Denver’s Watercourse Foods ditches dairy and goes all-vegan! »
Vegan deviled eggs. That’s probably all you really need to know about the completely overhauled menu that launched a few weeks ago at Denver’s premier vegetarian restaurant, Watercourse Foods.
Watercourse was already one of the best things about Denver, with its huge, all-vegetarian, mostly vegan menu and hip wall art that makes me want to get a tattoo every time I walk in there. But now they have a new chef and they’ve kicked out the dairy and eggs! It’s a whole new day in D-town.
The vegan deviled eggs were kind of a revelation and probably worth the price of a plane ticket. The “whites” are made with tofu, agar, and black salt. The yolks are all creamy and mustardy, and they’re pink because of beets or something. They’re pretty intense, so get a plate to share. But hell yeah, this is a food I have missed.
I visited less than a week after the new menu launched, and I will say that I think they were still working out some of the kinks. The black bean cassoulet side was too salty, the hush puppies were dry, the menu was full of typos, and the servers were a bit confused. But give it a couple months and I’m pretty certain this is going to be an excellent change. Especially as they kept some of the best stuff from the old menu, like the Po Boy and Seitan Grinder sandwiches and the seitan wings. And especially as they won’t be supporting the devil dairy and egg industry anymore. Oh and they serve breakfast all day now! Biscuits and gravy at 8 pm, here I come!
Here’s some of what my table ordered. The photos kinda suck because I didn’t follow Isa’s advice and ask for the Instagram seat near a window, but that just means you’ll need to go see it for yourself, stop relying on me for everything, ARG. [Ed. note: these pics are super, you goof!]
Roasted cauliflower salad.
A trio of sides: Coconut curry soup, slaw, and kale.
Red Beans & Rice with hush puppies.
Green Chili Burger with black bean cassoulet.
Final ed. note: WE CANNOT WAIT TO GO HERE!!!! Rachel, can we stay at your house? Do people still have futons? I call the futon!
8 Vegan Junk Food Hotspots »
Thanks, Zagats, for pulling together this list of 8 vegan “diners, drive-ins and dives.” I was going to take issue with them putting Denver’s Watercourse on the list, since that place is damn classy, but the buffalo seitan wings are definitely junk food, so I’ll let it slide.
I think it’s probably not cool for me to just steal all their photos and paste them here, so go look at their site if you want to see pics, but here are their choices:
- Chicago Diner, Chicago
- Bender’s in SF
- Foodswings, Brooklyn
- Arlo’s, Austin
- Watercourse, Denver
- Sticky Fingers, DC
- Blackbird Pizzeria, Philly
- Flore, LA
I’ll just throw some other nominations out there…you got any to add? Let us know!
- Vertical Diner, SLC
- Souley Vegan, Oakland
- Ike’s Place, SF (& LA soon!)
Attack bunnies are on the attack in Denver! »
The local news reports on an extremely urgent problem: rabbits are eating the wiring of cars parked at the Denver Airport. To their credit, the parking lots seem to be using bunny-friendly methods of discouraging this furry vandalism, namely bigger fences and predator urine to scare the goobers away.
I’ve parked my car at this airport a lot lately and had no bunny damage. Maybe the bunnies know I’m vegan from my Vegan Van bumper sticker, and thus spare me from their reign of terror? Maybe this is an organized rabbit campaign against animal abuse? Pretty indirect, bunnies. Let’s rethink your strategy.
Oh, bunnies. Can’t live without them, can’t let them near your car.
I tried a new food: Jackfruit! And I didn’t even have to do any work for it!
My buddy* Amie of Denver’s Vegan Van has jackfruit on her menu pretty often, so I was counting on her to help me expand my horizons. Luckily my husband dragged my in-laws there for lunch the other day, and I got them to bring me a sandwich! It was barbecue jackfruit something or other, for free (to me) and with no effort! WIN! Marriage is worth it, guys!
The barbecue flavor was obviously amazing because everything Amie makes is good, and the jackfruit didn’t have much flavor beyond that, kind of like how tofu works. Overall it reminded me of a cross between artichoke hearts and seitan. It was a little weird to have something with such a meaty treatment be so … vegetable-y in texture.
It doesn’t have the same protein-y oomph as seitan or even tempeh, but if I were looking for a gluten-free, soy-free carrier of delicious sauce, I’d definitely turn to my good friend Jack.
I’m curious to try cooking it myself sometime, but it’s apparently kind of hard to come by around here, Amie uses all sorts of secret voodoo to get it.
Jenny says she’s going to try jackfruit too! Jenny, tell us what you think!
*”Buddy” might be overstating. But she does remember my name sometimes! And I am a huge fan! A girl can pretend.
Adorable kids sells vegan food in Denver! Makes you wish you lived here with me, huh?
This cutie got all dressed up in suspenders and sold lemon-and-mint sun tea and vegan banana bran muffins on the corner at a “goodies stand”! I love child labor, especially in costume!
[Can’t see the video? Click here to watch it on the local news]
Denver’s getting it’s own full-time vegan store! Take that, Bay Area!
I already told you about our monthly pop-up, Neat Market, where I got my hands on my first-ever bag of soy curls. They’re so good I risk marital disquiet by picking them out of the stew whenever we cook with them.
Well now Joshua LaBure, Denver’s resident over-achieving vegan (he started Neat Market and Chomp! and I should probably interview him soon), has inked a deal on a storefront and hopes to open the place by July. He’s planning a Kickstarter campaign, so look for an update on that, and read more if you want on Westword's blog.
