All I’ve wanted for a week, or I don’t know, a while, has been to make the banana bread in The Joy of Vegan Baking. (Here is a tip: toast nuts before you bake with them for richer and fuller flavors.) Then I made it on Saturday and the batter
was delicious as ever but the bread turned out…not the way I wanted it to. Worse, the next day when I gave it a light toast and a healthy coat of Earth Balance, it didn’t taste any better. And what, I ask, is the point of adapting a muffin recipe into breakfast bread if you can’t improve on its flavors by toasting and buttering as it goes stale? No point, is the answer. NO POINT. Instead there is anger, and indigestion.
But I was going to tell you about SweetCakes, the nicest bakery in the Midwest. What a delightful oasis. We came in all gross
and tired in the muggy late afternoon, and asked about the vegan baked goods. The owner/baker/smiling lady pointed them out to us, noting that she was almost out of cupcakes, and the only vegan ones left were one mini-pink lemonade, and one mini-strawberry. We also got a vegan lemon drop cookie, and a slice of vegan chocolate cherry bread. I had an iced coffee, and Joel had a lemonade. All of that cost something like $11.50, it was ridiculous. Chicago, I don’t understand you. How are your foodstuffs so inexpensive? I am here paying that much for one drink at Beretta like a sucker, all $3.50 cupcakes and $3 donuts out of my unemployed price range, and Chicago is renting luxury apartments for a hair more than I pay for no views, on-corner shootings
, and single-pane windows whose frames have been painted over so many times that you have to have super-human strength to open and close them. In Chicago, apparently, you celebrate summer and pay next to nothing for A-Number 1 vegan baked goods and probably cakes never burn and your quickbreads are always perfect balances of practical and dessertful.
Genius coffee bar item: simple syrup! Because sugar crystals do not dissolve in cold drinks! How smart. The coffee was very good as well. The lemonade was out of control, I have dreamed of lemonade
this good but never before been so lucky as to taste it.
The cupcakes were excellent, the cookie was good, but the chocolate cherry bread was outstanding. If you bought two pieces, you could take one home, and have it for breakfast the next morning, lightly toasted and spread with Earth Balance. I would’ve done so at the time, had I been thinking, but I believe I was overcome by the entire experience and unable to think clearly about future baked-goods eating opportunities. Now, alone but for my insufficient banana bread, I think on Sweet Cakes and am wistful. Would that we had such a bakery.
So apparently there are new vegan marshmallows called Dandies from the mad
geniuses at Chicago Soy Dairy. And apparently they’re quite good. We’re waiting for our shipment in the mail but have heard nothing but vegans FREAKING OUT for them. Anyone tried them yet?? Opinions?? I know you got ‘em!
Edit: the brilliant and fantastic Quarrygirl.com review of Dandies can be seen here. Warning: you will want to eat your screen.
Also, non-food related but definitely a reason to celebrate: a new vegan shoe line, Olsen Haus! Woohoo! Some of the styles look right on and some look insane aqarium. In these economic hard times (love saying that! I hope we flatline for like twenty years. Fuck this economy! Let these fuckers—myself included—go back to eating soup from a shoe and living in shanty towns. We need a reality check. China is going to own us all in 10 years anyway, we might has well get used to it. My advice? Watch as much porn as possible and eat some fresh vegetables because they won’t have those things where we’re going!) I’m not sure if I’m willing to shell out $175 for a pair of chic booties but maybe you are. And if you are, I HATE YOU. Also, please buy me some shoes! Please!
Of course the interpreters of the study go on to recommend eating “white meat” as a substitute; it’s important to make sure people do not conclude that eating zero meat might be the best choice. That’s crazy-talk, and where would you get all those vitamins and minerals and nutrients if not from “white meat,” anyway?
Heaven help us if we stop calling it “meat” and address it as, say, “animal flesh.” Ugh. Most offensive to me, forever, is the stupid semantics game, where if you say “a piece of chicken” instead of “a piece of a dead chicken” people can avoid taking responsibility for their diets.
