And it works! Just text “SOFRITAS” to 888222 — you’ll get a coupon texted back. FREE BURRITO! And the Sofritas burrito is damn tasty — it’s all delicious Hodo Soy Beanery marinated tofu deliciousness.
NOW, I believe they used to just be in the SF stores only, but now they are in all of Northern California, I BELIEVE. Double check with a call first! Oooh, and order online via their website OR their app — it’s so fun. FOOD TODAY, AM I RIGHT? The future is now.
[Thanks to Jessica for the heads-up!]
Chipotle bringing tofu “sofritas” to the Bay Area! »
This is kind of old news but I don’t think we covered it: Next month, a.k.a. February, Chipotle will be serving “sofritas,” a shredded tofu filling in the Bay Area locations. According to AP, “The Denver-based company said the tofu will be braised with roasted tomatoes, chipotle sauce and poblano peppers.” Sounds alright to me!
I know it’s not cool to like chains but I’m a big Chipotle fan. Their guacamole is just so good. And they give you so much! And I didn’t get that pinto bean drama because I knew it had pork in it for years…how did I know but no one else did? I’m not sure. But I thought everyone knew or I would have told you.
I know Laura was bummed they stopped serving the Gardein burritos, and that would be way better than tofu filling, but this is still cool. Everyone try one for me!
Commercial fishing SUCKS. It is absolutely terrible. Vincent Peone of College Humor made this beautiful video—reminiscent of that Chipotle happy-times free-range pigs video, notes Fast Company—called “The Story of Sushi” to illustrate the nightmare behind those tidily cut and arranged pieces of dead fish. He created it at the behest of Bamboo, a sustainable sushi restaurant in Portland, Ore., so it ends on the same cheerful, “look at us kill stuff in a less abhorrent way” note that bothers me so much about that Chipotle ad. I know some of you loved it, but ugh, those “happy” pigs. At least this video doesn’t pretend like fish are at all pleased to be caught.
My issues aside, this is an important topic. Overfishing is ruining our oceans! So watch it, and maybe pass it on to your favorite sushi-eaters. Because you’ll feed more hummingbirds with sugar-water than saltwater, right?
I have an idea: Let’s all watch a commercial about how Chipotle’s meat is “all-natural,” and let’s all yell out what about it most offends us. Ready, go:
“Of course, one white dude has a sad and it’s REVOLUTIONARY”
“Any way you farm animals, you’re still FUCKING MURDERING THEM, Chipotle”
“Too bad your stupid parent company sources all its food products from mean and nasty factory farms”
“Pigs on a farm are still in jail”
“You know what would be better than killing animals in a different way? Offering Gardein again”
“Maybe vegans are impossible to please, but this is still whitewashing”
OK, what about you guys?
Vegan Roadtrip: Las Vegas! »
Hey everyone! Two weeks ago I went to Sin City and OMG. Even though the idea of Las Vegas depresses me (casinos in the middle of the desert, half-naked girls dancing, gambling addictions) I always end up having a blast! Probably because I’m like, the most fun person I know.
Everyone keeps asking me what I possibly could have eaten there. I’m like, guys, it’s super easy to be vegan in Vegas when you subsist on margaritas and Bud Light for 2.5 days. In the (paraphrased) words of my idol, Chelsea Handler, “I prefer to be on a liquid diet on my vacations.” Half-kidding! I had at least three meals.
The first night was not about eating: I ate before I left, knowing I would not be up for finding vegan food at 9 p.m. in Vegas. I did buy some vegan Power Bar-type thing and wasabi edamame in the airport, ‘cause I like eating while doing everything, especially waiting to board a plane. The Southwest terminal at SFO is not nearly as exciting or vegan-friendly as the Virgin America terminal.
The next day began with a Bud Light (seriously, I’ve never had so much Bud Light in my life. I can’t bear to look at another bottle right now) and then lunch at Chipotle!
My standard, a veggie burrito bowl: black beans, fajita veggies, NO RICE, both tomato and corn salsa, guacamole, and lettuce.
Dessert came in the form of a margarita at a bar stand outside of Caesar’s Palace. Now, normally I don’t drink margaritas because of the sugar in the mixes, but the people at this little tent-bar made theirs with lime juice, AGAVE NECTAR, tequila and Cointreau. Delicious! So worth the $12.
