Eat this: Easy Creole in San Francisco! »
On Wednesday nights, Easy Creole, a New Orleans-style pop-up kitchen, sets up shop at The Residence in San Francisco. Cocktails and vegan dinner? Just twist my arm to get me out of the house, why don’t you, Easy Creole?
For $8 I got a plate of the Red Bean Succotash. I was mildly disappointed that they had run out of the $9 Spinach and Mushroom Étouffée earlier that day during their lunchtime hours in North Beach—it just means I have to go back and try it! Which I will, because the succotash was delicious!
A hot sauce spread I think Quarrygirl would appreciate.
Jess and Grant, the two guys behind Easy Creole, are super cool, and very much looking forward to opening a restaurant of their own and the idea of hiring their first employee. We can help them do this by eating their food! Let’s go when they re-open shop after the holidays!
Easy Creole is available at many locations throughout the week! They’re at 450 Broadway (between Montgomery and Kearny) from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, The Residence at 718 14th St. from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesdays, and at La Victoria Bakery at 24th Street and Alabama from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Fridays.
SF Bay Area! Help feral cats! »
From Nadine! She’s an SF Bay Area cat-rescuing superstar and she and the cats need our help! They are shining their cat signal into the air, who will answer their cat calls!?*
Two small feral cat colonies in the Chinatown/North Beach area need a little help! If you live in the area, do you have a little time to feed these feral cats one or two days a week starting in August?
Feeding the cats is simple and easy: it involves just putting down fresh food and water in two locations, one right across the street from the other, and does not take long—perhaps five to 10 minutes maximum in each spot. We are happy to provide the dry food, as well as some wet food, if necessary, and can supply the bowls for food and water. There are four cats in one colony, and one or two in the other. All the cats have been spayed/neutered and vaccinated. There are two other people who feed the cats on the other days.
If you’re interested or would like more info, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Feel free to call me on my cell phone at (415) 846.1362 on weekends and after 7 p.m.
Know people who love cats but are allergic? It’s perfect for them—no contact is necessary, but they will get the enormous satisfaction of helping and seeing these beautiful creatures! Please tell any other animal-lovers who live in or near that area who might be interested in helping.
*the BEST kind of cat calls are the ones from actual cats, ladies!
BREAKING: Escape from New York Pizza in the Mission HAS VEGAN CHEESE! »
Yo! Another SF pizza parlor serving up the good stuff with Daiya. That makes Amici’s (the review says they serve Cheezly but it’s Daiya now!), Patxi’s, and now Escape from New York Pizza on 22nd Street in the mission, all carrying vegan pizza made with Daiya! Delightful! We have confirmation that their crust is vegan, but we’re not sure if the other locations are serving it. Street team, where you at?! If you know, leave it in the comments and we’ll update the post. Further, you can get POTATOES on your pizza. I love potatoes on a pizza. That starch-on-starch goodness makes me very happy. We haven’t tried this one yet but we hear it’s amazing so everyone, order it tonight! And report back! Thank you much!
UPDATE 11/7/10: They’ve got Daiya at all five Escape from New York Pizza locations! Get on it!!
[image by Troy Holden on Flickr!]
Liguria Bakery! »
Liguria bakery in North Beach is one of those places in San Francisco that not a whole lot of San Franciscans seem to know about. Maybe it’s that so many San Franciscans sort of shun North Beach, leaving it to the tourists and the peep-show perverts; maybe it’s that it’s just out of the way. Whatever the reason, vegans in San Francisco would do well to remember its name, because Liguria makes the BEST focaccia bread ever, and it is awesome.
Before you hit up this mythical North Beach bread paradise, however, you should be aware of a couple things: 1) Liguria does pretty much ONE THING AND ONE THING ONLY (though it does it in about nine flavors), and that thing is big-ass pieces of focaccia bread. You can get a slice that’s about the size of a piece of standard copier paper for between four and five bucks depending on the kind you want. It will feed you for a day if all you want to eat is bread (and believe me, you DO). 2) They open early (8 a.m. on weekdays and 7 a.m. on weekends), and they close when they sell out. This also tends to be early, so get there before 11 a.m. if you don’t want your trip to be for nothing! 3) The ladies who work here are mean as fuck. I’m sure they’re really nice in real life when they’re not serving the hordes of North Beach frat boy tourists or tourists looking for “The Real San Francisco,” but even if you’re really nice and say “could I please have a piece of the olive focaccia please” with about 80 extra “pleases” thrown in, they will look you up and down with a look of pure hatred and only reluctantly get you your order (which is totally fine with me—I like when service people are able to express their hatred of customers—but if you’re easily offended, you’d best steel yourself). 4) They only take cash, so don’t be that jerk who can’t read the sign and then creates a bunch of hassle for everyone!
