Victory Burger opens in Oakland!  »

Victory Burger, the burger joint that Kickstarter built, is open! And it is damn good. DAMN GOOD. Since it’s steps from my front door, I’ve eaten there about 50 times and confirm that everything is extremely legit. Also, I CAN’T FIT INTO MY PANTS DONT LOOK AT ME. As soon as I’m done writing this, it’s off to the Y to exercise (for health! and also because I can’t afford to buy new clothes right now!) but first, let’s drool.

Here’s the menu; you can see the incredible amount of tasty vegan food up on it. Two different types of vegan sandwiches (a curried burger YUM or an arepa filled with marinated tofu, plantains, avocado, and an addictive slaw!), coconut ice cream milkshakes (with add-ins! I’ve had peanut butter-chocolate, chocolate-banana, and strawberry-balsamic!), and tasty-ass deep-fried pickled veggies and fries with AVOCADO MAYO. It’s seriously the best place for your vegan burger and fries fix in town. It’s a classy-ass diner and I’m in love.

Now, some pictures:

WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?! Victory Burger is on Alcatraz at San Pablo, right next to Actual Cafe, and is open Wednesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Hopefully their hours will expand but they’re a brand-new baby restaurant so give these fools some time, OK?


Bay Area: Koja Kitchen’s MUST EAT Teriyaki Zen with Pineapple!  »

Koja Kitchen, a San Francisco-based food truck, dishes up plenty of meat-mouth entrees, but they really shine in the veg department. (I’ve heard this from vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores alike, so put that in your pipe and choke on it!)

Their “Teriyaki Zen with Pineapple” is maybe the best thing I’ve eaten all month. That is saying a lot as I’m nearly constantly eating as evidenced by the fact that I am typing this with one hand while eating a hot dog. When people say that they are typing with one hand, it is usually an allusion to jerking it. But not me, I am always talking about eating, ALWAYS.

Koja Kitchen’s Teriyaki Zen with Pineapple’s homemade patty consists of portobellos, soy, and spices all mashed up and mixed into MEATY PERFECTION. It’s then topped with a caramelized pineapple slice, Japanese seasoned romaine lettuce, teriyaki sauce, and served in TOASTED RICE BUNS. The buns are made of rice! It’s sorta like a giant amazing sushi roll IT IS THE VERY BEST. I really can’t stress enough how good this is and you must check their weekly schedule and go eat one immediately. Or three. Three is probably a fair amount and I mean that seriously and with all of my little piggy heart.


Food Cart Review: Liba Falafel Truck  »

In San Francisco, street food seems to be all up in the hizzy! Even for vegans! It’s gonna be the next Austin, Texas (where vegan Philly cheesesteaks and chocolate-dipped bananarchists come from carts) or some shit, but cold all the time.

Sadly, the East Bay seems to be lacking in novel food carts. Our street food is almost exclusively taco trucks, and I so much wish lard was vegan.

So Thank Dog for Liba Falafel Truck! These fantastic people park twice a week right in front of the Pixar studio (who keeps pumping out fucking adorable movies like animal-friendly Up and monster-friendly Monsters, Inc) in Emeryville.

The well dressed woman who took my money told me everything but feta cheese and some yogurt sauce were vegan. She said she wanted to make it easy for us! how nice! They’ve got tons of options, but I kept it simple. Your falafel sandwich comes with the essentials, chimichurri herb paste, a GODDAMN pickle, hot sauce or no hot sauce, and three of six crazy add-ons. I chose roasted eggplant, red cabbage with black sesame seeds, and hummus. There are also some over-the-top complimentary condiments, but LET ME GET TO THE POINT!:

It was delicious. One of my top 2 falafels ever! Would eat again!

Check it out from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Mondays at 64th & Hollis Streets in Emeryville, Tuesdays and Thursdays at Park Avenue and Hollis Street in E’ville, and Wednesdays and Fridays at 155 De Haro St. at Alameda Street in San Francisco.


Restaurant Review: Shangri-La Vegan in Oakland!  »

Manzanita Shangri-La Vegan is the place to go when you’re sick of feeling like a big fat greasy intoxicated pig and need to feel cleansed, which is obviously not good for all occasions but certainly has its place. It’s organic, vegan, macrobiotic food FOR CHRIST’S SAKE. I know that just made half of you go, “oooh…tell me more” and it made the other half (the smarter half, some might say) go, “DISGUSTING I HATE YOU LAURA I HOPE THIS BLOG BURNS TO THE GROUND.” However, I would ask you to reserve judgment as I am so often unwilling to do. Manzanita Shangri-La Vegan is actually quite fantastic. Be prepared to be surrounded by white people with dreads who might step outside for a delightful mid-meal game of hacky sack (but you’re used to that by now, aren’t you). Just go with it. If you can’t handle a woman coming up for some fresh air after an invigorating partner yoga session to openly breastfeed her seven-year-old, what can you handle!? JESUS, GROW A PAIR.

