Saturday, September 26, 2015

An Ode to Root

Recently my favorite vegan joint in the Greater Boston area shut down.  There was no warning or explanation-- just boarded up windows one day in August signifying the end of Root Allston.  Maybe there is something about this location which does not bode well for vegan establishments, for the same thing happened with Peace o'Pie when I first moved to town in 2012-- here today, gone tomorrow.  Only I didn't care so much about Peace o'Pie because I'm not very partial to faux cheeses.  Root was my fave for a number of reasons, and I spent lots of meals there with family and friends over the years, from Taco Tuesdays to vanilla or pumpkin pancakes on the weekends.  I ate there with my parents after I successfully ran my first half marathon.  Sometimes I popped in for an LA wrap or some of the hand cut fries with homemade ketchup.  Oh, and the sweet potato home fries! Wah.

There's a new vegan cafe called Whole Heart Provisions opening in place of Root.  I will give it a try, but unless they will have pumpkin pancakes this fall, I'm not sure it will live up to Root.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Semi-Vegan Baby Shower

My niece, Philomena, is one month old.  When my sister was about 8 1/2 months pregnant, during the dreadful winter of 2015, I threw her a baby shower with mostly vegetarian/vegan food for lunch.  My sister is not vegan, so it didn't make sense to host a shower with all of my favorite foods.  I did my best to be fair.

The Theme
You are My Sunshine - the decorations were yellow, and included sunflowers, lemons, and some handmade items I created during the many snow days I spent pent up in my apartment

The Menu
-Trader Joe's sparkling lemonade
-Hummus and pita bread
-A variety of vegan and traditional wraps from the bagel store where our dad works
-Chef Chloe's Artichoke Pesto Crostini
-My mom's famous spinach pie

-A traditional cake
-Vegan coconut-lemon cupcakes

coconut lemon cookies with a packet of sunflower seeds

The Pictures

Vegan in Portland, Oregon

I finally went to visit my friend and former roommate, Erin, and her cat Casista, in Portland, Oregon for Spring Break.  I had been hearing about the amazing vegan food in this city for quite a while.  Added bonuses included crossing two new states off my list (we also drove through Washington), and being blown away by the gorgeous scenery.  There were lots of hipsters, bicycles, cats, and beer-- so in my opinion, it's a fantastic city.  Besides all of that, the people are the friendliest you'll meet, and things are CHEAP.  It was hard to leave.

Below are some of the vegan eateries I visited.  I ate my way through the city, and I'm sure I didn't get to even half of the vegan places in town.  I was totally overwhelmed because I really could have eaten good food almost anywhere.  That's just not something a vegan girl is accustomed to!

Sweet Hereafter
A vegan bar, and the most hipster place I've ever been.  We were probably the only two people in the place without tons of tattoos.  I tried the Jamaican Bowl, which was a bit too spicy for my taste.  Erin watched the Blazers game and I did some people watching.

Street 14 Coffee - Astoria
Erin grabbed a cup of coffee and I had an amazing black berry crumble pastry.  They also serve breakfast and lunch with vegan options.

Wolf and Bear's food cart
Food carts abound in Portland.  This was located in the Southeast part of town, and it was here that I had a gigantic falafel wrap and a cup of lemonade with a dash of mint.  We listened to Drake rap about his enemies and people make their plans for 4/20 as we ate.  I wish I had another one of those wraps right now.

Sizzle Pie
So this is a heavy metal pizza place with tons of vegan options.  I thought it was hilarious.  I had a slice of pizza and a huge vegan caesar salad.

Blue Star Donuts
Oh, hey, I hadn't had a donut in five years - NBD.  I tried two vegan varieties - blueberry and sugar and spice.  For the next few mornings I thought about going back for more, but I had to save room for all the other vegan pastries.

Back to Eden Bakery
We kind of overdid it here.  By this I mean that we ordered an ice cream sundae, chocolate mousse pie, and a brownie.  It's difficult to decide when there are two cases of desserts and a full soft-serve ice cream menu.  Amazing.

Missionary Chocolates
Vegan. Chocolate. Truffles.

Sweetpea Bakery
I wanted to try everything, so I went with the raspberry strudel.  It was delicious.  They also serve vegan breakfast and lunch, including a vegan quiche-- we weren't sure what that would entail.

Herbivore Clothing
Obsessed!  Right next to Sweetpea, specializing in cruelty-free clothing items.  There were tons of vegan cookbooks, more than I even knew existed.  Unfortunately, they would not have fit in my suitcase.

Food Fight! Grocery
When a city has a vegan "mall," you know you're in the right place.  At least I do.  Next door to Herbivore, it's a little vegan grocery store!

Veggie Grill
This place is a chain.  I had a fantastic quinoa salad topped with avocado after walking around the Portland Art Museum.  Loved it.

Voo Doo Donut
Had to do it, as it's a big tourist attraction in Portland.  They have a few kinds of vegan donuts, but I actually preferred the Blue Star Variety.

Blossoming Lotus
I had the curry and coconut tofu, and it was outstanding.  I believe it was the best tofu I've ever eaten.

I think that's everything.  We went to a number of other bars and there was something for a vegan to munch on in every location.  At the Portland City Grill we enjoyed a panoramic view of the city while sipping cocktails.  I visited plenty of non-food related sites, including the Japanese Garden, Powell's Books, the Columbia River Gorge, and the coast of Oregon.  It really was a lovely city, and I recommend it to anyone, vegan or not!

Blogger's Soundtrack
Fitz and the Tantrums - L.O.V.