Please let me start off my saying, my favorite treat is ice cream. Let me also point out that most vegan ice cream tastes more like ice than cream. SIGH. I was recently visiting my sister and stinking cute new nephew in L.A and had The Kid with me so naturally we had to find ice cream one afternoon. I also needed to try on some new running shoes so I dragged The Kid along with the promise (re: bribe) of going for ice cream right after I was done. I asked the store manager if there was anywhere nearby for decent ice cream and he suggested a new place called Quenelle. He mentioned that the owner was somebody well known and it would probably be pretty good.
Feast your jealous eyes on this bad boy.
Oh Em Gee. It was so good. This was the soy based peanut butter fudge and it was pretty much to DIE for. The Kid selected a traditional option of marscapone vanilla and he inhaled it. I really think this was the best thing I ate on our trip (more posts to come on that) and I hit all my favorite spots. L.A is probably the most vegan friendly city in the United States with New York City vying for the top spot. Regardless, if you want a serious treat (they also had about a dozen other gourmet flavours as well as some popsicle options!) head over to Quenelle next time you are in the Los Angeles area. You will love me forever. And maybe them too….
If you live in the Vancouver area and are on the look out for a restaurant where everybody and ever diet can be accommodated but actually has awesome food, look no further. Nuba has a lengthy menu that literally has something for everyone. Vegan? No problem. Gluten fee? Sure thing. Meatatarian? Yup, got you covered too.
Nuba offers a wide array of middle eastern dishes. As always I indulged in the Najib’s Special. A slightly crispy, slightly lemony cauliflower dish that is served with tahini and their own version of hot sauce (it’s green….but tasty!). I could just order this dish. Or four. It is the perfect side dish for the meatatarians in the crowd but honestly, it is so delish you could have it as your entree too.
This time I also wanted to try something different so I also ordered the Mjadra lentil stew which came with a small slice of avocado and crispy onions. It was also amazing and I would have it again in a heart beat. The flavour of the lentils was amazing developed and the crispy onions and creamy avocado were the perfect accompaniment.
If I could find one or two faults with Nuba it would be the pita. I really feel very strongly that pita should be served warm. Maybe it’s just me. But I really do think it would make these dishes better. So there’s that. I also enjoy their falafel but need tomato and cucumber with my falafel and theirs is served on it’s own which is not for me. All that being said, if you live in the Vancouver area or are going to be visiting some time soon add Nuba to your list of must visit restaurants. You won’t be disappointed.
On our trip to San Diego the Kids were being pretty good and we promised them Ice Cream. It so happened that there was a Sub Zero in the plaza where Native Foods is. You can read my review on Native Foods here. We had never heard of Sub Zero but when I read that the ice creams were made with liquid nitrogen my nerd alert started blaring and I knew we had to check it out.
I was thrilled to find out that at Sub Zero you pick a “base” which would be milk, cream, custard etc or soy milk, almond milk or coconut milk!! Vegan options!? Hurrah!!!! You then pick a flavoring (I went for pineapple) and then a mix-in item or two (or however many you want I suppose) and I got large flakes of coconut. It was awesome! They toss everything into a metal bowl right in front of you and then use liquid nitrogen to instantaneously freeze the whole thing! I got a waffle cone and no, I didn’t ask if it was vegan. Fresh made waffle cones are my kryptonite. Sigh.
It was surprisingly creamy and very, very tasty! There were so many choices for flavors and mix-ins that there were probably hundreds of options. The Hubs and the Kid got chocolate concoctions and thought they were awesome. If you live in the San Diego area you should check these guys out!
Our last stop in Seattle was a place we happened to find in a magazine in Redmond, WA called the Pomegranate Bistro. The executive chef is a caterer and she opened up an awesome restaurant/food prep kitchen which makes for a very neat dining experience as you can see her catering facilities in behind the dining area. There seemed to be a nice bar area and take out area as well but we managed to call ahead and put our names down and really didn’t wait long at all for our table. The Kid had fallen asleep in the car away (urgh) so we weren’t really in a rush at that point.
What drew me to this place (since it was a good 15 minutes north of where we were staying) was that there was a vegan entree on the menu in addition to the regular meatatarian fare that the Hubs would gravitate towards. It was a vegan sausage with a veggie and bean ragu that was simply awesome.
