Guest post: Let’s crawl together with L.A. Beer Hop! »
Pub-crawling reeks of being 21 and not having to care about waking up on time and decisions you’ll regret early the next morning. But as real adulthood rears its ugly head, pub crawls are actually great ways to spend a night out with friends, if you pick the perfect “pubs” to “crawl” to. Well it seems LA Beer Hop was created with such nights in mind.
The places worth heading to in Los Angeles aren’t close enough together to warrant a good “crawl.” But now, for just a $5 ticket, you can be whisked away by shuttle to three of the L.A. area’s newest and best beer-and-bar-food joints. The Pub at Golden Road Brewing, Tony’s Darts Away, and Mohawk Bend make up the trifecta of destinations that LA Beer Hop will shuttle you to-and-fro every Wednesday in November. Take a peep at the tour schedule and reserve your tickets ASAP, because they’re sure to sell out.
Not only do each of these places have vast collections of tasty microbrews to sip on, they each have a cornucopia of vegan eats that’ll make your non-vegan friends say “I WANT THAT!” Tony’s Darts Away has gourmet vegan hot dogs, Mohawk Bend has vegan pizzas and buffalo cauliflower, and the Pub at Golden Road Brewing has ginormous vegan pretzels and fried avocado sammies, just to name a few!
Vegan-friendly bar-hopping, and no one has to worry about parking or driving for just $5? Oh L.A., sometimes you complete me. Who’s coming with me?!
Andrew E. Irons is a blogger from Long Beach, Calif. He co-created and contributes to Rhode Island-based hip-hop website The Echo Chamber Blog under the pseudonym Verbal Spacey. You can track his daily diatribes by following him on Twitter.
[photo by arvind grover via Flickr]
Vegan MoFo: It’s fall, drink yourself some Hefeweizen! »
Yes, Oktoberfest is a September celebration, but here in Northern California we’re still getting warm days with our rapidly cooling nights. This, I feel, is the perfect time to drink beer. Something bright and crisp, like the fall air, but with enough body (ugh) to make you feel full. Friends, Hefeweizen is that beer. It’s German! It’s fruity! It’s unfiltered and beautiful!
My top vegan German picks are:
Because these beers are all made in the traditional German method, they are totally vegan. The only problem I found, thanks to Barnivore, is that Paulaner uses casein in the glue on its bottle labels, which, what? Solution: Buy it in cans, or drink it on tap.
The funny glasses are designed specifically for Hefeweizen beers, and I love them. You can’t really use them for anything else, so having them is like really committing to having a beer. Plus I love the fizzy head; you get a big whiff of yeast (“Hefe” means “yeast” in German) and spice and fruit, and then you have to wait a little bit to drink it.
Hefeweizen! It’s the beer for autumnal vegan drinking.
Eating vegan at chain restaurants: BJ’s Brewhouse has vegan options! Vegan pizza options! »
I love hanging out with my family and getting away from the city for a few days. The only bummer can be going out to eat with everyone, as I usually end up getting a side of vegetables and a salad with half the ingredients taken out (cheese). I’ve made my peace with the Cheesecake Factory, but that is not the place to go every time I’m visiting. I mean, you gotta wait at least, AT LEAST, a half-hour to get a table, and it’s kinda fancy. What about casual? I just want to eat lunch with my mom somewhere, where we’ll both enjoy our food. IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK?
No it is not! BJ’s Brewhouse just opened up near my parents’ house and guess what? They have a few vegan options! Not only vegan, but some gluten-free options too! Plus tons of beer, including a gluten-free one (shudder), and delicious cocktails (I’m thinking of you, margarita). When my mom mentioned BJ’s for lunch, I figured I’d be eating a salad, yandet took to the internet to see what the vegan word was. You know what? QUARRYGIRL LOVES BJ’S BREWHOUSE.
Now, I do too! When Quarrygirl said BJ’s pizza was one of her all-time faves, I was excited, but skeptical. Silly me. That Quarrygirl knows her pizza! It is pretty epic stuff.
I got their Portobello Mushroom pizza, with caramelized onions, balsamic vinegar, oven-roasted mushrooms, and fresh herbs. I just left off the cheese, obviously! They let me get my pizza on a gluten-free crust instead of deep dish, too. I’m one of those people who tells themselves gluten-free is healthier for me, because I love lying to myself! The gluten-free crust was spectacular, by far the best I’ve ever had. It was light and flaky, with herbs baked into it. As for the toppings—taste party! They were the perfect balance of sweet and savory! I saved half my pizza, just so I could enjoy it when my mom and I got back home too. I told her I want to go to BJ’s every time I come visit!
