vegansaurus!

12/02/2009

N.Y. Dosas: Street Food For The Vegans  »

And now, a dispatch from Vegansaurus NYC!

So you really like Indian food, but you don’t want to give your money to places that also serve flesh. And those places that serve flesh aren’t all that good anyways because they use way too much grease and you hate having to specify no raita. And you really like street food, but there’s never really any vegan food.

So, what do do? Lucky for you: there is dedicated vegan Indian food AND it’s in a cart. So you can get some authentic New York City street food without the guilt because, well, N.Y. Dosas is honestly the best fucking food I have ever had in my entire life. The guy running it is a dedicated vegan out by the park six days a week, rain or shine, to provide everyone with some sweet-ass vegan dosas. He also has some lentil-based crepe for all of our gluten-free brethren and sistren. Plus, check out that awesome ‘stache! Clearly all of the hipsters just stole his facial hair aesthetic.

N.Y. Dosas has no website (it’s STREET, remember?!), but here are the details, should you find yourself in New York:

W. 4th Street at Sullivan Street, New York, NY 10014
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Closed Sunday.

10/23/2009

Vegan Halloween candy, Oprah (!), weekend events, and FINALLY: findings from Japanese whaling research! All in this week’s link-o-rama!  »

Meaverly's computer is out of commission right now (ugh computers are such pieces of shit, except this one, i love you, computer, you are very attractive, please don't explode on me) and so I'm taking over this ship. Get ready to crash into the rocks! Gloriously!

HERE WE GO:

Natalie Portman is gonna be on Top Chef. WILL IT BE AN ALL-VEGAN EPISODE, now that she is recently vegan!? I mean, we think she is but we’ve been confused before! Here’s hoping the episode is totally vegan but we’re not planning on it because OMG COOKING VEGAN FOOD NIGHTMARE HOW WILL WE FIND FLAVOR WITHOUT USING BABY BLOOD!?!? Didn’t they once have a Quickfire challenge where they had to cook fellow contestant’s children? I’m pretty sure that was in Season 3.

Even though we’re nearing the end of October, Vegan MoFo is still in full swing! If you’re interested in winning some awesome handmade cups & dishes, head to Vessels & Wares to enter! You have to put down your favorite blog entry and PLEASE GOD let it be one from Vegansaurus because I’m like srsly close to the edge today.

Vegan chef Tal Ronnen was on Oprah. THAT IS CORRECT. Now, his book is the 3rd best selling thing on ALL OF AMAZON. Such is the power of the mighty, mighty O. IF you missed it, you can check out his recipes from the show and BUY HIS BOOK. Because it’s really great. And we want him to beat out Sarah Palin and take the #1 spot on Amazon! YOU CANNOT LET SARAH PALIN WIN. I need you to fight like we did back in 2008, people.

Remember when the UN Report, LIvestock’s Long Shadow, came out and everyone was terrified and disgusted? Well, apparently that report grossly underestimates exactly how bad animal agriculture is for the earth. Blarg.

Wayne Pacelle, head honcho of HSUS, posted a great blog entry on 50 things you can do for animals. Definitely worth a read and then TAKE SOME ACTION, LAZY.

Speaking of lists, Rory Freeman has a great one up at Crazy Sexy Life. It’s all about how to be a better person and it’s not all schmaltzy and lame, it’s full of good advice. NOW IF ONLY I COULD TAKE IT.

FINALLY, the results from all the Japanese whaling research (read: killing whales and not doing any research) are in: whales eat krill; and, you can’t inject whale sperm into a cow egg and get a hybrid whale-cow. SERIOUSLY. If this makes you really mad—and it must because you have a brain and a heart—donate to Sea Shepherd so that they can get better at doing what they’re doing because even if they look crazy sometimes (read: almost 100 percent of the time), they are the only ones out there doing this and they will get better.

VegNews has up an awesome definitive guide to vegan Halloween candy because we’re all totally fat around here and gotta have it.

You’ve probably for sure seen this but if not, it’s a HOUND DOG hanging with an ORANGUTAN. Watch it and you’ll want to gouge out your eyeballs when you’re done because you’ll never see something so great again. And you’re into self-mutilation. I guess you’d need to have those two things going for you.

