You know how Peta’s “I’d rather go naked than wear fur” ads are basically The Worst? What with the models wearing leather shoes in the photos, and the series being all gross and exploitative, and it all just embarrassing the hell out of us vegans and everyone else who opposes the fur trade? You know how terrible that is?
It is about 10 million times worse when the ad itself is obviously a poorly Photoshopped fake. Ugh.
The photos are incredible, you guys; this fox has lived its entire adorable life around Sharp Golf Course, as evidenced by how totally at home it looks chilling with the golfers on a gorgeous sunny day.
Humans and animals, relaxing in harmony; if this doesn’t make you happy, you may not have a heart.
Slate says, Watch out, cupcake-bakers, your business is a bubble on the verge of bursting! Author Daniel Gross briefly mentions that Babycakes “offers vegan cupcakes,” failing to note that it is also a “refined-sugar-free, gluten-free, wheat-free, soy-free…kosher” and organic bakery with a varied menu that includes savory baked goods. If Gross wants to conflate an entire specialty bakery with year-or-less-old, single-item stores with utterly generic product, he certainly may, but that is not the strongest way to make a point. At least, not to vegans. Presumably the fine ladies and gentlemen of Sticky Fingers Bakery, Sugar Beat Sweets, Sweet Avenue Bakeshop, Sweet Cakes Bakery, Violet Sweet Shoppe, Fat Bottom Bakery, and other purveyors of fine vegan baked goods would agree.
Let’s look at restaurant reviews in the Chronicle! This week, Michael Bauer spent $200 on “pancetta-wrapped rabbit” at Oliveto and did not enjoy it. My heart bleeds for you and your “disappointing” meal, Mr. Bauer. Some might say next time, lay off the animals, but you soldier on. This is what I want in a restaurant reviewer: dedication to duty. For the vegans, four sad paragraphs about Golden Era, in which the reviewer turns up her nose at the fake chicken. What kind of joyless soul does not enjoy Supreme Master’s fake chicken?
Pizzaiolo, you have some sick ideas about supper: "Diners will be able to wander over, Barolo in hand, to commune with the creatures that might contribute to their dinner." The "chef-owner" had a RISD-graduate-designed chicken coop built off of his restaurant to house his customers’ future meals/victims. I 100 percent want to vomit. This argument, that it makes you a better meat-eater when you "confront the reality" that your food used to be a thinking, feeling, living creature, it really burns. Yes, the disconnect between "antiseptic" packaged pieces of animals people buy from grocery stores and the actual animals those pieces came from is surreal and problematic; still, picking out the animal you want to have killed so you can eat it? How is that any better? That’s just on the acceptable side of bloodlust, and it’s revolting. If Pizzaiolo’s venture does anything, I hope it dissuades people from eating those chickens, when they’re forced to see the birds (theoretically) enjoying, you know, being alive, An apology to Pizzaiolo, we obviously didn’t read the article correctly! OUR SERIOUS BAD. It’s not vegan, but Pizzaiolo is taking a step to reduce their part in animal cruelty. What do Vegansaurus readers think of the backyard chicken trend?
Ethicurean takes a look at a potential federal bailout of the National Pork Producers Council, a.k.a Big Pork. Surprise: it’s industry-controlled, hypocritical, and a total violation of sensible business/economic practices! Ha ha ha oh meat industries, you rascals,* you.
The Vegan and Vegetarian Foundation created this lovely site called The Safety of Soya, to dispel the ridiculous myths and lies about soy that won’t seem to die—e.g., that “too much soy” will turn little heterosexual boys gay (Assuming they were heterosexual in the first place, that is).
The champion vegetable-eaters behind CSA Delivery blog made a
minestrone soup to cure 1) the San Francisco summer blues and 2) a shameful craving for terrible food (in this case, minestrone soup from the Olive Garden, where not even the breadsticks are vegan). It looks like it was quite successful:
You know what Vegansaurus loves? Cocktails, are what we love. Lucky for us we live in one of the nation’s best cities for scrumptious, fancy drinks. Let us be grateful every day for these amazing bartenders who not only have amazing taste and imagination, but are so dedicated to their craft they grow fresh ingredients for the drinks they make you. Imagine that mojitonico with heirloom tomatoes picked that morning from a garden not five miles from the bar you’re sitting at. Now, die of bliss.
Bon Appétit knows its way around a backhanded compliment: Of Jeremy Fox’s wonderful Ubuntu the magazine says “the focus…is not on what is missing (namely, meat) but what is lusciously abundant,” and waxes rhapsodic about the restaurant’s vegetables for over 100 words. Nice to see your priorities are in order there, guys.
Mark Bittman’s “Bitten” blog on NYTimes.com offers an experience of using flax seeds as an egg replacer, with positive results. The included chocolate chip recipe isn’t vegan, but it’s easy enough to take it all the way there: just replace butter with Earth Balance, you know the drill.
Summer Gardening Edition: Very Revealing Hot and Sexy Pictures XXX!
Vegansaurus is mostly a San Francisco joint, but everywhere else in the Northern hemisphere, it’s hot. The dudes are stripping off their t-shirts and the ladies are adjusting their bikini straps, many of them baking to the golden color of sweet potato fries. At least in Jersey and Europe, where white people still haven’t discovered sunscreen.
To help you make it through the heat and California’s eternal drought, we’re giving you some vegan eye candy to suck on: hot photos of some of the sexiest reproductive organs to be found on common garden edibles! Big, small, purple, or yellow, these flowers show that growing food isn’t just healthy and practical—it’s like totally superficial, too!
Fragile, pale and tiny, strawberry flowers are all the more attractive because you just know they’re gonna grow up to be sweet and juicy. And if you thought that description was sexually suggestive, you are probably not allowed near public parks or schools.
The blossoms of pumpkins and most winter squash are yellow and big, like a nice beach umbrella or a dude who stuffs his Speedo. Most plants produce more blossoms than squash, so you can pick loads of these to toss raw into salads, sauté, or stuff (GET IT?) and bake.
Fava bean make blooms as numerous as sunburnt German tourists on a Mediterranean beach [ed: zing!], but they’re much smaller and more exotic-looking.
I’ve already raved about borage on this blog: it’s an all-around winner, able to repel insects, provide
humans with tasty nutrients, and produce attractive flowers and unique hairy foliage. Basically, if your garden is Baywatch, this is its David Hasselhoff.
Radishes grow to tower over most other crops when they’re blooming, spraying the sky with flowers like a bunch of pretty, colorful kites. Or hot air balloons. Or unicorns.
Yarrow is attractive in a quaint kind of way, like quilts and Vermont. Going with that theme, it’s one of the best flowers for dried arrangements (I totally just lost all of my remaining masculinity by typing that) and is delightful when added to salads and sauces.
Sunflowers need no introduction. They are so good-looking you won’t even know what to do with them, and their seeds are incredibly healthy and by far the easiest edible seed to grow and harvest.
