vegansaurus!

06/02/2009

All You Knead!  »

I never would have thought to visit All You Knead, except for the chance that brought me to the Haight one weekend morning, when the line at the Pork Store (across the street) looked a little too daunting. I was initially skeptical that they would have any decent vegan options at all, but I was pleasantly surprised.

Not only does All You Knead provide a few vegan selections right on the menu, but with some clever ordering and substituting, you can make yourself a true feast. They have a pretty standard tofu scramble option, but they also allow you to substitute tofu in any of their scrambled egg dishes—at no charge! imagine that!—you’ll have to leave the cheese off, too, naturally. Somewhere in the ordering process, we noticed they offered tempeh bacon, so that went into the scramble too. Home fries, of course, sadly, are not vegan (the usual) but we substituted french fries, which in the end was probably more delicious anyway. The end result was a HUGE PILE of food, just as good, if not better, than what you can get at the Pork Store, and way less greasy, too. (I once found a piece of ham in my Pork Store scramble, by the way. Just saying.) An enormous plate of food that’s a meal for one hella hungry fat person* or two meals for a regular hungry person. The waitress was really nice and knew what was and wasn’t vegan. Actually, we think maybe she was vegan because instead of butter, she brought us out a side of avocado for our bread! So thoughtful and so delicious!

All You Knead serves up good quality diner food with a Haight Street twist (meaning vegans can have our tofu scrambles and boca burgers) in a large restaurant (meaning very rarely a wait, even on weekends!), and it’s definitely an option when you find yourself in the Haight and need a lot of food and RIGHT NOW I’M STARVING.

*or one Jonas

06/01/2009

Weird Fish is currently the best place for vegan brunch in all of San Francisco. I SAID IT. And I’m including my house and the houses of all my friends in this. I SAID IT AGAIN.
Excellent home fries, vegan pancakes with maple syrup and Earth Balance, vegan chorizo scrams (sub “Capp St. potatoes” for the red beans & rice! TRUST!), seitan and chips, fried pickles and NOW, a vegan Philly Cheesesteak piled high with seitan, vegan cheese, peppers, and onions that is truly, truly, truly outrageous! For 10 bucks, you get a HUGE sandwich on wonderfully soft house-made bread and your choice of fries (a mixture of sweet potatoes and regular potatoes), salad (pictured!) or the soup of the day (always a vegan choice!). Brunch, perfected.

Weird Fish is currently the best place for vegan brunch in all of San Francisco. I SAID IT. And I’m including my house and the houses of all my friends in this. I SAID IT AGAIN.

Excellent home fries, vegan pancakes with maple syrup and Earth Balance, vegan chorizo scrams (sub “Capp St. potatoes” for the red beans & rice! TRUST!), seitan and chips, fried pickles and NOW, a vegan Philly Cheesesteak piled high with seitan, vegan cheese, peppers, and onions that is truly, truly, truly outrageous! For 10 bucks, you get a HUGE sandwich on wonderfully soft house-made bread and your choice of fries (a mixture of sweet potatoes and regular potatoes), salad (pictured!) or the soup of the day (always a vegan choice!). Brunch, perfected.

05/21/2009

Mimosa Cafe!  »

Mimosa Cafe is the tiniest little hole in the wall in Oakland right off Grand Avenue. It ain’t much to look at but you didn’t come for interior decorating suggestions, you came to EAT. And eat you will! Mimosa Cafe serves up one the absolute best tofu scrambles in all the SF bay area. And I know tofu scrambles. How is it that I know tofu scrambles? I LIVE TO EAT, I DO NOT EAT TO LIVE. Do we have an understanding?