The long awaited, Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar, isn’t available on Amazon yet but Cosmo’s Vegan Shoppe has it if you need it gotta have it right now. Which, you might because COOKIES!!!

WEEKEND EVENTS WOO!
If you’re all about the street food, there is an event in the Mission on Saturday, Oct. 24th. I can’t tell exactly what it is, film screenings, mainly, I think. There will be lots of food carts on the scene, many vegan friendly. No guarantees obviously b/c those crazy cart food people can change at any moment because nobody is regulating their shit but here’s hoping! I know Wholesome Bakery is all-vegan and they’ll be there so yeah WOO!

Rod Rotundi, he of the BEST NAME EVER, is promoting his new book, Raw Food for Real People, also on Saturday from 3 to 4 p.m. at Omnivore Books. It’s cool that OMNIvore Books is doing a veg event so let’s all show up and turn it out for the vegans and maybe they’ll do more in the future! Oh also, there will totally be free food at this event so I’m gearing up by not eating today (lie) and most of the day tomorrow (lie).

09/22/2009

Banh Mi by Mai!  »

The Mission, already a magical neighborhood where vegans can eat like royalty, has become even better. How can this be so, in the land of soy milk and agave nectar? Fresh, delicious, vegan banh mi made to order and delivered to your door, is how.

Mai of Fashioni.st just launched Banh Mai, a one-woman Vietnamese sandwich operation based in the Mission. She has a vegan, a vegetarian, and a meat version; of course, Vegansaurus sampled the cruelty-free sandwich, delivered to our hot little hands on a Friday evening by Mai on her bicycle. The vegan sandwich contains standard banh mi ingredients—pickled carrot and daikon radish, julienned; jalapenos; and cilantro—on a rice and wheat baguette, but the magic is in the vegan paté, a combination of shitake mushrooms, baked tofu, walnuts, garlic, and green bell pepper. The tofu is baked with sriracha, soy sauce, and garlic. I’ve never had a Vietnamese sandwich like it before, it’s incredible. Mai packed the pickled vegetables separately, to prevent mushiness, and I recommend cramming them all into your sandwich and letting it sit for a few minutes before eating, to allow the good, crusty roll to soak up some of the sweet and tangy pickling juices. You will die of happiness.

It may not be the spiciest, for spicy food connoisseurs; I found it a touch hotter than I would’ve asked for and I’m a huge wimp, so let’s call the heat level medium and exactly right. Everything was so fresh; the vegetables were crispy, the roll was chewy, the tofu paté added this great texture plus moisture so that, unlike your standard banh mi, it didn’t want for lack of mayonnaise. Finally, it sticks with you, but not in a stone-in-your-stomach kind of way; I ate an entire sandwich before going out for the night, spent four hours dancing, and didn’t get hungry at all. Everyone needs to eat a banh mi by Mai, like, yesterday, I haven’t had a better sandwich this year. Real Talk.

Special Interview Section!
Vegansaurus: Why did you start Banh Mai?

Mai: [To be] part of the San Francisco street food movement; [I] wanted to do Vietnamese sandwiches because I miss this aspect of life in Ho Chi Minh City/Saigon—a place where I lived last year. also, I used my mom’s recipes for elements of the sandwiches, so these are the type of sandwiches I grew up eating: loads of meat filling/vegan filling, great daikon/carrot pickling, homemade mayo. “Banh Mai” is a a play on the name of the type of bread used/what we in the states call Vietnamese sandwiches, and my first name.


What are the service details?
I started delivering in the Mission last week. Wednesdays and Thursdays [are delivery days], 10-sandwich minimum, might be able to cluster orders for smaller offices. [I require a] two-day preorder (since I cook specifically for orders), or early morning pre-order if you want to pick-up with small orders (6 or less) or for vegan sandwiches.

Follow me on twitter and send me a message I’ll get in touch via direct message. Lunch deliveries will happen between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30p.m.; pick-ups can happen in the Mission, before 11:15 a.m. or after 1:30 p.m. My housemate might help me, so we could extend days/ times for pick-up delivery. We might add Mondays; follow @banhmai for changes.