And finally, the ultimate summer crush: look at those paper-thin creamy petals holding that cute fuzzy pistil. This thing is like a freakin’ orchid, except a little more common-looking, so you feel like you can identify with it more, right? But while you there wondering what the heck I’m talking about, this awesome flower already up and left. Yup, these cuties only last one day. What happens then? They turn into this slimy thing nobody really eats called okra that just gets thrown away or gummed by old folks at Hometown Buffet. I totally just summed up life, didn’t I?
OK, that’s it! Remember: You are what you eat, and if you’re eating plants like this, you’re one sexy bitch.
Please welcome back guest writer Ben Pearson. He loves to get (and give!) blow jobs.
They’re supposedly opening sometime soon (whatever the fuck that means! Oct. 1st, permit gods allowing, so let’s say sometime in October MAYBE) at 3168 22nd St. (between Capp and Mission). They’ll have a few vegan flavors (banana cake with maple frosting LAY IT ON ME) and will set you back a buck each. More details from these scooping motherfuckers and Mission Minis adorable website.
Thursday Giveaway, Sluts: Matt and Nat Bag! It's CLOSED, SLUTS! Marisa is the winner! Great name, hot chick, win win win! STAY TUNED FOR MORE CONTESTS & SHIZ!
It’s a back-to-school giveaway, bitches! This brand-new, large-and-in-charge (it’s 14” by 14” with a 6.5” shoulder strap!), fancy-ass Matt and Nat “Big Drop” Bag is perfect for lugging books to class, or putting all your shit in for overnights (slut!). This bag is marketed toward women, but we’re not about boxes here at Vegansaurus so go on, girl. Er, “girl.” This bitch retails for like $175 so even if you hate it, you can sell it on eBay. Depression 2.0, people. Let’s GET RICH OR DIE TRYING.
From the official Matt and Nat description (so it’s all sales-y): Contrast stitching, brushed metal accents and a boxy shape give the Big Drop from Matt and Nat its distinctive style. Great for work or weekend shopping trips, this roomy bag is made of all-vegan materials and features a durable man-made body, dual front exterior pockets, and a convenient zipper closure.
TO WIN, type your name in the comments. We’ll pick a winner randomly soon…it’ll probably be the name I like the best or the person I find most sexually attractive. Or we’ll use random.org. Whatevs. So leave a comment now or never know the glory of a stylish vegan bag and be doomed to wander the aisles of Payless alone for the rest of your days, knowing that you have aligned yourself with Star Jones, which is totally fucked. Does that sentence even work? Not sure, don’t care. Good luck!
No seriously, look at it. This is the vegan Mission Burger and it is your most delicious new best friend. This blog previously speculated this might be the case, but I am here to confirm it for you. IRL I am known as someone with a tendency to say “OMFG THIS IS THE BEST EVER” but ignore all that. What I am telling you is, this is the best burger I have ever had, of any kind. SRSLY.
First and foremost: this motherfucker is huge. I sat down with it literally three different times, and ate a satisfying amount each time. I didn’t even eat dinner, because lunch was so huge/amazing/satisfying. Also I prefer to drink myself to sleep.
Secondly, this burger isn’t exactly pretty in the traditional sense, but it is beautiful like a work of art. The patty is dark and richly colored, with variable textures (the fava/chickpea patty, the whole edamame beans and the leafy kale blend together in a surprisingly harmonious way.) Also you can’t taste any of those health foods because it is fried and covered in wasabi mayonnaise (made with seaweed not eggs! unlocking some science on your ass!). The springy light slaw is the perfect amount of acid, and the chili sauce is a pop of redness that reminds your whole body that the combination of hot oil and capsaicin is like a speedball for your cells. Woooooooo!!! Really, it’s just like that.
Lastly, this burger is $7. I don’t know about you but I am rocking a paycut in Depression 2.0 and I’m just out here trying to survive, you know? In addition to refusing to give up my adherence to prissy urbane dining trends. With the vegan Mission Burger, you can survive all day AND exploit the social capital associated with eating sloppy pretend-proletarian “street” food awkwardly on a stack of potato bags outside an Asian supermarket! Man, I am so hip.
Anyway, vegan Mission Burger. Buy me one. [Ed.: I already bought you one, hooker!] This post was 100 percent Megan Allison. Yes, we love that ho.
Vegetarian Option Leads to Downfall on This Week's Top Chef
Someone get Jeremy Fox or the entire crew of Millennium up in this piece because this week’s veg options on Top Chef were SAD. Okay, not entirely, but the losing dish happened to be vegan and was created solely for the possibility of herbivores, which is nice, but at least make it interesting. We all know it is possible. We all know veg options can do so much better than (wait for it)…pasta salad.
Yes, pasta salad. Any teenage vegetarian knows the pain of going to a family function, watching everyone around you feast on hamburgers and hot dogs while you are relegated to this sad bowl of wet pasta with some canned artichokes thrown in. And that is when you vow to learn to cook. Or bring veggie burgers next time.
But, I digress. The pasta salad was a disaster. I don’t even want to link you to the recipe because I’m pretty sure everyone here knows how to boil water and open cans of food. Granted, the kitchen this week was military-style and limited, but in an upscale cooking competition where your competitors are coming up with things like bread pudding, three-bean chili, and chowder in that same kitchen, with the same limitations, it’s time to step up your game.
Sadly, the contestant that went home last week was also a San Francisco chef, which was a double-burn! And she worked at GOOGLE. So embarrassing on so many levels.
Daiya vegan cheese at Rainbow Grocery starting NEXT WEEK!?
Word on the street is that the magical Daiya cheese will be at Rainbow Grocery starting as early as next Wednesday (Sept. 9)!??!?! It will be available in 16 ounce packages and we’ll all go apeshit for it. Basically, it will be a-fucking-mazing. Since Daiya has only previously been available in SF by doing a rain dance and then sacrificing a virgin (read: OVERNIGHT shipping from WISCONSIN), this is big, big news.
We’ll have to-the-minute updates from Vegansaurus HQ as we are SO FUCKING ON TOP OF THIS YOU HAVE NO IDEA WE WILL NOT SLEEP, EAT, DRINK, URINATE OR DEFECATE UNTIL IT IS OURS.
Californians: Call your senator TODAY and say NO to AB 979! It's SUPER WHACK!
Born Free has the details, but basically AB 979 has the potential to invalidate numerous city and county ordinances that protect consumers and wildlife by giving the state Fish and Game Commission total control over them. For example, AB 979 could repeal ordinances that ban the use of Conibear traps after dogs or cats were maimed or killed; limit the use of bows and arrows in developed areas; and restrict fishing in certain areas; and repeal local laws prohibiting the killing of songbirds. It’s a really bad idea SO CALL RIGHT NOW!
What's the difference between a pigeon and an art critic?
Answer: not much! According to Keio University psychologist Shigeru Watanabe, pigeons can differentiate between “good” and “bad” art after having been taught to recognize the “concept of a stimulus class that humans name ‘good’ pictures.” What?
