i highly recommend checking out her blog, where she shares a few of her recipes.

    back to the twinkies. they were off the hook. they didn’t taste anything like limp, packaged twinkies from when i was a kid…instead they tasted like the most decadent chocolate cake filled up with creamy sinful frosting. they were so delicious that my husband refused to believe they were vegan, i mean they were just too incredibly rich.

    chocolate frosting holes

    chocolate frosting holes

    the frosting was even better than the stuff in jenn’s normal vegan twinkies, which are delicious as well. but what can i say, i am obsessed with chocolate. i highly recommend that if you are lucky enough to get your hands on one of these, you have a full glass of soy milk at your side. the cake is just so moist and flavorful, each bite goes down well with a cold sip of vanilla milk.

    they don’t photograph quite as well as normal twinkies, especially when cut in half because it’s brown frosting against brown cake. but trust me, what they lack in looks they more than make up for in taste! i munched down three in one sitting and then had to stop myself. a very fortunate co-worker was given a bite of my twinkie (i only had 5, it’s not like i could spare a whole one) and i didn’t tell her it was vegan until she had already raved about how awesome it was. a testament to the twinkie.

    so, go to the vegan spot and get some twinkies! now! they are awesome. and be sure to try whatever flavors you can. the standard ones are delicious, but not nearly as savory as these chocolate babies. and keep track of jenn as well, who knows where her desserts will show up, and you gotta be there to try them.

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  • October 8th, 2008quarrygirlLA restaurants, the vegan spot (closed)

    UPDATE: since this post, the vegan spot has CLOSED. a new vegetarian cafe has taken its place. this is very sad news indeed. there is no more vegan spot…but i will leave the original post up below for those of you who want to reminisce.

    because i can’t find it anywhere else online, i’ve taken the liberty of posting the menu for the the vegan spot in silver lake right here. check it out.

    well, i’m happy to report that i have some good news today. not everyone in this town is raising prices and cutting their menu down. the vegan spot on sunset has expanded their menu (it has practically doubled in size!) and everyone agrees the food keeps getting better and better. seriously, i couldn’t believe my eyes when i walked in and the big chalk board was filled with more delicious items than i could ever possibly try. the modest hole-in-the-wall sandwich shop now offers salads, soups, bowls, burritos, nachos, pizza, wraps and breakfast…oh my! i knew i would have to live it up. starting with a ginormous salad.

    chef salad: romaine lettuce, tomato, avocado, "turkey", roast "beef", soy mozzarella, maple pepper "bacon" and croutons. served with a side of ranch dressing. $9.95

    chef salad: romaine lettuce, tomato, avocado, "turkey", roast "beef", soy mozzarella, maple pepper "bacon" and croutons. served with a side of ranch dressing. $9.95

    this is the best salad i’ve ever had. full stop. i’m sure it wasn’t the healthiest by any stretch of the imagination, but it was just soooOOOOOOoooooOOOOOo delicious. filled to the brim with fake meat, piled high with mounds of mozzarella and garnished with huge slabs of fresh avocado…it was decadent. i barely even used the ranch dressing, as i didn’t want to mask any of the salad’s wonderful flavors. there was so much good protein in there, but i think my favorite had to be the maple pepper “bacon.” perfectly grilled and seasoned, it was a great compliment to the cold slices of “turkey” and roast “beef.” beyond yum.

    because i was such a huge fan of the roast beef and cheddar sandwich, i knew i’d have to give the philly cheesesteak a whirl (with no bell peppers). what i found in this sandwich was vegan junk food perfection. the greasy fake meat and melty-licious soy mozzarella were even better in this sammy than in the roast beef and cheddar…which i didn’t think was possible.

    philly "cheesesteak": thinly sliced and freshly prepared roast "beef" and grilled onions topped with soy mozzarella and toasted warm. $8.95

    philly "cheesesteak": thinly sliced and freshly prepared roast "beef" and grilled onions topped with soy mozzarella and toasted warm. $8.95

    now i know in the past i did a bit of bitching about the price of the vegan spot’s sandwiches. well, i just wanna say they get better and better everytime…now i don’t care how much they cost. to get a sandwich like this for under ten bucks is a damn good deal. i highly recommend if you go to the vegan spot, you get one of their hot sandwiches. the cold ones are nothing to scoff at, but the hot ones are just out of this world and very special. while i was very impressed with the fake cheddar, the fake mozzarella totally blew my mind. maybe it’s because i prefer mozzarella anyway, or because i am such a huge pizza fan…either way, this is some of the best soy mozz i’ve ever had. it pasts the test of tasting good cold, and melting right up. i cannot WAIT to go back to the vegan spot and try out their pizza. so much good stuff on the menu.

