JB’s Top 5 Bay Area Vegan Eats! »
Isn’t weird when you are a tourist in a city you spent so much time living your day-to-day life in? Do you know what I’m talking about here? You move away, you come back to visit friends and go to some show or something, and you plan everything out according to where you’ll be all day and where you are staying! The thing I get all up in arms about when I’m visiting a locale I used to live is the food! I want to go to all my favorite places, even if it overrides everything else on the trip (fun for everyone hanging out with me, I can assure you). I’ve been thinking about my fave haunts in the Bay Area; specifically the places I would be most disappointed if I didn’t get to hit up while visiting. Okay, I told myself I couldn’t over think this, so top-of-my-head, 15 seconds to write-it-out-list includes:
Their Lusty Lover’s tacos, with cornflakes, seitan and mac’n cheese, are what my dreams are made of! I haven’t met a menu item I’m not enamored by, including their chicken and waffles brunch sandwich and the beet burger on a donut bun! You can find where Sylvee and Tiff are set-up for the day on their Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts (@hellaveganeats).
Flaco’s in Berkeley is so flavorful, fresh and affordable! My favorite menu item is the soyrizo soft tacos! Word of warning, they are not playing with their hot sauce! I can take my spice, but I went into a semi-panic halfway through my first meal there. Now I play it safe and go with mild because I am terrified. Also, Flaco’s is closed on Mondays, which I forgot on my last visit which left me sad.
Timeless in Oakland has an array of both savory and sweet treats, including cheesecake, danishes, bacon and cheddar scones, and “chicken” pot pies!
The bakers at Timeless are so incredibly talented. Coming from someone in the same trade, every time I go in I’m both inspired and I want to just throw in the towel! Timeless has raised the bar tremendously when it comes to vegan pastries and desserts; if you’ve been there before you know what I’m talking about! Their blueberry cheesecake is now the only cheesecake that exists to me, and worth two trips on my last visit!
Donut Farm in Oakland, baby! Lay your pretty eyes upon the most glorious of feasts, including cold-pressed coffee, mushroom gravy smothered biscuits, tempeh bacon and sautéed southern greens!
Best brunch and donuts in the Bay, hands DOWN. I never went there for the weekday lunch menu because I was in the city, doing city things (you know how it goes when you live in San Francisco). I also only ever ordered the biscuits and gravy because vegan biscuits and gravy are so special! I love Donut Farm so much. I love the feeling I get when I walk inside, I love how friendly everyone is, how happy the customers are and I also REALLY SUPER DUPER ENJOY that even when it’s very busy, I never feel stressed out there. There was something about going to brunch in the city, and everyone’s energy being insane with every thing so crowded. Did I mention I work in restaurants? I notice the craziest things when I go out to eat! Anyway, I WILL LOVE DONUT FARM UNTIL THE END OF TIME! (They have a choice of soy or coconut creamer for your coffee; it’s the little things that count!)
Thai Idea’s Firecracker Balls sans mayo, crispy spring rolls and Volcanic “beef” entree!
I’ve lived a life that has included devouring Thai Idea’s Firecracker Balls, and now I don’t want to be without! I know this joint may seem like the wild-card here, but I just loved going to eat at Thai Idea. Everyone in my parties always enjoyed their food, the staff didn’t get cranky about large groups and they offer vegan shrimp. Plus there is that BYOB policy, which is everywhere in Chicago but I never see in California! I think the food is creative and flavorful, and the plating is beautiful! Recently their health score fell pretty low, so I hope they can get that back up because I would hate for them to close down! The score doesn’t faze me too much because I’ve worked in a lot of kitchens and some places get caught while others, for some reason, do not.
So that’s my list. I generally like comfort foods that are easy on the budget and casual, yet innovative, satisfying and tasty. Tell me your Bay Area faves so that when people google where to eat when visiting, they’ll see all of our ideas! Did you know you can upload photos in Disqus? Do it! I want to see a plates of your most highly-regarded vegan restaurant meals! I also want to give a shout-out to Weird Fish, Mission burritos, the chocolate Heaven Dogs I used to make at Source, Benders, the oyster mushrooms at Millennium and From the Garden Greenhouse brunches!
