SF Vegan Drinks is tomorrow night! It’s your monthly chance to meet your fellow Bay Area vegans in the (cruelty-free) flesh. Check out that menu! Are fried beets any good? I mean, duh, what fried food isn’t good, but still! Beets!
SF Vegan Drinks happens from 6 to 8 p.m. at Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem, 2323 Mission (at 19th Street) in S.F. Check out Facebook for more info! Be there, or be sober and poorly fed!
And, of course, the original Vegan Drinks takes place tomorrow as well at Fontana’s Bar on the Lower East Side in New York. For more info (and there is a lot of info), visit the website.
Weird Fish is delicious; forget anything else you may have heard! »
Recently, you may recall that I said some unflattering things about San Francisco’s Weird Fish. I may have said these things, even though I hadn’t eaten there in over a year and a half, since it became Dante’s Weird Fish. I may have posed the questions “Is there any reason to go to Weird Fish these days? Are any vegans enjoying themselves there?” I’m back to clear the air: The answers are yes! YES ON BOTH ACCOUNTS.
Last week, my friend Robert was in town, visiting from Chicago. Seeing as how he gets to eat at Native Foods and the Handlebar anytime he wants, I wanted to bring him to what I though might be the S.F. equivalent. And I selfishly wanted to try their fish and chips, and what better excuse to gorge on a basket of fried food than having a visitor in town?
It was awesome. We ordered almost every vegan thing on the menu! And we loved all of it—it was a fried food frenzy! Hey, sometimes you gotta treat yourself (even if on the same night you have your three roommates plus three house-guests with only one bathroom in the apartment, whatevs).
We didn’t actually try the Buffalo Girls, which is what started my snark-fest in the first place, but we did eat EVERYTHING else. I’m officially Team Weird Fish! The seitan fish and sweet potato chips were better than ever! The fried pickles were delectable, juicy spears, and the yam and spinach taco was colorful and tasty! We were so stoked, Robert wanted to go back before he left.
Tender, perfectly battered seitan “fish” atop sweet potato fries.
Fried pickle spears—my favorite!
Spinach and yam taco, topped with guacamole and pumpkin seeds!
You guys, there are a few places in San Francisco you can get fried pickles, but maybe you are too lazy to leave your house? DID YOU THINK OF THAT? Yeah you did, lazy. And here at Vegansaurus, we support your right to be as lazy as you wanna be. If you’re one of the unwashed masses that won’t or can’t go outside, who are we to stop you? NOBODY!
We’re here to help you in your agoraphobic craze for fatty fried goodness. Enter a recipe for vegan fried pickles from Vegan Happy Hour! YOU’RE WELCOME AND GOOD NIGHT. We assume you can go to bed right where you’re sitting now, that’s why we say goodnight. Livin’ the dream!
Here is something amazing to do tonight. Go to El Rio, have a delicious alcoholic beverage for cheap and then eat some MOTHERFLIPPING FRY BREAD. Perfect Monday night!!
Rocky Yazzie of Rocky’s Frybread will be serving the most magical-looking fry bread that’s dusted with powdered sugar and honey (you can get without honey or bring your own bottle of agave nectar DO IT); so amazing. El Rio is pretty much the greatest place on earth and when matched with FRY BREAD??? Can I get a fuck yeah? Rocky will be in front of El Rio at 3158 Mission St. at Cesar Chavez Street from 9 p.m. on. Open up your mouth and feed it!
[Image from Tigers and Strawberries]
What kind of a lunatic fries guacamole? A vegan lunatic fries guacamole.
As previously reported, a Loving Hut is coming to Union Square. Lo and behold, that fucker is in Westfield Mall. One shopping spree at H&M followed by vegan feast at delicious cult restaurant, coming up!
[Thanks for the pic, Tessa!]
Bender’s Bar! »
Bender’s has a new menu because Weird Fish is whack and ended the satellite kitchen. HOWEVER, they have stuff that can be made vegan and are CARRYING DAIYA CHEESE NOW! All right now, yall.
