Vegan food at 7-Eleven! »
Really, we know there has always been vegan food at 7-11 like potato chips and all that good stuff but this week they tested out vegan meals at 7-Elevens in New York and Philly. I was able to score some dumplings at the 7-Eleven at 23rd and Park in Manhattan for you guys. Well, for to tell you guys about.
I was disappointed when I saw what they have, it’s just these three “Macro-Vegetarian” meals—two things of dumplings and one lo mein. They sell these macro vegan meals like everywhere and your mom’s house, that’s why I wasn’t all that jazzed. I used to buy the pad thai one for lunch at the deli near my school UNTIL THERE WAS A BUG IN IT and I never bought it again. For you pals though, I braved it and tried the Shanghai dumplings pictured above. They are all right. These things are always all right. They are like kinda good but really just kinda OK. That’s my official ruling! “Kinda OK.”
But the taste isn’t really the point! [Ed.: oh no?] The point is we vegans are still taking over with a BOOOOM. We are dominating. I’m a little worried though that this is the meal all the 7-Eleven-goers will think we vegans eat all the time; it’s going to encourage that “vegans eat crazy stuff” stereotype. What do we all think?
Vegansaurus NYC: Foodswings! »
Jesus Christmas, this is my new favorite place! It’s in Williamsburg, which I am finding out is not the most annoying place in the world after all; they do gots the good vegan food, that’s for sure. Foodswings is a self-proclaimed “fast food joint” and I got the cheese fries to prove it! The cheese fries were not amazing but they were definitely good in that, “yowza are these bad for me!” way. What really stole the show for me though was the chicken cutlet sandwich—it was off the hook! And it comes with soy mayo! You can get vegan bacon on it and all kinds of stuff but I went a little plain-jane with it. Next time, the works! My omni companion got the sausage and pepper hero and I was nice enough to try it and confirm it was delicious as well. The grilled onions and peppers on it were very fresh and yummy. The roll was great too; like, we talked about it.
The one downer was the side of fried plantains my friend got. They were actually battered and fried and they just didn’t really have any flavor. But the menu is big and diverse! There is plenty more to keep you busy. Oh! And BONUS: they sell Lula’s ice cream! Oh! And another BONUS: It’s full of good-looking people. So really the only downer is that I don’t live upstairs from this place! Seriously, let’s all move in there and eat vegan fast food and die slightly slower than the rest of our compatriots!
NEW SF VEGAN RESTAURANT ALERT! San Francisco’s third Loving Hut is going in on at 524 Irving St. (at 6th Avenue) in the Inner Sunset. The location used to house Minh Tri, a Vietnamese joint that we’re told was “grody.” Whether you love Ching Hai or hate that crazy, crazy biznatch, more vegan dining is pretty cool. Plus, awesome spring rolls.
We’ll update you as soon as we get word on actual opening date, which involves one of you emailing us that info. Real Journalism.
Charlie Brooker’s modest proposal »
Charlie Brooker has something to say about our attitude toward food and its presentation. As a satirical genius, he uses the porniest, most revolting writing possible to address it. Here he describes the experience of eating the titular item at Gourmet Burger Kitchen, which is a sort of “upmarket fast-food chain.”
You’ve got two options: tackle it with a knife and fork (the coward’s way out), or dislocate your jaw in the manner of a boa constrictor swallowing a foal, and heave it into your gullet, driving it home like a Victorian taskmaster pushing a buttered eight-year-old into a narrow chimney flue[.]
Order chips, incidentally, and your burger will be accompanied by a generous helping of deep-fried slabs the size and weight of piano keys. Eat there at lunchtime and you’ll spend the rest of the day feeling as if you’re incubating an immense, spherical beef-baby. And caesarean delivery sadly isn’t an option. Before bedtime, you’ll understand how it might feel to give birth to a banister.
What, he asks, makes eating this, with nearly twice the calories of a Big Mac, more socially acceptable than eating a Big Mac?
It seems the key to nurturing a successful chain of fast-food restaurants in modern Britain is to provide a less reprehensible version of something popular…while still enabling your customers to indulge in potentially ruinous gluttony.