They are absolutely amazingly delicious, filled with crumbled tofu, fragrant spices, and pretty much anything else you want added in. The home fries are vegan and ridiculously good! They also often have vegan muffins and VEGAN CROISSANTS! Ow! The surly/fabulous red-headed insanator of a waitress is not so much rude as she is hardened from years of running a meth lab, so cut her some slack. All is forgiven when you realize she is vegan and clearly 10,000 years old and still looking pretty fly, can I get a what-what for vegan longevity!? I’m gonna live to be a million years old and I’ll be dying my hair Ronald McDonald red and painting on my face every morning before I head to the farmers’ market. in SPACE. in my FLYING CAR. The future is going to be so amazing.

My only real issue with Mimosa is that once I found hair in my food and that just grossed me out. But it was just once and as I’ve learned from Chad Lowe’s seminal classic, NOBODY’S PERFECT, NOBODY’S PERFECT! Oh and the bathroom is really scary. Like horror film scary. I suggest you hold it or just go in your pants.

Bonus points, it’s located next to all vegan boutique, Micio Mambo, so you can buy all sorts of cute vegan shit after you stuff your face silly. If you catch a movie at the gorgeous and awesomely PISSED OFF Grand Lake Theater afterwards, I think you have three* of the twelve deadly sins covered in under three hours! Give me another hour and I’ll get through them all. In fact, I’m checking out your wife right now. While I’m FILLED WITH RAGE!!!

*Let’s give it up for Gluttony, Greed & Sloth!

05/11/2009

Brassica Supper Club!  »

I’ve heard that one sign of a truly great chef is the ability to make an amazing salad. For me, the salad is the thing you have to get through to get to the FOOD. I can appreciate a salad and even when dieting, order one as a meal (I disgust myself) but it’s rarely the dish that stands out. At least for me. I’m sure there is some argumentative asshole out there who will say otherwise but you’re a liar and I’ll erase your comment anyway THIS IS NOT A DEMOCRACY.

THAT BEING SAID.

The salad at Brassica Supper Club is amongst the best tasting things I’ve ever eaten. It was deliciousness saladified. Baby dino kale, avocado, pickled onions, toasted pumpkin seeds, and the most outrageous creamy orange vinagrette. This is a salad that could go head-to-head with a plate of french fries in the Deliciousness Battle Supreme. It would lose but still, to battle a french fry? One could say you have arrived.

I think I’ve done a good enough job describing the salad so that you don’t get a picture. Instead, enjoy one of the really, really good white bean puree, roasted baby root veggies, and ramp gremolata soup! Also, I do not have a picture of the salad.

Unfortunately for you, the menu at Brassica Supper Club, a brand new kinda-restaurant in San Francisco, is always changing so you’ll never get to experience the magic that was this salad*. Fortunately for you, the three talented chefs behind Brassica are already planning future events. What’s an Underground Supper Club, Laura? Well, Village Freaks, Losers, & Outcasts, it’s a group of people (in this case, chefs who cut their teeth at Millennium, Cafe Gratitude and the short lived, ill-fated but always tasty Usual Suspects Cafe) who open their home and kitchen to you in return for some help with the cost of food. At Brassica, you pay $35 (that’s not including tip, Scrooge McDuck!) and you get a truly excellent, gourmet meal. You sit on the floor (pillows for your buttocular region) and eat off low tables. The meal service includes tea (this really insanely good stuff called latte mate that tastes like chocolate and rooibos and almonds and is the shit TRUST) and water (if you want to drink, you can bring wine or beer or boones or jack, whatevs! They have glasses and there is no corkage fee) and four courses of awesomeness. I’ll spare you the details of our meal because it will only serve to make you insanely jealous and insanely hungry. Just know that these kids know what they’re doing and that it’s as fine a meal as I’ve ever had at Millennium. Oh and the meal ended with this OUTRAGEOUS vanilla cake layered with tangerine mousse and covered in a rich chocolate ganache and then drizzled with macadamia cream. Sorry, I had to.