Okay. So I heard from KevinMonty that Bender’s Bar has a very similar menu to Weird Fish, so I had to check it out. He’s right! and further, it’s actually a Weird Fish satellite kitchen! So it’s like Weird Fish but even closer to my house and EVEN BETTER because
- It’s HUGE so there’s a better chance you’ll get a seat!
- It’s a bar so even if you don’t get a seat right away, you can play pool, darts or pinball, and have a delicious margarita! And the drinks are cheap! Which brings me to my next point
- Nothing but NOTHING goes better with a basket of beer-battered and deep-fried seitan and fries than cheap beer. Except maybe cheap margaritas.
- Bender might be best character ever on TV? I mean, except for Nibbler*. And Al Bundy. NO MA AM!
Last night, I ate so so so so many Fried Yo-Yos (pickles! SO GOOD!) with vegan ranch dressing, beer-battered seitan with sesame-ginger sauce, french fries, and seitan tacos that I am now a complete person. Or at least a fatter one. AND GUESS WHAT: IT WAS WORTH IT, FOLKS. Next time, I’m getting a veggie Philly cheesesteak (sans cheese, unless they offer it with vegan cheese! Which they might! Because they do at Weird Fish!) and the seitan Buffalo Girls (pictured)! That might be tonight, actually. The Weird Fish satellite kitchen at Bender’s is open Tuesday through Saturday (on Sunday they have free BBQ—which I cannot speak to except that it’s probably gross—and on Monday, there is a sushi happy hour and there are apparently quite a few vegan options—I’ll check it out and report back! THE THINGS I DO.)
UPDATE: We did some follow-up research in regards to Hallie’s comment, below, regarding the batter. The result? ALWAYS ASK. Sometimes they run out of the vegan batter, in which case they make a non-vegan one. Always ask!
UPDATE 1/28/10: Bender’s no longer has the WF Satellite kitchen but has a new menu with some vegan options. Have yet to try it but am a little worried. SAD DAY.
Review: Loving Hut! »
Loving Hut. Yes, it has the grossest name around. Loving Hut. It reminds me of somewhere a girl would go to lose her virginity to an elder. And I mean ELDERLY elder. I’m Gonna Puke Hut.
Other than that, this place is delightful. I am reviewing the SF location today but there are two others that just opened in Palo Alto and Milpitas. It’s apparently part of a huge chain that’s all over Taiwan, Vietnam, and Hong Kong. It’s a Ching Hai Enterprise and so is filled with cult-like awesomeness, including a large television that plays Supreme Master TV on loop. I don’t get to watch much TV and I love it/hate it/want to marry it so when I’m in a room with one, my eyes immediately wander towards it. However, since SMTV is basically unwatchable insanity, it was both a blessing (to my friends who enjoy my company SO MUCH) and a curse (to ME, can we get some Gossip Girl up in here?!).
The menu is available to view and download on their website, but don’t expect to find the exact same menu at the restaurant you go to. The prices are also totally different. But the weird thing is, they’re cheaper at the restaurant than on the site. I don’t know what that’s about, some sort of reverse bait and switch?! Mama like! Most of the food is Chinese with some Vietnamese influences and a slight touch of crazy town. They also have a section of the menu titled “Western Food,” which is basically burgers, club sandwiches and spaghetti. See above about crazy town. So far, the standouts have been the Triple Happiness, pictured below—it’s like these deep-fried layers of gluten, taro and bread. Kinda like a savory gluten baklava. I think. Just try it. I think. Basically, you’ll either love it or think it’s kinda funky. Russian Roulette!; the Ocean Platter, above—basically a big platter of delicious fried foods and yummy dipping sauces, a huge hit with everyone; Spicy Cha Cha—yam crescents that are deep-fried to look and taste like shrimp HOW DO THEY DO IT; and the Won Ton Noodle Soup with fake pork! SO GOOD! The Guru’s Curry and the Veggie Stew are also delicious, basically just big pots filled with potatoes, carrots, and soy protein chunks—beef-esque. also, that’s a great fake word—in a yellow curry/gravy mixture. They have white and brown rice available and lots of drinks—NO ALCOHOL! Ching Hai does NOT imbibe!—ranging from the tasty vegan Thai iced tea to the insanely foul to adults/insanely delicious to kids, e.g. some sort of tropical drink mixture with vegan gelatin in it. I don’t know, I think I’m 10 sometimes and so I ordered it and then it came out and it was like drinking warm liquefied jello. Raunchy.