I don’t think that that is exclusively a British solution. Isn’t In-N-Out the respectable person’s “drive-thru” burger? Or places like Fuddruckers, Five Guys, and Steak ‘n Shake? Fundamentally, they are McDonald’s: a place to get a quick, “American” meal. You’re still eating nightmare-food, it just comes in nicer packaging.
Charlie Brooker, however, because he is clever and disgusting, has a genius idea for environmentally friendly breakfast cafes: if you want bacon and sausage, cut the meat off your own body. It’s not nearly as offensive as the original Modest Proposal, as you’d only be eating yourself; it’d be vegan-friendly, for those of us who don’t feel as animal-rightsy as the rest of the group. You might even be able to use the lost blood to make black pudding, he says.
There’s something more to that idea—beyond the self-cannibalization joke: You can have as much meat as you can want, so long as you’re willing to give of your own life to get it. What would that mean if it were true? Right now, eating meat robs the future to reward the present; people in wealthy countries won’t feel the effects of their choices for some time—less the occasional terrifying food recall—but less developed nations have to make immediately felt compromises to support a meat industry; and some countries, like Tuvalu, could disappear under the ocean because of global warming.
That raises the question again: what price meat? If people continue eating it despite the horrific treatment of animals on massive factory farms; despite the human health risks posed by those farms; despite the destruction of land, including rainforest, not only to raise cows but to grow soybeans and corn to feed those cows—if they still want to indulge in tasty flesh, let them eat their own. Then maybe they’ll see it as valuable, instead of the commonplace junk they take for granted now.
Plus, you’ll be able to tell the vegans by how fat and happy we’ll be.
PCRM’s ad campaign: Science says Big Macs are nasty! »
[can’t see the video? watch it at vegansaurus.com!]
The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine* (PCRM) released the above commercial totally and morbidly dissing McDonald’s after a recent study they conducted shows just how unhealthy McDonald’s food is. And McDonald’s is pissed!:
This commercial is outrageous, misleading and unfair to all consumers. McDonald’s trusts our customers to put such outlandish propaganda in perspective, and to make food and lifestyle choices that are right for them.
Outrageous and outlandish? Them’s fightin’ words! But PCRM’s findings are pretty scary. The Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese has 42 grams of fat, 740 calories, 155 milligrams of cholesterol, and 1,380 milligrams of sodium. HOLY CRAP! Check out that sodium number! Good lord. Even the sweetly permissive USDA only recommends up to 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day, and that’s counting foods with naturally occurring sodium (although mostly those are dairy products, ew).
Other people are backing McDonald’s in this time of need, including the Wall Street Journal community. So far, 54 percent of them say the ad is unfair! Wah! BTW, I say we go over and vote. Give them some perspective! Our Meave had a few words to say in response to this:
Of course the WSJ crowd is voting it “unfair”; readers of the WSJ are [stereotypically] super-capitalist, super-individualist Randies who’d be libertarians if they weren’t so into government breaks for big corporations. “We are responsible for our own decisions,” says a commenter, as though anyone can make a good decision without pertinent information. UGH.
Besides, this Question of the Day isn’t asking, “Is McDonald’s responsible for all heart disease, ever?” or “Should the government expand healthcare to cover people who ONLY EAT MCDONALD’S BECAUSE THEY ARE STUPID POOR FATTY FAT FATS WHO SHOULD KNOW BETTER?” It’s an AD CAMPAIGN. And one might think that WSJ readers, being on the whole very staunchly pro-business, would support the right of an organization to run whatever ad campaign it so chose. I suppose that when that ad campaign comes into conflict with the interests of a major international corporation, WSJ readers would rather see the big, profitable corporation continue to dominate.
Everyone’s favorite, Eater, had a bit to say in McDonald’s defense, calling the ad “a crazy new commercial” by PCRM, adding that
PCRM is known for their somewhat insane vegan agenda—back in May, they wrote a press release advising KFC to follow the same guidelines the FDA sets out for tobacco producers and not advertise near schools and put a warning label on Double Downs. In this this ad, they recommend “Tonight, make it vegetarian.”
Somewhat insane vegan agenda? Duck and cover! But then the example they give sounds very sane to me, considering another study showing how fast-food chains target children and then feed them horrible crap.
