Picnic Bakery! S.F. storefront coming, but you can try their tasty treats already! »
A couple weeks ago we told you about new San Francisco vegan business Picnic Bakery, and we’re back with word on the deliciousness of their delicious treats! And they ARE delicious. Owner Emily was kind enough to drop off a variety for us to try and we were alllllll over it. And by we, I mean me and Meave because seriously, screw everyone else IT’S CAKE. JK jK, you’re all great, but really: CAKE. Also, cupcakes. And pies. And something called PEPPERMINT PANDAS, which are basically as cute and delicious as real-life pandas.
Since I took terrible pictures of everything, I just went ahead and stole some photos from Picnic Bakery’s blog. So, first things first, let’s run down the goodies that we tried, and I’ll go ahead and encourage you to order some stuff ASAP to try for yourself because there was a point at which I was singing “Satellite of Love” to the peanut butter pies. Shine your light on me, you gorgeous chocolate orbs.
First up, the aforementioned PEANUT BUTTER PIE!
What we tried is one of the smaller ones in the background. These things were OFF THE CHAIN. For those of you who are currently in a romantic relationship with the classic combination of peanut butter and chocolate (those of you with beating hearts and taste buds), these things are ridic. Meave says, “Super creamy and fluffy, it was really rich, but also remarkably delicate. Like black tie peanut butter.” BLACK TIE PEANUT BUTTER Y’ALL.
Next! Peppermint Pandas!
They’re basically little chocolate cakes stuffed with peppermint cream and covered in chocolate ganache HOLY JESUS. Meave muses, “The peppermint cream was not too creamy, not too dry, not too minty, not too chocolaty, but clearly and satisfyingly minty-chocolaty.” I love these so much, so so much.
They were IT. If you love chocolate or coconut or happiness, these will rock your socks off. Or get your rocks off. Whichever one of those sayings is sexual, that’s what these will do. Meave liked them (specifically that the cupcake cake was chocolaty, moist, and tender) but she’s not one for coconut so they were not IT for her. More for Laura, come to mama!
Gingerbread tiny cakes!
I didn’t try these because I was on my way out the door to LONDON (that’s right, I was on vacation, sue me!) but Meave polished them off (FRESH!) [Meave note: On the advice of Mama Beck! Who loved them probably as much as she loves Laura!] and said, “a little bite of the best gingerbread you ever had, plus lemony cream cheese frosting HELLO YES. Ginger isn’t my No. 1 jam but these were really good. I think they work particularly well as minis, they’re so flavorful you don’t want to eat a million of them.” And I can say that they were really cute and pretty and the candied orange peel look divine!
Basically, everything was winner winner fuck dinner we’re eating CAKE. If you know anything about anything, you know that I all I want to do is pile into a big bubbly bathtub (a hot tub?) with all of you naked and eat these cakes until we have to get out and take showers and all of a sudden, 18 years later, I’m like, “Remember that night in the big bubbly bathtub with all that cake? Well, here’s your son!” I don’t know what I’m saying but basically, these cakes were so freaking good. They were totally pure junk food, but decadent and very well done. I’m super excited for the store to open in Upper Haight, and until then, I suggest we all hire Picnic Bakery to cater everything forever.
Jasmine Tea House has reopened! And they have Sesame Meatless Chicken! »
We love Jasmine Tea House very much, and when it closed, we were very sad. BUT NOW! We can be happy again because it’s reopened! Apparently it’s under new ownership and the mind-blowing Sesame Meatless Chicken isn’t on the actual menu, BUT the wonderful We Built This City let us know that you can order it off-menu! Do that because when you do shit like that, you look like a total boss. I DON’T NEED A FUCKING MENU, SON.
Also, if you are craving the original Jasmine Tea House tastiness, I BELIEVE the old owners currently operate Big Lantern on 16th Street in the Mission. They have some damn delicious vegan dim sum and all kinds of meatless chickens! Plus, they deliver all over San Francisco and honestly, that’s probably how you want to eat it because when you dine in, it’s just a sad flurry of to-go orders flying out around you.
However, if you want to have pretty much an entire restaurant to yourself when you eat, then head to Big Lantern! Actually, I’ve totally talked myself into going to lunch there, I love dining alone! You can gorge yourself AND you don’t have to look another person in the eye—my two favorite things!
Bowzer’s Pizza in Alameda has vegan cheese, and cornmeal deep-dish! »
Bowzer’s Pizza is like a Patxi’s on The Island! Man, Alameda is really stepping it up. When I was but a wee lass, making my way around The Island’s culinary dining scene took everything I got. And now, you kids, just rolling around in your vegan pâté and your cornmeal-crusted deep-dish vegan pizza. It’s almost enough for me to blow the whole place up except that my parents still live there and I can’t really deal with that kind of tragedy right now.
