It’s another SF SPCA and 7x7 dog adoption event!
On Sunday, Sept. 30, Hayes Valley hosts the second annual Dogma street fair, sponsored by 7x7 and the SF SPCA, where people coming without pets better be there to adopt one. Pets! They improve your life in infinite ways!
This year’s Dogma is pretty impressive; in addition to free adoptions from the SF SPCA, you can adopt from other agencies like SF Animal Care and Control, Muttville, Loup Garou, SF Chihuahua Meetup, SaveABunny, and MickaCoo. There will be all kinds of dog-happy events and deals from pet-friendly/-centric businesses, and a talent show!
Mainly, you need to get yourself (and your pet, if you have a pet who goes on outings) to Octavia Boulevard between Hayes and Fell streets on Sunday between noon and 4 p.m. For more details, click through!
Pause Wine Bar in Hayes Valley: Vegan desserts galore (ish)! »
So, Pause in Hayes Valley officially opened yesterday, Feb. 2, and it’s looking miiiiighty fine! Now, you might be asking, what does some snob wine bar have to do with you, dear vegan? Well, the desserts are provided by none other than Sarah Smart of Rocket Ship Ice Cream! We looooooove this stuff, it is so g.d. delicious, truly outstanding dessert deliciousness.
Anyway, Pause is the sister wine/food bar to Dog Patch’s Yield (GET IT?) (snark aside, this is a delightful place for vegan lushes!) and is also owned by Millennium's wine director, Chris Tavelli—so, uh, this dude should know from vegan options. In fact, there appear to be quite a few on their short menu. I reallllllly hope we can get that dessert sampler platter veganized! It looks hopeful, as Sarah says:
Be sure to stop by for poppyseed vegan donut holes and lemon marmalade…butterscotch and chocolate ice cream terrine from Rocket Ship Ice Cream or assorted cookies and truffles.
Um, YUM. I will be sure to stop by. Thank you, Sarah!
[Photo from Eater SF]
Our night with the carnies: Vegansaurus goes to Straw! »
If you’ve ever read anything I’ve written, you know that being grouchy and hating things are integral to my persona. That’s why, when Vegansaurus got an invitation to a sneak preview of Straw, a carnival-themed restaurant opening in Hayes Valley, my first thought was, “Well, this is going to be a disaster.” This was not only because I am a fairly angry and unlikeable person, but because the one thing I do like is a good carnival. Yes, you have read that right: I love me a carnival. The creepier/cheaper, the better! My favorite carnival activity (besides the funnel cake; I love funnel cake!) is standing under the rides and screaming “you’re all going to die!!” at the people who were stupid enough to pay $8 to get into a death trap expensively provided by Butler Amusements. Then I have more funnel cake.
It’s Friday night, Jan. 21, and Allen and I are walking to Straw. I am grumpy after a long, hard day of lying in bed and playing with my Nintendo DS. “Listen,” I say to Allen, “here is how it is going to be: I am going to tell people you are my photographer. That way they have to let us both in, because I am important enough to have a photographer and they will be afraid to kick us out.”
"I don’t think you’re going to need to lie to anyone tonight," Allen tells me.
"Yes, I am. This is how these things work. They only let Press in, okay? I am Press and you are my boyfriend, so therefore Not Press. We have to lie."
"You are not Press! You are delusional is what you are," Allen says, and I huff away from him because once again he is being unsupportive. I am even angrier when it turns out he is right.
Straw is a small place. In fact, I almost walked past it before I realized where I was. The restaurant was packed and there were several people outside, looking at their awesome sign. My hopes of sneaking Allen inside as my photographer were dashed when a smiling gentleman in a plaid shirt—who turned out to be Greg, one of the owners—invited everyone to come inside and see the new restaurant. Not knowing whether I could take pictures without express permission (I am very new to being Press), I introduced myself and asked about vegan menu options. Greg assured me that there would be plenty, excitedly told me that I should talk to Ari, another owner who would be able to tell me more about the vegan options, and told me to take all the pictures I could manage.