Happy Almost New Year: it’s the Vegansaurus best meals of 2012! »
You didn’t think we’d let 2013 come at us without a best of list, did you? OF COURSE NOT. So for your reading pleasure, we came up with our very favorite meals of 2012. Let’s do this!
Jenny (that’s me!): My new favorite restaurant of all time is Pura Vida in Las Vegas. I ate so many wonderful meals this year, but Pura Vida topped them all. Chef Mayra is a culinary mastermind—her dishes are vibrantly colorful and packed with so much flavor! Almost every day I think about the breakfast burrito I had about eight months ago, and I cannot wait to to get back to Vegas to hit her up again! I’ve actually planned my entire wedding in Vegas (sans groom) (for now) solely based on Chef Mayra catering the elegant debauchery that will no doubt ensue.
Latin’tude breakfast burrito, I love you!
Megan: ”For me, it was the year of chickpea flour—and more specifically, the Tuscan chickpea frittata. Oh boy did we have some good times this year! I made them every which way from Sunday. So easy and so yummy! And totes versatile. It’s the best!”
Man, that was a lot of fun, when Megan was making all those frittatas! I can’t believe I never tried one myself, but I suppose that will have to be what 2013 is for!
Vegan, gluten-free frittata; so many delicious combinations!
Laura: ”The VegNews all-cheese holiday party, catered by Miyoko Schinner was, in a word, mind blowing! Cheese, cheese, and more cheese!! Giant cheese-stuffed ravioli was maybe the best thing I’ve ever eaten in my life (SORRY ABOUT THE PHOTO, I’m too pretty to be good at anything!) and fried croquettes on amazing salad, and so much more. Vegan meringue, too! Holy mother!
"Vegan cheese, you’ve come a long way since your days of gross inedibility! Buy Miyoko’s book IMMEDIATELY!”
Hot dang, that VegNews staff knows how to get down!
Vegan cheese, you HAVE come a long way!
Meave: Of course, sometimes it is impossible to pick just one, so our Meave gives the lowdown on her top five! First, comes Isa’s Maple Pecan Pie, because what holiday is complete without this delectable dessert? (Follow Meave on Instagram to see how her beautiful pie turned out—I was blown away at its loveliness!)
Maple pecan pie, before meeting the oven!
Next up we have a filling and colorful veg bowl, to which Meave explains, “Angela Liddon, salad genius, made so many of my lunches better with her legume and veg bowls, but my favorite was her Lightened Up Protein Power Goddess Bowl. Meave is quite the salad dressing connoisseur (“I’m picky”), so if this made the list, you know it’s got to be good! Of course we can’t leave out the brunch at Donut Farm, which includes Meave’s personal faves — the winter hash, double-dipped donuts, banana fritters and potato works!
Winter hash forever! Or at least until spring!
Sarah: Keeping up with her title, Sarah dishes out some raw opinions, telling us her favorite dish of 2012 was “Cafe Gratitude’s I Am Whole bowl. Always”. I bet she’s missing that over on the East Coast! Hope you got your fill on your recent L.A. adventure, Sarah!
Sarah’s version of said bowl, via her personal blog queerveganfood.com.
Andrew: “I’m going to have to go with our recent Mexican vegan Christmas dinner menu—homemade refried beans, Spanish rice, homemade mole with tofu, three kinds of homemade tamales (soyrizo, mushroom and mole, and green chile and cheese); margarita pizza with soyrizo (definitely NOT homemade); and horchata made from scratch, which was used for Mexican White Russians. This fed seven of us at dinner and then everyone got some to take home. And we’ve had leftovers for one meal a day since.” I did manage to get myself invited to this magnificent dinner, but alas, Long Beach was just too far away!
Check out this magnificent plate, made complete with a Tecate, of course!
