So this is kinda last minute but everyone’s favorite bizarre cheesy restaurant where you eat on beds and the waiters dress like Burning Man refugees* and do crazy ass trapeze acts between courses is having an ALL VEGAN WEEK! It goes from yesterday to Sunday, March 1st and it’s a 3-and 4-courses prix fixe menu with only one seating nightly at 7 pm. You have to call to make a reservation at 415-348-0600 or go to their crappy website and it’s probably $$$ but I’m telling you, good or bad, there is no other dining experience like it. Also, might be cool to show up and be all, “MAKE EVERY WEEK VEGAN WEEK LET’S PARTY WOO!!!”
From the fools at Supperclub: “We like to create new and exciting experiences our guests,” says supperclub’s General Manager, Edme Straver. “For those who follow a vegetarian diet, the menu will be a welcome pleasure—and for those that do not usually eat strictly vegetarian, the menu will be a revelation.” DANG.
*Dude. A guy who lived in my dorm at NYU is a waiter here. That makes me sad. How do you go from promising star in one of the best film schools in the country to delivering jello custard cups wearing nothing but spandex short shorts and cat face paint? I mean, the kid won the Wendy Wasserstein award, for crying out loud. I guess much the same argument could be made for me except I probably make less money than him. And I never won any awards. Now I am more sad.
Oh also, there are handcuffs in the bathroom. GRODY.
Yes. This is the place with foie gras ice cream on the menu. And that is super duper fucking disgusting. I mean, it’s the grossest. So far as I can tell, it’s only on the online menu and not being sold in the store but still, the grossest. Everyone should write Humphry Slocombe and ask nicely for it to be taken off
the menu because again, THE GROSSEST.
HOWEVER. I will say that dairy is also THEGROSSEST. Oh and there’s also this.
So if you’re going to buy soy cream or sorbet at a place that doesn’t also manufacture crappy-ass dairy products then you’ll only support the most wonderful of companies like Turtle Mountain and Chicago Soy Dairy. And if you do, that’s really great.
But some of us choose to support both vegan-only businesses and businesses that offer vegan options. By doing that, we are creating a demand. And by creating a demand on the vegan products, that clues companies into the fact that we vegans are here, we are growing in population every day, and it would be smart to include us in their big picture. And the more vegan options are available, the more often people who aren’t vegan will choose them and like them and see that vegan isn’t so bad and maybe is actually kinda good and in turn, the message of veganism is spread by someone other than this fool. You dig?
Now I’ll shut up and write a review.
Humphry Slocombe has some damn delicious vegan creations. I’ve been three times. I’ve tried the Valhrona Fudgesicle which tastes like a Tootsie roll but more expensive and it’s vegan. Next, we tried the Thai Chili Lime. Jonas describes it, “like a Thai chile with lime. I don’t know, it was green.” It was spicy and tangy, if you’re into that. Finally, we tried the Carrot Mango. That was THE BEST. It was all super creamy and smooth and carrot and mango?! Who knew!? They have a bunch of flavors that I want to try too. I love fancy shit. Every time I go, I let the people working know that I’m vegan and I am excited that they offer vegan options and I hope that there will be more in the future. I think that’s an important thing, when you go somewhere
to be clear that you are vegan, you are not crazy and you are there to DO BUSINESS. The counter people are always friendly and quick to point out what I can eat a lot of. I will say, they don’t seem especially concerned with attracting vegans. It kinda sucks that a bunch of people have written letters about the foie gras and not gotten even a polite response telling them to fuck off. It’s like, come on. We are people too. Some of us are very much in like with your adorable tiny storefront in our neighborhood. If you cater to us, we will shout it from the rooftops. Trust me, Maggie Mudd basically makes a living off us. You don’t have to go that far but with a few little things (like maybe signs on what flavors are vegan? Or posting it on your website? Or offering a vegan fudge for sundaes?) would go a long way to making a lot of vegans (and people who love vegans) more all about you. And you want us to be all about you. Because we are AWESOME and also SUPER ATTRACTIVE and also HAVE BIG-ASS MOUTHS. It’s true.
UPDATE: After reading Melisser’s and Howard’s postings below (and the 7x7 article), I am officially done with this place. Makes no sense to patronize a business that is willfully shitty towards vegans. Sucks because the ice cream was pretty good. Oh well, I can get better up the hill at Maggie Mudd.