Meanwhile, in other Colorado vegan news: Reliable sources tell me Native Foods is opening in Boulder on May 29; Trader Joe’s is coming to Denver and Boulder within the next year; the Boulder farmers markets are in full swing and the Denver ones start this week; and on Friday, May 18, the Vegan Van will be parked in front of Sweet Action Ice Cream, serving something amazing and top-secret that may involve waffles and me fainting.
I love Colorado.
Kickstart Pressed Juice in Colorado! »
Orange-carrot-pineapple amazingness. Fund the Kickstarter so I can have more!
Back in February, Jenny told us about how much she swooned over the raw, pressed juice at Pressed Juicery in Los Angeles. But who says only California should get all the good new-age cleansing stuff? Behold: To Colorado’s up-and-coming vegan scene, two Denver vegans are trying to add the magic of fancy, orgasmic juice. I say, Rejoice and drink juice! Also fund their Kickstarter campaign; this stuff doesn’t fall from trees!
Source Juice is the brainchild of Jaclyn and Chris Webb, a vegan couple who basically got obsessed with juicing, wanting to take it to the next level, and realized they couldn’t buy cold-pressed juice anywhere in the state. So they bought a fancy juicer and plan to bottle and sell the stuff at Denver’s monthly pop-up vegan market, yoga studios, farmer’s markets, etc.—all the places people willing to pay for uber-delicious organic juice might flock. Plus home delivery for the lazy bums.
Jaclyn gave me a little bottle of this stuff, and it’s GOOD. To quote my husband Danny: “I want to drink this juice until it comes out my eyeballs.” My other favorite thing about the project is how boot-strappy it is. The vegan scene out here in Denver is so gosh-darn scrappy and full of initiative! People don’t wait for venture capital funding or whatever, they just make things happen in a small way. And so even though we don’t have the vast selection of restaurants available in SF, LA, or NY, it makes me feel like I’m part of a movement or something.
So even if you don’t live in Colorado, consider pitching in a few bucks (the campaign ends on Friday, April 13). And if you know anyone in the area, pass this along to make it happen. JUICE!!!
Good Things Coming to Colorado! »
Native Foods Veggie Soy Burger photo by KayOne73 on flickr.com
I love Colorado! But I’ve got a bunch of new reasons to love it more! I thought I’d share just to be a bitch and make you jealous. Or maybe to convince everyone on the coasts that the center of this country has something to offer other than Tea Parties and rodeos.
- VegNews reports that Native Foods Cafe plans to open 15 new locations this year. They were supposed to come to SF and never did, so I’m dubious, but one of those alleged new spots is Boulder AKA Berkeley of the Mountains, home of my office. Chicken Run Ranch Burgers for me EVERY DAY! Don’t fail me, NFC, or there WILL be trouble. Like an angry email, maybe?
- This Sunday, Denver’s getting a pop-up vegan market! Boom, town is instantly cooler! Plants And Animals (host of Chomp) is teaming up with Portland’s Food Fight grocery to bring rad things to my city without me even needing to use the internet! I’m so psyched, everyone who’s anyone is gonna be there, including Beet Box vegan bakery and the Denver Seitan Company!
- The Vegan Van! Check this: D-town has its very own brand-new fully-vegan food truck! I got to hang out next to its founder, Amie, at the Avocado Takedown a while ago and her food was TO DIE FOR. I actually might have to kill myself to get a chance to try this stuff, that’s how literally I intend that idiom. Or maybe I’ll just go find her on Sunday at the Neat Market and send you photos! Maybe that!
- Google Offers has 50% off right now at Watercourse Foods, my current favorite restaurant. Three words: Seitan Hot Wings. I done bought 4 coupons, everyone’s invited!
Oh so you want to come visit now? Fine, fine, I might even let you stay at my house. Maybe. Only if you bring the whole Berkeley Bowl with you.
Apatosaurus lands a triple axel in Denver’s City Park! Just watch this; it’ll be the cutest 30 seconds of your day, I swear! This is why computers were invented, I think: to make movies of ice-skating dinosaurs. Yay!
Chomp is Denver’s coolest public dinner party »
A mountain-west dispatch
If you ever are planning a trip to Denver, make sure you’re here on the first Wednesday of the month because that’s Chomp day, otherwise known as the tasty vegan hipster gathering that helps me not miss CA so much (though nothing will diminish the pain of losing Berkeley Bowl).
Chomp is a themed public dinner party, where some talented and shockingly unselfish vegans cook up enormous batches of THE BEST food ever and you donate some money and then you eat it. This month the theme was French, so the yums included cream puffs and basil pastry shells and seitan bourguignon from Julia Child herself (OH SNAP, I just had the best idea, what if someone does the whole Julie & Julia thing but vegan? Get it on, guys).
The event usually goes down at Green Spaces, a warehousey-chic co-working space. 120 people showed up to chow down this month and as usual the cooks ran out of food (this is the only bad part of Chomp: You can’t gorge yourself like I do at any normal meal).
Bonus awesomeness this month:
The Speakeasy, which is a “donation-based” snobby cocktail bar, run by the uber-sexy Randa in her bartender dress, with her amazing cocktail menu for super cheap.
I had a thing with strawberry and basil and lemon and lime and fancy gin and it was SO GOOD will you marry me Randa?
I think that smile means yes?
Denver Seitan Company, our new local seitan-makers, had samples of their DELISH logs. They’re gonna start a seitan CSA thing, I can’t wait!
Live music! By a sweet little acoustic duo called Poet’s Row.
It’s clearly the cool place to be on first Wednesdays, so I just wanted to make sure you weren’t out of the loop. If you ever come to town let me know and we can sit together, it’ll be great! I won’t steal your dessert, I swear! (I’m lying).