    being a burrito freak and in love with tofu scramble, of course i also ordered the breakfast burrito. it definitely hit the spot and did the trick.

    breakfast burrito: tofu scramble, avocado, pico de gallo, maple pepper "bacon" wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla and served with a side of fresh fruit. $6.95

    breakfast burrito: tofu scramble, avocado, pico de gallo, maple pepper "bacon" wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla and served with a side of fresh fruit. $6.95

    the fact that it was like 8pm didn’t stop me from craving this breakfast burrito, so i was very pleased to see that the vegan spot serves all its breakfast items all day. this burrito was positively scrumptious and filled with some of the best tofu scramble and fake bacon i’ve ever eaten. since when did this tiny little sandwich shop start churning out the best selection of vegan food in the city? i may have to go to silver lake every weekend just to eat here. seriously, it’s that good. and this burrito is a steal for only $6.95!

    of course, a guilty, gluttonous, junk food spree at the vegan spot would not be complete without indulging in their signature dessert: VEGAN TWINKIES! i have been obsessed with these wonderful vegan twinkies for quite awhile (made by jenn shaggy), so i was ecstatic when i saw that they were in stock. these things sell out super fast, so getting the chance to eat them is a rare and lucky occurrence. it pleases me to tell you that the other day they were as fresh and tasty as ever.

    vegan twinkie. $3.50

    vegan twinkie. $3.50

    i’ll never get over how these vegan twinkies are like a thousand times better than the real thing. they taste like an actual sponge cake filled with rich and creamy vanilla frosting. very far from the cruddy little vacuum packed pastries they are emulating. trust me, whether you like regular twinkies or not, you gotta try these.

    so overall, the vegan spot is vegan fast food at its finest: cheesy dishes, huge sandwiches and scrumptious desserts. i seriously can’t wait to go back and get my teeth on some nachos, pizza, or vegan chili. they really do have everything. and all of it tastes awesome.

    the vegan spot
    3206 west sunset blvd.
    los angeles, ca 90026

    323-667-0116

    Vegan Spot on Urbanspoon

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  • August 17th, 2008quarrygirlLA restaurants, the vegan spot (closed)

    UPDATE: since this post, the vegan spot has CLOSED. a new vegetarian cafe has taken its place. this is very sad news indeed. there is no more vegan spot…but i will leave the original post up below for those of you who want to reminisce.

    update! since the time of this post, the vegan spot has CLOSED, but these amazing twinkies are available for order from no whey vegan bakery. i highly suggest you get a batch! now, read on…

    well, you may have already read my last post…the one where i ventured into uncharted territory, in search of vegan twinkies. although i struck out the first time, i kept trying and eventually found them. damn, they were so worth it.

    vegan twinkie from the vegan spot

    vegan twinkie from the vegan spot

    you see, jenn shaggy is a fellow vegan blogger, who also bakes professionally for the latest hip vegan eatery to grace my fair city with its presence, the vegan spot. her vegan twinkies and cupcakes are so popular that they are getting tons of yelp buzz and are selling out within days of delivery. i feel lucky to have caught her twinkies when they were available.

    jenn emailed me the same day she dropped off the batch of piping hot treats, and within 12 hours, they were almost totally sold out. i high-tailed it from my job in hollywood, across town, to buy up the remaining pastries. that meant 5 twinkies at 3.50 each, $17 plus tip of vegan sweets on my lunch break. with only a $20 in my wallet, i couldn’t even afford a sandwich. whatever, it was totally worth it. i just hope jenn saw her rightful share of that small fortune.

    the twinkies were chilled when i got them into my car, and i couldn’t resist opening the box and digging into them then and there. oh, so much better than hostess..sweet confectionery bliss. they were crafted perfectly—tiny holes in the sponge cake oozing with frosting.

    the presentation was spot on, identical to the childhood treat…but the taste was above and beyond.

    goowey details after the jump.

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