Mission Street Food would! And if you would like to eat some rabbit, MSF will cook you up some “rabbit rillette,” which means the dead rabbit is slow-cooked until its flesh is soft, which is then shredded, mixed with other ingredients, and made into a sort of pâté. The collaborating chef is really into eating like Native Americans did, which can be the subject of another post, when we discuss how Slow Food and locavorism are cruel, ridiculous lies. Today, bunnies.
Rabbits are not protected under the Humane Slaughter Act, not in its first version in 1958, and not in its most recent version in 2002. This means that bunnies who are raised for their meat are not guaranteed the “quick, relatively painless death” that all cows, goats, pigs, and sheep must have before their bodies are cut up for your friends’ and neighbors’ tasty suppers. Rabbits are really sensitive; they scream when they’re in pain. It is the most horrible sound. I wonder if people who kill rabbits for a living have to listen to those screams all day, or if they wear earplugs or something.
Look at Nibbler up there; what do you think it’s like to be faced with a bunny like him and know that your job is to kill him? What might it be like to hold his lifeless body and think, ‘okay, time to cut the face off’? I wouldn’t open that link if I were sensitive to photographs of dead rabbits; I’ve heard they’re quite gruesome.
Obviously rabbits are excruciatingly adorable, and soft, and quiet; they are also totally chill companions whose ideal days include napping under furniture, hopping around their favorite people’s feet, gnawing on a variety of textured items (i.e. cardboard and wood), tasting whatever their people are eating, and getting some pets. Some rabbits are friendlier than others, and more inclined toward lap-sitting and snuggling; others are shyer and prefer to make a blanket-nest next to you while you’re sitting on the floor watching TV.
It’s difficult to make the cognitive leap from “I love my dog” to “I can’t eat cow.” Not too many people have ever had a beloved pet cow. Bunnies are people’s pets, though, lots of people’s pets; can you really look a rabbit in the eyes and eat pâté made of his relations? The disconnect between the inherent violence of eating animals and the natural affection for tiny, big-eyed creatures is remarkable. Could you pet this bunny and eat another?
Rabbits raised for people to eat don’t live in homes with cardboard boxes to chew on and little trucks to throw around. They don’t even get the courtesy of a “quick and painless” death. When treated as livestock, the cutest animals live the worst lives, and are subject to the most painful deaths. Tell your friends who patronize Mission Street Food; see if it makes a difference. A happy house bunny smells of hay, and sometimes when you get up close to him to get a good sniff of fur, he’ll lick your face; like many, many other animals, rabbits show affection through grooming, licking and smoothing each other with their little pink tongues and little furry paws. Are you comfortable eating animals who share the affection for people that we feel for them?
I don’t love all animals, but I believe that they have as much right to live as I do. I’m happy to support MSF when they support vegan and vegetarian causes. After three months of living with an actual bunny, though, the idea of eating a rabbit isn’t as abstractly wrong as the idea of eating a pig—it’s vivid and frightening.
Omnivorous friends, please don’t eat rabbits. When you see dishes made of rabbit on menus, please don’t order them. Think of this photo of Nibbler instead; think of eating this little bun, who follows people into the kitchen in hopes of catching fallen crumbs, and who licks his delicate chops after taking a bite of strawberry to get all the juice off his face. No one who’s spent quality time with a rabbit could eat another. They should never, ever be someone’s meal, nor should anyone with a speck of compassion eat an animal—especially one whose “quick and painless” death is not demanded by law.
If you are stuck in Mill Valley, you are pretty much fucked for food. You’re either eating what the people who live here are eating (read: nothing because shit is expen$$$ive and it’s richie rich “happy” meat town) or you eat what people who work here are eating (read: nothing because shit is Jack ’n the Crack. Blarg.) There just isn’t much for us middle of the road vegan food connoisseur to enjoy with one notable exception of the fantastically tiny Joe’s Taco Lounge. First things first: it looks like Rita Moreno threw up and then exploded inside. That’s all right by me. The tofu tostada is OUT OF SIGHT. It’s crispy breaded and fried tofu on a bed of lettuce (ask for l
ettuce instead of the slaw which is filled with gross mayo) in a gorgeous fried tostada. It’s totally perfect. I’ve eaten it maybe 100 times and it never gets old. I’d almost say that it’s worth a trip to Marin actually fuck it, YES, it’s worth a trip to Marin, especially if you like to hike and stuff like that. It’s god’s country out there, bring a gun. Or at least a shovel. I’m pretty sure they filmed Into the Wild down the road. And maybe Gorillas in the Mist? But if that’s the case, bring your hugging arms because if I see me a baby gorilla, I’m hugging it!
