vegansaurus!

03/28/2013

Ike’s takes Los Angeles!   »

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Ike’s is the top spot in the Bay Area for serious business vegan sandwiches, and this very spring he’s opening a new shop in L.A. What’s more, he’s replacing a Subway! What? Per Scott James:

Ike’s secured the Westwood spot after a campaign on Facebook that encouraged fans to email the property owner, asking her to rent the space to Ike’s after Subway’s lease expired. It was a risky move that Shehadeh admits could have backfired. “If she was going to get mad, she wasn’t going to rent to us anyway,” he said.

Instead, Shehadeh said, the landlord was impressed when she was flooded with 1,000 emails in favor of Ike’s. Such passion…for a sandwich shop? Soon the deal was signed.

The rest of the article is mostly about James’s relationship with his reportage of the saga of Ike’s in San Francisco, which is significantly less interesting. The point is: Congratulations L.A., the king of vegan sandwiches is coming to you! Viva Ike’s!

[photo by digiyesica via Flickr]

04/25/2012

Be on TV and eat free vegan sandwiches on Friday at Ike’s SFSU!  »

Okay, fame whores and people who love free shit (you should all still be reading): Ike’s SFSU is going to be on Vegan Kitchen TV on Friday, April 27, with free vegan samples from 3 to 4 p.m. Ike himself has kindly invited us all down to eat, drink and GET DISCOVERED! All right!

I’ve heard some rumors that Ike is serving non-vegan food to vegans, and that’s not true. He uses Tofurky, vegan meatballs, and Viana vegan chicken. There was a short period of time when the company making their vegan chicken went out of business, and during that time, they served Tofurky in its place. Ike’s has always been crazy sexy cool (read: honest) with me about the sandwich ingredients, and I’m so thankful that they’ve brought their gluten-y goodness to the vegans!

So, feel free to eat your Ike’s with abandon, and let’s get on the fast track to type 2 diabetes, and FAME. YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE!

11/07/2011

ACT FAST: Free Sandwich at Ike’s Place!   »

You all know how Ike’s Place is back up and running at a location catty corner to his original and we’re all very very happy about it?? Well! Now they’re giving away FREE IKE’S PLACE SANDWICHES and you don’t even have to send one million dollars to a Nigerian prince to get it! Amazing!

The actual sandwich is the Vegan Ugly Owl (vegan breaded chicken, vegan cheese, teriyaki sauce, HELLO DELICIOUS) and you need to just go to Scoutmob and give them a fake email address and then GIRL, HOOK IT UP! You gotta order it today and it expires on November 13 so you MUST ACT FAST! Don’t say we didn’t warn you!

Also, in other awesome Ike’s news, you know there’s a VEGANSAURUS SANDWICH, right?? To find out what it is, you have to go to Ike’s Cold at Stanford, and pick one up. All we can say is, it’s delicious, and there’s a fucking VEGANSAURUS SANDWICH AT IKE’S. We’ve truly arrived in the land of deliciousness!

[delicious vegan ike’s sandwich photo via yelp]

10/13/2011

I love you, Subway. Now give us more vegan options!  »

Last time I posted about how much I love fast food/chain restaurants, the responses were mixed. Some of you were all, “Me too (and duh, of course the beans have bacon in them),” while others exclaimed, “WTF is wrong with you, you live in SF, eat somewhere better!” I’ve taken all sides into consideration and I’m back, to shout my love of Subway, from the rooftops of San Francisco! (Or type it out while watching Seinfeld in my apartment, whatever).

I’m not saying pick Subway over Ike’s Place or anything, but on a road trip in the middle of fucking nowhere, with no gourmet vegan restaurant to eat at; in the suburbs in the middle of nowhere at your parents’; stuck with picky eaters (only pasta with marinara sauce or dry turkey sandwiches, for real?): a popular chain restaurant it is! SUBWAY! I totally recommend the ‘Veggie Delight’ with sweet onion sauce as your condiment! DELICIOUS.

Subway, I loved you, but I wasn’t IN love with you. Until today! In honor of Vegetarian Awareness month, Subways asks us, the vegan people, what we want them to carry on and for their sandwiches! Compassion over Killing has made a spiffy little website where you can leave comments about what Subway should do and what products they should carry. You guys, it’s a forum for you to COMPLAIN ABOUT SHIT, and it will be valued. DO IT. Get your vegan angst out! Subway WANTS you to!