When I was there, I had a piece of the olive focaccia and the garlic focaccia, and both were completely insane. I’d been told to try the pizza variety, but I panicked and couldn’t remember if it had cheese on it or not (and didn’t want to ask), so I missed out, but for future reference, I can assure you that the pizza focaccia IS VEGAN—it’s basically tomato sauce on bread. Anyway, the bread is fluffy and soft, but not so soft it falls apart. The edges are a little crunchy in the best possible way, and the toppings are flavorful and generously applied.
There’s not a whole lot else I can say except that it’s definitely worth the trip up to North Beach (grab some xox truffles while you’re at it) and the fat ass. Go get it, vegans!
Loving Hut! Part two, Megan Rascal’s take! »
First of all, I’m not saying Loving Hut is run by a cult, but I think they might be run by a cult. And a fairly young blond woman seems to be at the helm [Ed.: she’s actually a 10,000 year-old Vietnamese woman who made a pact with the devil so that she might be the best poet, painter, musician, jewelry designer, fashion designer, and self published writer IN THE ENTIRE LAND]. But despite pictures on the walls and pamphlets everywhere, no one really bothers you about their agenda or even explains it and that is just fine with me. And before you say anything, I’m totally into their logo! Well I’d cut out a bunch of the crap but I really like the Lavern and Shirley style L with the pretty hearts! Admit it, you like the hearts.
The service was kind of awful. And I hate complaining about service; like you could pour hot coffee down my back and I’d still tip 20% (totally happened one time with a stripper in Phoenix but it was a vodka tonic and I was in love), but this guy was pretty bad. He forgot our food and then was just never around though we were one of a few tables occupied. But then I heard him talking to a table of young scamps and he told them that, actually, he was volunteering—you know, in the name of veganism! I said, good, because nobody should be paying this dude. Except maybe to be all tall. Tall people, always taunting me.
The whole time we were there, they also had people outside tabling with pretty awesome felt vests on. I was just thinking that maybe the volunteer kid could be out there tabling and they could put more effort into service in the restaurant because people remember that shit. We can put up with it for the sake of vegan food but I doubt a non-vegan would deal with that again.
First we got the potato salad. It was pretty good. It was more like the deviled egg recipe I used to make (back when I was vegetarian and sold Tupperware) because it was very mustardy and had relish in it. It also had pasta shells in it, which was interesting, but as potatoes are vegan, maybe we can just have potatoes in potato salad. I guess I’m more of a traditionalist; the vegan-mayo based recipe floats my boat just fine.
The spring rolls were EXCELLENT. I love spring rolls and it’s hard to find bad ones but these were extra extra crispy, just the way I like. They didn’t come with that orange-colored sauce they usually come with which made me sad. But they were extra extra crispy… just the way I like!
I’m sad to say it but our entrees were not super. I got the pad thai and my pal got the crispy noodle. It was nice to see pad thai without egg in it so that was cool. It was spicy which I’m not used to with pad thai but maybe that’s because I’m a whitey and other restaurants dull it down for me. My dining partner, the beautiful Asli, did NOT like her crispy noodles. She was very excited for the fake shrimp that came on top—some kind of yam paste made to look like real shrimp—but she didn’t like them that much. And there was way too much sauce, it was spilling over the sides of her plate. Kind of gross. Another thing to note: the portions were super giant, like would easily feed 2.
One great thing is that they have lots of dessert options! Mostly cakes. The other day, a friend of mine brought me some chocolate from there in exchange for DRUGS (I told him he couldn’t pay me because then I’d be a drug dealer but I did accept the cake though because I think that’s a grey area). I’m still obsessed with the vegan cupcake movement but a nice slice of chocolate cake is always appreciated. They have carrot cake too, that’s what I’m going to try next! That and some items from the “western” section of the menu—there’s vegan pesto!
All in all, I definitely think it’s worth a try. It’s a nice place; the interior is simple and kind of mod—lots of white. Oh, you also get tea with your meal which is lovely.
