vegansaurus!

03/08/2012

Vedge: The fancy new vegan restaurant in Philly rules!  »


Gold beets, smoked tofu, avocado, capers, cucumber dill sauce, pumpernickel

My sister missed my birthday celebration in Brooklyn last week, but I am so nice that I let her make it up to me by taking me to Vedge in Philly on Saturday! Vedge is the new(ish) restaurant opened by the owners of the late Horizons. We made reservations Friday night, and the only table we could get for Saturday was at 10 p.m. Make your reservations in advance!

It was quite full for 10 p.m. The crowd wasn’t particularly hip or stereotypically vegan, just kind of older society people. The staff was super nice (especially our server, another Megan!) and the space was pretty cool; it was an old structure with a series of rooms, kind of like a stoic, simply decorated, expensive house, with tables filled in. The tables are nicely spread out, though we still ended up talking to our neighboring table. The one guy went out with Goldie Hawn for two weeks when he was 19! My sis and I totally heart Goldie. [Ed.: Overboard was just added to Instant Netflix! Goldie is THE BEST. —Laura] Things took an odd turn when the guy told Cally he was looking for a nanny…for himself. But he struck me as exceedingly gay, so he didn’t get a knuckle sandwich. 

The food was pretty amazing. The servings are on the smaller side so they suggest you order three or four plates—this is just how I like to eat! A little bit of everything. In the end though, the main plates weren’t actually that small so we did get pretty full. But we soldiered on! I think my favorite thing was the beet and tofu dish above. Cally’s rutabaga salad was pretty amazing too even though we were both scared of rutabaga—not any more!

Roasted rutabaga salad, little leaves, charred onion, farro, pistachio


Spice-cured little carrots, white bean sauerkraut purée, rye toast


Steak-spice-seared tofu, hedgehog mushrooms, kabocha sadeira, walnut picada

My other favorite thing was this “steak-spice” tofu. It was basically pan-seared with really good salt flakes on it. Very tasty. Cally even liked it, though she’s not one for tofu. The texture was excellent. 

For dessert, we got the pot de crème and the apple cake fritters. The pot de creme was AWESOME. I don’t always love pot de crème but this was delicious, and the salt on top was just perfect. The biscotti was really good. Normally I stay away from biscotti unless I made it myself; people often confuse “dry” with “stale.” Biscotti is not supposed to be stale! This biscotti was not. It was perfect. But really, the apple cake fritters won the show. They were like apple-flavored zeppoles! I do love fried dough. 

All in all, I give Vedge a million stars! It’s fine dining, but totally relaxed and fun. It’s a great place for a celebration dinner. I love that they encourage you to try so many dishes! Oh and I almost forgot, say it with me now!: POMEGRANATE SANGRIA. So, so necessary.

Apple cake fritters with Waldorf salad, cider caramel


Chocolate pot de crème with coffee salt, macadamia nut biscotti, and b-day candle!

02/17/2012

Download: Find your doggie twin!  »

Don’t you wish you could find your friends’ doggie twins on the go?! Now you can! With the Best Friends Animal Society My Dog ID app. Above is my lovely sister Cally and her one-eyed dog twin. Pretty amazing. I tried a few other pictures of Cally and this same dog came up each time! Bwahaha. This app is more fun than I expected. Except I tried to find the dog twin for our pink dino and the app was like, whaa? It did find a dog twin for my dog though, so meta. 

This app doesn’t just entertain with its amazing dog twin finding abilities, it also lets you look up adoptable dogs in your area. Additionally, it makes it simple and easy to donate to Best Friends’ Invisible Dog initiative. That is how I like to see animal orgs getting into social media! A free, fun, interactive game that raises awareness for shelter dogs everywhere! Well played, Best Friends. 

02/06/2012

Get to work: Vegan business accessories!  »

A pal of Vegansaurus just got a fancy new job and wants to know what fancy vegan shoes and accessories she should buy, so here are some of my suggestions! This is for chicks. Men, check out my men’s dress shoe round-up from last year because that list was the hotness. 

I’ve said it a million times, but Beyond Skin is definitely my favorite vegan shoe brand. Eco-friendly and worker-friendly, they are also beautiful. If you want a simple pump, I love a good kitten heel like the Leona:

I have these and they look sexy, clean, and chic. The low heel makes them good for wearing for extended periods of time. They have limited sizes now (though there’s a few other colors that might be in your size), so get on that if they have yours.

If you want to go with a classic menswear look, I like oxfords like this Antique Brogue from Vegetarian Shoes on Mooshoes:

Very nice. You can go for a Katharine Hepburn style and complete the look! And be awesome!

