Friday, October 24, 2014

i'm in the wind



{ New Almond Milk brand to try - the packaging definitely drew me in! }


{ fun fall leaf project from IHeart Organizing }


{ had the chance to pop into newly opened V-Street for dessert, this waffle - unbelievably delicious! }


{ fun to see outside of reading terminal market turned into a hay-full fall fest }


{ perfect quick sunday dinner - vegan sausage and peppers with zucchini noodles and asparagus }

Have a good weekend!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Vegan in Nashville!

Over Labor Day weekend, I met my best friend Emily down in Nashville for a girl's weekend away. We were roommates all through college and have remained close, yet she is living down in Austin now so the time we get to spend face-to-face is limited. After our weekend away this year, we both decided each year we need to pick a new destination to meet to catch up for all the missed time

We both had never been to Nashville before, so it was fun to explore a new city together. We met late on Thursday evening at the airport both flying in and then took a cab downtown to our hotel. It was around midnight when we finally got to the hotel, but that didn't stop us from enjoying our first night on the town! It was great to scope out where we wanted to venture to over the next few days.

Since moving to Austin, Emily has been vegan for a bit now while living there, so we both were on the scope for fun vegan friendly places in Nashville. Austin is a great place to go vegan, so I'm jealous of all the options she has down there!

We started our mornings at a coffee shop right around the corner from our hotel called the Frothy Monkey. On Friday morning this place was busy, but not too crazy and we were able to order and sit quickly. However - on Saturday morning it was a mad house so definitely keep that in mind if you are in a rush! Luckily, we were not..and both mornings we had delicious vegan breakfast, tea, and almond milk with iced coffee! Their tofu is perfectly grilled and great over their salad or on a sandwich.

Our first meal I snagged a picture of was a late night on the town meal. Sometimes those are the best! We had intentions of eating dinner that night late at Pub 5, however by the time we were looking for something to eat they had closed. We found a place still serving food right down the street though and it was perfect for a quick late night vegan snack plate.


We grabbed 3 appetizers from Merchants Restaurant right on Broadway downtown. This was a great location since it is near everything and our hotel was just around the corner. To order, we picked Fried Green Tomatoes, hold the pimento cheese - Guacamole with lime and sea salt tortilla chips - and a side of their sweet potato wedges. I didn't see these on their online menu, but we ordered them so they must have been available. This was a perfect late night meal for us and the restaurant was really nice inside, I would definitely go back during normal hours and try other menu options!

A trip to Nashville is not complete without going to The Wild Cow. Although we were staying in the downtown area, we knew we had to make the trek over to East Nashville to visit this all vegan restaurant. The day we went there was an on and off rain, so it was a fun 3 mile walk there in the rain...but luckily the worst of the rain was when we already got inside the restaurant. It was well worth it and we walked by some fun/cute neighborhoods!




On our walk there, we passed by the Barista Parlor. I had heard a bit about it prior to going, but after walking through it and seeing more articles about it later, it would have been fun to grab a unique coffee inside. We wandered in just to see what it was like, and their coffee options looked great. Next time I will definitely try one of their unique coffee drinks!


We finally made it to the Wild Cow. After only maybe a 15 minute wait we were seated and excited to try their food. I had looked up their menu online prior to the trip, and knew that vegan queso had to be ordered.


This was awesome. I will admit the queso dip wasn't as smooth and creamy as I had imagined - but this was still really delicious. Although we did order this to start, we didn't receive it until after we ordered our meals...regardless it was still good. 


For my meal I ordered the Buffalo Beans and Greens. When a menu item has buffalo on it, I cannot help but gravitate to that and end up ordering it. I just love hot sauce. Even as a non kale lover, this bowl was still delicious. This included garlicky kale, pinto beans, carrots, and grilled tofu tossed in buffalo sauce, topped with home made ranch. I had the option of either brown rice or quinoa - I chose quinoa but they ended up giving me brown rice anyway... Was still delicious though.


Emily ordered the French Quarter Dip. This included homemade seitan, mushrooms and onions marinated in a creole seasoning, served on a wheat hoagie with au jus dipping sauce. I tried a bite of it and the seitan was awesome. I cannot say that I have had a french dip sandwich or au jus sauce pre vegan, but I think this version was really good.