Now, if you are a vegan anything like me, you love your vegan cupcakes and vegan fried food. It’s like we always say, vegan doesn’t equal healthy. But we’re not talking about cupcakes; we’re talking about POISON. Remember Super Size Me? This stuff will kill you! And the main difference is that they don’t want to tell you. Vegansaur Jordan was just saying the other day that she will tell you in plain language that her vegan cupcakes are far from vitamin bars. And if PCRM wants you to know about the nutrition information of McDonald’s food and its ramifications on your health, what is so “unfair” about that?
*Disclosure: Our Laura has worked on contract for PCRM in the past.
Pica Pica is a fairly new Venezuelan restaurant in the mission. Not being super-familiar with Venezuelan cuisine, I decided to go where no white women (except many white women) have gone before. The things I do for you people!
At Pica Pica, they serve up a really basic menu consisting of various sandwiches and um, that’s about it. Oh, there are a few soups, empanadas, and salads too. Not sure about the veganity of the empanadas, I went with a sandwich. You get to choose your “bread”, which are all made from corn (this whole place is gluten-free and wheat-free!). There are three choices, two savory and one sweet, and the lovely gentleman at the counter informed me that they’re all vegan. HOORAY! I went with the Arepa, which is basically a thick savory corn pancake. Delicious. I chose “La Vegetariana” for my filling (which is what you see above*), which consists of tofu, avocado, black beans, and plantains. YES PLEASE. They also have several vegan spreads to choose from if you want to give your sandwich a kick! And you do, all of the ingredients are great but none of them pack a flavor punch (wow, my descriptions are kinda violent today. This is because I am depressed and upset, it has nothing to do with you guys, you’re great).
Everything was fantastic, if really basic. For $8, the sandwich is large and in charge and will fill you up, unless nothing does, and that’s more for therapy than a sandwich. Oh! I also got some Yuca Fries (the same stuff that’s used to make Daiya! Amazing!), which were absolutely delicious when dipped in the housemade spicy ketchup.
All in all, this is a great place to stop off for a quick lunch or dinner. The seating is limited so I wouldn’t hog it all afternoon unless you don’t care what other people think and if that’s the case, what’s your secret?
FINAL THOUGHTS: I originally thought my meal was good but nothing to write home about but when I craved it the next day, I knew there was a lil’ something special about Pica Pica. Or maybe it’s that huge empty well inside of me that I’m trying to fill. Who knows!
*Gentle readers, I hope you do not find my photo offensive. I think it looks like a perfectly appetizing sandwich, whereas my gross-ass pervert friend thinks it looks like a vagina coming to eat you. To that I say, “Uh, if your vagina looks like that, get thee to the OBGYN on the double. They could build the next Alien sequel around what you’ve got going on down there.” In other news: PUKE. and: I’M SORRY.
Calorie count cage match: KFC Double Down vs. Vegan Double Down »
Everyone and their dog knows that the KFC Double Down is cardiac arrest in sandwich form, and our vegan version isn’t doing much better. But we at least would never lie to you. Kill you, quite possibly, but never lie.
Unlike KFC, who would do both. Their marketing materials had clocked their version in at a lean-and-mean 540 calories and 32 grams of fat (practically diet by fast food standards), and now CityRag is calling bullshit. By their math, using published nutritional data, the KFC Double Down’s real calorie count? 1190 calories and 86 grams of fat—over twice as much as advertised.
So, not that you should care, I thought I’d run the numbers for one serving of our version to see how it stacks up.
- 2 Gardein Chick’n Scallopini patties: 180 calories, 4g fat
- 2 Tbsp Vegenaise: 180 calories, 18g fat
- 25 percent of the batter recipe (plenty for one sandwich): 225 calories, 25g fat
- 2 oz Follow Your Heart Monterey Jack: 140 calories, 14g fat
- 3 strips Smart Bacon with cooking oil: 60 calories, 8g fat
Grand total: 785 calories, 69g fat. I think that means, we win! Or, we lose! Also, let’s be realistic. Neither of these counts include the vat of fryer oil we’re using. So add another 300 to 500 calories to both those numbers.