Burma Superstar: You either love it, or you refuse to put up with it because of the ridonkulous wait*. I love it, I can’t help it. I’m a glutton for food you must fight for. And all other food too. Burma Superstar I love so much that it’s usually the first place I take out-of-towners and it’s always the favorite. In fact, I have a friend who went three times on her last visit. Of two days.
Things to order: Tea leaf salad (no skrimps!), samusa “I AM THE BEST EVER” soup (it is made with falafels, samusas, lentils and other manners of perfection in the best slightly spicy broth. No description could do it justice, it is beyond words. It will probably one day be my viewed as my hamartia. That, or my good looks.) and coconut rice. Everything else on the menu is very good but those three items are stand outs and you must, must, must eat them. In my version of Heaven, they are all served to me at all meal times (which is every hour on the hour and sometimes on the half-hour). Also in Heaven, the streets are
paved with Funyons and there is a donuts ‘n waffle fries stand on every corner. Actually, just imagine Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory but replace
the children with more candy and Gene Wilder with a talking pig and there you have it.
Finally, they recently added a make it yourself Tea Leaf Salad kit that they sell in the restaurant. You just add everything in the kit to some chopped romaine or cabbage, diced tomatoes, and lemon juice, and mix it all up. It’s a party in your mouth. The salad comes in a cute red bag sealed with a label that warns of its addictive qualities. Too true!
*If you hate Burma Superstar because of the wait then I have two suggestions: go 10 minutes before they open and you’ll always get a table; AND/OR go to the one in Alameda. Not only is it located on the Maui of the West but also, it’s really not that much farther than the fucking Richmond District when it comes down to it.
I don’t understand why it is so fucking hard for a restaurant to stay open late in San Francisco. If you’re out past 10 p.m. and you want something other than a slice of pizza or a burrito, you’re screwed. I think our own Maria puts it best when she says:
In particular, the Castro can be a nightmare for late-night dining. There are a lot of bars and a lot of clubs and they desperately need a sit-down where the clubbing ‘mos (and the rest of us) can get our late-night sustenance on. Yes, that is correct. I just typed, “late-night sustenance on”, and please steel yourself for more bad writing and gross generalizations in this review, FOLKS. I’m tired, I’m hungry and I just paid the IRS a couple thousand in taxes because they caught me being a leeetle loosey-goosey with my reported income. Hey! I didn’t know! I got confused! I apparently tried to deduct the same pair of donated pants 12 times? Well what do you want me to do? The max they would let me take was $10 and they were from Anthropologie and cost $140! Eff you, feds! You can take my hard earned cash to fund this horrible war and our dying nation but you cannot stop me from trying to get over. THAT is the American Dream, capital-A, capital-D, capital-FUCKED. Back to the review.
Sunday through Monday the Castro workout routine is Gold’s Gym but on the weekend, it’s the DANCE! To fuel all of this exercise, you need something nearby, adequately tasty and most importantly, LOW-CALORIE. And so begins the age of Kasa.
Kasa is a new-ish Indian-ish restaurant in the Castro that is open until 10 p.m.
Sunday through Thursday and until 2 a.m. (!!!) on Friday and Saturday. At Kasa you can choose from a kati roll (made with their own roti bread, let them know before you order that you’re vegan so they don’t douse it in ghee) or a thali, a plate filled with all sorts of magical things like chutneys, dal, rice, and shiz like that. After you decide on the kati roll or the thali, you choose a dish or two to go on the plate or into the roll. There is always at least one vegan dish on the menu: Aloo Jeera, which is cumin-spiced potatoes. They have a rotating vegetable dish of the day which may or may not be vegan. Last time I went, it was a spicy eggplant dish that was vegan. The food is adequate, if not amazing. The real calling card here is that they’re open late in an area that’s desperate for late-night eateries.