Oh, Portobello mushroom pizza, I wish I could eat you again today (accompanied by another refreshing Piranha pale ale).
Drink all the tasty beer in Oakland TONIGHT! »
SF Bay Area! Go to this beer drinking event TONIGHT in Oakland!$18 gets you a custom sandblasted, bottomless tasting glass (!!!) to sample over 25 beers. All beers are produced by local homebrewers, spanning a wide range of styles and brewing techniques. It’s not specifically vegan event but these beers are from small brewers so the fuck are they gonna get dried fish bladders?!?! Still, you might want to ask in a non-obnoxious way to raise awareness and make sure you’re not drinking fish butts.
There’s gonna be food for purchase from Spice Money, who looks rad because they’re all about building community via fresh eats, but also kinda stupid, because their vegan options look like they might be pretty weak, but what do I know?* There will also be DJs, do with that information what you will.
If you want to go, you gotta RSVP and you gotta be 21 years old because IT’S THE LAW, SON.
*but you’re in downtown Oakland and so there are mad delicious vegan places to eat! Go on a food crawl before the 8pm start time and then make it your job to get drunk even though you ate hella food already. VALUE, FOOL.
Let’s drink with Bay Area Bites! This is Jerry James Stone’s strawberry-mint mojito, made with blonde ale, and it looks gorgeous. Mixing beer with liquor seems like delicious danger, which we are totally into. Taking a little risk is good for the constitution.
We’ve got the local strawberries, home-grown mint, and rum; you bring the ale and we’ll have cocktails on the patio, yes please!
[photo by Jerry James Stone for Bay Area Bites]
Restaurant review: the Handlebar in Chicago! »
I’m going to Chicago next week and I couldn’t be more excited! I’m exhausted and the daily grind is killing me. It’s time for a break in lovely, humid Chicago! Instead of Muni, there will be CTA! Instead of AT&T Park, there will be Wrigley Field! Instead of Bottom of the Hill, there will be The Hideout! Instead of freezing Ocean Beach, there will be the Michigan Lakefront! Next Friday cannot come soon enough and though there are many things I am looking forward to, going to The Handlebar is at the top of my list. I love that place so much.
The Handlebar is a hip little restaurant, located in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood. When I say hip, I mean it’s usually swarmed with bike messengers and hipsters, but that is okay with me, because they are quite an attractive demographic of people. I do enjoy eating with both my eyes and taste buds. Don’t let me forget the fetching* waitstaff, with their creative haircuts and tattoo sleeves. Speaking of waitstaff, I’m just gonna gloss over this part as best as possible—don’t go to The Handlebar if you are in a rush. Enjoy yourself. Bring something to read if you are alone; there may be a little wait between those pints or coffee refills.
Tattooed servers, bike messengers, hipsters and vegan food, I’m COMING. I can’t wait! In the meantime, let’s you and I look at pictures from my recent trip in January. Fun. (Please forgive the incredibly bright flash, the lighting was just atrocious—oh, those dark winter nights.)
Hush puppies with tartar sauce. Yes it’s vegan! Unbelievable!
Samosas with tamarind chutney.
This is the Buffalo “Chicken” Wrap with collard greens, and the only dish I ever order. I am a creature of habit. I just want it all the time. You understand, right? It’s spicy and creamy—it’s bliss. The wrap my dreams are made of.
The Handlebar has a smallish menu, with many vegan options. Everything they do is done to perfection. This is going to sound totally crazy, and I know it, but they make the most delicious samosas I’ve ever had. Is that blasphemy, considering it’s not an Indian food joint? Anyway, the chutney that comes with them—SUPERB. Their seitan? So tender and scrumptious. Their beer selection? Awesome and varied. When I was missing Humboldt, I needed to look no further than The Handlebar, as they have Lost Coast Brewery beers on tap.
Handlebar, I love you, I miss you, and I cannot wait for us to be reunited.
*Daaaang, have you been working out? You look really great. Doing anything this weekend?