At this university in Tokyo, Watanabe showed the pigeons a set of children’s paintings, which had been judged “good” or “bad” by a group of adults. Through positive
reinforcement, the pigeons learned how to recognize “good” and “bad” art—he gave them seeds when they chose (whatever that means in this case, “chose”) the “good” art. He then repeated the experiment with 10 new paintings by adults, and had the pigeons choose which were “good” and which were “bad.” The pigeons picked out the “good” art “twice as often” as the “bad.” Amazing!
The article doesn’t say whether the number of pigeons who deemed a painting “good” or “bad” corresponded with the work’s critical reception or popularity, which is too bad because that would be interesting; nor does it say what kind of pigeons they were. Regardless, if a pigeon can have the same opinion as an expert art critic, maybe we should all be going to more museums and galleries. It’s a lot more rewarding to see art than read about what someone else thinks about it.
If a pigeon wrote a column, though, I would definitely read it.
Hey so I’m not sure if it’s gonna all be about how cats and dogs rule and fuck all other animals and Temple Grandin talking about how she’s autistic and so she has a DEEP SPIRITUAL CONNECTION with animals that’s why she helped devise a better way to kill them but YOU KNOW. Let’s listen and find out. Until we get too angry and have to air-strangle Terry Gross’ voice.
Local showtimes (weekdays!) are: KALW-FM 91.7 San Francisco: 9 to 10 a.m. and 6 to 7 p.m. KQED-FM 88.5 San Francisco: 1 to 2 p.m. and 7 to 8 p.m. KUSP-FM 88.9 Santa Cruz: 6 to 7 p.m.
Are you doing anything important on Saturday? No, certainly nothing can be nearly so important as attending the Doggie Happy Hour at Doc’s Clock, which this month benefits Vegansaurus’ favorite dog rescue organization, Rocket Dog Rescue!
Doc’s Clock hosts a Doggie Happy Hour on the first Saturday of every month, because it is a caring bar full of animal-lovers, all of whom deserve big kisses on the mouth. By the dogs who’ve benefited from these happy hours, obviously, god. Hazel, the greatest dog in the history of RDR, could be convinced to trade smooches for snacks. I bet.
Be there—2575 Mission St., between 21st and 22nd Streets—from 4 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 5th with lots of cash in hand, as 50 percent of the bar goes right to RDR, in addition to 100 percent of the proceeds from the silent auction OH YES, THERE WILL BE AMAZING ITEMS FOR THE WINNING. I promise you* will want at least one of the WONDERFUL PRIZES. In addition, Doc’s Clock will take donations for VetSOS, which provides veterinary care for the companion animals of homeless people. Bring collars, leashes, harnesses, animal first aid supplies, unused animal medications—anything a pet might need, a homeless pet probably needs as well.
With all that good you can do with so little effort, how can you not go and spend money. FOR THE DOGS, the poor, sweet, needy dogs. You just get drunk and buy stuff, easy-peasy, and the world is a little bit better. See you on Saturday (or else)!
*OK fine, I promise I will want at least one of these things, but really, they’ll be great.
Sweet Justice, the Eat Real Festival, ending the veg vs. omnivore wars, dairy cow tragedy, shark fin soup in the city AND MORE: the Link-o-rama!
Tonight! is Sweet Justice, “a benefit for the AETA 4.” A reminder lesson: The Animal Enterprise Terrorism Actwas introduced in 2006 by California’s own evil betrayer, Senator Dianne “fuck your civil rights” Feinstein. The AETA 4 are activists who were allegedly involved in protests against the University of California’s animal-testing policies; in February, the Joint Terrorism Task Force of the FBI arrested them on charges of “terrorist activities” under the new terms of the AETA. You know, people have taken loaded guns—semi-automatic weapons, even!—to presidential appearances this summer; what kind of agenda do the JTTF/FBI have here, bringing vague “terrorism” charges against animal rights activists? Obviously you must go to the benefit. Our pals Sugar Beat Sweets and Violet Sweet Shoppe will be there with their delicious baked goods! Go to 1884 Market St. at 8 p.m.; entry/donation is on a $5 to $20 sliding scale.
Also starting tonight at Jack London Square in Oakland is the second annual Eat Real Festival. Admission is free (hooray!), and they have all kinds of entertainment planned, as well as a full-on farmers’ market and a beer “shed,” which somehow sounds less tacky than a garden despite the icky connotations of the word “shed.” Admission to that shed costs extra. Don your finest eating clothes—ladies, maternity dresses provide a lot of extra room for stomach expansion!—and don’t miss this opportunity to dine outdoors on the cheap. Do avoid the butchery contest on Saturday though because, puke. Go go go, eat eat eat! Fight that nasty “unnaturally thin and anemic vegan” image! Fun times through Sunday, Aug. 30.
Serious Eats has a great piece on calling a truce between omnivore foodies and vegans/vegetarians. Obviously, we all know that loving food and being vegetarian/vegan are not mutually exclusive, but many people still don’t quite get it.
If you have $80, you can order Japanese-invented molds for growing heart- or star-shaped cucumbers! Hooray! It works like this. Simple, right? Seems like you could grow other tubular fruits and vegetables—zucchini!—in these molds too, and eat a meal comprising nothing but hearts and stars, and die of kawaii. If you don’t want to buy them for $80, you can visit Tokyo and buy them for ¥300, which while more expensive would definitely be more fun. (source: Geekologie)
Dairy cows in Switzerland are falling, or throwing themselves off the Alpine cliffs they live on, and no one knows why. It sounds like they live in paradise in comparison to the way dairy cows in the U.S. suffer, but who knows? All we can say for sure is that this is tragic, and we hope the cows’ caretakers (exploiters) solve the problem soon. Animals are not here for people to use as they like, no matter how delicious the food you can make from them may be. When was “it tastes good” ever a legitimate excuse for animal cruelty?
Let’s look at restaurant reviews in the Chronicle! Michael Bauer is quite fond of the new Plant Cafe, saying that “at times it feels as if meat is a reluctant interloper.” Agreed, Michael Bauer. More importantly, he praises “the way the restaurant incorporates vegan, raw and meat-based cuisines into a single menu,” meaning for vegans it is probably an excellent place for a compromise meal. Final selling point: the executive chef used to be the executive pastry chef at Millennium!
According to AnimalTourism.com, of 69 restaurants in San Francisco offering shark fin soup, only four are vegetarian. What the fuck, San Francisco? You can click here to send a message to your senators about how vile shark-finning is, and how according to AnimalTourism’s research San Francisco has the highest number of restaurants sering shark fin soup in the country, which is beyond appalling. Is this city’s reputation for veg-friendliness overrated?
These baked Thai corn fritters over at Vegan Dad seem like the perfect way to use up some of that (ORGANIC PLEASE GOD DON’T GIVE MONEY TO THOSE EVIL EVIL PEOPLE) corn!
To get you excited, here is this weekend’s deeeeelicious Brassica menu:
Salad - Mexican Caesar with Romaine Hearts, Creamy Cilantro Dressing, Cornbread Croutons, Pickled Radish and Fried Capers
Soup - Pozole Rojo with Hominy and Fresh Corn, Avocado, Shredded Cabbage, and Lime
Entree - Mexican Millet Pilaf and Pioppini Picadillo Stuffed Peppers, over Braised Collards, with Smoky Pinto Beans, and Mole Rojo Sencillo
Dessert - Deep Fried Vanilla-Blackberry Ice Cream, with Chocolate Cinnamon Sauce, and Mexican Wedding Cookies
You’re gonna eat (something like) all that FOR FREE CAN YOU FUCKING BELIEVE IT?! Neither can we! You totally don’t deserve it!