I know you are all wondering, DID SHE HIT UP LA CAVE? Of course. The second I made my plane reservation I knew I’d be eating there. After many hours and many Bud Lights (did I mention we stayed at Hooters Hotel and Casino? $30 rooms and $1.50 Bud Lights. SCORE.) I put on one of the 30 dresses I brought for my three-night stay and headed to the Wynn with my roommates.
Waterfall at Hooters. The pool and the hot tub are open 24/7! Drinking in them is totally acceptable. Even spilling a shot of tequila in the hot tub is fine!
Walking into La Cave, I felt like a vegan Kardashian. It’s so fancy! Now, one thing I didn’t know about the place is that it’s small plates/tapas-style. I did get a dirty look from one of my roommates (“I’m paying $15 for tapas?!”) but once we got our food, everyone was stoked/the evil stares dissipated.
The most important section of the menu.
Gardien Chick’n, Celery Root Puree, Lemon Caper Sauce.
Mushroom Tortellini, Arugula, Tomato “Cream” Sauce.
You guys, go to Vegas just to eat at La Cave. Though I have to warn you, being fancy does not come cheap.
After some more Vegas shenanigans (Old Vegas is super fun. It’s like being in an episode of Mad Men; the casinos are so retro), we ended up back at Hooters. You know, because it’s where we were staying. The boys wanted wings (so gross boys, SO GROSS) and luckily for me, there was totally a sandwich I could veganize on the Mad Onion menu: the “Sassy San Franciscan.”
Take out the cheese and mayo, sub mustard on this veggie sammie, please and thank you!
On our final day, I simply could not be bothered to leave the pool, so I ordered the sandwich AGAIN! There were plans to go to Ronald’s Donuts, but in the end, pool > donuts. I know, you guys are all “WTF IS WRONG WITH YOU,” but the thing is, I didn’t eat donuts before I was vegan and I’m not going out of my way to eat them now. Sorry I’m not sorry!
That’s all the vegan-ing I did in Vegas. I know there’s a lot of places I missed (drinking Bud Light all day really kills motivation) so let me know what to hit up next time! Because even though I don’t think I get Vegas, for some reason I always miss it when I leave. I’m already itching to go back. Sin City, I might love you.
Now we know: Chipotle puts bacon in the pinto beans. Thanks for the assist, Twitter! »
I love Chipotle! Good thing every time I go there, I order the black beans—I had no idea they cooked their pinto beans with bacon! Or maybe I had heard that, which is why I always order the black beans. Point is, bacon in the pinto beans is not clearly marked anywhere! Thanks to Seth Porges, Chipotle is going to change their in-store menus to state that they cook pork with the pinto beans.
While we do have Porges to thank for this change, I think we also owe a huge thanks to the real hero here: Twitter. If it weren’t for Twitter, I wouldn’t be able to stalk my favorite celebrities/bloggers quite so easily, AND Steve Ells, CEO of Chipotle, may not have heard and responded to Porges so quickly! Within two hours of Porges’ tweeting and emailing Ells, he got a response promising action. Unfortunately, that action does not include removing pork from the beans altogether—yet?
Don’t let anyone tell you that you spend too much time on the internet. This is how shit gets done! Voices are heard! Actions are taken!
A delicious, pork-free burrito bowl from Chipotle. What?! I’m an American! I want my fast food! Cruelty-free with a extra side of guacamole, please.
Chipotle experimenting more with Garden Blend burritos; meaty-meat chef Nate Appleman is all OMG VEGGIE BURRITO »
What’s your usual order? I’m not joking when I say that I eat a Chipotle vegetarian burrito every single day. It’s rice, black beans, peppers, onions, and guacamole. I’m thinking a lot about vegetarian food these days, which is kind of funny when you consider what I’m known for. Right now I’m experimenting with something called Garden Blend for Chipotle, which is a soy and protein combo. I’m going for vegetarian food more often and now it’s my goal to only eat very good meat, which means eating it much more rarely than I used to. I’m treating meat as something special.
That’s pretty cool because he’s one of those celebrity chefs who is usually all OMG MEAT and now he’s all OMG VEGETARIAN BURRITO. So, you know, Go on Nate Appleman, and Go on, Chipotle. Rock out that Garden Blend (made with Gardein!) and make that shit even more delicious and then put it in all of your “restaurants” and finally make us vegans happy for once in our miserable lives. Sheeeeit.
