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).


No lying about this weekend with so much to do!  »

First, Bay Area friends, don’t forget to enter our contest to win two tickets to the premiere of Bold Native in San Francisco next Saturday, Nov. 18! The contest ends on Thursday, Nov. 11, and entering is as easy as commenting on the pertinent post with your favorite ice cream flavor. Nothing to it, this competition.

OK, this is mainly (exclusively) Los Angeles-centric, but that’s all right, we’re happy everyone’s here.
First, from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Roxy Theatre on Sunset, it’s Vegan Beer Fest no. 1, as sponsored in part by Quarrygirl (hooray!)! We mentioned it once, and now it’s in a more prominent position! The pertinent details are still on other sites, however. Have lots of fun, and do consider a guest post for us!

Immediately following Beer Fest (!!), have a sober driver take you to Venice for the release party of The Kitchen and The Garden Patch cookbook, from 6 to 9 p.m. at Me & Blue, 566 Rose Ave. (at 6th Avenue). We continue to recommend this event as well—a lovely vegan cookbook and recipe samples? You are strongly encouraged to pay them a visit, yes.

Saturday and Sunday!
SF Green Fest fall 2010 has arrived! Remember last year’s? We got vegan corn dogs and saw creepy milk-soliciting, Tessa tried a preview taco from Gracias Madre, and A QUEEN spoke. Among other things.

How can this year possibly compete with solicitation and the author of Overcoming the Angry Vagina? For starters, if you have spent $10 or more at Rainbow since Nov. 1 and through Nov. 7, bring your receipt to Green Fest for free admission! Now, that is either a savings of $5, since one-day admission costs $15, or a savings of the full $15, since you were going shopping at Rainbow anyway, you vegan hippie weirdo.

Amy Goodman and Dolores Huerta and y/our state Senator Mark Leno will speak! There are a bunch of Slow Food-related speakers, too, which is why we say, go listen to some people talk about less aggravating subjects. At a skim, the food options look like Gratitude, Chad’s Grill (?), Donna’s Tamales, Star Anise Foods, and Underdog; various chocolates, bars, drinks, and produce; Tofutown North America, makers of Soyatoo! vegan whipped cream!, and our BFFs Sugar Beat Sweets!!

SF Green Fest fall 2010 will happen at the SF Concourse Exhibition Center, at 635 8th St. at Brannan Street. It’s open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are available online or at the door.

Have we missed anything? You should let us know, via email or a comment, and we will happily update this post. Enjoy your weekend!

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