All you have to do to is type a number between 1 and 500 in the comment section below and whoever has the number closest to the one that random.org generates, wins. EASY PEASY, right? Here at Vegansaurus, we don’t believe in thought. In fact, you’re now ten times stupider than when you began reading! Let’s get drunk and break some shit! WOO!!
(we’ll choose the winner in like a week or less so you know, hurry. Kinda.)
¡Buenas tardes! Welcome to a vegan’s guide to eating in Mexico City—with no Spanish!
First thing to learn, you are the only one who calls Mexico City “Mexico City;” everyone else calls it D.F., which is pronounced “day-effay” and stands for distrito federal, or, federal district. In order to get you used to this, so that when you go you too can be mistaken for some other nationality (or at least sound like you know a thing), henceforth we shall also be using this abbreviation.
D.F. street food, while generally delicious-looking and -smelling, can be a tricky business if you don’t speak Spanish—like me! The control you have to give up when you’re speaking through a translator, for people who are using to asking about every ingredient in every “vegetarian” dish in a new restaurant, it’s dismaying. Do not despair; not everything is scary and foreign and dangerous and GOD TAKE ME HOME NOW. Some things are vegan by default!
I love vegan-by-default foods; they’re usually noncontroversial, meaning you can suggest them to, say, your uncle who refuses on principle (I know) to eat tofu without ever saying the word “vegan,” and everyone can partake and enjoy, and there’s no SURPRISE IT’S VEGAN at the end, which apparently some people don’t like. Look, there are people in the world who hate fun, you can’t change them.
In D.F., one of these vegan-by-default items is the agua fresca, which is essentially like drinking fruit; no, not like juice, exactly. You choose one or more fruits that you would like to drink, and the person throws them into a blender with some cold water, blends until everything is evenly textured, pours it into a Styrofoam cup the size of your (my) (read: enormous) head, and there you are, the best fruit drink you’ve ever had. Yes, you can get them here in the city, but do they make them fresh? NO, they ladle them out of plastic tubs, and you don’t get to choose from a multitude of fruits that won’t even be cut until you ask for them. Oh Mexico, your fruit is outrageous.
My introduction to a proper agua fresca was strawberry-lime; first the man blended the strawberries with water, and while the blender was still moving, he threw an entire lime in as well. Entire, as in, skin and seeds and pulp and pith and all, the whole little round green thing, he popped it right in and covered the blender again. When it reached the proper texture—maybe 90 seconds—he poured the entire contents of the blender through a metal strainer and into one of the aforementioned gigantic cups, and gave it to me. I don’t think it cost more than 20 pesos, i.e., less
than $2, and it tasted like heaven. Light and tart and fruity and so, so good; if only I had a larger stomach, that I could’ve finished it before it got warm; it took me a whole hour to drink. Good hydration is especially important in D.F., where the elevation makes the atmosphere thin and in combination with the pollution can turn your mouth and eyes into individual deserts. Don’t let this happen; drink aguas frescas. Drink them with cantalope, with pineapple, with mango or papaya (if you can taste it properly); drink them as often as you need. You can’t drink the tap water so you’ll have to buy something whenever you’re thirsty, so you might as well get a drink that is both unique to your location and a magical taste bud wonderland.
For reference, here is a list of Spanish words for fruits. Remember, the accent indicates the stressed syllable!
Being vegan, most of the time it’s easy to make decisions at restaurants. Usually at most there’s two or three vegan or veganizable items on a menu. With years of practice, it takes about three seconds to flip through a menu and zero in on what I can eat with pinpoint accuracy. (It also “helps” if your parents are there: “Look honey, they have tofu!”)
It can be a little daunting to eat someplace with a really big vegan menu. Cha-Ya's menu is about six pages long and everything on it (over 50 items) is vegan. I’ve eaten some meals here that were oddly disappointing, and others that were “fuck yes” amazing.
My advice for navigating Cha-Ya is this: only get things you’ve heard of before at other Japanese restaurants. Simpler is better. Their tempura is awesome. Their gyoza is amazing. The miso soup and sushi are really good, too. Things like cold soba salad are OKAY, but wouldn’t you rather have something fried? They also have something called “Moon Garden.” Don’t get that. Just don’t. And though you might have heard of natto before, don’t get that unless you’re sure you know what you’re doing. Do enjoy some warm sake with your meal. Do get the ice cream sundae for dessert: it’s vanilla So Delicious with green tea sauce, adzuki bean sauce, pineapple chunks, and toasted nuts. Um, yes.
Cha-Ya has sort of a weird ambience, though. It’s bright and clean and sterile in there, like a cafeteria in the future. This is the case at all three locations so it must be what they’re going for. Japanese people are crazy! I can say that because I once dated someone Japanese, that’s how it works. They only accept cash so be sure to bring some. At the Mission location, they were kind enough to install an ATM inside, but that also makes it feel like you’re eating in a liquor store. The other two locations have ATMs nearby. In other news, ACCEPT A FUCKING CREDIT CARD WHY DON’T YOU IT’S 2009 GODDAMN.
Last night’s Top Chef was bad. The challenge was so contrived: a “battle of the sexes” in which teams were separated by gender and had to cook for a bachelor and bacholorette party. The latter would have been fine (I GUESS) had there not been several lesbian chefs complaining about having to cater a wedding-related event when they themselves could not get married. I get it, but it was irrelevant. This is a cooking show, not your platform.
To make matters worse, the challenge was to create dishes based on shots. Of alcohol. No, the wedding was not fraternity themed. I’m sure it was some producer’s idea, but how dreadful. However, vegan dearies, the bride specified that she had one vegan friend, and that she wanted that person to be able to eat.
Unfortunately, it would appear only one chef made that vegan an actual dish—Hector Santiago created a tofu ceviche (to go with a shot of tequila), which looks super-refreshing and amazing. I could see it being very comfortable on Millenium’s menu. This dish got high raves from the judges, proving they can deal with proteins that are not meat-based [ed: SHOCKING].
It’s too bad the vegan lady was not around for the Quickfire, because the winner of that challenge ended up being a vegan dish! This time it was a gazpacho made with liquid nitrogen. Laurine Wickett, the lady who made bacon donuts last week, also made a vegan asparagus lemon soup.
The other non-meat-tastic dishes were all sides: apple sorbet (also made with liquid nitrogen!), watermelon carpaccio that would have to be modified to get rid of the cheese, ginger carrot soup (minus the sour cream for “garnish”), and someone snuck some arugula in somewhere.
A dish that I would love to see veganized was the winner of the Elimination Challenge, Bryan Voltaggio’s sweet & sour macaroon[ed: actually a meringue; thanks, Bravo] with guacamole, corn nuts and corn puree. It’s meant to be a take on chips and guacamole, and looks like a unique taste sensation. Surely, one of our brilliant, enterprising, resourceful readers could create something similar? Please let us know if you do!