[image courtesy Compassion Over Killing]

12/08/2010

Ike’s Place may be coming back to 16th Street! With your help!  »

Looks like Ike’s Place is closing in on a new and permanent location, and they need your help making it real. You might remember 2010’s Ike’s Place eviction drama, leaving Ike’s homeless, until local Castro straight bar Lime took them in on a temporary basis. But let’s face it, mixing the white pants blind-before-breakfast crowd with low blood sugar Dirty Sauce junkies has never been a sustainable arrangement.

Ike’s Place hopes to move in to their new location at 3489 16th Street on January 2nd, and they can do it with your help:

On December 16th at 10:30am, show up to the San Francisco Planning Commission meeting at City Hall, Room 400, and voice your opinion. If you’ve never been to a Planning Commission meeting, it’s really easy. Just wait around until your issue comes up, then when they open up the floor for public comment, go up to the mic and say that you’re in favor. You don’t need a suit or a prepared speech; this isn’t CSPAN.

Can’t make it on the 16th? Here’s something easier you can do instead. But you have to do it by the end of today. Send an email to Sharon Lai at Sharon.W.Lai@sfgov.org, and tell her you support Ike’s Place moving in at 3489 16th Street. It’ll take 15 seconds.

The new location will be 3500 square feet, which is seven times bigger than their previous hole-in-the-wall. So, the new neighbors will be hard-pressed to find anything to complain about. Who knows, they might even support having Ike’s below them as their own personal pantry. I know I would.

11/11/2010

EVERYONE! Please please please come to the super-fun Paws n’ Play benefit for Rocket Dog Rescue this Saturday, Nov. 13 at The Women’s Building in the Mission! 
From 6 to 8 pm. there’s a FREE pet fair with all sorts of awesome vendors and tons of vegan food and drinks! We’re talking vegan sandwiches from Ike’s Place, cupcakes from Fat Bottom Bakery and Sugar Beat Sweets, and cookies made with Eat Pastry Cookie Dough! There will also be tons of beer, wine, a raffle with awesome prizes, great vendors (get your holiday gifts!), adoptable ADORABLE dogs, and MORE! 
Then, from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m. there will be BINGO! Served up with vegan chili pie, cornbread, and the best fucking prizes ever, including a $100 gift certificate to Millennium, Southwest plane tickets, and a signed SF Giants cap from MVP Édgar Rentería. Seriously, you gotta be there so COME! Please!
Rocket Dog is so desperate for funds right now. We want to keep up our legacy of saving the dogs that nobody else can—your pit bulls, your tripods, your one-eyed chihuahuas! Play Bingo for those who cannot! I’m crazy! See you there! Etc.!
This benefit is sponsored by The Bold Italic and Pawesome because they are the raddest best!

EVERYONE! Please please please come to the super-fun Paws n’ Play benefit for Rocket Dog Rescue this Saturday, Nov. 13 at The Women’s Building in the Mission! 

From 6 to 8 pm. there’s a FREE pet fair with all sorts of awesome vendors and tons of vegan food and drinks! We’re talking vegan sandwiches from Ike’s Place, cupcakes from Fat Bottom Bakery and Sugar Beat Sweets, and cookies made with Eat Pastry Cookie Dough! There will also be tons of beer, wine, a raffle with awesome prizes, great vendors (get your holiday gifts!), adoptable ADORABLE dogs, and MORE!

Then, from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m. there will be BINGO! Served up with vegan chili pie, cornbread, and the best fucking prizes ever, including a $100 gift certificate to Millennium, Southwest plane tickets, and a signed SF Giants cap from MVP Édgar Rentería. Seriously, you gotta be there so COME! Please!

Rocket Dog is so desperate for funds right now. We want to keep up our legacy of saving the dogs that nobody else can—your pit bulls, your tripods, your one-eyed chihuahuas! Play Bingo for those who cannot! I’m crazy! See you there! Etc.!

This benefit is sponsored by The Bold Italic and Pawesome because they are the raddest best!