Sorry for the bitty picture, but I like the Selene from Bourgeois Boheme:

This mary jane comes in black and brown. Black shoes are great for work but you should have at least one pair of brown shoes.

Basically, one pair of brown dress shoes, black heels, and a nice pair of oxfords is a good work shoe collection to start with. Then you can build your collection from there with some more exciting shoes! I love this new Eva flat from Beyond Skin:

I’d expect you have to break these in a little but it will be so worth it! These are very stylish but conservative enough for an office. I love these so very much. Cally says they are great too! So you know they’re great. 

If you want to go taller (and cheaper), Lulu’s is a great resource. I like this GoMax Oksana pump:

I doubt I could wear these but women in offices definitely do wear shoes like this. If you can do it, go for it. 

Now that we have some nice shoe options, let’s look at bags! Matt and Nat is definitely the best brand for vegan professional looking bags. I really like this laptop bag, the Creed:

This is super-pro. It’s classic but sleek and modern. 

Another Matt and Nat bag, the Barnes has that whole lit professor look:

If you have a smaller laptop and want to go more feminine, check out this Taylor Satchel from Reveal:

Very pretty. But my laptop is large and in charge. 

As for other things you may need, a belt is nice. I like the Garrison from The Vegan Colleciton because it has a gold buckle and I’m all about gold (silver is 90s!):

For nice wallets, Matt and Nat is again great but I’m also a big fan of Shiraleah. The Sutton wallet by Shiraleah is pretty smart:

I used to have a Shiraleah but I lost it. It was so great though, really good quality. Looks like Shiraleah has a laptop bag or two as well. 

Once you have your accessories, you can get non-wool trousers and top with non-wool dress coat or classic trench and you are set! Anything else you need to know you can learn from Working Girl

10/24/2011

Product Review: Galaxy Nutritional Foods’ new vegan cream cheese!   »


[Totes awesome Instagram pic of the whole operation]

I got a chance to sample Galaxy Nutritional Foods new vegan cream cheese and I give it all my thumbs up! It’s yummy! First I made a bagel with the chive and garlic flavor, complete with tomatoes from my parents’ community garden plot, and it was tasty. I will say that it wasn’t garlicky enough for me—if you tell me it has garlic, it has to be garlicky with a capital HOLY MOLY. But it was good and didn’t have that kind of weird aftertaste some vegan cream cheeses have, you know?

BUT THEN! I decided to take the plain cream cheese they sent me and make vegan red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting! MINI red velvet cupcakes! I made mini bundt cakes too but I can’t figure out how to make them look nice with frosting; they are more glaze-friendly. Now, if there’s one thing I hate, it’s red velvet cupcakes with VANILLA frosting. BLEH! It’s GOT to be cream cheese. I used this recipe and it was good for the cake but I don’t recommend the cream cheese frosting recipe that goes along with it. The frosting recipe doesn’t have any sugar in it and kind of tasted crazy. I looked at every other cream cheese frosting recipe on the internet and they all had two to eight (eight!) cups of confectioners sugar in them, so I added about a cup to my butter-and-cream-cheese mixture. MUCH IMPROVED! My final decision: YUM! Excellent cream cheese frosting! My omni sister loved it too, and my mom said it was delicious and it’s the only red velvet cake she’s ever liked! High praise.


[The only mini cupcake papers we could find in our house were Halloween-themed! SPOOKY!]

The thing I like about this vegan cream cheese is that it’s like kind of tangy—you know how real cream cheese is a bit tangy? Like plain-yogurt-tangy? Yeah, it’s like that. Tofutti and those others totally lack that. Maybe it’s because this is the first vegan cream cheese that’s cultured? Could be! You know how science is! I think this cream cheese would be really good for making those simple cream cheese-based cheese cakes; those should be a bit tangy.

My sister said you can’t tell how small and adorbs the cupcakes are so we took a pic with Mitsy to show scale:

Oh, Mits. 

08/05/2011

Vegan bags from Melie Bianco!  »

I guess I’m late to the game because I had never heard of Melie Bianco but I saw these bags on fashion-conscience.com and dudes, I’m into them. I think. Well, I’m definitely into the clutch below but we have to see what Cally says for the official word. And I know some of you get concerned about wearing stuff that looks like leather even if it’s faux, but I don’t think anyone will mistake this for real leather. Will they? On the environmental tip, I’m not sure how high they score but their site says they try to use every piece of fabric they have. I hear there’s a lot of that type of waste in modern production. And they wear sweaters instead of turning up the heat in the winter. So, there’s that.