And when you’re done, you can head back to bar-and-club-landia, filled up with pretty healthy food that you’ll burn off in the time it takes to spin a Lady Gaga remix (aprox 35 minutes). I love, love, love Lady Gaga. I also love, love, love the cheesy dance clubs in the Castro. They are bursting with the cutest boys ever who, like you, just want to move to the power of the latest Britney track. There is no ass-grabbing (unless it’s to forcibly move you from between them and some hella hot dude, don’t hate) and if there is any inappropriate grinding, it’s usually your fault. WHAT I’M A LIBERATED WOMAN IT GOES BOTH WAYS NOW.
And with that I present…
Reasons not to trust straight men: 1) John Grisham. 2) They will get you pregnant. 3) Hitler. 4) They lie. 5) They all have the ability to become horrible, hateful, power-hungry rapists in times of war/extreme duress/you didn’t cook their hamburger right I said medium rare, bitch!!! 6) Jim Carrey.
Reasons to trust (and love) gay men: 1) Oscar Wilde. 2) They will help raise your bastard child. 3) Hitler wasn’t gay. 4) They lie, but it’s funny and colorful and usually to make a story more interesting. 5) Rape is most likely consensual and a form of fantasy play! 6) Puppies = the gayest!!!
Rainbow is a lot bigger and a lot less in the middle of fucking nowhere. Other Avenues is an all-vegetarian (yay!), all-organic (yay!) grocery store in the Outer Sunset. It’s a pain the ass to get to but if you happen to be out near Ocean Beach soaking in the rays (read: getting high) then you should definitely stop in. Highlights include: Maggie Mudd soy & coconut ice creams by the pint, Black China Bakery brownies and cupcakes (and lots of other vegan baked goods) and an intense bulk foods section including lots of varieties of chocolate-covered nuts. Delicious.
Man, if left to my own devices, I would eat directly from a trough of dark-chocolate-covered almonds until I died. Which brings me to my next point. Here at Vegansaurus, we (read: Laura) are (read: is) proud to be fat and awesome. I’m tired of reading that an answer to a mean case of the fats is simply to go vegan. I’ve been vegan for years and years and didn’t lose any weight and I’m not a total junk food vegan either. I also have insanely good blood work and am in great health, you can ask my doctor who was on my case for being vegan until he saw my test results. We’re all born with a pretty much pre-determined weight (or range of weights, fluctuating between like 10-20 pounds) that we live comfortably at. For a few of us it’s 100 and for a few of us it’s 300 and for most of us, it’s somewhere in between. And THAT’S OKAY. As long as you’re eating in accordance with what feels right to your body (being vegan helps with that A LOT) then you’ll probably be pretty damn healthy. This book, Rethinking Thin, helped me come to terms with this fact. It’s written by a SCIENTIST with FACTS, not a skinny bitch with, ummm….
So for people who are looking at veganism as a get-thin-quick scheme, that might not be what happens. You’ll find your cholesterol will go down and your blood pressure will thank you and you’ll most likely be able to control your diabetes without medication and get serious relief from other health issues. Oh and you’re also doing the right thing for the planet and animals and other humans but no, you will not drop five dress sizes in two minutes. And you shouldn’t do that anyway. Because people who diet themselves super-skinny look FUH-REAKY (in other news, BOW DOWN to LFB. Love that crazy anorexic psychopath!) and you’re probably already super-hot and don’t need to lose those last 10 pounds. They’re on your ass for a reason, so that people will want to have sex with you, moron.
And let’s face it, fat people are simply the greatest. We RULE both in size and in general fabulousness. Move over skinnies, we’re comin to getcha! And by getcha, I mean eatcha.
I wrote this list, “Things About Fat People That Skinny People Don’t Know!” (along with two fabulous friends, Joy & Erica) years ago because we wanted to get out some facts about fat people. I now must post this list wherever I write because that’s how I do AND YOU CANNOT STOP ME, SKINNY.
And with that, I present: Things About Fat People That Skinny People Don’t Know. A list.
FAT PEOPLE CAN BREAKDANCE HELLA GOOD. You don’t know because we only do it around other fat people, but you have not lived ‘til you’ve been to a fat dance party!
