Holy Hodo Batman, free soy at the Ferry Building on Saturday! »
Spicy Yuba Strips, fancy plate not included!
Here’s the exclusive early scoop:
"Celebrate the long weekend with a FREE 6 oz container of Hodo Soy Beanery Hijiki Salad or Spicy Yuba Strips ($5.99 value) when you visit the newly opened Hodo Soy Kiosk at the Ferry Building Marketplace. 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. or until supply runs out!
I’d advise getting there early because I’m guess it will run out! Run like the wind to your tofus!
Hodo Soy Beanery’s new kiosk makes the Ferry Building worth entering! »
Norm and Joe want to sell you tofus!
You’ve seen them at farmers’ markets around the Bay Area, hocking their delicious soys. You’ve hidden incriminating toothpicks in your pocket and covered your face with a scarf so that you could go grab another sample of their spicy yuba strips. You’ve considered selling out to the man so you could afford to eat this magical stuff every day. And now, ladies and gentlemen, you will drag your asses to the Ferry Building, past the “Praise the Lard” t-shirts and the innumerable fancy cheese shops, in order to patronize the brand-spanking-new Hodo Soy Beanery kiosk that is open as of Tuesday.
The soy has arrived, and it is good.
Hodo, which is based in
Emeryville West Oakland, sells its soy milk, tofu, yuba (a.k.a. tofu skins, a.k.a. chewy manna from heaven), and some prepared foods at area markets. But they’re kicking it up a notch with their kiosk, offering new grab-and-go foods that you can only get there. Foods like forbidden rice pudding ($4), Scharffen Berger chocolate mousse ($4), yuba Kung Pao salad ($7), the sky is falling sandwiches (vegan egg salad on Vital Vittles bread, $7), and soy custard fruit parfaits ($4).
Hodo gave me free cups of the rice pudding and chocolate mousse to try, and I can report that they are both worth eating. The pudding uses black rice and lots of cardamom, and includes coconut and golden raisins suspended in the impressively creamy tofu base. Except for the sugar blast, it’s almost healthy, but so clearly dessert. Win.
The mousse was less intensely chocolately than I had hoped, but again won big on texture. I do love me some creamy tofu.
The kiosk also has exclusive drinks, including chocolate soy milk ($3), Thai iced tea ($3), and a kale avocado smoothie ($4). They gave me a free bottle of that last crazy-sound one, because it’s Joe the tofu-seller’s favorite. I found its serious undertones of cucumber and very mild sweetness both refreshing and filling. But it involves chewing chunks of kale and thus is neither suitable for beginners nor for people on a first date. Luckily I’m a pro with no one to impress so I downed the whole bottle in one sitting.
Nearly everything the stand offers is vegan (some of the granola they sell contains honey), and most of it is gluten-free as well (not the sandwich bread). They’re open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. They take cash or credit cards with their cute little iPad register. And for the moment at least, Hodo will still be doing the farmer’s market thing outside on Saturdays, in addition to the permakiosk indoors.
Main bummer: Because of Ferry Building and health code rules, they’re not able to offer samples at the moment. Let us hope they overcome these limitations.
Coming soon: recipes cards for some of the new products so you can learn to make them at home. As the proverb says, “Give a man some tofu, he eats for a day. Teach a man to tofu, and he can throw stellar dinner parties and invite you.” Or something like that. Carry on.
Financial District foraging: Stone Korean Kitchen! »
You’ve probably seen it on the Yelp or the Groupon, but Stone is a semi-new Korean place in Four Embarcadero (right on Justin Herman Plaza by the fountain, and with outside seating, too) with a young-ish, hip-ish vibe. At least as compared with the gross-ish Japanese place that used to occupy the space.
Anyway, I dig it. They have a great happy hour (two for one giant bottles of Korean beer!) and some delectable snacks. Including these, the Duk Kochi (crispy rice cakes with spicy sauce and sesame seeds): they are like little savory fried rice marshmallows with hot sauce on them. Leave your depressing-ass office RIGHT NOW!
[photo by Megan Allison. Ed. note: check the flat, metal chopsticks—authentic Korean!]
YOU GUYS. I had lunch at The Plant Cafe at the Embarcadero today and per usual, it was the mickey fickey bomb. But that’s not the weird part. THE WEIRD PART IS THIS: I get home and look what Fancy Nancy sent me! A motherflipping recipe for THE PLANT BURGER.
If you’ve never experienced the magic of The Plant Burger, you are a sad soul. Make this tonight because I will also be making it and we can be internet besties OMG YES. Also, seriously, this is the best thing in the universe and even my meat-eating dad who would kill a piglet with his bare teeth just to watch him die (hi dad!) loves this thing. For serious DO IT.
[photo from Morgan’s Menu]
Plant Cafe Redux »
Vegansaurus had already posted some interesting stuff about the Plant Café location at Pier 3 in The Embarcadero so I had to check it out. Check it out I did! I’ve been there a few times and I give it 11 thumbs up! Here are some pictures from my recent lunch there. Yes those are wine glasses but it was totally 1 p.m., so it’s not like it was the morning. Jeez.
Here’s the Plant Burger (made in house from lentils, mushrooms, beets, cashews & bulgur wheat. Served on a whole wheat bun)—it looks REALLY crazy but it’s very good.
Then the picture below is a vegan pot de crème that made for an excellent dessert.
Bonus: shih-tzu on the patio! Yes, much to my delight, there was a shih-tzu chillin’ on the patio with us. Dogs are very welcome here. I even took Figaro with me for brunch one time, very nice.
Other bonus: Their kitchen is powered by the solar panels on the roof—très moderne! (that’s just some French talk).
The Plant Cafe has happy hour at their new location in Pier 3 from 4 to 7 p.m. (don’t quote me on these hours because i have a hella bad memory…just use them as a loose guideline. A jumping-off point, if you will) during which time you can procure three slider (!!!) versions of their (FAMOUS AND DELICIOUS AND FILLED WITH BEETS AND LENTILS AND MUSHROOMS AND CASHEWS AND BULGUR WHEAT AND IT SOUNDS ALL HEALTHY AND UNAPPETIZING BUT YOU’RE WRONG IT IS AMAZING) Plant Burger to enjoy for $10. Get this along with some local microbrew and vegan patatas bravas and your shit is MADE, you fancy bitch. Now GO, it’s almost 4 and (I think it might be) that’s when it starts!
Also, make sure to ask that the burgers be on vegan buns! Good lord, a vegan’s work is never done.