They also have a really good vegan black bean soup, vegan enchilada and vegan tacos. They have 10 million kinds of hot sauce lining the walls. I’ll go so far as to say that it’s very authentic Mexican food and I should know, I’ve been to Tijuana on spring break, okay? Finally, Joe’s Taco Lounge is always filled with blond Mill Valley pregos and their whiny-ass babies. No husbands ever spotted. I mean, I wouldn’t hang out with these foul bitches either but I didn’t marry ’em, boys!
Once upon a time, Medicine Eatstation was vegan, though even then it was terrible and overpriced. Then it closed for a while, and reopened with a new menu full of dead fish dishes. Dilemma: patronize a restaurant because it (still) caters to vegans, and you want to encourage that kind of behavior? Or never patronize it again because it started serving meat?
Answer: duh, never go again. It’s like people who “used to be” vegan/vegetarian; they may be super awesome and very great, but keeping your respect for them can prove difficult. Real talk.
On that note, Medicine’s new menu failed, and now it’s closed for good. Sorry serving all those dead fishes didn’t work out! Maybe next time try not being hypocrites, it might be better for business.
I don’t know. But I really like this place. They have an entire section of the menu dedicated to “veg-heads” that includes tofu scrambles, a toasted vegan sandwich (roasted veggies and some sort of a delicious sauce that’s put in some sort of a marvelous panini machine) and boring boca burgers. They also have a vegetarian rueben but the sauce isn’t vegan so what’s the fun? Also, it’s just grilled veggies, throw some tempeh up in that mother! Let’s do this!
But perhaps the most marvelous thing about St. Francis Fountain is the fact that you can get VEGAN MILKSHAKES. That is correct, sir. They’re made with the soy gelato from Copa Loca and they are magnificent. The best and only way to do this is to get it made with fresh banana and strawberry OMGYGWTF!! It’s SO GOOD. It’s like a berry-banana blizzard (BBB) from DQ* but not filled with death, chemicals and diabetes.
The other most fun thing to do at St. Francis is to see how many people you can fit in a mini-booth. Our recor
d is seven normals or two really awesome fat people.
EXPERT TIP: On a nice day, you can bring your dog and sit outside! As long as your dog isn’t my dog and wants to eat other dogs! Also, this place is pretty tiny so it’s best for groups of 2-4. It gets ultrasuper crowded on the weekends so prepare for a wait unless you come ungodly early or starving late. Oh and they also have a fresh candy stand inside that sells stuff like Dallas and 90210 trading cards and bubblegum and my personal favorite, MJ. Just look at that marvelous/terrifying mug. It never ceases to amaze/disgust. Listen, I’m pretty sure he did it to those boys but he also brought us, “Beat It” which brought us, “Eat It”, so I guess all I’m saying is, GLASS HOUSES.
*aka, “THE BEST BEVERAGE KNOWN TO MAN OR BEAST”. I could live off the BBB. There was a point in my life that I would drink that instead of water during workouts. AND I WAS SKINNIER THAN I AM NOW. Take that, science!
Zapp’s potato chips are from Louisiana. They are quite possibly the best thing that has ever come out of that state. And that’s saying A LOT because they’ve also brought us jazz, alligators, french people and the entire Spears’ clan. Seriously, someone give this state a prize.
The Spicy Cajun Crawtator flavor is the most amazing flavor that Zapp’s makes. They’re coated with whatever spicy but sweet seasonings they put on the poor crawfish after they’re boiled alive. It’s obvious that the seasoning is the best thing about eating crawfish because the gross ass fools who eat them (gross ass fools) are always licking the crawfish shells to get it all off. Puke. Why don’t they just not eat the crawfish and enjoy the seasoning on delicious fried potato deliciousness? Much saner. Also, If you serve them at a party, I will come. And I am GOOD TIMES. Ask anyone. You can email anyone at email@example.com.
This recipe will seem very obvious to a lot of you; for the rest of us who would live in a hotel and order room service every day if we could, this will be a revelation. I hate most commercial tomato sauces because they are too watery and sweet. This recipe is a ragu and is based on a recipe from Jamie Oliver’s Cook With Jamie (for fellow cook-o-phobes, I highly recommend Jamie’s recipes because they are incredibly simple.)
a sprinkling of chopped fresh basil (I cheated and used ground but whatever, I didn’t have fresh! It’s okay)
A basic red table wine (the one I used was French)
Salt & pepper
While the water for your pasta comes to a boil, fry up the garlic and basil in the olive oil. It will smell amazing. After a few minutes, throw in the tomatoes, ground round, and a splash of the wine, along with some salt and pepper. Let that simmer on a low flame for 30 minutes. Try to time the pasta so that it is done cooking close to the same time that the sauce is doen simmering. This is not as difficult as you think.