Inside, the restaurant is warm, inviting, and awesomely decorated. On one wall, there is a giant photo of a some kids going insane for cotton candy.* In the corner by the door is a booth fashioned out of an old Tilt-A-Whirl compartment, which is nauseating because I have bad experiences with Tilt-A-Whirls, but also incredibly romantic. It is also important to note that this is the only seat I will ever occupy when I eat at Straw because it is the BOMB!** I meet Ari, who gives me his card and fields all of my questions about whether I can actually ever eat food here or just come to sit in the Tilt-A-Whirl booth and lord over everyone else.
Ari’s grossly paraphrased, not-at-all verbatim answers to my pressing questions:
- Yes, there vegan options
- Yes, he is sure
- No, it is not like one thing that is just beets and shit that you put on the menu to make sure we don’t burn down your place for being non vegan-friendly: it is like a million things
- You vegetarians and people who are gluten-free for health/Elizabeth Hasselbeck reasons get your own menu! In fact, to ensure that you don’t have to hunt through the menu to find something you can eat, you can tell your friendly waiter—WHO I SINCERELY HOPE IS DRESSED LIKE A CARNIVAL PERSON IF YOU ARE READING THIS, ARI!!— your dietary needs, and this person will actually direct you to the menu (vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free) that your heart desires
Allen and I try the house-made potato chips and agree that they are the most delicious potato chips we have ever had. Then we have some truffle oil popcorn and decided that this is the best popcorn we have ever had. Then I try to throw my popcorn box in the trash and Allen has to physically restrain me because these are not single-use popcorn boxes. In the midst of all this, people are having an awesome time. Ari introduces us to his beautiful wife (also very nice!) and hands me his card, inviting me to email him with any questions. Even the card, which lists Ari as Skee-Ball King, is adorable. And Ari is true to his word, responding to every one of my 15 emails with alarming speed and grace.
I do not know how to rate restaurants because I am still very new to this “judging others in an official way,” but I am going to rate Straw based on how my heart felt as I left, and my heart felt like it had grown three times its size. I can’t wait to take my rightful place in the Tilt-A-Whirl to gorge myself on Tater Tots and more popcorn!
Straw is officially open now so you should go eat there immediately—just don’t sit in my seat!! Here is what their entire current vegan menu [.pdf] looks like! Spoiler alert: It looks like THE BOMB!
Straw is located at 203 Octavia Street at Page Street in Hayes Valley.
*Which is like diabetes on a cone and is hella sticky and your whole day is ruined after one of those things so my kids are never getting any
**Are we still saying that, 1998?
[all photographs by Mark, as Allen “is the worst pretend photographer ever.”]
Movie Night at Hayes Valley Farm: FRIDAY! »
The very, very cool Hayes Valley Farm has started screening movies! That’s right: movies at the farm! You can learn all about it here (and maybe get inspired to get involved and volunteer). The film starts at sundown, but the gates open at 6 p.m., PLUS, it’s by donation (they suggest $5), so if you’re seriously down on your luck, you can name your price (but don’t be a dick).
The movie for tomorrow is the very apt Vanishing of the Bees, a documentary that traces the earliest reports of Colony Collapse Disorder, and offers plausible causes and solutions to curb the systematic loss of bees on a global scale. The choice was made “in response to the violence against our hives at Hayes Valley Farm, [so] we wanted to transform the incident [wherein 100,000 honeybees living in the Hayes Valley Farm hives were killed] into an opportunity for education and outreach within our community,” according to the press release from the HVF.
For those of you not aware of the good doings at the HVF, tomorrow’s movie night is a great opportunity to come and check the place out. It’s pretty darn awesome that a group of dedicated volunteers has managed to turn an abandoned on-ramp into a functional, permaculture-based farm. They’re always having neat events (yoga at the farm? Awesome!), and their website is loaded with recipes, permaculture/farming/gardening tutorial videos, and other assorted farmly goings-on. Highly recommended!
Non-weekend summertime super-fun activities! »
It’s summer! Time to play while it’s still light at 8 p.m.! Or so the kids who live next door and have no school think, as they are up and at ‘em 12 hours a day, running in the sprinkler, riding bikes, playing “let’s wash the car” (not my car, not my game, I am honest with children about work)—they make the most of every second of their summer. And even though statistically (one of us pays attention to these things) you are a boring adult who gets no extra time off for longer days or warmer weather, and maybe are even the person responsible for those giggling children who have to be occupied all those hours they’re not in school, in which case I extend my sympathies to you. But you’re still alive! You can still eat summer produce, and wear summer clothes, and drink summer drinks, oh yes you can.