Things that are especially delicious: the salad dressings, the kale (I don’t know what they do but MAGIC!), and actually pretty much everything is really good. Except the vegan baked goods. As you might have guessed, I’m a junk food vegan so I know how hard it is to get the baked goods right, but come on. You’ve got time and a kitchen, let’s get to practicing! Less time making daisy chains and sexing in communal hot tubs (SHUDDER) and more time in the kitchen! ALL SAID, this place sounds way more hippy-dippy than it actually is (lie) and the food is way worth a visit (truth).


Review: Chevy’s Fresh Mex!  »

I was a waitress at a Chevy’s one summer break from college. Oh fuck off. Like you never gave a blow job you didn’t regret. Actually, I waitressed at the Chevy’s in Alameda which was the VERY FIRST CHEVY’S EVER. Thas right. Chevy’s originated on The Island. You’re surprised? Alameda is basically Texas-Mexico. I know, I want to burn the whole Island down too. Anyway, that Chevy’s is now defunct but I picked up some odd shifts at different Bay Area Chevy’s and have eaten at a few (I KNOW) so I feel qualified to write a review about them and let’s be honest, even if I didn’t, I’d write it anyway.

Now, the only things to really eat at Chevy’s as a vegan are the chips, the salsa and the margaritas. Four food groups covered? Check! They actually have a large and decent tequila selection and I recommend a top shelf on the rocks with salt. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES ARE YOU TO GET THE FROZEN MARGARITAS. They totally skimp on the amount of tequila to nasty-sweet-slushy ratio and the only buzz you’ll end up with is a cold freeze followed by a shitty sugar rush. Or fuck it, who are we trying to kid? You’re at CHEVY’S. Get a MangoGuavaWatermelonRita with seven pieces of giant fruit and nine Mexican flags hanging off of it. It might be 2,000 calories and not get you even remotely drunk but you’ll be this ridiculously ridiculous American asshole drinking a fake margarita at a fake Mexican restaurant and let’s just do the damn thing!

You might also consider enjoying some fresh flour tortillas from “LA MAQUINA”. I’m pretty sure that’s Spanish for, “TERRIFYING DEATH TRAP”. It’s this insane tortilla-making machine that looks like a medieval torture device. They have one at every Chevy’s, lucky you. When I worked there, I had nightmares about getting my arm caught in LA MAQUINA and being left with a tortilla for a hand. Scary business. You can also get some shitty salads and a veggie fajitas plate but what’s the use? I already told you your dinner is seven margaritas and 10 baskets of chips. Oh also, don’t forget about,”El Happy Hour" (I couldn’t make this shit up) where all well drinks and some crappy beers are $3 from 4 to 7 p.m. I don’t think they do this in the SF locations because they know we can afford their ridiculous prices. Assholes.

Speaking of, since I’m always drunk off my dinner when I’m here, I can’t really comment on the service but I’m guessing by my skillz in that department that it’s pretty fucking horrendous. I was either drunk, high or completely disinterested during every single one of my shifts. In fact, I was probably a better waitress drunk than I ever was sober…at least then I was TRYING to focus so that I wouldn’t bite it when walking to your table or like, throw up on you. I’ll tell you another thing, fucking people who eat at Chevy’s are the fucking worst. I had my ass grabbed by a GUY WEARING A BACKWARDS BASEBALL CAP, I was referred to simply as “Red” by several dudes old enough to be dead and I can’t even tell you how many times I was condescended to by the Beverly Hillbillies out for a fancy dinner at Chevy’s. I made it a point to mention 19 times each shift that I was on BREAK from COLLEGE in NEW YORK CITY because I just couldn’t stand being asked if, “I understood the order?” one more time by some twat with seven teeth. Either that or I’d tell some bizarre lie about how I was a scientist from NASA who recently cracked the Flux Capacitor and traveled BACK through TIME into the FUTURE to er, wait tables at Chevy’s Tex Mex.

This is also the place where I learned from Sonya, the giantess Swedish bartender, to always order a “Crown and Water” on a date because even though it tastes like earwax, men love it. I’ve found this secret to be very true and ladies, I pass it on to you today. I’ve drank so many of these that I actually like the taste now, go figure. It’s no Midori Sour but come on, what is? There is no competing with the King of Girl Beer.

