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).


Vancouver, we love you! Meatless Mardi at Provence Restaurants  »

Beginning Tuesday, Oct. 19, a pair of Provençal restaurants in Vancouver, B.C. introduced Meatless Mardi, a three-course prix fixe menu for $25 CA ($25 US, our dollar loses worth by the minute). All the courses are vegetarian, with the option to be made vegan, but it looks like the last few menus have been fully vegan. Provence Restaurants, you are a dream come true.

First course from last Tuesday’s menu, the Meatless Mardi Martini with roasted veg, arugula and tomato soup. Photo by SweetOnVeg.

The idea came from chef/owner Alessandra Quaglia, out of concern for the health of the planet and the people. Alessandra worked and studied in kitchens in the south of France. Inexpensive vegan food cooked à la provençal sounds AMAZING. Then again, what part of “three-course vegan dinner at a French restaurant” could anyone hate? Exactly.

Second course from last Tuesday’s menu, stuffed baby acorn squash with bulgar, root vegetables, sweet corn kale, cumin-spiced pine nuts. Photo by Sweet on Veg.

Presumably the cost of living in Vancouver is significantly lower than in San Francisco, because a comparable menu at our finest vegan dining restaurant, Millennium, is $14 more. Can’t we have nice AND afforable things? At least for Meatless Mondays? Canada’s got that social safety net, and Kate Beaton, and gay marriage rights since 2005, and now reasonably priced vegan French food, too! It is NOT FAIR. Yes, yes, the seal hunt is horrific, but it’s not like we’re saints down here. Maybe we can perform a reverse-Jordan and find a nice Canadian fellow to take us away from all this. As long as we are taken directly to a Meatless Mardi menu at one of the Provence Restaurants in Vancouver. And then at the other location. Two dinners are better that one!

Third course from last Tuesday’s menu, chocolate coconut cream and apple compote, almond tuille cup, caramel sauce. Photo by SweetOnVeg.

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