FAT PEOPLE ARE INDESTRUCTIBLE. The fat, in essence, acts as padding. We’re keeping it secret for right now, but someday we’re going to rise up, unite, and put you Skinny Bitches in your place in a conflict that we have titled Fat War One, or World War Fat (the exact name is yet to be determined).
FAT PEOPLE CAN LEVITATE. Just cause we’re heavy doesn’t mean we can’t float. Ever notice how you never see fat people taking the elevator?
FAT PEOPLE CAUSE HURRICANES. We all get together and run in a clockwise direction, then in a counter-clockwise direction.
OUR NATIONAL FLOWER: The Cake.
OUR NATIONAL BIRD: Fried Chicken. Vegan, of course.
DO NOT CHALLENGE A FAT PERSON. Especially DO NOT CHALLENGE a fat person if there is a candy prize involved.
FAT PEOPLE DON’T CRAP! All the materials you Skinnies waste as feces, we efficiently recycle as lard.
FAT PEOPLE ARE FASTER THAN CHEETAHS.
FAT PEOPLE DON’T WEAR SHOES. We just spray paint our feet so we can get into restaurants.
ALL FAT PEOPLE ARE ALCOHOLICS. But not in a bad way.
FAT PEOPLE DON’T SLEEP IN BEDS. We sleep on huge sticks of Earth Balance.
FAT PEOPLE NEVER ACTUALLY EAT. It’s a common misconception.
MAHATMA GHANDI WEIGHED 600 POUNDS. We know, we were there. Which brings us to our next point…
FAT PEOPLE LIVE FOREVER.
FAT WOMEN HATE THE UBIQUITOUS “CHUBBY CHASER.” He is a harasser, and always at least two feet shorter than she is.
FAT PEOPLE LOVE BABIES. Especially deep fried.
OUR FAVORITE SKINNY PERSON IS: Fuck you, we don’t like any skinny people.
MAKE NO MISTAKE: Hitler was never fat.
FAT PEOPLE OFTEN WONDER IF PEOPLE ACTUALLY LIKE THEM OR IF THEY ONLY LOVE THEM FOR THEIR FAT.
FAT PEOPLE DON’T PROCREATE, THEY DIVIDE. We do however have a lot of sex…for pleasure and sport.
THE INTERNATIONAL FAT CONFERENCE IS HELD ON JANUARY 26 OF EACH YEAR. It’s held in the sky…we all levitate up really high…I mean where else would we fit? We decide the events of the upcoming year, such as whether you Skinnies get Christmas (Don’t forget Santa is a very fat man).
SOME OF THE ONLY THINGS FAT PEOPLE HAVE NOT BEEN ABLE TO ACCOMPLISH:
Fix the Oscars (Why do you think Gwyneth Paltrow won?)
Telekinesis (So we don’t have to move. Ever.)
Infiltrate Hollywood…at all.
FRANCE WAS ONCE A FATOPOLIS BUT IT WAS EXCOMMUNICATED IN THE MID-19TH CENTURY AND THUS THEY ARE ALLOWED NO FAT PEOPLE. (The Statue Of Liberty: way too skinny.)
FAT PEOPLE TAKE BATHS IN WASHING MACHINES!
A LIST OF THINGS INVENTED BY FAT PEOPLE:
The 12-month calendar.
The telegraph (Samuel P. Morse was freaking enormous)
The Spanish language.
Hammer Pants (I know…even we make mistakes.)
The popular situation comedy “Who’s the Boss?” (Tony Danza is a skinny android created by the Fat Nation.)
We wrote the song “Respect” in 1692 but it didn’t get made for 350 years because of Skinny Politics (they are skinny, but they are strong).
27. ALL FAT PEOPLE ARE FUNNY. It’s simple genetics.
LITTLE FAT KIDS LEARN TO READ EARLIER THAN LITTLE SKINNY KIDS. And it’s not just because they have no friends so they have to sit at home and read all the time.
BARRY WHITE: fat.
PUPPIES: fat by their very nature. And who doesn’t love puppies?
WE OWN ALASKA, TEXAS, CALIFORNIA, AND THREE OF THE FOUR OCEANS.