11/09/2010

Interview with a vegan: Lisa Congdon!  »

Lisa Congdon is a talent to be reckoned with. And by reckoned with, we mean PURCHASE EVERY PIECE OF ART SHE’S EVER MADE. Seriously, this lady is crazy-talented. My favorite pieces change moment to moment, but I’m currently lusting after this finch and "Brave Bear" (OMG I LOVE YOU BRAVE BEAR). Actually, I’ll just take one of each, please!

Lisa has lived in SF for 20 years. She is a woman entrepreneur (love) and co-owner of Rare Device, an art gallery and store that sells everything awesome and good (if you haven’t been, you are a fool who is missing out!). We love crafty vegans because they make the world a prettier place and can also design and paint stuff for the rest of us when we need it. You never know when you’re going to want a watercolor of yourself hugging a baby hippo in outer space. Actually, you probably want that right now, huh? Anyway, follow Lisa on twitter and buy everything in her Etsy store and visit Rare Device and be really happy that such a rad chick is vegan!

Vegansaurus: Are you vegan for health, environmental, animal rights reasons, or a combination?
Lisa Congdon: All three.

V: How long have you been vegan? Why did you become vegan?
LC: I have been a vegan for about two years. I had been thinking a lot about becoming a vegan for a long time, but when I did it, I did it pretty much “cold turkey,” as opposed to weaning myself off stuff over time. It’s sort of funny how it finally happened. My partner and I were visiting my family in Portland. We all love to eat, and we had this really gluttonous weekend of gorging on food, which included a lot of rich cheese. That Sunday we were at the airport for our return flight and we felt horrible and gross from eating so much crap. We went into the bookstore in the airport and we saw Skinny Bitch on the table. A friend had told me about it, so we bought it. We dove into it right away right there in the airport and read it together. We finished it before we got back to San Francisco (love the book, but it’s the Reader’s Digest version of “why be a vegan”). That same week I went a little heavier and read the The China Study and, we also went to see Food, Inc. That movie sealed the deal, and we both became vegan that same week. We’ve continued to educate ourselves as much as we can about the benefits—health, humane, environmental—of eating a plant-based diet, and feel like it was one of the most important choices I have ever made in my life.

V: What’s the best part of being vegan?
LC: There are so many amazing things. I’ve never felt so good in my life, both physically and mentally. I have far more energy than I’ve ever had, which is scary because I have always been pretty energetic. I sleep better, I never feel sick after eating—except maybe after I have the potatoes at Gracias Madre, which are completely naughty. I also feel good about causing less harm to other living creatures and the environment. I revere animals, and now I feel like I walk the talk. I can be more like Ellen DeGeneres, who is my personal hero. Oh, and I have become a mean vegan chef.

V: Do you have any companion animals? Where are they from?
LC: I sure do. First off, I have Barry and Margaret, my cats. I got them about five years ago at the SPCA. Margaret is secretary of the house. She makes sure everyone is doing what they are supposed to and if you aren’t, she lets you know. Barry lives a less stressful existence, mostly staring out the window onto the action on Capp Street from our apartment. [Ed. SO CUTE! Also, Vegansaurus HQ used to be on Capp! Perhaps Hazel barked at Barry and Margaret in your window at some point!}

Then there is Wilfredo. Wilfredo is a chihuahua I rescued from Wonder Dog Rescue about three years ago. He’s three and a half, and he’s a very good, sweet, gentle, loving boy. He’s just the kindest dog you’ve ever met, and very cuddly and amazingly loving. He’s got a really wonderful, distinct personality and beautiful green eyes. Unlike many chihuahuas, he loves people, even strangers. And he doesn’t bark, which is also pretty ridiculously amazing. Wilfredo and I will be featured on the The Bold Italic’s upcoming Pet Week [Ed.: It’s THIS WEEK and culminates in an awesome party on Saturday night at The Women’s Building in SF! The party will benefit Rocket Dog Rescue and there will be all sorts of vegan food there, including cupcakes from Fat Bottom Bakery and Sugar Beat Sweets, cookies from Eat Pastry, and VEGAN SANDWICHES FROM IKE’S PLACE! Plus, vegan chili and cornbread and BINGO and a pet fair and awesomeness! COME!]!