Although we both loved the food from the Wild Cow and I would be back in a heart beat, I would say the service was not as wonderful as I had expected. With issues such as the appetizer not coming out, and then we got our entrees and asking what happend to our queso, and then getting it to ordering Quinoa with my meal which is an up-charge and yet still receiving brown rice...we were not so blown away. However, hopefully it was just a fluke and usually things go a lot smoother! :)


For our last meal in Nashville we had to make it back to Pub 5 which we had heard had awesome vegan tapas. They opened at 11 and we had a flight that afternoon, so we knew we had to get in right when they opened and eat quick! Luckily we were the first guests there so we got our food quite fast.





We ordered a few dishes to split. The first was the Quinoa Tabbouleh leave off the feta. This included pepperdew peppers, cucumber, tomato, pea tendrils, and herb vinaigrette over the quinoa. We both really loved this side salad. 


For someone that doesn't usually like kale, this was a kale-filled weekend for me! This kale was delicious, and made me rethink all things I have doubted before. This was just a side dish of their Garlic Kale, but it was cooked perfectly and the garlic gave it a great kick. 




We also split the small plate of the Seitan Corndogs. Not sure what we would expect, these did not disappoint! The sauce on top really made it come together and the seitan was perfectly seasoned. This was a perfect last meal together to end our Nashville trip!



Of course, we had to do the NashTrash tour, which I would highly recommend to any tourists looking for a fun and informative tour! We had a blast and I cannot wait to start planning next year's trip! :)


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

It's like I got this music in my mind

This past weekend was a continuation of my birthday celebration. The first part was back on August 4th to try the sneak preview of V-Street. This weekend I requested since it was my "almost birthday" (2 days before it) to go check out the Bethlehem Veg Fest!

I had been wanting to go to this veg fest since it began a few years ago, but was never usually around for it. I'm excited I had the chance to experience it this year and everything that it entailed!

Although it was a cloudy day with a 70% chance of rain, that did not stop the crowds from coming. It seemed to be busier than I expected - and the university nearby was having its move-in weekend too which could have been a factor! Luckily the rain held out and only did spurts of light showers here and there.



{The ever lasting long line for the Cinnamon Snail Food truck}



{A delicious hot-sauce sampling stand while waiting in line for Cinnamon Snail}



{Mentioned hot sauce being TOO hot and needing to buy a delicious pineapple drink to cool down with!}



{Getting so close for the Cinnamon Snail! There were MANY awesome vegan options for lunch at Veg Fest, but I had my heart on finally trying the Cinnamon Snail food truck I had heard so much about.}



{My delicious lunch from Cinnamon Snail - Lemongrass 5 Spice Seitan - with curried cashews, argula, sichuan chili sauce and wasabi mayo over greens}



{Jason's lunch - Korean Barbecue Seitan - served open faced on a grilled tortilla slathered with chili butter, kimchi, and greens. Both were so delicious! }


{Cute pigs to pet :) }


{When I saw that Rachel from Miss Rachel's Pantry was doing a demonstration, I was very excited to stick around and watch! Although she cooked tempeh, which is not my fave, she did an awesome job explaining her steps and going through the demonstration despite the rain going on! }



{ One of the few times I enjoyed Tempeh. :) }


{Of course, how could I pass up the Vegan Treats table?! So many awesome things to choose from! Such as the vegan chicken and waffles donuts! The everything but the kitchen sink brownie won me over though - because I hadn't had a brownie in a much overdue time. Next time though - the donuts! }

I've had quite a vegan-filled birthday celebration and am so glad that my husband is willing to join me in these events. :) Cheers to 26!


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Sneak preview

Although my birthday is still 19 days away, Jason surprised me with a birthday night just two days ago that was an absolute amazing experience.

Since moving to Philadelphia for college back in 2006, I loved having options of vegan friendly restaurants in the city. One of my favorite spots was Horizons on South Street. This was upscale, not an everyday type of restaurant - but the food was so delicious that I wish I could afford to eat there for every meal. However, it made an excellent special occasion restaurant that I looked forward to each time I went. After Horizons closed in 2011, the owners opened up Vedge which still held the high standards of food that Horizons did, but now in a smaller, tapas-style dinner.

Vedge is one of my favorite restaurants, and we still typically go there on special occasions (birthdays, anniversary, around valentines day, randomly if we're in the city to grab a drink and dessert, etc.). I was VERY excited when I found out that they were opening a new street food style restaurant called V-Street. I kept checking out updates on their facebook and twitter and around the vegan internet rumor boards about the different types of food they may be serving in their new restaurant. I could not wait!!