OUR CAPITAL IS FATOPOLIS AND IS LOCATED SOMEWHERE IN THE NORTH AMERICAN CONTINENT. (We can’t give everything away.)
FAT PEOPLE CAN RUN HELLA FAST. You just can’t see us because it is SO fast. And if you see a fat person walking really slow, it’s just because they are trying really hard to walk at a normal pace.
JESUS: THE FATTEST MAN TO EVER WALK THE EARTH. The crucifixion story as you know it is not exactly what happened. It was actually attempted twice because the cross broke the first time.
FAT PEOPLE LOVE TO FAN DANCE. It is unfortunately the only thing we do not do well.
Not much vegan on the menu at Hot Cookie, the Gayest Cookie Nook on Earth. Actually, there is only one vegan item that I know of and that is the ginger cookie. But these cookies are so good, they warrant their own post. They are not ginger snaps, they’re more like doughy ginger clouds of chewy deliciousness. The Hot Cookie owners also have big hearts, they always donates cookies to Rocket Dog Rescue for our events and so that makes them tops in my book. Plus, that is one damn fine vegan ginger cookie.
On a side note, an acquaintance of mine (okay, good friend) came in here really high one day and freaked out on the nice counter girl for not having white chocolate macadamia nut cookies. He then had some sort of a drug-mixing-induced seizure and they had to call an ambulance to get him. He was invited to never return. That’s the kind of shit they should show you in D.A.R.E.
Oh finally, they also sell a (non-vegan) cookie shaped like a penis. IN YOUR FACE, ANITA! I brought my mom here and she bought several to “give” to her “friends.” I watched in horror as she made jokes with the counter guy about the size and girth (THE GIRTH!) of the chocolate-covered snickerdoodle wang with coconut macaroon nads. Oh, life! You get me every time!!
Your Vegansaurus spends a lot of time reading the internet. Today, we share with you some sites we’ve been enjoying of late.
Especially for the gentlemen, we present The Discerning Brute. Joshua Katcher created this site as “a resource for intelligent men who want to make ethical, informed decisions concerning their lifestyles.” It’s really great, especially the delightful “Concrete Catwalk.”
It is pretty all right, right? We recommend The Discerning Brute for anyone looking to dress an ethical man, or dress like an ethical man, whichever.
We also like our friend Marijka’s brand-new blog, Vegan in the City. The titular city is Berlin, and Marijka writes about her vegan lifestyle in Germany. She writes in English, too, not her first language, and we are very impressed with her skills.
Next-next Monday, 16 March, the documentary Death on a Factory Farm premiers on HBO. Filmed undercover on Wiles Hog Farm, it took three years to make, and looks to be serious Real Talk. We don’t have HBO, but then some of us have very, very low tolerance for onscreen violence and probably shouldn’t watch anyway.
Another “Modern Food Production Is Fucked Up” film to look out for is Food, Inc., which is apparently doing very well at film festivals, and will open to wider audiences later this year—not entirely sure when, its sites are fuzzy on detail, but check out a (strangely unembeddable) preview here. This isn’t news-news, as other food sites have been talking about it since its debut at the Toronto Film Festival in September, but that’s ok, because OTHER FOOD SITES are all excited about a documentary that shows (among other things), the treatment of animals on factory farms. Imagine that! Of course Our Lord and Savior Michael g-d Pollan is all over it, as well as Alice Waters, both of whom are all crazy for “humane” meat and all that nonsense, and their names lend the film a lot of weight in Serious Food Persons circles. (and you know Serious Food Persons are way too Serious About Food to ever stop eating animals, that’d be like a Serious Literature Person giving up fiction! A TRAVESTY MY GOD.) In this case, it benefits the vegan agenda as well: come for the yelling about corn syrup and seasonless produce, stay for the insane violence perpetrated against your fucking “protein,” home chefs. Clearly we have high hopes about Food, Inc.; may they not go entirely disappointed.
Any recommendations for your Vegansaurus? Do please share them in the comments!