I will say, the other night I was dining with my mom and she was acting like she had no clue about the takeout options around town and I was like, “WOMAN DID WE GROW UP IN DIFFERENT HOMES?” because I think I was actually fed sushi in place of breast milk. Maybe that’s why it’s so easy for me to be vegan? I don’t really have the strong culinary memories that many people do. Or, if I do, it’s for wonton noodle soup at China Gourmet or Dragon Rolls at Kamakura. Seriously, what does pot roast taste like? And what about fresh baked apple pie? AM I EVEN A WHITE MIDDLE-CLASS AMERICAN? *takes off mask to reveal 200-year-old Chinese lady*
Also, here’s a pic of the regular pizza with Daiya. The menu says “soy cheese,” but it’s Daiya. BIG SURPRISE. The pizza was really fantastic, I love cornmeal crust, and potatoes are an option for a topping. Yes! And they deliver on The Island! Strongly considering moving back to Alameda, as we even have a movie theater now. THINGS CHANGE, PEOPLE.
Thanksgiving 2011: Where to pick up your dinners and desserts in the S.F. Bay Area! »
This post has all of your Thanksgiving takeout/delivery options! Meave made a list of places you can go out to eat on the big day, so if you’re more of a “have enough strength and patience to leave your bed” person, check out her list. Bay Area Bites also has a great Bay Area vegan Thanksgiving post up, so check that out, too. Also, if you know of any places we missed, please let us know!
Now, let’s eat! Or, at least, prepare to!
Whole Foods has a Thanksgiving vegan meal deal option at all locations! 1) That’s the SADDEST picture, it doesn’t look like that, I don’t know what’s wrong with them. 2) For ordering, figure out your most convenient store, and make it happen, cap’n!
Andronico’s also does a vegan meal deal! It’s really super great, and they’re all going out of business, so you can either support them by ordering the meal, or give ‘em the bird by not. Your call!
Philip Gelb, an Oakland-based vegan chef, says that he’s available for deliveries in the days leading up to Thanksgiving. If you want to hear all about what he’s offering or perhaps work out a special request with him, send an email!
You can, “Pre-order your delicious vegan/non-gmo Tofu Roast for the holidays at any of our markets this weekend!” says Hodo Soy Beanery on Twitter! You can find their market locations on their website.
Now, for the more important part of the day: Desserts!
Berkeley’s Cinnaholic has holiday flavors! Pumpkin spice and eggnog frostings, and toppings like gingersnaps, candy cane pieces, and peppermint “Oreos.”
Oakland-based vegan bakeries Fat Bottom Bakery and Idle Hands Bakery will have special holiday treats! Look for pumpkin cupcakes with vegan cream cheese frosting from the ladies of FBB, and Idle Hands is offering spice cake (gluten-free option available) or pumpkin chocolate chip cake.
Souley Vegan is also doing pies and a $14 SWEET POTATO CHEESECAKE! (See info above for menu and how to order!)
San Francisco’s Mission Pie is doing a $20 apple-cranberry crumb-top pie for pick-up! Must order by Sunday, Nov. 20.
Want to bring some stellar raw treats to the table? Don’t DIY it—unless you’re a pro/glutton for punishment (wrong kind of glutton on Thanksgiving!)—go for the large selection of Cafe Gratitude holiday pies, OR support a smaller local venture that’s equally delicious (if not more so!) and pick up a Side Saddle Kitchen Thanksgiving pies! They’ve got maple pecan, pumpkin, and a chili chocolate torte! SO DELICIOUS.
If you’re last minute-ish, Whole Foods and Rainbow will both have pies up until the day before/of. Get your scrumptious dessert on, Last-Minute Lazy!
Bomb Truck! Has anyone in S.F. tried these organic vegan popsicles yet? »
The Bomb Truck is apparently roaming the streets of the Mission, selling vegan organic popsicles in flavors like Mom’s Flan, Pineapple Chile Lime, and Avocado. They look amazing! I want one right now very badly! And, according to the site, all the ridiculously delicious-looking flavors are vegan! AND THEY DELIVER?! Let us all get up on this.
Here’s what the truck looks like:
Here’s what the pops look like (adorable kid not included, I am assuming, but not 100 percent sure):
Here’s a better pic and a list of flavors. Per Food Truck Law, follow them on Twitter to see where they’re headed next!
[Peanut Butter Banana Pop, I love you! All photos from Bomb Truck’s website! Hat tip, Abby! Hi Abby!]