They have desserts too. Stay away from the cakes (sub-par Black China) and go for the fried bananas and ice cream! Soon they’re supposed to have fried ice cream (!!!) but they haven’t perfected it at the SF location and so we wait. Eagerly. I want that g-d fried ice cream. It’s available in Palo Alto currently so strongly considering making the drive in five minutes, JOB BE DAMNED! WHAT HAVE YOU EVER DONE FOR ME! BESIDES GIVE ME MONEY AND A SENSE OF PURPOSE! I say, nuts to THAT! I need fried ice cream like I’ve never needed anything! Actually, to be real, I need fried ice cream like I need a hole in the head. I just really want it. Really, really, very badly. I mean doesn’t that sound amazing? Also, I almost accidentally typed “friend” instead of “fried” 90 times in the above paragraph. What that says about me, I do not want to know. Probably that I’m really cute and fun.
Okay, also, two more quick awesome things. According to Loving Hut, SF is located in Canada. I feel like if this election doesn’t go well, this map will be called foreshadowing as half of SF is likely to move there. SNAP! Kind of! Also, the interior of the SF Loving Hut is like eating in the Taiwanese future. It’s all super-bright and clean with floating hearts and shit. You sort of expect your waitress to be one of the Jetsons. Love it. This place is good for dinner with a few friends but not going to be great for large groups and not at all romantical. Unless you think Clockwork Orange is sexy and then, eat here and after that, check yourself into the psych ward, you sick fuck! Alternately, CALL ME!
Review: Ali Baba’s Cave! »
OK, what genius/saint thought it smart to grind, spice and fry chickpeas into little fried balls of perfection? I’d like to shake that man’s hand and then possibly simulate oral sex on his fingers. Was this man Jesus himself? I’m not one to speculate on whether or not Jesus invented falafel balls but whoever did most likely can do other crazy shit like turn water into wine and start enormous holy wars based strictly on the debate of his existence. To you, sir, I say, BRAVO. I also say, PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST!!!
The falafel at Ali Baba’s Cave is really very yummy and you can add fried eggplant and fried potatoes and fuck if that isn’t the trifecta of fried deliciousness. However, I’m gonna be forced to take one demerit point because these fools NEVER listen to you and I think it’s worse if you’re a woman. Listen, I understand that I’m the weaker and stupider sex,* but if I say no fucking hot sauce, I mean no fucking hot sauce this whitey will DIE. And I know you don’t value my life because I am a woman but um…I don’t know what to say. I really have no ground to stand on when who I fundamentally am is a second-class citizen at best and a wretched, whiny, bleeding, nagging, hooker beast at worst. What can you do? The falafel is REALLY good.
It’s so good, in fact, that the other night, I exited Ali Baba’s Cave on a complete falafel cloud of happiness. I was so excited and happy about everything that I yelled, “Cute dog!” to a guy and his super-cute dog as they drove by. The guy gave me a puzzled look and as he rounded the corner, I noticed that what I saw in the back seat was not in fact a dog but rather, a very old and very short lady with curly white hair. Presumably his grandmother. I am an asshole. Also, this falafel? Possibly magical as it creates illusions of the eye. Also, I am an asshole.
*This is a proven fact. Please don’t argue with me about “Right to Vote” and “Able to Show Face Flesh in Public,” Lucy Liberal and Esther Equality. Just get back in the kitchen and finish my pot pie, bitches! And if you forget the carrots like last time, there will be hell to pay. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, I will murder your whole family.
[photo via yelp]