V: What is your favorite animal? I know, this one is REALLY TOUGH.
LC: Oh geez, I HATE this question. It’s a toss-up between dogs, horses, goats, and sheep. Although this summer I visited the Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen and I really must say I have a thing for pigs. And cows. Someday I want to have a barn.

V: Does being vegan affect your art? If so, how?
LC: Not really; my subject matter hasn’t changed too much since I became vegan. That said, I make the bulk of my living doing illustration work, and I did turn down a high-profile illustration job recently—it was for a cookbook—because they wanted me to draw diagrams of animals about to go to slaughter, with the cuts of meat and the like. I said I wouldn’t do it and told them why—as professionally as possible, of course. I lost the job and I have no regrets.

V: You have lots of art with animals in it; do you have a favorite?
LC: I think my favorite animal painting I’ve ever made is the "Mountain Goat"

V: What’s your favorite vegan cookbook?
LC: That’s another hard question! It’s a toss up between Veganomicon for basics, The Conscious Cook for fancier recipes—such amazing concoctions in there and I do like Gardein a lot—and Vegan Table for awesome seasonal recipes.

V: Favorite vegan restaurant? Favorite vegan dish at a restaurant?
LCGracias Madre. I am not sure what I ever did without it. It’s also rad—and dangerous—that it’s around the corner from where I live. And my favorite dish is their naughty Papas al Horno, potatoes with cashew nacho cheese sauce!!!

V: Are you willing to have Vegansaurus over and cook us a vegan feast? If so, what day?
LC: All 11 of you? ;) [Ed.: YES! God!]

Thanks, Lisa! You’re the most amazing and we are officially in love with you. Check out our other Vegansaurus interviews and apply to be interviewed YOURSELF! Just email and we’ll totally interview your fascinating ass.

[Lisa’s amazing portrait of Wilfredo is above; all photos and art in this post by Lisa!]

10/26/2010

Jenn Shagrin of Veganize It…Don’t Criticize It and new cookbook Veganize This!  »

Introducing Jenn Shagrin (aka, Jenn Shaggy!) from the fantastic vegan blog/vegan blog with BEST NAME EVER, Veganize It…Don’t Criticize It! and the upcoming cookbook, Veganize This!. We love her and her blog, her new cookbook appears to be UNSANE; this lady can veganize pretty much anything and her recipes freak us out, in a totally good way. You need to get to know her and then buy her book and bookmark her blog and be a better/fatter person because of it!

Are you vegan for health, environmental, animal rights reasons, or a combination?
I’m definitely a vegan for a combination of reasons. First and foremost, I’m against cruelty to animals of any kind. I even feel guilty when I have to yell at my dog for chewing up my undies. I also don’t want to contribute to the negative impact that animal-product consumption has on the environment. As for health reasons, that’s probably the lowest on the list. It’s great that I’ll most likely have low cholesterol, but I also occasionally veganize some fried or comfort foodie goodness, so I’ll leave it up to chance.

How long have you been vegan? Why did you become vegan?
I’ve been a vegan for about six years now. My path to veganism started many moons ago when I read Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle and realized exactly where that steak on my plate was sourced. Reading that book sparked my interest in animal rights, and vegetarianism onto veganism seemed the obvious path to travel. My best friend going vegetarian in our early teens additionally motivated me to cut meat out initially, then meeting my first vegan friend when I moved to California helped me realize I could make the full transition.

Do you have any companion animals? Where are they from?
I have two adorable dogs. Izzy, a Cairn terrier mix, who we rescued from a shelter here in Los Angeles. He’s a lucky dog, as he was abandoned as a puppy and fell ill with parvo. He’s definitely our little survivor. Our second dog, Pepper, we rescued from Louisiana just days before he was going to be dropped off at the pound. He’s a Miniature Pinscher mix, but believes he’s the size of a Bullmastiff.

Do you have any super-cute photos of animals to share with us? Favorite animal videos on YouTube?
Here’s a great picture of our pups laying together. All right, maybe it’s a little TMI (which you’re used to if you read my blog), but they’re total gay lovers.