Social Kitchen and Brewery in the Inner Sunset has tasty vegan options! »
Social Kitchen and Brewery serves beer and has vegan options—that’s all you really need to know, right? It’s located in the Inner Sunset, which means even when it’s busy, it’s not like trying to find a seat in a Mission bar, feel me? I love this place ‘cause it’s close to my ‘hood, they always respond to my tweets, and there’s specialty crafted beer.
Vegan chili! So flavorful—I was very impressed!
Roasted Brussels sprouts chips! I loved these babies!
French fries! Standard bar food, but look: They come in little metal pails and are seasoned to perfection!
Let’s not forget the beer!
I always order IPA because it tastes the best. Featured is Social’s Easy IPA—delicious!
Social Kitchen and Brewery is located at 1326 Ninth Ave., in the Inner Sunset. Let’s go, I’m free on Saturday night!
The 3rd LA Vegan Beer & Food Festival is happening this spring, and it’s going to be the biggest and best one yet. The fest has been moved across the street from The Roxy so we can fit in more beer and food than ever before.
More details coming soon! For now, save the date: May 12, 2012!
Proceeds to benefit California Wildlife Center
LOS ANGELES GETS ALL THE GOOD STUFF. Seriously have you seen our L.A. archive? Nothing but awesome! Someone in L.A. offer us jobs so we can move Vegansaurus HQ south and eat ourselves to death. PLEASE.
Guest post: Great Sage’s vegan beer-pairing dinner exceeded expectations! »
I am embarrassed to admit that I showed up about 40 minutes late to Great Sage’s beer-pairing dinner last week, and they still so generously served me all five courses of the meal, and even poured me a little extra brew to make up for my date abandoning me, even more embarrassingly. Good thing I am an emotional eater, and we all know a little alcohol solves everything.
Here is what you missed:
Tasting 1: Organic Lager, Grilled Romaine, roasted pepper, hearts of palm, chili crackers and rosemary-black truffle vinaigrette.
The grilling made this salad—the smell, the taste, the appearance. All of the textures together were spot on, and I cannot even get over those chili crackers, just like vegan Cheez-Its! The lager was light and clean, the perfect match for this light and clean salad.
Tasting 2: Tadcaster Ale, Quinoa and lemon-herb “tabouli” with red bell pepper and parsley garlic emulsion.
I was honestly full after the salad, but I managed to forge on through the second course. The tabouli and Tadcaster were the perfect combination of sweet and bitter. The lemon and bell pepper was zesty and light while the ale balanced it with a smooth, thick sweetness. The Tadcaster was my favorite beer of the four, as it was thicker than the lager, but not too heavy to easily down two (or three, or 10).
Tasting 3: Indian Pale Ale, Crimson lentil stew
with coconut and tomato over Indian curry fire rice.I keep referring to this dish as a risotto, because that is what the texture reminded me of. When the waiter sat it down on the table, the smell of coconut wafted from the bowl; when I dug my spoon in, it smelled instantly of sweet curry. Everything about this dish made me feel so comfortable and relaxed.
While I know many people seem to have a distaste for both curry and IPAs, I found this combination to be phenomenal. The stew was sweeter than spicy, and the beer was less hoppy than other IPAs I’ve had.
Tasting 4: Italian Oatmeal Stout, Crisp seitan-“feta”-spinach phyllo tart with garlic whipped Yukon potatoes and stout glaze.
The phyllo tart was incredible; it melted like (vegan) butter in my mouth. The filling had a strong black pepper taste that mellowed out with the addition of the sweet stout glaze. Not to mention, I freaking love Brussels sprouts!
The stout really surprised me. I usually hate stout beers because I think they taste like flat soda—sweet, but lacking that necessary carbonation. However, this stout was not missing that added element to me; it was just naturally smooth.
Dessert: Pumpkin cheesecake with pomegranate syrup
I want to describe this to you but I can only think of an incoherent synonyms for “epic deliciousness”—silky, pumpkin, chocolate (yeah, I think the crust was chocolate!), sweet, sour, crunchy, candy, creamy, yum.
The food was phenomenal, the beer was phenomenal and the combinations were perfect. The best part is that all the beers from the Samuel Smith Brewery, like all of the food at Great Sage, are 100 percent vegan!
Shay Kemble is an aspiring lifestyle writer in Washington, D.C. She believes she can bring humor to any situation and will do so on her upcoming blog.