SF Vegan Drinks is tomorrow (Aug. 27th), from 6 to 8 p.m. at Martuni’s! Yes! AND they’ll be selling raffle tickets for $1 each. The prize is a gift certificate to a delicious SF veg restaurant (this month it’s Golden Era! CARAMELIZED CHICKEN I WILL EAT YOU) and the proceeds go to charity; both the restaurant and charity will vary monthly. The charity this month is San Francisco Vegetarian Society! See you there, party people! Ow!
The fancy-fancy: The mainstream magazine and the fashion-conscious vegan
After a close inspection of the September 2009 Elle magazine—September is traditionally the largest issue in a fashion magazine’s publication schedule—I compiled a list of every vegan item featured in the issue. All information (price, designer, manufacturer, etc.) was printed in Elle, unless otherwise mentioned. I am not counting jewelry, as Vegansaurus focuses on animal exploitation (though of course we have OPINIONS on the state of the jewels and precious metals mining industries. We always have opinions, and of humanity they are usually negative.)
page 132: Organic clothing manufacturer Hessnatur and designer Miguel Adrover in concert with Planet Green are holding a contest to promote organic cotton. Submit your t-shirt design through Aug. 31, and the winner’s will be printed on a line of 3,000 shirts. More information here. This is pretty all right of Elle, but the magazine’s lifestyle editor is also one of the contest’s judges, so it’s not like they’re writing about this only out of the goodness of their eco-friendly hearts.
page 206: A one-page feature on the new jeans designs at Gap, which apparently has dropped its “the.” The article doesn’t say anything about the jeans being made of anything but vegan materials (read: denim and man-made), but it’s stillGap, so you can’t completely trust them. Plus, what does this mean, the company “hired an outside consultant who conducted experiments in a lab in Mexico [to find] the best temperature to bake jeans for a good dark wash”? An “outside consultant” experimenting in “a lab in Mexico”? That sounds highly suspicious.
page 270: The inspiration for this article, faux-patent-leather pumps by Guess, $90 per pair (style: Carrie 9). They are neon colors with silver stiletto heels, and I want the hot pink ones really a lot. A LOT.
page 276: A knit dress by New York & Company; its $55 price makes me
comfortable assuming it is a cotton and/or man-made knit. Then again, below it are two dresses by BCBGMAXAZRIA one in polyester for $318, and one in nylon for $248, so what do I know, anyway. That nylon dress is really sweet. Best of all, though, is the vegetable-leather sandal by Pour la Victoire for $350 (style: Paley), which Elle of course places next to a neon orange Michael Kors “feathered” fox fur vest. It is shit like this that makes me really hate Joe Zee.
page 280: An Organic by John Patrick organic (naturally) cotton blouse, $265. It is white. Below, a striped cotton Juicy Couture dress for $178.
page 292: Nylon and spandex riding pants by LNA for $102. I don’t understand the appeal of these, they are super-ugly and silly, you guys. If you want riding pants, go for the gusto and wear riding pants. There are also $50 “faux-leather booties” by Alice + Olivia for Payless but it’s just the “upper” that’s man-made; the sole is still leather. Cute.
page 294: Amid a (presumably) smelly array of leather jackets lies one in purple coated bouclé, by Stella McCartney and priced at an eye-popping $1,645. It makes my eyes pop, anyway. Below, a Guess by Marciano rayon and spandex dress for $158.
page 302: An $85 cotton tank top by 3.1 Phillip Lim.
page 308: A $34 cotton t-shirt by Democracy of Nevermind.
page 348: O.P.I. matte nail lacquer (O.P.I. is a vegan nail polish); Clarins Pro Palette eyebrow kit (no ingredients given, but Clarins is on the non-testing list in the Caring Consumer database, just like the other beauty products noted here). page 350: Urban Decay deluxe eyeshadow; M.A.C. Pro Paint Stick; Smashbox Doubletake lip color; Revlon Super Lustrous lipstick; Clinique Superbalanced powder makeup; Paul Mitchell Fast Form Cream gel.
pages 408-10: In the photos accompanying the Jennifer Aniston profile, she wears a $130 denim shirt by Diesel, and $78 vintage denim shorts and $135 custom vintage jeans from What Goes Around Comes Around in NYC.
pages 424-5 (“Some Kind of Wonderful” spread): A cotton t-shirt for $15 from (the) Gap; a cotton tuxedo jacket for $3,415 by Balmain and a cotton t-shirt by Boss Orange for $425.
pages 426-7 (“SKoW”): a $20 cotton t-shirt from Mango; on the male model, a $50 Gap hoodie, one Calvin Klein Underwear cotton crewneck shirt that sells at $30 for three, and $200 Diesel jeans. The baby’s $35 cotton button-down shirt and $30 jeans are both from babyGap. Interesting how much Gap product is featured in these pages, when just 220 pages ago (essentially the beginning of the magazine) (the) Gap itself was featured. A PERSON MIGHT WONDER.
page 435 (“Age of Enlightenment” spread): Cotton harem pants by Comme des Garçons for $420. The model is also wearing a patent-leather and nandu-feather hat that appears to be a good 12 inches high (the nandu, also known as the rhea, is a flightless bird native to South America)
pages 441-2 (“AoE”): A Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci jersey top, priced at $2,450; Chanel muslin blouse, “price upon request.” Good old “price upon request,” that charming fashion mag canard. Nice to see the standard even applies to cotton blouses!
pages 444-5 (“Ciao, Manhattan” spread, featuring Tommy Hilfiger): Tommy Hilfiger cotton turtleneck for $198 and cotton pants for $128; on the male model, a $348 cotton car coat, $148 cotton turtleneck, and $150 white jeans, also by Tommy Hilfiger. This promises to be one bland set of photos, you guys, everything all navy and white and khaki and blahhhh. All the vegan (read: cotton) clothing I’m listing here is Tommy Hilfiger.
pages 446-51 (“C, M”): Now the man has on a $598 cotton coat. It is still khaki; now, he’s wearing the $148 white cotton turtleneck and $150 white jeans from page 445 again. Never mind what the woman is wearing, animals and insects died to make her clothes and shoes; finally, our man is wearing a $98 poplin button-down shirt.
pages 458-9 (“Away We Go” spread): An Albertus Swanepoel velour hat for $350 sits on the head of a model, who is also wearing a $645 lace bra by Balenciaga by Nicolas Ghesquière; In front of a mobile home, a model is partly covered by a $2,260 viscose twill blazer by Chloé by Hannah MacGibbon. Karl Lagerfeld used to design for Chloé. He left for Chanel at the beginning of his fat days, before he started his anorexia-style diet, subsisting on “homeopathic granules” because he is motherfuckinginsane.
page 464 (“AWG”): A pair of Shaneen Huxham hand-crocheted cotton gloves for $55 on the model’s outstretched hands, while her leather-shod feet stomp on a $4,000 LV trunk resting in the gravel. If I were a cow, I’d be kind of insulted.
page 468 (“Electric Company” spread): A $350 cheetah-print velour hat by Eric Javits and a $59 stretch cotton turtleneck by Liz Claiborne New York, hooray. The hat is fucking ugly, though not as obscene as the one made of rabbit hair on the opposite page.
page 476 (“EC”): Here’s that $59 Liz Claiborne turtleneck again, this time in purple. Still nothing much.
page 485-6: A four-page feature on Justin Timberlake’s fashion line, William Rast. Mostly it’s denim, like a $276 grommet-trimmed skirt, two pairs of $249 patchwork jeans, and a studded-sleeve jacket for $838. There’s leather too, which obviously we will not address (except to say: “fringe-trim unitard”). We’re also treated to several “price upon request” items, including a lace top and a pair of grommet-detail jeans. Justin Timberlake is really into grommets. Imagine the marks the grommets all over your tight jeans would leave on your skin! Ugh no thank you.