What is your favorite animal? I know, this one is REALLY TOUGH.
Well punch me in the gut and call me sissy, because I couldn’t pick one from the other. Actually, I take that back. My family’s dog, a bluetick Beagle named Farfel, was my favorite animal ever. He was such a bad ass. No one could tell him what to do.

When did you start Veganize It…Don’t Criticize It!? What’s your favorite recipe from the blog?
I started Veganize It…Don’t Criticize It! in April of 2008. It’s my weekly creative release. My current favorite recipe is the "Turkey," Tarragon, and "Mascarpone" Lasagna, but that’ll probably change in about a week, so you may want to check back.

How did your upcoming cookbook, Veganize This! come about? What’s your favorite recipe from the book?
Veganize This!
 was definitely the spawn of my blog. Everyone I knew kept asking why on earth I didn’t just put all my recipes and ramblings together, and I finally just sat down and compiled the first manuscript in two very sleepless weeks. The process of finding a literary agent and publisher happened so fast after that, I’m inclined to believe someone sprinkled fairy dust on my mom’s womb prior to my birth. My favorite recipe has to be a fusion dish called "Chicken" Marsala Masala with Fresh Morels. It’s divine.

What’s your favorite other vegan cookbook?
To be perfectly honest (and I’ll probably get my ass kicked for this one), I don’t read a lot of vegan cookbooks because I’m so focused on veganizing the un-vegan. But if I had to pick just one, I’d have to say Vegan with a Vengeance. It really inspired me.

Favorite vegan dish at a restaurant? 
This also changes constantly, but as of late, Masa of Echo Park’s vegan Chicago-style Deep Dish Pizza is off the chain.

Favorite vegan restaurant?
In Los Angeles, I’m a huge fan of Madeleine Bistro and Vinh Loi Tofu. Not only is the cuisine amazing at both, but I highly respect the chefs that run both establishments.

Are you willing to have Vegansaurus over and cook us a vegan feast? If so, what day?
No. Haha…gotcha! Of course I will. Next time I go visit my parents in SF, I’ll whip up a buffet.

Any questions for Vegansaurus? Anything!
Boxers or briefs? Wait, wait. I can do better. What am I missing out on food-wise when I visit SF? What’s the best of the best? Some of my favorites are MillenniumIke’s Place, Herbivore and Cha-Ya…just so you know where I’ve already hit up. (Ed.; That’s hard! Email me and let me know what your favorite kind of food is and I’ll customize a  SF restaurant guide for you!)

Yay, thanks Jenn! Check out our other Vegansaurus interviews and apply to be interviewed YOURSELF! Just email and we’ll totally interview your fascinating ass.

[All photos from Jenn Shagrin, except that delicious Vihn Loi Tofu shot from quarrygirl!]

09/22/2010

Wait what? Ike’s Place is already back in SF?  »

It seems like only just yesterday that I was walking down 16th, wondering what THE HELL I was going to get for lunch today now that the local sandwich-hating Brownshirts have run Ike’s out of town. And if it seems like it was yesterday, it’s because it was. Literally yesterday.

So this morning (and by morning I mean noon, and waking up at noon doesn’t mean you’re lazy, it just means you work all night, so don’t judge) I woke up to news that Ike’s found a new temporary home, on Market Street in the Castro, inside Lime, as if the invisible hand of the free market teamed up with The Secret to give me exactly what I wanted for lunch (read: breakfast) today. There’s no Ike’s signage at the moment, and they’re taking phone orders only, but there’s also no line so sandwiches are coming out in 10 to 20 minutes. Get on that before everyone finds out. (And what I am doing blogging this? Part of the problem, right here.)

Ike is expecting to stay as Lime’s roommate for at least three months. He also said that there’s a second location in the works (no details yet) and that SF can and will support two locations. Truth. Also in the works: online ordering, iPhone and Android apps, and improved in-person ordering to cut down the wait times.

Everyone wins! Except for Ike’s old neighbors, who have to live out the remainder of their lives hating city life yet hating themselves too much to move. They don’t win. Still, part of me wishes I could cheer them up somehow. I was going to send flowers with a “Hey, let’s be friends” note, but now I’m thinking sexy fireman kissogram?? I don’t know, etiquette is exhausting.

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