This would be a good time to clean your dirty kitchen and run the dishwasher. And don’t forget to pour yourself a little glass of that table wine—never cook with a wine that you wouldn’t drink. By the time you are done cleaning up, checking your twitter, and e-stalking your ex-boyfriends, the sauce will have gotten nice and chunky and thick, and the pasta should be done cooking. I trust you know how to cook pasta.
Combine the pasta and sauce. Personally I do not like the taste of the vegan parmesan I have tried, but if that’s your thing, then dress it up! Pour yourself more wine and settle in with some reality television (and please read my other blog, BravoFan) or some shitty intellectual movie you want to watch.
I bet if you look at how many places Vegansaurus reviews in the Mission vs. Vegansaurus reviews in the Marina, it would be equivalent to a see-saw with an extra fat manatee on one side and a Mycoplasma genitalium on the other. But let me explain:
1) All four of us call the Mission home. All four of us call the Marina TERRIFYING. 2) The Mission is filled with mostly amazing weirdos. The Marina is filled with skinny white bitches who BRONZE their non-existent CLEAVAGE, have CLAVICLES that could POKE AN EYE OUT and wear UGGS with TASSELS. I said, UGGS with TASSELS. God bless ‘em. It is also filled with Jr. Corporate Yahoos/Former College Date Rapists who work for their dad’s firms. SO HOT. 3) The Mission does not eat babies. The Marina eats babies.
I joke. I love to give the Marina a hard time. It’s mostly filled with hard-working yahoos who just want to HAVE A GOOD TIME LET’S GET DRUNK WOO!!! Ain’t nothing wrong with a little freaky freaky on the weekends, am I right, Chet!?
The Plant Cafe (formerly, Lettus Organic Cafe) is reason enough to make a trip to the Marina. Actually, let me be more
specific, the Tempeh Picatta at The Plant Cafe is reason enough to make the trek to the Marina. It’s breaded and fried tempeh on top of a mound of VEGAN GARLIC MASHED POTATOES and fresh vegetables. All that is covered in the most delicious lemony capery picatta sauce you ever sunk your chompers into. Ugh, it is marvelous. They also have a wide range of vegan soups, sandwiches (a tempeh ruben so delectable that you bite into it and the VEGAN THOUSAND ISLAND dressing drips down your hands! Take that, Carls Jr!) and entrees! They even do many vegan items during brunch and I have it on word from a very reliable source (my stomach) that the tofu scrambles are first class. I also have it on word from a very reliable source (a friend’s stomach) that they get even better as the kitchen is always working to improve them…they even have a vegan pesto now! I love that…I love a kitchen that takes suggestion and isn’t all filled with stupid pride that doesn’t allow them to the BE! the BEST! they can BE! Thank you, Lettus er, Plant. Ugh, the worst name. Anyway. OH ALSO, GET THE PLANT BURGER. Get it with wasabi if you can but if not, JUST GET IT PLAIN. It will ruin you. DESTROY YOU.
They also have an entire range of vegan desserts including moist and delicious vegan cupcakes, many varieties of cookies and often some sort of loaf cake. Tianna, the pastry chef, is some sort of demi-god and her vegan baked goods are outrageous. If there is a devil’s food cake vegan cupcake when you are there, GET IT.
One demerit point for the surly bitch who took my most recent order. In the words of my girl Whitney Houston: Bitch, I don’t want your man and if I did, I woulda already had him, OKAY??? Plus one point for the magical Tianna and the one extremely competent and adorable busboy who was just so adorable I wanted to put him in my pocket and bring him home with me.
One final thing: I really appreciate the almost all organic approach. It must be really effin’ hard right now. Prices are reasonable for quality of ingredients used. Also, you are in the marina. She is expensive. Get over it or go back to the parts of the city where people of color are allowed.
Update (6/20/1009): New location at Pier 3 in The Embarcadero. Now all these a-holes have somewhere to go at lunch! Yay them! Plant Cafe, throw me a bone…a location in Noe Valley seems like it would make us both happy.
Some of us at Vegansaurus have been all woo! no-underpantssexy-times woo!!! lately, but guess what, people: It can’t be sexy times all the times. Sometimes even carefree vegans, with our lustrous hair and glowing skin and brilliant smiles, are not having sexy times all the times. Sometimes, we are having significantly unsexy times indeed.