Garden blend burrito photo from quarrygirl, who also has the update on them stopping Garden blend sales! But perhaps this Nate Appleman character can change all that!
Guest interview: Justine Quart talks to vegan burlesque performer Anja Keister »
Please welcome guest-interviewer Justine Quart!
I love burlesque, especially if it involves a fabulous outspoken vegan performer, go-go dancer and pin-up model who reps compassionate fashion choices with style. In our chat, Anja Keister explains what’s is like to source non-feather glam and how the OG diva RuPaul inspired her to perform on stage.
How long have you been vegan?
I’ve been living fully vegan for about four years now, but I have slowly transitioned to this point since I was 15 (I’m 26 now). This slow transition was quite an internal journey over the past 11 years. I originally stopped eating beef at 15 because mad cow disease had been all over the media around that time and I was so disgusted the farm industry. I grew up on a farm, my father is hunter, at that point I saw no problem with it. I began to lessen my meat intake over the next few years for health reasons because I was overweight and high cholesterol runs in my family. When I entered college I stopped drinking milk because I was studying jazz singing and the mucus production that dairy gives you was causing problems. I also began to cut out pork and poultry at this point; by 19 I was cutting out seafood and by 20 I was calling myself vegan, but I was sloppy about it and still occasionally bought into the ridiculous “humane meat” idea when pressured by friends. It was when I entered graduate school (2007) that I became more active in the vegan community and began to really investigate my ethical stance and really started to move towards a completely vegan lifestyle. Now I have never been happier about my eating.
What’s your major reason for choosing a compassionate lifestyle?
With this long transition I’ve had many reasons: mad cow disease, factory farms, health/weight, animal compassion, physiological (the idea that human bodies aren’t meant to digest animal products), and currently animal rights. I can say that being an advocate for animal rights is the only reason that has really kept me vegan. With all the other reasons I found myself cheating because I could twist my thinking to make it justifiable. Coming now from an animal rights viewpoint, I can never see pain, suffering, or death of other living being as justified.
What first inspired you to get involved with burlesque?
I had always loved over the top glamour and theatrics, in fact as child I saw RuPaul on tv and wanted to be her. [The Adventures of] Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, the Rocky Horror Picture Show, and Cabaret were some of my favorite films growing up. The problem is I had no idea how to be that—I thought it was just something that the movies made up. My friend in Jim Thorpe, Penn., invited a few of us to her house for the Jim Thorpe Burlesque Festival weekend. I thought it sounded fun because there were dance and hula hoop classes so I went along. That made me realize burlesque had so much of what I always wanted in life! The dramatics, the glamour, the humor; I loved it all. My full-time job had squashed my ability to do performance art like I had done in college, so burlesque gave me a new avenue [for] my energy and I plunged right in. Two months later I was already performing.
How would you describe burlesque to someone who has never seen a performance?
A simplified way to look at it is “Stripping – Nudity + Playfulness/Comedy = Burlesque,” though that isn’t always true. That is one of the things that makes the world of neo-burlesque—a term used to describe the current wave of burlesque since the 1990s—so great. Sometimes it’s funny, sexy, dramatic, silly, artistic, it [makes] social commentary, or any combination of those.
I guess a general way to describe it is a person (gender non-specific) performs, typically under five minutes, to music and in the process they will teasingly take off their clothes till they are down to pasties and something covering their crotch. Another difference between Striptease and stripping is that strippers typically are performing for a patron, get their tip and then move onto the next patron. Burlesque is about performing for the audience as a whole, using the collective reaction as fuel for the performance. You wouldn’t try to put money in a burlesque performer’s g-string unless you want to get publicly mocked or possibly kicked out of the venue. One major thing I would like to point out is that in the neo-burlesque scene, much of the audience is women, and performers of all body types are accepted.
Are there other vegan burlesque performers that you know or perform with?
There are actually quite a lot of performers in New York that eat a vegan diet, but many of them wear animal products. While working on my blog, I found Bettina May, who is located in New York, as well as vegan performers in Scotland and Australia. I also got to work with Dale Rio, a vegan pin-up photographer located in Philadelphia who works within the roller derby and burlesque world.