That’s enough about us and our favorites—now it’s your turn to rave about your absolute faves from 2012, so the rest of us can enjoy them in 2013! Happy New Year everybody!
Donut Farm’s brunch: still delicious! I took an omnivore on Sunday, and she got the jalapeño hash browns special and loved it. Then she bought doughnuts! Obviously I did too, being a reasonable human being and all, and we took them home to our omnivore families who adored them.
There is no reason to eat gross animal products when you can get such good vegan food, I mean, really. Further, San Francisco, you are super-slacking in the vegan brunch area. FOR SHAME.
You guys, it’s the brand-new vegan brunch at Donut Farm and it’s off the chain! You need to eat it NOW. You get one plate option, or you can choose a sandwich or pancakes (blueberry or plain). The plate option this week was tofu scramble with tomatoes, mushrooms, and spinach, hash browns, toast with housemade vegan butter. Coffee was good and strong! Everything is organic and at $8 for a giant plate, you’re getting a deal. It’s Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and you’ll be very happy that you went. Trust! I love brunch. I love it so much. That is all.
Vegan brunch begins Sunday at Donut Farm! »
The first brunch will take place this Sunday, Nov. 21 at their new storefront, Donut Farm in Oakland. The only details we have are that it’s a single-plate brunch offering from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m, with coffee, espresso, and donuts also available. Because, duh, what’s brunch without coffee and donuts!? Knowing how these folks normally do it up, I bet it’ll be insane and delicious. I’m thinking I’ll hit Souley Vegan first and then make my way to Donut Farm, and then repeat? If I start early, I can get ‘er done.
Donut Farm is in Oakland at 6037 San Pablo Ave. at 61st Street. Brunch is expected to run every Sunday for the foreseeable future but, you know, let’s just pray it works out.
UPDATE: Brunch is now on Saturdays, too!
[photo by jennconspiracy]
Our visit to the Donut Farm! Oakland gets better by the day! »
Donuts from Oakland’s new Donut Farm! Well, not totally new, it’s Pepples Donuts but in a funky fresh (best words to describe this place, trust) new location with lots of excellent new flavors we haven’t seen before. In the box are Fresh Strawberry, Salted Caramel, Old Fashioned, and Philz Coffee! HOT DAMN! all-vegan, all-organic, all-tasty as shit. Or, a lot tastier than shit, as it were. Can’t think, too hot.
It’s cash-only, and the one thing they sell besides donuts is coffee. (Except Wednesdays, when the awesome ladies of Fat Bottom Bakery make a vegan cupcake delivery. Which we forwent to bring you this report today. Sacrifices!) Kinda perfect.
Donut Farm is in Oakland at 6037 San Pablo (at 61st St.), Open Monday thru Thursday 9 a.m.-6 p.m, Friday & Saturday 9 a.m. “till late.”)
Donut Farm—where’s the review? »
Imagine our shock when this little item popped up on our reader this morning: John Birdsall visits Donut Farm and, uh, kind of likes it? Hard to say, really. That an omnivorous food writer didn’t say 100 percent terrible things about vegan donuts didn’t shock us, though; your Vegansaurus knows that vegan food is appealing to people of many tastes, and expects food writers not to be prejudiced jerks. What shocked us was the absence of our review of Donut Farm!
Our Laura was invited by the adorable, talented Josh Levine to come visit for Pepples Donuts’ first weekend in its new home, but did she go? NO. She says she’s been busy cleaning dog shit up in her apartment, because at this point in Hazel’s recovery—which is going very well—she’s not allowed any movement, which we assume means “no going outside to relieve herself.” Lucky Hazel and Laura and Jonas!
That does sound like a valid excuse. Still, your Vegansaurus is shamed by this incident, and will try very hard not to let it happen again. Laura promises to visit Donut Farm as soon as she can, so don’t worry (too much—worry a little, it makes us feel loved), a review is coming! Until now, tide yourselves over with the SFoodie report. Sorry about that.