Morty’s Deli in the Tenderloin: nice sandwiches you got there! »
First of all, I love me a nice sandwich, and I love me vegan options in SF’s Tenderloin. I also love that Morty’s Deli’s motto is “…a nice sandwich,” and its logo is a basset hound. Hilarious! Plus they have beer on tap! WHAT MORE COULD YOU WANT?
Morty’s is a kick-ass deli with more vegan options than the menu appears to have. You just have to ask; for example, the No. 174 can be made vegan with marinated tofu, even though the menu doesn’t say it. Tim, the handsome face behind the menu, says he recently started leaning toward veganism himself for health reasons. Go, Tim!
The vibe is coffeehouse-meets-deli, and the beer is free-flowing on weekdays till 8 p.m., so maybe look into weekend hours? The people demand beer and sandwiches on weekends!
Now I love to eat, so I ordered a whole lot. Of course, I started with a salad.
because salad is all vegans eat, AM I RIGHT?!
But on the realio, the lettuce, tomatoes, and tangy dressing were all crisp and fresh, and the homemade croutons were top-notch. (Not pictured: french fries, because I ate them too fast.)
Then came a Soy Reuben. I was super-pumped for this sandwich, maybe overly so, because sauerkraut makes me rather damp in the crotchal region.
It was tasty, even though we had to sub dijon mustard in for the Russian dressing. However, might I suggest pressing the tofu a little more? I know tofu preparation can seem formidable, but it really doesn’t taste right to me unless it’s good and dry before you marinate and cook it. Juicy seitan? Good. Juicy tempeh? Excellent. Juicy tofu? Kinda gross and floppy. However, the flavors were good, the sauerkraut (UNGFDHGFDNGFGHT) was crunchy and tart, it came on real rye bread, and I would order it again.
The winner of the day was the Garden Sandwich (order without cheese). It was super-amazing: hummus and veggies, including ARTICHOKES and avocado and greens, on an onion kaiser roll. The hummus was supremely flavorful and added just the right amount of creaminess to the crunch of the veggies. It’s a basic sandwich, but it was my favorite.
Other options: daily made-from-scratch vegan soup (and the french onion soup is vegan if you order without cheese, HUGE bonus to me), Shroomin’ Sandwich, build your own sandwich, gluten-free bread, beer, delivery (HELLO SANDWICH BUDGET), and did I mention BEER?
Another thing I like about Morty’s is you don’t have to be like, “Does this have mayonnaise on it?” or “I want that without cheese,” because you can just say, “Make it vegan” and they totally know what that means. Seriously, get in there. N.B. I tried to pay for at least some of my huge order, but Morty’s was having none of it. Thanks, Morty’s! I’ll be back, not in a Terminator kind of way.
Vegan meats galore: Veggie Brothers review! »
Veggie Brothers is a mail-order restaurant that I had always wanted to try (I especially like anything mail-order: Restaurants! Wine! Brides!) but had never had the time to wait for the food nor the money to fulfill their $60-plus-shipping minimum order (because despite what you may be led to believe by television, graduate students are neither rich nor glamorous). That’s why I about had an aneurysm when Veggie Brothers reached out to Vegansaurus and asked us to review the gourmet offerings on their site. I was also excited because Veggie Brothers reposted something I wrote about Lady Gaga’s meat dress on Facebook a couple months ago, and I’m a sucker for the approval that I never received from my parents.
I tried to rope my mother into doing this with me because she will not eat anything unless it is covered in meat and then fried in meat and cheese because “is healthy, Mark! Russians very healthy! You be anemic soon and you die and you feel bad because Mommy warn you!” Unfortunately, my mother was away on another one of her cruises (she goes on at least three a year) so I had to resign myself to forcing Allen to eat with me while we watched Oprah (Allen’s unreasonable demand) by romantic candlelight.
Our first adventure began when it was time to receive the food. One of the downsides to the mail-order restaurant model is that you have to be home in order to receive the food, which is sent packed in dry ice in a special cooler. This may be a problem if you are terrible at planning/don’t have a place for UPS to leave the package/aren’t at home very much. We had to play tag with UPS which actually included me running after a truck and insisting there was a package for me. Unfortunately, there was not. The package was in another truck that I did not have to chase down! As soon as we got the package inside the house, Allen and I immediately proceeded to have the best time pretending we were Dr. Frankenstein while unpacking the food and putting it in our freezer. If shipping is a downside, then the way that these products are shipped are a major plus for me! Dry ice in a styrofoam cooler? Food in reusable plastic bags? I’m there!