That’s all Elle has to offer vegans this month. Well, it also has a lot of clothing and accessories made with fur and/or feathers. I don’t get it, you guys, what is it going to take for these people to stop using fur, at the very least?
Still, good on Elle for featuring almost three vegan shoes—is it the thought that counts? Or was the idea “cheap” before “ethical”—and for dressing Jennifer Aniston in recycled denim. And Tommy Hilfiger works mostly in cotton. I guess, let me know when he starts using organic cotton, and Elle has done its last SKINS SKINS SKINS! layout.
Brought to you by the 496 pages of Elle September 2009. Inspired by Glossed Over, where Wendy in her infinite patience deconstructs fashion magazines.
MILK: "nature's wellness drink!" or, How propaganda becomes fact
We are superfans of Sociological Images blog, and today they call our attention to more deviousness by every vegan’s favorite single-entendre ad campaign, good old Got Milk? Apparently 2009 marks 12 years of famous people hawking the “benefits” of milk, as though anyone needed reminding that cows milk is the nectar of the gods, and abstaining from it condemns you to a brief, miserable life of being short and weak, ending in a painful, osteoporosis-related death. Not to mention how happy producing all that milk makes the cows, and their little male calves, lifelong members of the Future Veal of America club. Cows milk is SO FUCKING AWESOME, why aren’t you drinking some (from the carton, like a real man) RIGHT NOW?
Chicago’s ABC affiliate would certainly like to know! After all, according to the Got Milk Campaign representative (a.k.a., an employee of the California Milk Processor Board), cows milk is “nature’s wellness drink!” It helps you grow, it helps you play, it helps you be the best goddamn human you can be! Eschew it, and you’ll be fat, weak, and morally decrepit before some apple-cheeked seven-year-old can fish his Oreo-brand cookie out of the big glass of icy cold vitamin-D-enriched milk he dropped it in. Don’t believe her? It’s on the news, for heaven’s sake! If it weren’t true, they wouldn’t air it on the news, would they? Enjoy these informative three-and-a-half minutes:
When was the last time you heard soy milk presented in such a positive light on the local news? Never, right? The most recent nonsense I can recall was all that braying about “too much soy” causing little heterosexual boys to become homosexual, because of the evil hormones in soybeans or something. As though anyone supporting the consumption of cows milk products can talk about the dangers of hormone ingestion.
The treatment this news anchor provides this dairy industry spokesperson is something we’d expect from a morning show host interviewing some actor about a film about happy puppies—no real questions, no discussion of issues, just, “Tell me what’s great about your product!” and three minutes of shilling. I can’t say I’m surprised, being of the “all TV news is a bunch of bullshit” school of civic cynicism, but that doesn’t mean I’m not disappointed. Twelve years later and they’re still demanding that we Get more torture-Milk, and still no one is questioning them except loopy health nuts and vegans. Ugh.
The LA Times ran a nice little feature on “vegan fashion” on Sunday. Inside, a number of young designers and boutique owners explain why they run cruelty-free businesses, and it touches on reasons that consumers would want to buy vegan clothing, shoes, and accessories. Seriously, it’s decent, and only a little bit giggle-at-the-loonies. The designers—including Elizabeth Olsen of OlsenHaus, Inder Bendi of Matt & Nat, and Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart of VauteCouture—are all middle-priced brands, less dear than Stella McCartney,* but of higher quality than “polyurethane flats from Payless.” Ew, Payless, que naco. Nothing stylish ever came out of that place.
If you’ve wished you could buy more clothes only to be stymied by all the death and destruction found in even a simple pair of underpants, do not despair: there is more out there for us than cotton and plastics. Today, Vegansaurus introduces a new feature: The Fancy-Fancy, in which we discuss fashion! Because 100 percent of us love clothes a lot, and 100 percent of us take a lot of care to ensure that what we wear reflects our beliefs as much as what we eat. Also, because this is a “living guide” as well as an “eating guide,” and you can’t say you’re really living if you don’t look good.
*Problematic, this one. She’s the only major designer I can think of who doesn’t use any leather, and of course she doesn’t use fur, but she does use wool and silk. Presumably from well cared-for sheep and goats, like those of the Hudson Valley Fiber Farm, but I can’t find confirmation.
You know how banks are fucking awful? Well, they still are. But Chase is handing out free meals at Herbivore (any of the three locations—GET THE STROGRANOFF) but the catch is, you gotta print out the coupon before all the other greedy motherfuckers do. GET TO IT!
(thanks to reader Britney H. for the hot tip. You can also submit hot vegan tips, pitch guest posts, or just tells us how cute we are (hint: very!) by emailing laura at vegansaurus)
Vegan White Russians & baked goods in San Francisco TONIGHT (Monday, August 24th)! Ow!
Tonight the Hemlock Tavern will be hosting another(!!) vegan bake sale and punk rock show starting at 7 p.m.! Come see Pins of Light (whatevs), The Lybians (whoevs), and snack on some sweet stuff from Violet Sweet Shoppe (YAY!!!). They’ll be mixing up some VEGAN WHITE RUSSIANS (what what! in the butt!) and other awesome drinks. Let’s all meet there tonight and get fatter, drunker and more amazing together, okay? The Hemlock Tavern is at 1131 Polk St., between Post and Sutter.
Herbivore adds Soy "Beef" Menu Items! And they're not gross!
Herbivore has added a few soy beef menu items! Woo! It appears they are using Gardein, which was a good decisision. Now, I’ve gone apeshit for the vegan beef stroganoff at Ananda Fuara, and this shit is JUST AS GOOD. Just look at it, it’s beautiful, right? It’s straight delicious and available every day. THANK YOU GOOD LORD. We also got the “Cheese” Steak Sandwich which used Follow Your Heart mozzarella and was also very delicious. It would be nice if they cooked the cheese with the meat more to make it more of a gooey cheesy meaty mess on a bun, but it was still pretty damn delicious, and way better than pretty much anything else on the menu. I might actually crave Herbivore now?? They are truly, how do you say, stepping it up. Mama like.
That is just such a gross expression, I’m truly sorry.