Where are your ingredients from?
The bread is from Bui Phong, a Vietnamese bakery in San Jose that makes as close to the Vietnamese-style baguette of rice/wheat mixture that we have in the West. the wheat/rice baguettes in HCMC have a lot more rice and so it tastes slightly different, but it’s as close as we get in the U.S. Also, it’s the type I grew up eating (in Los Angeles) for Banh Mi sandwiches. I buy most ingredients from Duc Loi supermarket or other markets in the Mission. Whenever I can buy organic, I do, but I’m trying to keep costs relatively low while still making a quality product.

How did you invent the recipe for the vegetarian paté?
It’s a remodeled recipe from a restaurant I used to work for. I used shitake instead of those white mushrooms, put in more garlic, [and] left out the parmesan [cheese]. The baked tofu recipe is my mom’s.

I’d like people to know that the recipes for my sandwiches come from my Mom. I’m not sure how this will pan out for the long haul, but right now I’m happy sharing my Mom’s awesome cooking with San Francisco. (And as my friend Alicia has pointed out, I don’t skimp with amounts; moms never skimp with amounts to keep prices low.) Also, I’m biking as fast as I can, but that isn’t very fast right now.

Thanks, Mai! Go eat a sandwich, everyone.

08/27/2009

Road Trip: Aguas frescas in Mexico City!  »

¡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!

08/21/2009

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.

More street food is coming, and soon! The Liba falafel truck will be parked at the corner of De Haro and Alameda Streets sometime in “early September;” being fairly crazy for falafel, Vegansaurus very eagerly anticipates this happy event.

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:

08/10/2009

SF. Korean Taco. Veganized. TOMORROW. (!!!)  »

Kitchenette SF is serving up a veganizable Korean taco tomorrow for lunch so I suggest y’all hop on the train and get your fat asses to the location with the mostest. Vegan Korean tacos, that is. What? I don’t even know I’m just SO PSYCHED TO EAT HELLA TACOS.

They’ll be serving from 11:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. or until they sell out, so I suggest you get there early. It’s easy access on the T line and yeah, get there and eat hella tacos and show them your vegan tits! What I mean to say is that, show them that vegans will hella represent and eat hella tacos if given the opportunity. I don’t know where the tits thing came from, I’m just a perv.

06/22/2009

Has anyone tried these vegan tamales from SF Vegan Tamales that Kevin over at MissionMission is going on about? The tamales look amazing but their website is a Myspace page. NO EXCUSES, HIPPIES. I know you know someone who has access to a computer, three minutes and a Hacky Sack®,* at least get a g-d Blogger account!
Anyway, when I figure out how to get my hot little hands on a tamale, I’ll let y’all know. Or you tell me.
*Would also accept "devil" sticks** in place of a Hacky Sack. You know, something for you to busy yourself with while they make your blog!
**Actual conversation just now with Jonas:me: what are those sticks that hippies love called?they play with them in the parkJonas: diablo*** sticksughme: thank you!Jonas: NO I DO NOT KNOW HOW TO USE THEMI CAN’T TEACH YOUme: suuuure
***Jonas speaks hippie in a number of languages.

Has anyone tried these vegan tamales from SF Vegan Tamales that Kevin over at MissionMission is going on about? The tamales look amazing but their website is a Myspace page. NO EXCUSES, HIPPIES. I know you know someone who has access to a computer, three minutes and a Hacky Sack®,* at least get a g-d Blogger account!

Anyway, when I figure out how to get my hot little hands on a tamale, I’ll let y’all know. Or you tell me.

*Would also accept "devil" sticks** in place of a Hacky Sack. You know, something for you to busy yourself with while they make your blog!

**Actual conversation just now with Jonas:
me: what are those sticks that hippies love called?
they play with them in the park
Jonas: diablo*** sticks
ugh
me: thank you!
Jonas: NO I DO NOT KNOW HOW TO USE THEM
I CAN’T TEACH YOU
me: suuuure

***Jonas speaks hippie in a number of languages.

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