When you’re feeling super-unsexy, I find that Peanut Butter Newman-O’s are an excellent solution. Yes, the classic Newman-O’s are wonderful, vegan Oreo replacements, and the mint ones are a delicious and creamy variation, and the gingers are a delicate and surprising alternative, and oh, the chocolate-on-chocolates make a fancy treat indeed, but really, the peanut butter cookies are the properest cookies when a person needs an ego boost.
What makes the peanut butter Newman-O’s so especially good, in part, is that they’ve got less peanut-butter cream than the other cookies. Normally this would upset me—like, caps-lock, eyebrows-to-my-hairline, run-on-sentence-rant upset—but it doesn’t, this time. Why not? Because usually I like to take apart a Newman-O, savor its creamy insides, and maybe eat the side of the cookie that delivered those creamy insides. This is only possible with the creamier, richer Newman-O’s, certainly not with the peanut butter ones, which means that you can eat many more of the peanut butter ones without getting all full from the rich creaminess of the insides—and you know how easy it is to overdose on peanut butter. With that thin layer of peanut butter between two “chocolate” cookies, they’re perfect for dipping in icy cold soy milk. And there, friends, is the sweet spot.
Wonderful Peanut Butter Newman-O’s, your only flaw is that glaringly superfluous apostrophe in your name, which is no fault of your own and not limited to yourself. You only come in 16-ounce packages, as though Newman’s Own knew you were so good that once opened, a person would be hard-pressed to stop eating those scrumptious cookies.
All right, sex sells! Just not all the time. Sex isn’t going to sell pincushions, or cardboard boxes, or ibuprofen. Nor will it sell Newman’s Own Peanut Butter Newman-O’s; you won’t feel sexy when you buy them and you won’t feel sexy when you eat them. They are delicious comfort insta-cookies that you will eat more of than you planned when you opened the package. Vegan junk food, c’est si bon.
I’m totally wearing underpants right now. And an undershirt, and kneesocks, and fleece pants, and a sweater, too; it’s fucking freezing. Also Valentine’s Day is a stupid fake holiday meant only to encourage consumerism and insecurity in romantic relationships. Don’t buy into it, you guys.
(I mean, I hate card-company-manufactured “holidays” so much I don’t observe Mother’s or Father’s days anymore, but at least give up Valentine’s Day. It is such a dirty stupid blood-jewelry-selling patriarchal-bullshit-enforcing farce, COME ON.)
Product Review: So Delicious Coconut Milk Ice Cream Sandwiches!
Let’s keep this short and sweet, like these sandwiches. The geniuses at Turtle Mountain came up with yet another product to make me very happy and that product is the Coconut Milk Ice Cream Sandwich. They are like Tofutti Cuties but with more coconut creamy delicious and with no hydrogenated fat badness. They are 100 calories each and currently come in plain coconut and banana split (!!!) flavors. I tried both, they are to die. Turtle Mountain’s coconut milk products are by far my favorite thing they sell. While their soy-based products can sometimes be, how do I say this, THE FUNK, the items made with coconut milk are always creamy and delicious and make me want to stuff my face. I want to eat these little sandwiches of delight always and forever. They make me feel eight years old again but without all that naive bright-future nonsense.
If you are a fan of anything coconut or anything ice cream sandwich then you must get to your nearest health food-ish store and get these puppies. I bought these at Whole Foods in Oakland but I can imagine they will be making the rounds soon enough.
And that concludes this short and sweet review. Also, I am not wearing any underwear. SEX SELLS!
This is post is only for those of us who are smart enough to have an iPhone. If you don’t have one, kill yourself. I can’t imagine life is worth living without waking up next to this sweet, sweet piece of technology ass. I want to take the iPhone to Paris and kiss it under the Eiffel Tower. I want to take it on a magic carpet ride and make love to it under the stars. I want to show it the world. I want to cut it open and eat it with fava beans and a nice Chianti.
I’ve gone too far.
Now that I’ve lost the losers, let’s talk about my two favorite things. The iPhone and FOOD(!). Now let’s talk about combining these two great loves and you have a relationship that’s the modern day equivalent of Anais Nin and Henry Miller. BUT MORE SEXY. Or Genghis Kahn and a Mongol Herdswoman. BUT MORE SEXY. AND LESS RAPEY.
The VeganYumYum iPhone Application is pretty much all that and a bag of frito lay chips (they’re vegan!). You can search by ingredients and then it shows you recipes that include the ingredient you searched for. Then you pick one that sounds good to you. When you’re on the actual recipe page, it gives a check off list of all the ingredients you need so that you can easily make a shopping list. Then it runs down the recipes in quick, easy to follow instructions. Vegan Yum Yum has long been a great source of good vegan recipes online and is now even better for running around the kitchen, iPhone in one hand and soy sauce in the other.