Dan Barber's feet of clay, Ra-Ra-Rasputin, your fucked-up Manolo boots, a falafel truck, stupid scientists, and a busy Bay Area weekend in the Link-o-rama!
If you have ever called yourself an activist, even if only in the mirror with post-shower anger-hair, you must get yourself to the a.Muse Gallery tomorrow from noon to 2 p.m. for the School Lunch Sound-Off! Make Vegansaur Laura’s tireless work on behalf of the nation’s wee vegan and vegetarian children worth all the missed sleep (GET IT?).
Also among your obligations, locals: visiting Jonas and Minty Lewis at SF Zine Fest, the only Vegansaurus-endorsed fest in the country!
Circus protests continue through the weekend! That is an exclamation mark of outrage, by the way.
Don’t forget, Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. is the first-ever San Francisco Street Food Festival! Admission is free, and there will be food and cocktails, with no item over $8, all on Folsom Street between 25th and 26th Streets. The vendors list appears to have a decent number of veg dishes, but not too many, so get there as early as possible, lest the omnivores devour all of everything like a cloud of unethical locusts.
Captain Paul Wilson of Whale Wars (unintentionally?) gives the best quotes ever, explaining his decision to make the Sea Shepherd a “vegan vessel.” To wit: “About 70 million tons of tuna goes into cats everyday. In fact, in a natural world, if a cat ever came face to face with one of those fish, the fish would eat the cat.” He’s right—have you seen how big tuna fish are?
NEWSFLASH: Eating loads of “fatty foods” negatively affects one’s cognitive abilities, i.e., makes you fucking stupid. Ha ha, McDonald’s, we knew you were the devil—except, wait, the data from which the researchers drew their conclusions were gathered from ANIMAL EXPERIMENTS? Whoops! Maybe certain biologists need their cognitive abilities checked; Vegansaurus is enrolling you in our next Animal Torturers’ Reeducation Camp right now.
Hey Golden Gate Restaurant Association: your eternal nemesis, Healthy San Francisco, hasn’t ruined your business forever and ever EAT THE POOR. Perhaps this is linked to the flat-tax/fee some restaurants began charging patrons to compensate for all the money they expected to hemorrhage; perhaps helping the uninsured is a good idea after all. Keep on keepin’ on with that lawsuit, GGRA, you totally don’t look like cheap heartless bastards.
"No, it’s not ocelot fur, it’s, um, ‘cava’! Cava fur! Totally not endangered in their native, um, Spain! Yes, northeastern Spain; this boot is such a fresh look at Mr. Blahnik’s classical Spanish style, DON’T YOU THINK?”
Remember how Dan Barber swore that if he couldn’t convince his geese to enlarge their livers naturally, like his hero Eduardo Sousa, he wouldn’t prepare or eat foie gras ever again? Yeah, turns out he didn’t exactly mean it like that, and Sr. Sousa was not pleased. Sousa, keeper of the freest-range foie-gras-producing geese in the world, also found certain other “cruelty-free” foie gras bird farms to be literally nightmarish.
Next weekend, Aug. 28 to 30 at Jack London Square in Oakland, is the second annual Eat Real Festival. Admission is free, and they have all kinds of entertainment planned, as well as a full-on farmers’ market and a beer “shed.” The list of vendors looks pretty impressive, too. Don your finest eating-wear and join Vegansaurus—it is rare we miss an opportunity to eat on the cheap—though we will of course be missing the butchery contest on Saturday, Aug. 29, because, puke. Go go go, eat eat eat! Fight that nasty "unnaturally thin and anemic vegan" image!
Also happening next Friday, Aug. 28, is Sweet Justice, “a benefit for the AETA 4.” What, and who? The Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act is an ugly piece of legislation introduced in 2006 by one of Vegansaurus’ own elected representatives, evil betrayer Senator Dianne “fuck your civil rights” Feinstein. The AETA 4 are four activists who were arrested by the Joint Terrorism Task Force of the FBI in February of this year because of their alleged terrorist activities related to protests against the University of California’s animal-testing policies. In light of the behavior of the protesters against members of Congress, especially the violent, hateful messages those protesters boldly espouse—going to a presidential appearance with loaded guns!—one wonders exactly what kind of agenda the JTTF/FBI have here. Less depressingly, Violet Sweet Shoppe baked goods will be at this benefit, so, that’s all right.
On my (Meave’s) last night in Mexico, while I was enjoying some bean-and-chile tamales, the most amazing song with the most amazing video appeared on the televisions mounted on various walls of the restaurant. Its brilliance was marred by the decision of the members of the group, Boney M., to all wear various furs throughout the video—that shit was grotesque. I believe the flaunting of these nasty, ghoulish items of clothing is why the song, “Rasputin,” never attained the fame in the U.S. it otherwise deserved because seriously, never was I more surprised and delighted by a music video than by this one. Let’s boogie:
Jonas isn’t only a (ed.: the cutest) member of Vegansaurus, he’s also a brilliant (award-winning!) artist and one of the organizer’s behind the annual SF Zine Fest. Believe it. Here’s a sneak peak at his newest work, Ochre Ellipse 3. It’s super fucking good. You should come to SF Zine Fest and be the first people to get it. Oh and buy his other fantastic comics too. Support your Vegansaurus because you love us so and we’d never lead you astray! Also, if you don’t support us, we’ll be hella homeless and have to sell our MacBooks for vegan donuts because that’s the kind of dumbshit financial move we would make (ed: true!).
Also, we hear that Fat Bottom Bakery will be on hand with delicious vegan treats. Holler at your girl, Fat Bottom Bakery! And by holler at your girl, I mean give me free vegan snacks when I hunt your asses down.
Minty Lewis will be there too! And we already know she’s the best so yeah. There are a million and one reasons to to the SF Zine Fest this year and we just gave you three of the best ones. The other 999,997 are hella good too, we’re just lazy. SO LAZY.
WAIT ONE MORE, and this is totally not vegan-related, but Fuck Yeah YouTube Comments will be there selling these amazing shirts. It says, “Someone get this bitch a job or a dick to suck or something.” People who leave YouTube comments are so magical. GET ‘EM WHILE THEY LAST AND ARE HOT ETC.
The School Lunch Sound Off is an event for students, parents, teachers, and concerned citizens to meet up, enjoy delicious snacks, and talk about the future of the National School Lunch Program and the push to get some healthy, non-dairy vegetarian (read: radio-friendly way to say vegan) options instated.
There will be an interactive segment where students (and anyone else who wants to!) can write letters, draw pictures, plant seeds, and enjoy other fun projects to get closer to where our food comes from. In addition, there will be a contest for students (ages 4 to 18) to create drawings, paintings, songs, poems, or skits and submit them for a chance to win an iPod! Woohoo! Contest entries can be submitted at the event or before the event by e-mailing email@example.com.
There will be tons of free food provided by SF Vegan Tamales, Brassica Supperclub, and Sugar Beat Sweets! You will also have the chance to win some sweet door prizes, and the event itself is free! Please come and pass on the info to everyone you know, in particular students who want to start the school year off with a new iPod!