I hope this review doesn’t get me sued.

Logistics: Chevy’s has nine Bay Area locations, four in SF. Mostly downtown-ish and one in Stonestown shopping center. You might be forced to go there on a work-type event. That is when this review will help. I think.

[margarita photo by dipdewdog; la maquina photo by americanvirus]


Review: P.F. Changs!  »

Fuck it. I almost didn’t post about how much I love P.F. Changs because I know it might/should rape away any faith people had in my reviews of Chinese restaurants. And you should have faith in my reviews of Chinese restaurants because even though I am a Whitey McVegan, I slept with a Korean dude once, OK? What i’m trying to say is that I have an old Chinese soul. My taste is autentico. Moving on. I know the food here is about as authentic Chinese as Michael Jackson is authentic black but like, the shit is tasty! They have lots of vegan options and the tofu lettuce wraps—chopped up bits of flavorful tofu and veggies that you wrap up in lettuce leaves and eat, I think originally conceived of for Skinny White Bitches on Atkins but it’s all good—and coconut curry tofu make me happy to be alive. They also have an excellent eggplant dish and a few other tofu/veggie options. They know what vegan means and don’t make their vegetarian dishes with any kind of fish sauce. I know that is a result of this place being half-owned by a white guy but guess what, I LOVE IT. Oh and a full bar. Hooray! Also, the waitresses are mad hot, makes me want to get all drunken frat boy on them and be all, “Take it off! Take it ALLLLL off!” but that’s wildly inappropriate as I am a straight girl and also because it’s just wildly inappropriate.

Just a side note: I was in Santa Monica once visiting a friend and I told him to take me out for some authentico Chinese food, SoCal-style and he fucking brought me here. I mean, I should have known better; this is the same fool who pointed me towards La motherfucking Salsa when I requested good Mexican food. Never take dining advice from any WASP. Any WASP but me.

One more note: there are no P.F. Changses in SF proper because the inhabitants of our fine elitist Chinese city might burn it to the ground but there are a few in the East Bay, Marin and the South Bay. P.F. Changs thrives in Pleasanton and Walnut Creek because those cities are made of white people and malls, P.F. Changs’ natural breeding grounds.

Finally, the art on the website amazes. The link to that horse is [Ed.: used to be]: HEROES? WHAT? I GUESS I’d want that crazy ghost horse to save me but I think it’s more likely he’d take me back to his dark lord after he had had his way with me. That horse = total potential rapist.

[horse photo by Josh Puetz]


Review: Rudy’s Can’t Fail Cafe!  »

Fuck the waitress at Rudy’s Can’t Fail Cafe here for the following conversation:

My mother: Oh this is fun music, is it a Halloween tape?
Hooker Whore Waitress (ROLLS HER M’EFFIN’ EYES AND SAYS): Um, NO, this is The Cramps.
Hooker Whore Waitress: Yeah, well, it’s The Cramps, NOT Halloween music.

It’s like, my mother is clearly in her 200s and doesn’t know The Cramps from The Shins from the Elvis, SO FUCKING BE A LITTLE NICE. These ladies need to be sent to charm school or clown college or somewhere where they are fucking taught some g-d manners. In fact, bring me in to school these bitches, they’ll be delivering waffles on a cloud of pirouettes and curtsying after giving you coffee made of dreams and shit like that. I’m all class, people.

Other than that, decent vegan breakfast selections and any of the egg dishes can me made with tofu. They also offer Soyrizo and Morningstar vegetarian (fuck you, Morningstar) sausages. For lunch, you’ll have your normal choices of a few salads and the unexceptional Portobello Mushroom burger. Oh yeah, Boca burgers too. Woo. One exciting thing about the dinner menu is Buffalo Tofu but there isn’t a vegan ranch or anything so you’ll probably be left to dip it in oil & vinegar. Woo.

Rudy’s Can’t Fail Cafe, for all of its hipness, still isn’t totally down with the vegans. I never really look forward to eating here; nothing on the menu seems especially made to lure in the veggies. I don’t like that. For its location, atmosphere and its supposed anti-establishment ways, there should be more of an effort made to hook a vegan girl up! One final note: there is one nice chef who will make substitutions in orders and one mean chef who will fucking make no exceptions even if you will die of an allergic reaction due to a certain ingredient in a menu item. He’s all, live with it. Even if you don’t. What an ass.

One extra point for when they let me put flyers of my foster dog named Rudy up all over the place. He’s this really cute blind pit bull and they wallpapered the restaurant with him. It was capital-A Awesome.

[photos via Rudy’s Can’t Fail Cafe]

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