For tonight’s dinner, we have lebanese couscous so we just searched couscous and found this awesome looking marmalade tofu and we only had to purchase some kale to make a complete dinner! A quick trip to Valencia Farmers Market or Rainbow and you’re set for a full on delicious meal, thanks to GLORIOUS TECHNOLOGY. The tofu is marinating as I type this from my bed. Internets, I love you.
The app comes with the 70 most recent recipes but will soon be updated to include every recipe on Vegan Yum Yum! YUM. YUM.
You can also favorite recipes so you can quickly go to the ones you like best. Smart.
VeganYumYum iPhone App is VEGANSAURUS APPROVED! And that’s a fact, Jack!
So it’s come to this: I’m tired, friends; tired of fighting the good fight against NIMBYs and ninnies; tired of feeling like it’s become Valencia Street vs. The Rest of the Mission; tired of having to defend a misogynist and Starbucks because my neighbors are insane. Is it class warfare? Not in this economy, I would think. What does this have to do with vegan living? Oh ho! Let me put on some coffee and tell you all about it.
Once upon a December 2007, Joel and I ventured into Foods Co (1800 Folsom at 14th), searching for fortified cereal. For reasons unknown, Rainbow Grocery only carries unfortified cereal, as if all non-animal-eaters have the same iron needs. Wrong-o! My companion has iron stores a-plenty, while I am a point (there’s a scale) away from anemic. Yet we eat nearly identical diets, and I take a iron-ful multivitamin, so what’s the difference? I’m just no good at absorption, is what it is. So to Foods Co we went for torso-sized packages of iron-rich wheat products.
Our total purchases included two half-gallon cartons of Florida’s Natural-brand orange juice for $6, and the biggest box of Kix I ha
ve ever seen. The cereal aisle was packed with fancy-pants name-brand boxed cereals, like Cap’n Crunch (iron content: 25 percent RDA) and Tricks (iron content: 20 percent RDA); off-brand cereals in bags instead of boxes; and finally what I really wanted, the Kroger (Foods Co’s parent company) brand of cereals in massive bags that give you twice the volume for half the price of a box of something General Mills.
Those shelves were mostly empty though, save some generic cheerios, generic rice krispies, and a mostly eaten chicken drumstick.
Take a moment.
It’s horrible that good grocery stores like Rainbow can be prohibitively expensive to people in lower tax brackets, and they’re left to buy non-perishables in disorienting big-food mausoleums, among hordes of drunks and weirdos and constant arrests in the parking lot. Then we all get to laugh about it and feel special for all the awesome deals we get, like, the hell with Safeway, I’m shopping at FOODS CO! And aren’t we so clever with our slumming and penny-pinching?
Now, I didn’t ever have to go back here; the chicken bone was disgusting, and I have the time, money and energy to buy my fortified cereal at other places. What really bothers me is that people who need to shop at Foods Co. have to put up with the filth and chaos mentioned in other reviews. Rainbow, less than a block away, is such a magical paradise of cleanliness, nice products, helpful friendly staff, (mostly) non-aggressive shoppers—what’s the difference? It can’t only be the huge meat department. Is it the hours? Foods Co is open every day from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m., while Rainbow’s hours are just 9 to 9.
No, friends, it is the prices. The prices are low, and the quantities are high. Foods Co is a standard grocery store—produce, meat, dairy, canned foods, dry goods, frozen items, household supplies, cleaners of various sorts—with other stuff mixed in, like paper products, batteries, and Vitamin Water in bulk, for example. If your income is below $40k, and you’re supporting a family with children (read: locusts) and old people (read: medications!), you obviously need to get the most food for your grocery budget.
Rainbow has a bad reputation for being, as I said, prohibitively expensive, but the bulk
items are affordable, especially staples like flour, oats, rice, and beans. The produce is mostly organic, I believe all the dairy products at least come from small, not-as-abusive-as-they-could-be farms, and the bulk tofu, also, is cheap and delicious. But you all knew that already, right? How affordable bulk tofu can be, and how easy it is to make a variety of meals out of it? Sadly, that is not well known outside of vegetarian society, and even within it there are plenty of us who still believe that a cruelty-free diet has to cost more than an omnivorous one. Counterpoint: vegan burritos cost
less than a carne asada con queso y crema. Milk prices are kept artifically low, a system which cannot last forever. Eventually there won’t be any more room for all those cows and pigs and chickens being kept for an omnivore’s meals, what with all the people making more people, whose need for space takes precedence over everything else.