The chefs are all vegan and that adds a whole nother level of greatness because you know the money is going to support vegans and especially vegans who are obsessed with good food. I find that particularly inspiring and that’s impressive because I’ve pretty much given up. It’s so cool that Carmen, Edward and Mark (your chefs/hosts/builders of The Dream) are SO into food and just happen to be vegan and want to make exceptional, exciting, fantastic vegan food. That is something I want to support. Activism through eating, deeeelicious. Not only that, the other guests are like-minded people who you can always turn to for excellent conversation when you can’t stand looking at your significant other FOR ONE MORE FUCKING SECOND I TOLD YOU TO STOP BREATHING LIKE FIFTEEN MINUTES AGO**!!

The upcoming events are posted here and I suggest you make reservations as soon as you can. The place is going to be a vegan sensation soon enough and you’ll definitely want to get in on the ground floor. Plus, if you’re lucky, maybe the chefs will give you a post dinner tutorial on how to make avocado milkshakes, complete with generous samples.

All photos courtesy of the lovely Sharon!

*SUCKA!

**Of course I’m not talking about Jonas as he is the best ever but I can imagine your relationship is not as solid and loving.

02/25/2009

Supperclub in SF is having an all vegan week!  »

So this is kinda last minute but everyone’s favorite bizarre cheesy restaurant where you eat on beds and the waiters dress like Burning Man refugees* and do crazy ass trapeze acts between courses is having an ALL VEGAN WEEK! It goes from yesterday to Sunday, March 1st and it’s a 3-and 4-courses prix fixe menu with only one seating nightly at 7 pm. You have to call to make a reservation at 415-348-0600 or go to their crappy website and it’s probably $$$ but I’m telling you, good or bad, there is no other dining experience like it. Also, might be cool to show up and be all, “MAKE EVERY WEEK VEGAN WEEK LET’S PARTY WOO!!!”

From the fools at Supperclub: “We like to create new and exciting experiences our guests,” says supperclub’s General Manager, Edme Straver. “For those who follow a vegetarian diet, the menu will be a welcome pleasure—and for those that do not usually eat strictly vegetarian, the menu will be a revelation.” DANG.

*Dude. A guy who lived in my dorm at NYU is a waiter here. That makes me sad. How do you go from promising star in one of the best film schools in the country to delivering jello custard cups wearing nothing but spandex short shorts and cat face paint? I mean, the kid won the Wendy Wasserstein award, for crying out loud. I guess much the same argument could be made for me except I probably make less money than him. And I never won any awards. Now I am more sad.

Oh also, there are handcuffs in the bathroom. GRODY.

02/19/2009

St. Francis Fountain!  »

I pity the toe-fool who doesn’t enjoy the delicious tofu scrambles at St. Francis Fountain!

I don’t know. But I really like this place. They have an entire section of the menu dedicated to “veg-heads” that includes tofu scrambles, a toasted vegan sandwich (roasted veggies and some sort of a delicious sauce that’s put in some sort of a marvelous panini machine) and boring boca burgers. They also have a vegetarian rueben but the sauce isn’t vegan so what’s the fun? Also, it’s just grilled veggies, throw some tempeh up in that mother! Let’s do this!

But perhaps the most marvelous thing about St. Francis Fountain is the fact that you can get VEGAN MILKSHAKES. That is correct, sir. They’re made with the soy gelato from Copa Loca and they are magnificent. The best and only way to do this is to get it made with fresh banana and strawberry OMGYGWTF!! It’s SO GOOD. It’s like a berry-banana blizzard (BBB) from DQ* but not filled with death, chemicals and diabetes.

The other most fun thing to do at St. Francis is to see how many people you can fit in a mini-booth. Our record is seven normals or two really awesome fat people.

EXPERT TIP: On a nice day, you can bring your dog and sit outside! As long as your dog isn’t my dog and wants to eat other dogs! Also, this place is pretty tiny so it’s best for groups of 2-4. It gets ultrasuper crowded on the weekends so prepare for a wait unless you come ungodly early or starving late. Oh and they also have a fresh candy stand inside that sells stuff like Dallas and 90210 trading cards and bubblegum and my personal favorite, MJ. Just look at that marvelous/terrifying mug. It never ceases to amaze/disgust. Listen, I’m pretty sure he did it to those boys but he also brought us, “Beat It” which brought us, “Eat It”, so I guess all I’m saying is, GLASS HOUSES.