Recognizable to most of us only from (AMAZING) infomercials past (CH-CH-CH-CHIA!), chia seeds are actually God’s Gift. And that’s not just me talkin’ crazy, that’s also William Anderson, author of, “Chia Seed - The Ancient Food of the Future" In this article he claims that chia supports healthy heart function, joint mobility, immune function, cellular energy, healthy digestion and bowel function, bone health, regeneration of tissue, nourishment of skin cells, and is a valuable food extender/calorie displacer, and a rich source of calcium and protein. Also usable as a poultice for gunshot wounds! He states, "Chia seeds are the definitive hydrophilic colloid for the 21 century diet. Hydrophilic colloids, (a watery, gelatinous, glue-like substance) form the underlying elements of all living cells." THE UNDERLYING ELEMENTS OF ALL LIVING CELLS.
Suck on it, Flax.
Not only all that, chia seeds are a brilliant thickener for delicious, weirdly super-healthy gravy that TASTES BAD FOR YOU. Okay, I hate those biznatches who are like, “Doesn’t this no-carb, fruit-juice-sweetened, four-calorie Frookie (tm) taste just like a cookie?!?!” when in reality the Frookie (tm) tastes like prune-scented dung patty. BUT! this gravy really does taste like a fattening holiday gravy; it’s rich and thick and savory and delicious. It’s great for putting on mashed potatoes or baking biscuits on top of or adding in some Layonna’s chicken chunks and eating out of the pan. It’s sososososo good.
Now, the catch is, you have to watch a Youtube video featuring the delightful Ruth (who pronounces vegan, “vay-gun”). Ruth’s health food company (Ruth’s Hemp Foods, so awesome) distributes chia seeds so they have a couple recipes up on Youtube. These videos are kinda amazing, you should watch them all multiple times. Even though you will be using Ruth’s recipe, you don’t have to buy the chia seeds from her, you can find them at pretty much any health food store. I know in the Bay Area they sell them at Rainbow and Whole Foods.
Before you start the video, you will need: olive oil, half an onion, a couple tablespoons of miso (any kind will do, it’s for taste and color), 3 Tbsp nutritional yeast (don’t worry about Candida! It’s inactive!), 1/2 cup organic vegetable or unchicken broth, sea salt, pepper, and CHIA SEEDS!
If you aren’t awesome enough to watch the video, I have transcribed the recipe below because I am such a good blogger/person:
You chop and sauté the onion in the olive oil over medium heat. When the onions are translucent, add the nutritional yeast and stir that up, add a little salt and pepper (just a pinch!) and whatever spices you want (cumin, sage, thyme, whatever, but it’s also good without); then add the broth and stir it up so it’s creamy, then add 2 Tbsp CHIA SEEDS! to start (stir quickly or it gets clumpy!). It will get thicker and thicker over the next couple of minutes. Turn to low and let the chia become thicker and more gravy like. If after a few minutes, it isn’t thick enough, add more chia. If it’s too thick, add more broth. Finally, add some miso at the end for taste and color (maybe about 1 Tbsp?). VOILA, your wonderful vegan, gluten-free gravy is ready! I typed that all while listening to her recite the recipe in the video. I am starting to feel like she is an old friend. I want to meet this Ruth and have her adopt me and eat her hippie food and work the fields topless in her commune and burn my bras and my TV and use a menstrual cup and hold hands and sing songs and TOO MUCH TOO SOON, I’M HEADED TO TACO BELL.
offee. I love my coffee more than any other warm beverage that ever was, and that is all right: it is counteracting the effects of my occasional use of aluminum-ful antiperspirant; I am NEVER GETTING ALZHEIMER’S AND WILL BE SHARP-MINDED FOREVER. Science SAYS SO.
Once upon a time I was employed at an office where work started at 7 a.m., and I would spend all morning drinking black coffee with little tabs of Splenda in it. Disgustin
g; it made breakfast entirely unappetizing, let me tell you. Really, it made coffee unappetizing, after a while, and what is the point of eating or drinking anything if you aren’t enjoying it? Obviously, and I’ve said this a million times before, there is no point. If you don’t like it, don’t eat it. This is why I take my coffee with Silk Soy Creamer.