Moral of the story? There is none. Life isn’t Beatrix Potter, and sometimes we eat stuff that might kill us. The end. As long as it’s only killing ourselves without dragging any animals along for the death ride, I don’t see the problem. You know what, I think there is a moral after all. Mentos!
[link via Bacon-loving Hipsters Can Kiss My Vegan Ass]
Vegansaurus goes to another trendy sandwich place in the Mission »
We field-tripped to Dagwood & Scoops today. Not because Thrillist told us to (yarg), but because we happened to be hankering for some Pal’s after a meeting at Uptown Almanac HQ and saw it first (Sorry Pal’s!).
While it does cater to a meat-and-cheese audience (plug your ears if your delicate sensibilities “don’t come to a vegan blog to hear about” this, but by all means continue to shop at supermarkets), they are appropriately vegan-friendly for their zipcode, and definitely more so than Pal’s or Kitchenette or whatever.
There is at least one totally vegan sandwich on the menu at all times (the $7 “Hum-Baby” with hummus, peppers, artichoke hearts, tomato & basil), plus several veggie options easily veganized. Of these, I’m going to have to recommend the “Paulie’s Vegwood”—the veg version of the namesake sandwich (a meatstravaganza of East Coast proportions.)
The Vegwood (hold the Swiss cheese) comes on a toasty roll, with a huge amount of hummus, olive tapenade, marinated artichoke hearts, sprouts, avocado, pepperoncini, and probably some other shit I’m forgetting because it was a big-ass epic sandwich. It was seriously the neverending sandwich. It’s also $10, but I’m going to say worth it. I’m super full, every bite was enjoyable, and $14 for a good sandwich and a kombucha (they sell GT’s—the Mountain Dew of the West Coast) was in my budget for today, if maybe not every day.
Oh and guess what else! They sell WHOLE PACKAGES of Newman-O’s! Including PEANUT BUTTER NEWMAN-O’S!! I mean, what!?? But I’m not complaining! I didn’t buy any but I wish I did!
Newman-O’s!! With your sandwich!
[photos by Megan Allison]
Hong’s Kitchen: Outer Sunset doesn’t completely suck! »
Ahh, ze French fry! Hoh hoh hoh! Zis ees mah french ax-awnt!
Sorry. I wish I were Parisian most days, and it is painfully obvious that I’m not. Regardless, I have more experience with the tried-and-true fry than the French have with annoying Americans (might be a lie). Once you’ve eaten fries at pretty much every food-slinging establishment in the Midwest due to lack of options, you start to either 1) develop a refined palette for deep-fried potato sticks, or 2) never want to eat a goddamn fry again. Now that I’m in a veg-friendly city, I haven’t had many fries due to the presence of more complex vegan food (read: big-ass burritos), but I never shun them. NEVER. And I know a good fry when I eat one.
Jesus, get on with it. The POINT is that I came across some fries lately, and not just any, but perhaps the best French fries I’ve had to date (of the classic variety—sweet potato and waffle fries are a different story altogether), and they’re right by my house. The craftsmen/women/people slice the potatoes up right when you order, deep-fry them on the spot, and coat them in so much beautiful salt, just for you. The fry-filled oasis is Hong’s Kitchen (or Dong’s, as the locals/I lovingly call it), and it’s the shit. Well, the Chinese food is kinda subpar and not worth your time, but shoooot, the fries are good! You get a takeout container overflowing with them—the lid won’t even close—and they’re so hot and delicious that when you greedily try to eat one (and you will), you’ll probably burn your mouth and/or esophagus. But it’s worth it. Enjoy anytime you need a sturdy $2 meal (around drinking times is good), and top with Tapatio, mustard, ketchup, Vegenaise, or whatever else you like. I’m a condiment whore, so I’ll take it all. You can also grab a 40 at the nearby convenience store (they are very nice people!) and have the best dinner that $4 can buy.
Oh, also, Dong’s is way the hell out by the beach so good luck dragging your ass out there. I’m really just throwing it in your face that I’m sitting on a French fry goldmine. *cue maniacal laughter* OUTER SUNSET FOR LIFE (or until my lease is up).
They’re also closed on Wednesdays, so don’t get stoned and try to call in an order. You’re going to be disappointed. Believe me.