The last time I went to Foods Co was 28 Jan. 2009; I bought three half-gallon cartons of Silk-brand soymilk plus Omega-3 DHA ($3.99/each), two half-gallon cartons of
Florida’s Natural orange juice ($2.98/each), two boxes of Wheaties, and two boxes of Apple Jacks: total bill was a little over $32. I keep going to Foods Co because the price for the soymilk I drink is close to $1 cheaper than anywhere else, including Rainbow, and sometimes Rainbow doesn’t have it when I want it, whereas Foods Co shoppers never seem to want it as much as Rainbow shoppers do. Do not mistake this tone for sardonic; I understand why.
Another luxury of mine is having the time to go to both Rainbow and Foods Co (they are nearly kitty-corner to each other on Folsom and 14th Streets) and make the most of my budget at both places. Not everyone has the privilege to do this—time is money, right, and some of us work two jobs, or weird hours, or can only spend so much time shopping because babysitters are too expensive and bringing children along to the market is basically a nightmare, especially during the 4-to-7 p.m. shopping rush hour. Terrible.
But friends, Foods Co is not (only) a nightmare. Nor is it a place to be mocked because you and your $10 beers are “above” it, and only shop there because you looooooove Cinnamon Toast Crunch (brand-name is vegan, off-brands are not) or Life Cer
eal or so you can buy cheap-ass garbage bags and giggle at the people ahead of you buying 10 packages of ground turkey and a gallon of whole milk, exclusively. If you are shopping at Foods Co, then you are as good as everyone else as Foods Co: it is a class-leveler. If prices really didn’t matter to you, you wouldn’t shop there in the first place. I can buy enriched cereal much closer to home, but Foods Co has higher variety and lower prices, and I need the savings.
There’s no shame in needing to save money. There’s nothing wrong with Rainbow stocking its shelves with exclusively organic, unenriched cereals. There’s nothing wrong with going to a national chain store settled in the Mission to buy products you need at an affordable price. Foods Co employs our neighbors, just like Rainbow. Foods Co has an educational website that addresses concerns of its vegan and vegetarian customers, just like Rainbow. Of course I am not advocating shopping at Foods Co to the exclusion of Rainbow—a vegetarian co-op grocery with all kinds of vegan specialty items vs. a national discount grocery chain? please—but Foods Co clearly has a place here, not only for The Poors, The Uneducateds, The Basically Carnivorous (of every economic stratum: do you even know what a vegetable is?), but for we vegans as well. Plus imagine if the vegan items start selling better—maybe they’ll start stocking more of them, too. And when a discount grocery store stocks more inexpensive vegan foods, then that exposes more people to veganism, and who knows what that might lead to?
Hope, like an unopened bag of “Fruity O’s” [sic], springs eternal.
I have a rule for Millennium. You take me here, I will put out. Whether you like it or not. I’ve made a not-interested-in-ladies-in-that-way friend very uncomfortable after he so politely paid the tab. Basically, you pull out your charge card and I’m knocking shit down, crawling across the table and COMIN’ TO GETCHA! Hot, I know.
Speaking of hot, let’s talk Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s Day, what is that about exactly? I’ll tell you. It’s about love, showing affection through consumerism, and anal sex. Not necessarily in that order but everyone has to get something out of it. What I’m trying to get at here is that Millennium is the perfect Valentine’s day spot for the vegan vagina in your life. I don’t know why I just typed vegan vagina, it’s like I lost control of my fingers and it just came out. I apologize. This post is about to get a lot less vulgar and a lot more SEXY! Because sex sells and Vegansaurus needs some traffic! SEX!
First sexy thing about Millennium, it’s located in a nice hotel. Restaurants in hotels are always sexy unless it’s the Holiday Inn Kids Eat Free, but I already promised I’d stay away from vulgar. First non-sexy thing about Millennium, the hotel is in the Tenderloin, where crackheads go to die. I’m not just saying that, it’s on maps. It’s depressing in a way that can only be described as mass suffering multiplied by urine plus a meth-head jamboree. Can I get a what-what for city living!?
Second sexy thing about Millennium, they have TheMostAmazing drink menu, often including a vegan white russian! Excellent mixed drinks with vodka they infuse themselves and an extensive beer and wine menu…all vegan, all excellent!