*aka, “THE BEST BEVERAGE KNOWN TO MAN OR BEAST”. I could live off the BBB. There was a point in my life that I would drink that instead of water during workouts. AND I WAS SKINNIER THAN I AM NOW. Take that, science!

02/11/2009

The Plant Cafe!  »

I bet if you look at how many places Vegansaurus reviews in the Mission vs. Vegansaurus reviews in the Marina, it would be equivalent to a see-saw with an extra fat manatee on one side and a Mycoplasma genitalium on the other. But let me explain:

1) All four of us call the Mission home. All four of us call the Marina TERRIFYING. 2) The Mission is filled with mostly amazing weirdos. The Marina is filled with skinny white bitches who BRONZE their non-existent CLEAVAGE, have CLAVICLES that could POKE AN EYE OUT and wear UGGS with TASSELS. I said, UGGS with TASSELS. God bless ‘em. It is also filled with Jr. Corporate Yahoos/Former College Date Rapists who work for their dad’s firms. SO HOT. 3) The Mission does not eat babies. The Marina eats babies.

I joke. I love to give the Marina a hard time. It’s mostly filled with hard-working yahoos who just want to HAVE A GOOD TIME LET’S GET DRUNK WOO!!! Ain’t nothing wrong with a little freaky freaky on the weekends, am I right, Chet!?

The Plant Cafe (formerly, Lettus Organic Cafe) is reason enough to make a trip to the Marina. Actually, let me be more specific, the Tempeh Picatta at The Plant Cafe is reason enough to make the trek to the Marina. It’s breaded and fried tempeh on top of a mound of VEGAN GARLIC MASHED POTATOES and fresh vegetables. All that is covered in the most delicious lemony capery picatta sauce you ever sunk your chompers into. Ugh, it is marvelous. They also have a wide range of vegan soups, sandwiches (a tempeh ruben so delectable that you bite into it and the VEGAN THOUSAND ISLAND dressing drips down your hands! Take that, Carls Jr!) and entrees! They even do many vegan items during brunch and I have it on word from a very reliable source (my stomach) that the tofu scrambles are first class. I also have it on word from a very reliable source (a friend’s stomach) that they get even better as the kitchen is always working to improve them…they even have a vegan pesto now! I love that…I love a kitchen that takes suggestion and isn’t all filled with stupid pride that doesn’t allow them to the BE! the BEST! they can BE! Thank you, Lettus er, Plant. Ugh, the worst name. Anyway. OH ALSO, GET THE PLANT BURGER. Get it with wasabi if you can but if not, JUST GET IT PLAIN. It will ruin you. DESTROY YOU.

They also have an entire range of vegan desserts including moist and delicious vegan cupcakes, many varieties of cookies and often some sort of loaf cake. Tianna, the pastry chef, is some sort of demi-god and her vegan baked goods are outrageous. If there is a devil’s food cake vegan cupcake when you are there, GET IT.

One demerit point for the surly bitch who took my most recent order. In the words of my girl Whitney Houston:  Bitch, I don’t want your man and if I did, I woulda already had him, OKAY??? Plus one point for the magical Tianna and the one extremely competent and adorable busboy who was just so adorable I wanted to put him in my pocket and bring him home with me.

One final thing: I really appreciate the almost all organic approach. It must be really effin’ hard right now. Prices are reasonable for quality of ingredients used. Also, you are in the marina. She is expensive. Get over it or go back to the parts of the city where people of color are allowed.

Update (6/20/1009): New location at Pier 3 in The Embarcadero. Now all these a-holes have somewhere to go at lunch! Yay them! Plant Cafe, throw me a bone…a location in Noe Valley seems like it would make us both happy.

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