Jason told me this past Friday that we'd be going to an exclusive tasting preview of V-Street. I was SO excited! I kept thinking of what they may make and looking forward to the event. It did NOT disappoint and only makes me even more excited for the restaurant to finally open (which should be in October 2014!).



We started out with a delicious sake based cocktail that Kate made. It was very fresh and a great way to start the meal.









Our first course was the Banh Mi Chopped Salad. This included tofu, green chile, cucumber, daikon, bean sprouts, and shredded greens topped with a delicious creamy cilantro sriracha dressing all on top of a piece of grilled baquette. Definitely an amazing starter salad!




Our next course was the Funky Kimchee Stew. This was a delicious kimchee stew with charred broccoli and fried rice. Not expecting to be blown away by a soup/stew when it comes to street food - but this was absolutely amazing and I'd order it in a heartbeat!


Our third course was something I had to google prior to eating it. We saw the menu as we sat down and saw the word "Langosh". Both of us not knowing what that was - thanks to Google explaining that it was a type of Hungarian flatbread, we were excited for this course to come around! This was a langosh with creamy sauerkraut dill dip and smoked beets. I believe the beets were the only item I did not eat that night. I have utmost confidence that Rich & Kate know how to cook vegetables to make anyone like them, however I have quite the aversion to beets. The dish did not disappoint around them though! 


Our final course was a delicious grilled carrot. Not just any carrot though. This course was described as Choripan - whole roasted carrot with black beans and chimichurri. Although we were definitely getting full by this point, this dish was still extremely exceptional and ended the meal on a very high point. They stated that this will typically be served sandwich-style - so I'll be interested to see how that is when V-Street does open.




No meal is complete without dessert - and Kate is AMAZING at desserts so I was very excited to try her  concoction! As full as we were, she had us drooling as she put together this intricate and beautiful dessert. This was called the "Halo-Halo" and was comprised of  sweet potato ice cream, blackberry sorbet, and fruit salad topped with coconut whipped cream. This was the best way to end the night on  a sweet note.

Attending this evening's sneak preview of V-Street was such a great experience and really built the anticipation of the restaurant to open in October.

And of course, as good as this meal was - you know I will be at Vedge on my actual birthday coming up. :)

V-Street
126 19th Street
Philadelphia, PA
Expected opening: October 2014

Vedge
1221 Locust Street
Philadelphia, PA



Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Did I mention the drive thru?

Sometimes I get so wrapped up in trying new vegan friendly places in the city or in other towns, that I forget to stop and appreciate all that I have right around me. Moving to Limerick, we are close to a few towns that have lots of great vegan friendly options. One that I have had my eye on for a while was the French Quarter Bistro in Royersford, PA. I had read online that it was very vegan friendly, but had yet to go. I finally got to try it a few weeks ago, and I will definitely be back to try other options they had!



Although we went on a Friday evening, there weren't too many other guests there around 7:00. By the time we left though, there were a few other tables starting to fill up. The ambiance is nice and dimly lit. It's nice it's right on Main street in Royersford, but parking was a bit tough on the street. Luckily, they also offer parking in the back of the building, which we plan on using next time.




I was super excited when I spotted the Vegetarian/Vegan section of the menu. I knew they had options, but I thought I would have to ask what they were or try to make something off the regular menu vegan friendly. Not quite! Too many options (is there such thing as too many?). I was excited to see how such an expansive vegan menu would be.



Above, we started with the Korean "Steak" Tacos. These were awesome and I would have happily have ordered the entire thing as my entree. The steak was delicious and the seasoning/rub was perfect. I was also excited to have vegan cheese on the taco to add a nice touch.


For my entree, I wanted to try another one of their "meats" to see how it was to know for next time. I chose the Grilled "Chicken" and Apple salad. This was a great dinner salad. Many times I choose not to try a salad my first time at place, but this made a perfect entree. The apples were deliciously crisp, the chicken was a great seitan, and the almonds added a nice touch.

Safe to say, we will definitely be paying French Quarter Bistro another visit for their awesome vegan-friendly menu! Bonus - I've seen them listed on Restaurant.com with a coupon in the past - so that is a great way to try it!

French Quarter Bistro
215 Main Street
Royersford, PA 19468