I also fell madly in love with the plates the kids meals were served on. There is a lot of research out there that suggests that if allowed to serve themselves, children will take far less food than when their parents serve them. Not a huge wonder why obesity is such a plague on North Americans really. Check out these plates and take note that it was a white pizza which was served with fruit, veggies and a very small cookie.
Now I wouldn’t normally be too keen on the Kid eating what amounted to bread for dinner, but since we were on vacation I wasn’t too concerned. And honestly, I was just mesmerized by the plates. Most dinnerware for children is made of crappy plastic or melamine which is questionable IMO and these were ceramic. Naturally the first thing I did when I got home was find and order a set of two from a very cool website called uncommon goods. I am obsessed and sold a whole bunch of the Kid’s plates. How many plates does one child need anyways?
The desserts were also pretty awesome. I am 100% sure they had dairy. I made an exception on that one. They were pretty ridiculous and I hadn’t cheated at all so I let myself have that one.
Peanut butter and chocolate pot as well as bread pudding. YUM. If you are in this area, check this place out. If you are going to just be in the area, add it to your list of must eats!
Have you been to Hawaii? Add it to your list. Now. Quick. You MUST go. Full disclosure, I have only ever been to Maui. Three times now. Mostly because it is a beautiful, lush, and has Ah-Maz-Ing food. Further disclosure, I drop my veganism when we travel. I try. I really do. But I love me some shaved ice with a tiny scoop of coconut ice cream and pineapple mac nut pancakes with coconut syrup. I like coconut okay?
We love food. We love trying new restaurants. And Maui is the motherload.
Over the next week I will have posts about some of our favorites and some new spots that are now must eats.
Let me start with Leodas. We saw a review and then heard that the executive chef was none other than Sheldon Simeon, who is on this season of Top Chef Seattle on the Food Network. They had me at pie shop. But I’m going back for the really cool and totally different veggie burger or avocado and cucumber sandwich on house made rye. Then I will have some pie.
Take a look!
House made veggie burger on a potato bun. Full of yummy veggie goodness. Most unique veggie burger I’ve had ever!
The kid got the grilled cheese. I admit it, it looked pretty good…
And last but not least, dessert. Apple handpie and chocolate macadamia nut pie. NOT vegan. Still good.
The Hubs had a few of the savory handpies and wasn’t too thrilled. The next visit (yes we went more than once in a one week period….) he had the ahi tuna sandwich and LOVED it. They had amazing sandwich options. Vegan and veggie friendly. Desserts were clearly not vegan, but hey, it’s a vacation right???
Black Friday is an annual event for me and my best friends. This year we decided to go a day early to skip some traffic and to get in some of Seattle’s amazing vegan food. Amazing doesn’t even begin.
We managed to get a last minute reservation at Cafe Flora, a Seattle veggie institution. A special four course thanksgiving meal was served with vegan and/or gluten free options were available. I went vegan along with one of the gals and the best friend did the full vegan/gluten free option.
The meal was ridiculous. The soup was savory and nicely spiced and the entree was just amazing. It literally tasted like a traditional thanksgiving feast. We got a lovely ginger and lime sorbet as a palate cleanser and there was a nice salad as well. The desserts were also fabulous. We tired both, okay I tried both since the best friend is a good sharer.
If you are in and around Seattle, you must try this wonderful accomodating restaurant. Their brunch is awesome too. And FYI, Black Friday is insane, but we got some smoking deals, so all and all, best weekend ever.
The best friend and I took the kid to Heirloom for brunch this week. They are open everyday for brunch and we went a bit on the early side so it was pretty quiet. Best time to go with the kid of course! I got him a basic egg and whole grain baguette and he hoovered it. I got the vegan/gluten free pancakes that had bananas baked right in. It was served with a cashew creme, lavender fruit compote and maple syrup with some pom seeds. I was a bit hesitant to order this for fear it was going to be super heavy but was psyched when they arrived. Just sweet enough and fluffy! SO delicious! The best friend got the a hash that was full of quinoa, spinach pesto, spicyish red sauce, pumpkin seeds, zucchini, carrots and squash and eggs (that could be subbed for black beans) with a side salad. She loved it and I had a little taste and it was awesome.
Thanks Heirloom for another amazing meal. Never leave us. XOXO