What obstacles do you run into when maintaining a vegan lifestyle while being involved in a feather- and leather-loving performance scene?
I feel that feathers are an easy default. With the vintage look being popular, it is hard to find hair decorations that don’t involve feathers; featherless headdresses are even harder to find. I had to do a lot of searching to find feather boa substitutes, but they are out there! I can say that being involved in the burlesque world has made me a more creative performer and a stronger vegan, plus I found out that satin can sometime include silk fibers! I never knew that until I started working with a costume designer.
Any suggestions for places to find saucy vegan-friendly apparel or wares?
Drag-addict.com has some amazing fabric boas which are great for burlesque. Coquette Faux Furriers, run by Bettina May, has some wonderful fake furs that can double as a boa or add spice to pin-up shoots or for a night out on the town. The vegan sex shop has some vegan-friendly sexy heels, but I typically buy my shoes from regular shoe stores after researching the companies online first. You can find some pretty schnazzy stuff on etsy, but it’s important to really work with the seller to make sure all the ingredients are up to vegan standards. I’ve also found working directly with creators can go a long way. I recently approached a burlesque hat maker in NY about creating a vegan hat for me, and we are now in the midst of figuring out a whole vegan hat line!
What would you most like to say to new performers or anyone considering burlesque?
Do it, whether on a stage or in the privacy of your own home. Take classes, go to shows, or if there isn’t a scene in your area, get together with some friends and figure out a way to bring some burlesque there.
What are your go-to vegan comfort foods?
Peanut chews, avocados with salt, brussel sprouts with nutritional yeast, and vegetable sushi.
Favorite vegan cookbook?
I use Veganomicon and Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World a lot but I’ve also found some great recipes in Quick and Easy Vegan Comfort Food by Alicia C. Simpson. Oh my goodness, the coconut corn chowder in that book is amazing!
Most recommended veg-friendly restaurant in your town?
I would suggest saving up and taking a trip to Blossom Restaurant in midtown if possible. For a more casual dining experience, visit the V Spot in Brooklyn for some Latin-infused classics. If you need a quick bite, the Chipolte on 8th Avenue in Chelsea offers a fake meat option (ask for the “garden blend”), which is currently in a testing phase with the company. And finally, when you need to fulfill a sweet craving, Lula’s Sweet Apothecary in the East Village is a sweet shop and all-vegan ice cream parlor that makes their own flavors daily!
Anja is always looking for new people to work with either behind the scenes or on the stage. She recently moved to NYC and is looking for other vegan performers to do all vegan shows for animal groups in in the city. She says, “Neo-burlesque is about creativity, performers having control over their art, acceptance of all and the celebration that accompanies all of this.” Check out her website and blog for more info about shows and to contact her directly.
Justine Quart has a penchant for urban exploration and meditation, yoga and boxing, vegan food experimentation and a properly aged whiskey. When she’s not dreaming up the next big adventure, she can be found offering kick-ass vegan wellness services at local businesses, freelancing at the SF Appeal and the Bold Italic, or roaming the neighborhood with her partner in crime, el Jefe. Check her out at Dojo Wellness, Heavy Metta, and The Vegan Pin-up (coming soon!).
Sugar Plum Bakery and Never Felt Better Vegan Store in Sacramento! »
This should totally be a Road Trip Friday post but put fuck it, let’s all cut out of work and head to Sacramento righthisminute to enjoy the most amazing vegan treats at Sugar Plum Bakery (with their VEGAN WEEKEND BRUNCH and yo, a coupon for a free vegan cupcake!), at 2315 K St. And now there’s even more reason to visit our state’s crapital: a new ALL-VEGAN shop above Sugar Plum Bakery, Never Felt Better (2315½ K St.). That’s a link to Yelp because the website is under construction but you can fan them on Facebook and find out about specials and all sorts of other magical crap so DO IT.
ENOUGH OF THAT, what can I buy at this store, LAURA!??! Well, FRIEND, Never Felt Better has lots and lots of goodies. You can get handmade vegan bath and body junk, T-shirts, accessories like belts and wallets, cards and postcards promoting veganism, and most importantly, snacks and pantry staples and cookbooks and ‘zines. It’s the only vegan store in Northern California. GO NOW!
