Vegan road trip: San Diego! »
When going down to San Diego, I had no intention of eating my way through the whole city. Lie: YES I DID! I also didn’t go on a “road” trip: I FLEW! I whisked myself away for the weekend via Virgin America, which means I got to check out the new Terminal 2 at SFO. Two words: PLANT CAFE. Yes, it’s there. Now, normally I would not pay $8.25 for spring rolls, but my vacation started the second I wasn’t late for my flight, so I indulged. Shiitake, tofu and veggie spring rolls with peanut sauce—my getaway was off to a delicious start!
After much consideration (waking up in our clothes from the night before and drinking a couple more PBRs) my San Diego
tour guide friend Matt and I chose to eat at Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza for lunch.
The location in Mission Bay is located in a strip mall. Usually, I find this incredibly tacky, but I knew there would be beer once we were seated, so I decided to let it go.
Stone IPA is a San Diego brew, vegan and incredibly strong. Naturally, I loved it.
Sammy’s has vegan cheese (Daiya, of course, though the waiter was unsure) and a vegan gluten-free crust available. I got my pizza with spinach, mushrooms, and Daiya on the gluten-free crust. Very tasty. So much in fact, I packed this whole thing in my stomach. And two IPAs. I didn’t much feel like going to the beach afterward, but we did anyway. Another awesome thing about my Sammy’s experience is that the waiter was incredibly friendly about all my vegan questions—he checked with the back before he put my order in and wasn’t put off about anything. And he was hot.
Next meal on the agenda: Rancho’s. Matt and I went to the location in North Park, it’s super cute! It has the kind of atmosphere where you could bring a date, your family, or your friends. Plus, the prices are super reasonable with large portions — so, you know, 5 stars in my book. Two drinks and two entrees plus a side of guacamole came to about $35. I felt as though I had eaten like a KING.
I consumed the Veggie Trios Enchiladas topped with Daiya! Oh, and the black beans—so good! I’d never had them spiced so well at a restaurant. My friend was so impressed by this place, he couldn’t wait to come back with his roommate. And I can’t wait to get back to San Diego for another round!
Pokez, in downtown SD, was brunch the next day. Not in the traditional sense of a Sunday morning champagne-filled brekkie, more like a let’s-drink-a-PBR-and-start-our-day-at-one-in-the-afternoon kind of deal. What? I was on vacation!
I had heard rumors about
hipsters bad service, and unfortunately, the rumors are true. I knew to expect it, so I found it funny, but forgot to mention this to Matt. Luckily for me, we are friends because we find the same things funny! Be prepared to wait/be ignored. We put money in the parking meter for 50 minutes thinking that surely that would be more than enough time. Wrong. And Pokez doesn’t serve alcoholic drinks so…that wasn’t the hold up. Food is definitely worth it though. Trust me.
It didn’t matter I had enchiladas the night before—I needed more! Two tofu-and-mushroom-stuffed enchiladas with cabbage salad on the side. The menu doesn’t specify that the entrees come with cabbage salad, so being the glutton I am I ordered—
—a tofu, potato and mushroom taco! Vegan Mexican food heaven. Except for the whole no-beer-on-the-menu thing. And slow service.
After my body had to go to the work of digesting everything I’d eaten in the last 48 hours, plus a little time frolicking in the Pacific, I was ready for more beer! Hamilton’s it was.
Hamilton’s, located in South Park, offers tons of beer, and a vegan burger called the Cattle Decapitation, so bring your sense of humor. I was too full to eat it, but I’ve had it before and I remember it being really good. I thought I could will myself to work up the appetite to order it, but that just didn’t happen. Oh well! All the more reason to go back to San Diego!
I’ve been home about a week and half now, and I’m still full/digesting. San Diego, how did you do it? I’m always hungry in San Francisco!
I think everyone knows by now, but if you don’t, Patxi’s has vegan deep-dish pizza made with Daiya cheese and it’s the mickey fickey bomb. OH ALSO: they hella deliver. With two locations in SF, they have most of the city covered. They’re also in Palo Alto so all you dorks are covered too, but probably not you poor people in East Palo Alto. SORRY, try being born rich! That’s the only thing that will save you now! Moving on: Some Steves I know are hella persnickety about shiz and if you like stuff to taste its best, you’ll heed his ordering how-to:
It takes a really long time for them to make the deep dish (worth it, though!), usually around 40 minutes. But you can call ahead before you come in, and they’ll start making it for you, even if you’re going to sit down and eat there. Not everyone is impatient but sometimes you want the slow, leisurely part of the dinner to happen after you’ve stuffed your face and you’re no longer an inch away from cannibalizing your unsuspecting dinner date. You can also have them prepare a pizza but not bake it, then you bring it home and bake it whenever you want. I’ve never done this, so I have no idea how it turns out. Point is, they are flexible and they know how busy and important you are.
If you’re like me and just want to be fat and happy ASAPly, have them deliver to your face and then eat it all. And by eat it all, I mean you’ll be lucky if you get through a piece HOLY SHIT SO BIG AND FILLING. It’s a little expensive but you have to consider that it’ll provide enough sustenance to get you through the zombie apocalypse.
Let’s hear it for Chicago-style deep-dish vegan pizza in San Francisco! Some dreams do come true! Not like the ones where you live in a pink mansion in Malibu surrounded by Nagels but at this point, I’ll takes what I can gets.