Third sexy thing, Millennium’s staff is sexy and adorable. Second non-sexy thing, not all of the clientele is sexy and adorable. Fourth sexy thing, dim lighting makes everything better!
Fifth sexy thing, THE MENU! It’s mostly seasonal but there are a few standout items on the all-organic menu that you’ll see year-round. The Zaatar and Garlic Spiced Hand-Cut Frittes (that’s fries to the rest of us!) are fucking amazing. YOU MUST GET THEM. Even if you aren’t a fry person (GET AWAY FROM ME!), these things will blow your mind! Sesame Cornmeal Crusted Oyster Mushrooms are a classic on the menu and I love them. I normally am way averse to mushrooms but those little suckers fit the ticket! Right
now they’re serving Rancho Gordo Cannelini Runner Beans, which is basically a bruschetta of beans and seitan that is A-MAZING. I could easily make a meal (and often do) of appetizers and drinks. I think those are the best things they offer and it’s a lot cheaper than ordering full meals! Don’t get me wrong, the entrees are often delicious (like the currently offered, Seared Emerald Rice Cake with Indonesian red coconut curry, winter root veggies, lemongrass tofu and all sorts of other yummy things!) but they are more costly, usually ranging from $20-$25 while the appetizers and starters are more like $4-$10 and can be equally filling and provide more flavor combos bang for your buck!
The desserts are always yummy, ranging from their chocolate midnight cake (excellent and always on the menu!) to tiramisu to shortcakes to poached fruits to my favorite (and the cheapest!), The Sweet Ending, which is just some truffles and cookies and is always extra delicious. I’ve spent a couple weeknights as follows: walked into Millennium, sat at the bar, had a beer, the fries and a sweet ending and some excellent conversation with the bartenders and gotten out for $15. High class.
Right now, they are offering a Frugal Foodie deal, because sometimes it’s hard to be extra frivolous and gluttonous when everyone around you is losing their jobs and applying for government cheese and being all poor and depressed and shit. So I thought this was a very classy thing for them to do. Sunday through Wednesday they offer a three-course prix fixe option for $38/person with an optional wine pairing for $12. V. nice!
And in conclusion, please see the first “paragraph” of this review: I’m not wearing any underwear. THANK YOU AND GOOD NIGHT!
Hello awesome Vegansaurus readers! Here is a chance to do some great animal activism from the comfort of your own couch. Or if you’re like us, bed. We are total lazy-asses.
In the wake of Prop 2, which outlawed the confinement of hens in battery cages, several California businesses have been moving away from using eggs from caged hens. However, Double Rainbow Ice Cream is still using eggs from hens who are confined in barren battery cages. Double Rainbow is based in San Francisco, where Prop 2 got 72 percent of the vote. Please write Double Rainbow and ask them to follow the lead of SF voters by ending the use of eggs from caged hens in their products.
Battery cage confinement is one of the worst practices in factory farming, where hens are crammed into cages so small they spend their entire lives barely able to move. Please let Double Rainbow know that you will not support this kind of animal cruelty, and that you respectfully request that they adopt a cage-free egg policy.
Letters and emails can be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org Double Rainbow Gourmet Ice Creams, Inc. 275 South Van Ness Ave. San Francisco, CA 94103
Please let us know if you send a letter or email, so we can keep track of how many we are sending. We want to make sure to send them as many as possible!
Thanks so much for all of your hard work for the animals! And a review to come shortly today! PROMISE!
Store review: Layonna Vegetarian Health Food Market!
Shit! I can’t believe I haven’t written a review of g-d Layonna! What is wrong with me?! Don’t answer that! Layonna’s fake meat is known by veggies and vegans the world over. Seriously. If you tell a vegan in motherfucking Kathmandu that you are from the San Francisco Bay Area they will be like, “OH MY GOD! YOU ARE SO LUCKY TO LIVE SO CLOSE TO LAYONNA!!!” This is not a joke and only a slight exaggeration. And yes, that is how they speak in Kathmandu.
Layonna is located in downtown Oakland. It’s tiny but filled from floor to ceiling with every kind of fake meat imaginable. Fake peking duck, fake scallops, fake monkfish (what?), fake bacon, fake baby, fake chicken drumsticks and more! They have an impressive selection of cheap fake beef jerky and stuff like mushroom broth and lots of types of noodles. Some good cheap ramen too! This place is a wonderland. Just like John Mayer sings so passionately about. In fact, that song is about this store, pass it on.
PRO TIP: get the fish filets and then buy some fish fry stuff and have possibly the most delicious crispy fish sandwich on earth. Like McDonald’s but it won’t kill you. As fast.