Review: Gelateria Naia! »
I discovered Gelateria Naia and its many sorbet and soy-based flavors on my way home from working out. I think god is doing this to punish me for the one time I called Marc Fransen a fat-ass in gym class. I am cursed. And also BLESSED. Because this isn’t your typical ice cream shop where you have to get a scoop of crappy, icy raspberry flavored sorbet. NO. They have many soy gelato flavors in addition to their awesome sorbets (which includes flavors like fig, Meyer lemon, pomegranate, peach, rhubarb and prickly pear! Fancy!) The soy gelato is outstanding. Rich, creamy and not overly soy-ee tasting. I like to mix the vanilla soy gelato with the peach sorbet and have a delightfully smooth peach fantasy. Also, that would be a great name for a stripper. The best, most delicious stripper.
According to their site, “[Naia] soy gelato is completely dairy-free and can be enjoyed by the lactose intolerant and both vegetarians and vegans. [Naia] soy gelato is made using fresh organic soy milk and sugar processed without bone char.”
Honestly, it’s super-cool that they put that on their website. They are actually thinking about vegans and that’s fresh. A+++ will do business with again!
This is a local chain with locations all over the SF Bay Area (including outposts in some Whole Foods!) but my favorite store is in the heart of the Castro. The location can’t be beat for tourists and locals alike, i.e. PEOPLE. WATCHING. And I don’t mean just the gays, you homophobes. The Castro is world-class people-watching for people of all sexual orientations, colors, heights, weights, piercings, manipulations, tooth count, leg count, arm count and different forms of crazy-eyes-itis. And their cute-ass dogs. Plus, there are some great shops ranging from the ultra-adorable to the downright skanky. Enjoy! And it’s super-close to Muni, folks!
In conclusion: I don’t care that it’s rainy and freezing right now, GO! Your ass will thank you!
Review: XOX Truffles! »
I was given a box of truffles from XOX for my birthday last year and fuck me if I haven’t been hooked on these amazing bite sized bonbons since. The vegan flavors are Dark Chocolate, Orange, and Noisette (Hazelnut! in French!). They are rich and creamy and they literally MELT IN YOUR MOUTH. AND ALSO IN YOUR HAND. BE CAREFUL. Just thinking about these things, my mouth waters. And I’m not even really a chocolate person. Actually, I hate when women are like, “Chocolate is better than sex!” Is your name Cathy? Do you have a boyfriend named Irving? GET OUT OF MY FACE. Now, mashed potatoes…that’s another thing. I’d kill a man for some mashed potatoes. I would literally kill a man. I’d probably kill Colonel Sanders. I’d raise that motherfucker from the dead and then re-kill his ass. In fact, I’d love to kill any man involved with the Kentucky Fried Chicken regime, including the man known as Star Jones because I know he was a KFC stockholder at some point (or at least looked like one). I would like to send them all through a slaughterhouse while I take all of the lovely chickens out and we will enjoy big vats of mashed potatoes and have a dance party. It will RULE.
Another man I’d kill for some mashed potatoes is Tobey Maguire. I just don’t like the way that kid looks. He should donate his face to Down Syndrome research. While I’m at it, I’d kill Julia Stiles for a pack of Orbit gum. Seriously, have you seen Mona Lisa Smile? Well, I DID. IN THE THEATER. Ugh, I’ve said too much.
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!
New restaurant alert: Loving Hut! »
Via Eater SF, apparently a new vegan restaurant is opening up in Chinatown! It’s called Loving Hut. I took a look at the menu, and it appears to be a faux-meat bonanza, Chinese style, a favorite of the Vegansaurus gang! The dinner menu has a few nods to the “HK-style” Chinese cafe (a Chinese restaurant that also serves American dishes), so it has stuff like spagetti and a “tofu club sandwich” in addition to the standard variety of noodle and rice dishes.
Who are these people? They are the “fastest-growing International vegan fast food chain in the world.” This new Chinatown location appears to be their seventh. The copy on their website is already pretty great. They say: “At Loving Hut, all dishes are prepared free of animal ingredients (vegan) and served lovingly, in a graciously decorated, pure and peaceful environment, giving one a heavenly feeling.”
We will see how heavenly it makes us feel when they open up on Saturday, Oct. 11!
Update: True to form, an intrepid Yelper has already reviewed the place, even though they haven’t even opened! The reviews for their Milpitas location seem very promising, so I’m even more excited to have another venue for fake meat Chinese in the city!