When I lived in Germany, I drank a lot of latte macchiatos (macchiati?), which is a latte made by steaming the milk first and dumping the espresso or coffee in second, so it makes a mark in the foam, and lovely stripes of liquids
in the glass—always a glass, the aesthetics are wasted in a mug. Like all coffee drinks, a latte macchiato can be a delicious thing, and I never had a bad one in Germany—then again, I did not have any made with soy milk, either, only full-fat or 2 percent cow’s milk, nice and thick and sweet and creamy. I have not had cow’s milk since coming back from Germany in 2005, and while I loved the taste, the treatment of dairy cows and their calves is abhorrent and not worth drinking milk, even from “happy” cows on special little farms who aren’t dosed with rBGH or tortured for their entire lives. We already know: milk cows must be pregnant to produce milk, and there is a 50 percent chance they’ll have male calves, which will never give milk, and are usually sold to veal farmers, hooray. You drink milk, you support veal: the link is undeniable, and was a serious reason for me to stop drinking it.
Still, I want milk in my coffee, and most nondairy milks just don’t cut it the way fatty cow’s milk does. Silk Soy Creamer, being a creamer, is thickened with tapioca starch and carrageenan, contains a little more sugar than your standard soy milk, and like all Silk products, is made of U.S.-grown, genetically unmodified soybeans. I promise, Silk has never offered nor given me any complimentary products; I just really like this creamer. Some prefer a thinner creamer, but if I just wanted to milk up my coffee, I’d use the nondairy milk I already drink by the glass and put in my cereal. The point o
f creamer, for me, is milk-ening, thickening, and sweetening, and Silk’s creamer performs those three tasks better than any other nondairy creamers I’ve tried. Moreover, because it’s so thick and sweet— but don’t get me wrong, it’s not dulce de leche or condensed milk here, it does pour—you need to use much less of it to achieve the same effect you might with regular nondairy milk and sugar. I use a ton of it (especially with this coffee I have now, it tastes so goddamn burnt no matter the beans:water ratio) and it still takes me a month to get through a quart.
It’s always disappointing when a restaurant with vegan choices doesn’t have soy creamer for the coffee. It doesn’t have to be Silk brand—shoot, if you want to hand me a little pitcher of any old nondairy milk I will gladly take it. The point is, go all the way! Give us nondairy creamer (and nondairy cheeses, while you’re at it)! When you want milkier coffee, adding a bunch of sugar-in-the-raw does not make it better. Offer us some liquid to add to it, please, we aren’t all Señors Machos Solos, with our iron-clad stomachs and coal-black hearts. Whatever, you know what I mean.
So after a long, hard workout with an extremely motivating taskmaster (that sound like I had sex for hours and was paid for it but sadly, it was really just an intense workout. In a gym.), I had to gorge myself on something not totally terrible for me but still delicious that was less than 2 minutes from the gym because FUCKING A I WAS STARVING. So I decided to try Underdog, an all-organic hot-doggery with many vegan options in the Sunset District. I know, I have a lot to learn about weight loss.
The place is adorable and teeny-tiny with a couple of tables inside. There is a bench outside where you can sit with your dogs and they even have a doggy water bowl!* The woman working was super friendly and I have two words for you: TATER TOTS!! Goddamn. Those sneaky little fuckers are hard to find in restaurants so whenever they’re on a menu, I’m gonna immediately make a scene. And these weren’t just any tater tots, these were AMAZING TOTS. They were baked instead of fried (Holla back, diet!) and had this delicious smoky flavor and my GOD, I could have eaten 10 orders (Holla back, diet!). The vegan sausages are Tofurky brand and I’m a fan so I was delighted to see they are grilled perfectly. You have your choice of toppings, sauerkraut, relish, ketchup, 19 kinds of mustard, etc. and they’re all organic. They also offer mayo but anyone with a brain would agree that they should offer Wildwood Garlic Aioli instead. Anyone who has ever tried mayo and Wildwood Garlic Aioli in a back-to-back taste-test will tell you that mayo ain’t got nothing on the PERFECTION
that is Wildwood Garlic Aioli. Having typed its name three times, I don’t think I can continue until I eat some.