So, we will wait for Cally to weigh in but in the meantime, what do we think?

07/06/2011

I must own these. And these. And these. I have unique amazing taste in footwear and I think these are the fucking cutest and can’t nobody say boo to me about it. But, uh, Cally, what you think? Vi? Opinions? Meave? 
Oh, and there made in Tel Aviv! So cool! And are purposefully vegan because they love animals! AND FREE SHIPPING. Goodbye, monies! It was nice knowing you!

I must own these. And these. And these. I have unique amazing taste in footwear and I think these are the fucking cutest and can’t nobody say boo to me about it. But, uh, Cally, what you think? Vi? Opinions? Meave? 

Oh, and there made in Tel Aviv! So cool! And are purposefully vegan because they love animals! AND FREE SHIPPING. Goodbye, monies! It was nice knowing you!

05/11/2011

Flats, bitch! Alternative title: Vegan shoes, flats edition  »

I can’t recall who, but some reader was like, “Damn, Megan Rascal! Why you always trying to make me wear high heels?! You KNOW my feet are delicate!” So here, dear reader, a flats round-up! These are totally Cally-approved. I swear to your mom.

Cally calls these Cri de Coeur crochet flats “super beautiful.”

They are sweet and pretty, right? Sorry dudes, couldn’t get a bigger picture. I think these are elegant and super summery. 


Next, these nice dress shoes from Madden Girl. Cally says, “Pretty cute I don’t love the color.” What she lacks in brevity, she makes up for in punctuation. FYI, they also come in tan, they just don’t picture them on Mooshoes.

From olsenHaus, some nice sandals.

Cally likes these a lot: “Cute!!” That’s TWO exclamation points. I can’t stress the importance of that enough. I’m pretty into these too, I might buy them so leave a size 7.5 for your homegirl.

Now some Beyond Skin jawns. The sizes available are limited on this one. Cally’s reaction: “Pretty I like the low vamp.” I say, “Hey Cally, what’s the vamp?” “The vamp is how far the shoe comes up, so a normal loafer has a higher vamp than the grey ones. A really low vamp is like a shoe that shows lots of toe cleavage.” The more you know, the more you grow!

Lastly, the BoBo Estelle from Bourgeois Boheme.

Cally approved these but she don’t love them. I think they are SHARP! Cally’s official opinion: “pretty OK.” But really, that is a high rating! There’s, “OMG I love it!” Then, “pretty OK.” Then several levels of, “uggo” that I don’t subject you to.

Flats round-up complete! Booyah!

04/12/2011

Five vegan heels I’d wear if I hated my ankles  »

Alternative title: I get cranky in high heels. But dang it, sometimes I just want to dress like a stripper. Every time I try though, I become a total asshole. A taller, hotter asshole but still, you can’t go around being a jerk just because your feet hurt. But if I were capable of tolerating them, these are the crazy high heels I would wear!

I enlisted the help of my kid sister Cally as she knows everything about fashion (and very little about anything else!). She’s such a dear, the poor girl. Ever since I found the “gmail this” bookmarklet, she gets gaggles of emails asking for her opinion on every vegan shoe from here to outer space. She’s always nice when she responds and tells me all the shoes I like are ugly. Now you too can benefit from her fashion expertise as all these shoes are Cally-approved! Let’s start this party:


Sea Peep-toe Pump from olsenHaus
. I actually managed to pick this pair out myself! Cally’s thoughts: “
I LOVE these ones. Totes cutes. You could wear them with tons of stuff and they would even be cute with tights in the winter.” Totes.


Galaxy Hokkaido Foster Glitter Pumps from Stella McCartney
. These are the hotness, or as Cally phrased it, “they are like wham bam.”
Wham bam, indeed.


Glamour Pump from Hearts of Darkness by Cri de Coeur at Mooshoes
. This pair I picked out too though it’s hard to go wrong with a black pump. But these are hella tall! And with the amount of whiskey I drink, anything over two inches is just irresponsible. Cally’s thoughts: “They are be-a-utiful. Love a good black pump.”
GoMax Ashland 13 from Lulu’s
. Now these shoes are only $31 which normally I would think is a great thing but I feel like that means you will DEFINITELY break your ankle. Cally’s thoughts on these: “Pretty shape.” Word.


Nashira from Neuaura at Mooshoes
. OK, these are not approved! They are my wild card that Cally officially rejected: “I don’t like the weird colors.” But they remind me of Mondrian and that’s dope. I’d be walking all around like, Check me out, jerks! What? I can’t hear you over how hot I am! Everyone would really like that.

That’s all for today! Let’s all thank Cally for dropping some knowledge.

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