Let me be honest with you: I was not expecting much. The directions on each of the bags (and we had six) was to plop the individual entrees (still in their packaging) into boiling water or to microwave them for a few minutes. I’ve had frozen dinners before. They may look good on the box, but once you’ve heated them, they’re just not that great. If you know what I’m talking about, you understand why I was expecting to be disappointed. However, Allen and I bravely soldiered on, putting the food onto decorative plates (I cannot believe we own such a thing) and discussing its merit as we watched Oprah interview someone who had overcome one life-threatening condition or another.
What follows is a detailed review of exactly what Allen and I ate and how we felt about it. We tried to order the most exotic/hard-to-make dishes we could, our assumption being that if the harder dishes were good, then the simple ones must be fantastic. I do not know if this is a fair assumption, but it got me to try vegan Mahi-Mahi, which for me is good enough.
Pizza Plaza in Oakland has TEESE! And they DELIVER! They’re just not very GOOD! »
They deliver to you in Oakland, SUCKAS! Well, actually, that might make me the sucker because Pizza Plaza pizza is just not that good. Dry crust, hardly any toppings: it’s a void of deliciousness. My last order was over a month ago (before they got Teese) and it was basically inedible, and I don’t use that term lightly because I’ll eat some questionable shit and I’ll like it.
The thing is, I WANT to support them. They’re local, they’re all vegetarian with tons of vegan selections, they’re super nice, they DELIVER, they have the new Teese which melts and stretches and is DELICIOUS and yet, their pizza gives me the sads. I cry pepperoni tears, much like this pizza below MADE BY A PROFESSIONAL ARTIST:
Seriously, the last time I got the garlic bread and it was so dry, I almost choked on it. HAZEL DIDN’T EVEN WANT IT. This dog eats feces, mmmkay?* Anyway, maybe it’s gotten better with the addition of Teese? Who is brave enough to order and let us know!? Will it be you? And maybe, just maybe, someone out there is an expert pizzaiola/o and wants to work with Pizza Plaza to create a superior product? IS THAT YOU? Because I love them and I want them to be the amazing best pizza in the land. I know it can happen. Let’s do this, vegans.
BREAKING: Escape from New York Pizza in the Mission HAS VEGAN CHEESE! »
Yo! Another SF pizza parlor serving up the good stuff with Daiya. That makes Amici’s (the review says they serve Cheezly but it’s Daiya now!), Patxi’s, and now Escape from New York Pizza on 22nd Street in the mission, all carrying vegan pizza made with Daiya! Delightful! We have confirmation that their crust is vegan, but we’re not sure if the other locations are serving it. Street team, where you at?! If you know, leave it in the comments and we’ll update the post. Further, you can get POTATOES on your pizza. I love potatoes on a pizza. That starch-on-starch goodness makes me very happy. We haven’t tried this one yet but we hear it’s amazing so everyone, order it tonight! And report back! Thank you much!
UPDATE 11/7/10: They’ve got Daiya at all five Escape from New York Pizza locations! Get on it!!
[image by Troy Holden on Flickr!]
I think everyone knows by now, but if you don’t, Patxi’s has vegan deep-dish pizza made with Daiya cheese and it’s the mickey fickey bomb. OH ALSO: they hella deliver. With two locations in SF, they have most of the city covered. They’re also in Palo Alto so all you dorks are covered too, but probably not you poor people in East Palo Alto. SORRY, try being born rich! That’s the only thing that will save you now! Moving on: Some Steves I know are hella persnickety about shiz and if you like stuff to taste its best, you’ll heed his ordering how-to:
It takes a really long time for them to make the deep dish (worth it, though!), usually around 40 minutes. But you can call ahead before you come in, and they’ll start making it for you, even if you’re going to sit down and eat there. Not everyone is impatient but sometimes you want the slow, leisurely part of the dinner to happen after you’ve stuffed your face and you’re no longer an inch away from cannibalizing your unsuspecting dinner date. You can also have them prepare a pizza but not bake it, then you bring it home and bake it whenever you want. I’ve never done this, so I have no idea how it turns out. Point is, they are flexible and they know how busy and important you are.
If you’re like me and just want to be fat and happy ASAPly, have them deliver to your face and then eat it all. And by eat it all, I mean you’ll be lucky if you get through a piece HOLY SHIT SO BIG AND FILLING. It’s a little expensive but you have to consider that it’ll provide enough sustenance to get you through the zombie apocalypse.
Let’s hear it for Chicago-style deep-dish vegan pizza in San Francisco! Some dreams do come true! Not like the ones where you live in a pink mansion in Malibu surrounded by Nagels but at this point, I’ll takes what I can gets.