On subsequent visits, I learned Underdog also has really fresh garden salads, fruit salads, a good pb&j, and lots of organic snacks to choose from.
They’re definitely big on the organic thing, which I think is cool and all but I wonder what that even means. “Organic” is one of those words that is tossed around so often and has become so mainstream that it’s losing whatever sloppy-ass USDA-governed meaning it had to begin with. The U.S. Organic standards are lenient at best and completely ignored at worst. Also, “organic” doesn’t mean the animals are treated any better…in fact, 99 percent of the time, they have the same crappy lives and ended up at same crappy slaughterhouses as the factory-farmed animals. It’s one thing if people go to Safeway and buy their fucking ground chuck on super-cheap-ass savings deal-o-rama and know that that animal had the worst life and death imaginable, but it’s quite another thing for people to think they are doing the right thing by buying organic, humanely raised, happy-life, painless-death animals when it couldn’t be further from the truth. Anyway, there’s more info on that here.
I love Underdog for caring about vegan business and making a real (and successful!) effort to accommodate us, but at the end of the day, their mission statement claim of wanting to conduct business in ways that make the least negative impact on our planet has an easy solution: stop serving meat! No manner of biodegradable utensils will come close to having such an impact.
*The owners of Underdog went on to adopt TWO Rocket Dogs! Yay!
God in heaven, I’ve spent maybe 10 minutes looking at This Is Why You’re Fat, the most disgusting and shamefully salivary-gland-activating food porn site I’ve come across in a while, and now I’m starving for nourishment only fresh produce can provide.
When I was an office lady 40 hours a week, back in the golden days of 2007, Farm Fresh to You delivered a box of produce to my doorstep every other week (my day was
Tuesday), full of wonderful seasonal items like potatoes and greens, nuts and berries, various members of the onion family, artichokes, leeks and fennel, always fennel. Lots of staples, and in every box some beautiful surprises you might never have chosen for yourself, but that you will be happy to have. YOU WILL, I PROMISE.
And if you’re not, say, you’re totally baffled by the presence of these leeks or pea greens or whatever the hell, enclosed in every box are recipes from other customers! Better, on the other side of the recipes page is a letter written by Thaddeus, the head brother of the four who own and operate FFtY. During the time I received FFtY service, I read stories of one the brothers losing his wedding ring in a river and diving in to find it; of Thaddeus and his wife and their wedding in France; of
the seasonal harvests; of pests; of Thaddeus and his wife’s favorite tomato soup—perfect for 2008, year of a million tomatoes—and, I don’t know, a lot of other things. I don’t have a binder of his newsletters. Probably I should have one because those letters are precious gems, every one, but not to worry! FFtY has archived them for us all to enjoy and treasure at our leisure.
You can buy FFtY produce at farmers markets all over the Bay Area, as well as in Berkeley Bowl, the Nugget Markets in Solano, Yolo and Sacramento counties, and New Seasons markets in Portland, Ore. Those of us who prefer not to make huge produce buys via bus or enormous bicycle trailer have the blessed and wonderful delivery system, the praises of which I cannot stop extolling. Seriously—upon delivery, they take away your last delivery’s bo
x; you can request never to receive items that you dislike or could kill you, they make it easy to complain about damaged items and put deliveries on hold when you’re out of town (or moving!)—they aim to please.
Look, if by the end of this review you haven’t already started your home and/or office delivery, then how about this: Farm Fresh to You supplies produce for such illustrious San Francisco restaurants as Greens, Bix, and Slanted Door. Come on! If Charles Phan and Annie Somerville want organic produce homegrown in the Capay Valley, who are you to argue? Exactly.
Note: all photographs feature produce from Farm Fresh to You (obviously).