You can also go to the movies. Specifically, movies about produce, which is almost pertinent, but who cares that is not the point. First, tonight at 7 at Hayes Valley Farm catch a free!! showing of The Botany of Desire, based on Michael Pollan’s eponymous book. This was the pre-food-evangelist Michael Pollan, so there’ll be no rapturous tales of hunting boar in the Berkeley hills or wherever. Rainbow Grocery will provide hot chocolate, Jugtown Pirates will play (if you are into bluegrass you are excited right now.), and there will also be a bake sale and raffle. Right, and they have a $5 suggested donation, so if you are nice you will pay, but if you’re broke, it’s all right not to. Thanks to Haighteration for the info; did you know Haighteration is a good blog? You should read it.
Hey check it out, there’s a free movie on Thursday, too! And this one is a preview AND it’s at the LIBRARY. YOU GUYS. You know your Vegansaurus loves the library like whoa, right? We love the library so much. Particularly the SFPL, it is a really lovely library system. So lovely, in fact, that they’re showing a documentary called Fresh three months before its official San Francisco debut, and because it’s the library it will cost you zero dollars—all you have to do is show up at the Koret Auditorium inside the Main Library, at 100 Larkin St. at Hyde and Market Streets. The movie will run from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Hang on, you’re saying, what is this Fresh about, why should I go anywhere on a damn Thursday when I’m exhausted anyway? Oh man, OK. From what I understand, it is “like Food, Inc. but inspirational, not so depressing”; plus, it costs no money; plus, you’ll just have time to get dinner at Ananda Fuara afterward. Hang on: Here is a review from reader vera! Now, no more arguments!
EXCEPT! you might say, except what about the inaugural Mission Community Market, which is also scheduled for Thursday, from 4 to 8 p.m.? Well that is a good point. You might could do both, really; two hours for the market, on Bartlett Street between 21st and 22nd Streets, and then, what, not even 10 minutes on BART to Civic Center and you get your free movie at the library, too! See, your Vegansaurus has your week all set for you already. We haven’t heard—nor can we find—any solid information on the food vendors at the MCM, but they say there will be a farmer’s market, which means more summer produce! Regardless, if you’re in the Mission (which like 30 percent of you are, we know), get over there and support your community. Be a good vegan citizen. Also leave the house, get some vitamin D, talk to humans with your voice, et cetera.
We are helpful because we love you! Go out, vegans; eat hay while the sun shines.
[images courtesy PBS and freshthemovie.com, respectively]
I think everyone knows by now, but if you don’t, Patxi’s has vegan deep-dish pizza made with Daiya cheese and it’s the mickey fickey bomb. OH ALSO: they hella deliver. With two locations in SF, they have most of the city covered. They’re also in Palo Alto so all you dorks are covered too, but probably not you poor people in East Palo Alto. SORRY, try being born rich! That’s the only thing that will save you now! Moving on: Some Steves I know are hella persnickety about shiz and if you like stuff to taste its best, you’ll heed his ordering how-to:
It takes a really long time for them to make the deep dish (worth it, though!), usually around 40 minutes. But you can call ahead before you come in, and they’ll start making it for you, even if you’re going to sit down and eat there. Not everyone is impatient but sometimes you want the slow, leisurely part of the dinner to happen after you’ve stuffed your face and you’re no longer an inch away from cannibalizing your unsuspecting dinner date. You can also have them prepare a pizza but not bake it, then you bring it home and bake it whenever you want. I’ve never done this, so I have no idea how it turns out. Point is, they are flexible and they know how busy and important you are.
If you’re like me and just want to be fat and happy ASAPly, have them deliver to your face and then eat it all. And by eat it all, I mean you’ll be lucky if you get through a piece HOLY SHIT SO BIG AND FILLING. It’s a little expensive but you have to consider that it’ll provide enough sustenance to get you through the zombie apocalypse.
Let’s hear it for Chicago-style deep-dish vegan pizza in San Francisco! Some dreams do come true! Not like the ones where you live in a pink mansion in Malibu surrounded by Nagels but at this point, I’ll takes what I can gets.