Oh, and did we mention that Marilu Henner will be there? Yes, the star of Taxi and writer of numerousbooks on nutrition. There will also be health and education experts on hand to give short presentations and answer all your questions.
The Shout Out takes place at a.Muse Gallery (614 Alabama Street in the Mission) from noon to 2 p.m. on Saturday, August 22. More info here! But what else do you need to know? Be there or be a traitor to your cause.
Seitan Equals Downfall For First Eliminated Top Chef Contestant
On last night’s Top Chef season 6 premiere, cheftestant Jennifer Zavala was told to pack her knives and go for a chile relleno dish stuffed with seitan. It was incredibly ballsy of her to start the show off using seitan; Top Chef is completely obsessed with their use of “proteins” and it would have been a great coup if she’d been able to pull it off. Unfortunately, it wasn’t.
At judges table when asked why she used seitan, Jennifer defended her choice saying she wanted to stand out amongst all the other contestants. Judge Gail Simmons (our favorite!) said it just wasn’t very good. On Tom Colicchio's blog, he mentioned it wasn't the fault of the seitan: “In Jen’s dish, it wasn’t the seitan that did her in, underwhelmed by that protein as we were. The dish was poorly done: the breading was falling off because it wasn’t breaded properly, whatever was thrown on the side of it was just a mess…”
Here’s the recipe on BravoTV; it’s not vegan, but could easily be altered by using egg replacer and whatever vegan cheddar cheese you like. I’m perplexed by the use of honey in the tomatillo salsa, so I’m just going to pretend that’s yet another error on the part of Bravo’s copy editors. The dish actually looks pretty good on its own. If anyone wants to try it at home, let us know how it went!
Yes, Fellini is the kind of place that feels the need to append “Ristorante” to their name. You know, so you can tell they’re Italian. They also describe themselves as “fun and funky” and a “bistro.” Wait, come back.
They have a really wonderful brunch menu, which is, ahem, not Italian in any way I can discern. Is this an Italian restaurant or not? I can’t tell. Maybe if the waiters wore overalls and broke bricks with their heads, then we could know for sure. Nevertheless, it does have a pretty large selection of vegan stuff. My recommendations are either the vegan benedict, or the breakfast sausage scramble. Also, it says right on the menu, “All vegan dishes are prepared in VEGAN-ONLY pans,” which is too cool because it means no cross contamination with funk nasty meat, eggs or dairy. I guess you could have gotten that from the VEGAN-ONLY sentence but I felt the need to type it again because it’s cool and I might be autistic? Who knows! Only a doctor, probably.
Fellini has a pizza called “smiling cow” (cute, right?) which is like the vegan version of a Meat Lover’s Supreme. Made with vegan bacon, sausage, and pepperoni, it’s truly, ridiculously delicious, and that’s all you need to know about that. I like this pizza, I give it four Marios!
Thank you, Mr. Fellini! Whoever you are! For bringing fantastic vegan food to the masses at brunch, lunch and dinner. Please open up a second location in my mouth and then we can be BFF. UNTIL THEN WE ARE ONLY JUST REGULAR FRIENDS BUT NOT BFF.
Joel's Moderately Fancy Meal: Savory Bacon-Cheddar Waffles and Another Waffle That Will Not Get as Many Hits as One with Bacon!
A couple days after the family vacation that gave rise to that freaking awesome black bean and peach soup HAVE YOU TRIED IT YET I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT, I found myself trapped in the limbo between CSA deliveries. Not a lot of fresh veggies in the house, but the bread I was getting ready to bake wouldn’t be done until the next day*, and a man’s gotta eat. One thing I always have is various forms of carbohydrates—flour, rice, big spoonfuls of sugar in a pinch—so carbs it would be. I took stock of what little I had in my fridge, took a look out the window at my planter garden, and made today’s recipes based on two principles: (1) breakfast for dinner is perfectly acceptable, and (2) why settle for “perfectly acceptable” when you can fancy shit up, Moderately Fancy Style.
Please to note, you don’t have to be some kind of crazy sourdough-bakin’ fool to follow these recipes!** I made them by modifying my stock sourdough waffle recipe, but you can just as easily add the extra ingredients to a plain old baking powder waffle recipe and it will be almost exactly as delicious. You won’t have that tang of sourdough, so you may want to add a little vinegar (which will also help your waffles get big and fluffy), but that’s up to you and the flavor you’re looking for!
Savory Waffles Two Ways (serves 4) Ingredients Waffle batter 1 cup unfed sourdough starter 2 cups soy milk (you can sub any other non-dairy milk or even water, in which case omit the vinegar) 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar 1 tsp. sugar 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1/4 cup olive oil 1/2 tsp. salt
Savory additions 2 large onions 1/2 cup shredded bacon-cheddar Cheezly 1 tsp smoked paprika 1/4 tsp. cayenne 1/4 tsp. Tabasco sauce 1/2 cup basil leaves, chopped 1/4 cup nutritional yeast 1/2 tsp. sea salt
As with everything sourdough, the waffle batter is a long process (though nearly all of it is waiting). The morning of the day you’d like this for dinner, combine the soy milk and vinegar in a large bowl, and let sit for a few minutes to form an ersatz buttermilk. Then add the starter and sugar, stir well, and stir in the flour. Loosely cover the bowl (I use a kitchen towel), and let rise until bubbly. This should take about eight hours.
When the batter is ready, add the oil and salt. Stir to combine. Then heat a little olive oil in a pan on low. While it warms, dice the onions. Add them to the pan and cook until the onions are translucent and starting to brown. Add them to the waffle batter and stir again.
Now we’re in the final steps. Begin to heat your waffle iron. (What? You don’t have one? That’s ok, this can also be pancakes!) Divide the batter into two equal portions (or more, if you’re making more varieties. Don’t divide more than four ways without increasing the recipe, or you won’t have enough of each). Add the Cheezly, the spices, and the Tabasco to one, and the basil, nutritional yeast, and sea salt to the other. Stir them both to combine (but not with each other). Then make waffles as usual.
To serve, dress the basil waffles with flavorful olive oil and balsamic vinegar. The cheddar waffles are flavorful enough that they should be eaten on their own, hot off the iron.
Variations The largest omission in this recipe is that the basil waffles should clearly have a fresh tomato diced and tossed into the batter. I didn’t have one on hand, but if you do, go for it. If you don’t, add some tomato paste to the onions shortly before they’re done, and sauté it all together for a few minutes. Also, consider using balsamic instead of apple cider vinegar when making the batter.
I hope it’s clear that this is more a template with two examples than it is a set-in-stone recipe. There are hundreds of delicious variations on the savory waffle theme; I hope you’ll come up with some of your own. Here are some more suggestions:
mozzarella and marinara sautéed wild mushroom corn and jalapeño black bean and peach (what, it is a very good flavor combination!!) pepperoni and green olives feta and thyme
* Sourdough takes a long time, but you can’t rush perfection! ** Although if you want to be and don’t know how, leave a comment! More sourdough recipes could be arranged!
This has been an installment of Joel’s Moderately Fancy Meal, brought to you by Joel, of Joel and Nibbler.