This place is straight adorable and you want to buy everything in it to support them and keep them alive and healthy for a long time. I mean, if we can’t use our vegan dollars to support others LIVING THE VEGAN DREAM, what are we good for? That’s a serious question for you to ponder on, I cannot provide an easy answer. If you want to rap on your existence and its worth, holler at your pro-bono (unless you can pay? can you pay? this might not be legal) therapist. UNTIL THEN: Visit Sacramento! Eat cinnamon rolls! And tempeh reubens! And then buy wallets! And mimic creme! Oh, and while you’re in Sacramento, get your vegan on (yes I did!) at Chipotle with gardein (only place to get it in Northern California!), Noble Vegetarian, Andy Nguyen’s Vegetarian, Au Lac Vegetarian, The Green Boheme, and the glorious East African Veggie Burger at Tower Cafe. Sacramento is bringing it! Let’s all move there! JOKE I’D RATHER DIE xoxox, total snob asshole. But really, I could see living in Sacramento if a gun was pointed to my head. That’s progress, people! Ask Laura from 2008 to choose between death and Sacramento and she’d choose death, hands-down. But Laura from today? She’d choose Sacramento. Followed closely by death. PROGRESS!
[photo via Yelp]
Chipotle, I am skeptical of your “revolución!” »
So, Chipotle is calling for an end to the mistreatment of pigs, and now I feel conflicted.
My attention was alerted to this call to arms by the very excellent Suicide Food Blog, which has written up the Mexican food chain in its Monday, Sept. 20 post. Chipotle has a new ad campaign, and it’s all about feeling good about what we eat. The ad in question is actually printed on Chipotle’s bags and features a hip, hand-drawn-looking manifesto, complete with cute little drawings and flourishes. The text reads:
“¡Viva La Revolución! Okay Pigs, It’s time for us to get together and start fixing this system. We see the way that our pig friends get treated at their factory farms, and it’s time we fight so all pigs can have the same rights we have! No more tight, confining pens! No more antibiotics or non-vegetarian feed!!!!!!!! We can do it! Yours Truly, el Pig”
Now, I’m all for a total pig revolution, and failing that, I’m all for reforms that lead to better lives for pigs, but I’m not sure I buy it coming from Chipotle. As this post on vegan.com points out, major companies that consume a lot of animal product calling for better treatment for pigs is a good thing with the potential to positively impact a lot of piggies’ lives. And that’s all well and good, but a slick, focus-grouped advertisement on a fast-food takeout bag does not an actual, accountable commitment to animal welfare make. Is Chipotle going to use meat only from pigs who were not raised in confining pens and were given vegetarian feed? Who knows!
I find this ad to be more of a call to complacency than anything else, which disturbs me. A major restaurant chain is co-opting revolutionary language and imagery to sell “ethical pork” to what it must know is an uneducated population—how many of Chipotle’s customers know about harmful pig-farming practices, animal welfare issues, or animal agriculture at all.
The Chipotle website dedicates a full section to “Food with Integrity,” which functions basically as their dictionary. According to Chipotle, “Naturally raised” means “raised in a humane way, fed a vegetarian diet, never given hormones, and allowed to display their natural tendencies.” There’s a lot that that warm-n-fuzzy definition doesn’t cover: the contents of the vegetarian diet; how often the pigs are bred; how long they’re allowed to live before being sent to slaughter; and what kind of stockyards and feedlots they are sent to come slaughter-time. By creating their own animal agriculture lexicon, Chipotle gives customers license to feel good about eating their Chipotle pork products without any verifiable reasons to. The company’s ultimate goal is perfectly clear: “We believe pigs that are cared for in this way enjoy happier, healthier lives and produce the best pork we’ve ever tasted.” And there you have it. While Chipotle may want pigs to lead better lives, their bottom line is how good the pigs taste, and that isn’t something I can get behind.
I’m not writing off this campaign completely. As I mentioned, if this move toward more humanely raised pigs is sincere, then it is a good thing; and more than most fast food chains are willing to do. Further, as the vegan.com article points out, sometimes this kind of incremental, populist movement can be the thing that starts people down the road to veganism, and that’s great. Still, though, as a vegan, I’m uncomfortable with trumpeting a corporate happy-meat ad campaign as a real step forward, not to mention that I’d feel like a hella sellout carrying my vegan burrito in one of these cheeseball bags.