vegansaurus!

12/16/2011

Holiday Vegan Bakesale in San Jose on Saturday!   »

Santa Clara County Activists for Animals are hosting a vegan bakesale this Saturday, Dec. 17, in San Jose. So many vegan things to do in the Peninsula/South Bay this week, I’m jealous! Writing this post at my Grandma’s house in Redwood City, I wonder if I could make a life for myself out here? Living in the city is just so trying sometimes! How’s the nightlife out here? Be honest with me.

You might still be able to contribute baked goods to this event, despite the short notice. It runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Garden Theater Atrium, at 1165 Lincoln Ave. in San Jose. The proceeds will go to both SCCAA and the Food Empowerment Project! Visit the event’s Facebook page for more details.


[Picture via SCCAA]

08/19/2011

Peninsula vegans have a couple new options!  »

Where do vegans in the San Francisco Peninsula eat? I’m always spending time there with my family, getting dragged to Cheesecake Factory, as I know of no where I can take my omnivorous family that we will all be happy. I hear there’s a Patxi’s down there, which I believe the family could get into (I’d totally get my own personal vegan pizza! I love not having to share food!)

Two new eating options have come to my attention and both look extremely tasty. First there is Calafia Cafe, located in Palo Alto. It looks like omni’s and vegans have plenty of delicious, fancy, entrees, appetizers, sides and small plates to choose from, plus they have gluten-free options! Everyone wins! I’ll have the black bean and rojo tofu tacos, please (I’m kind of obsessed with vegan Mexican food).

Next up, Milk Pail Market in Mountain View. From the website alone, it’s hard to tell if they have vegan cheese options, but rumor has it, they carry vegan versions of gouda, monterey jack and pepper jack. How exciting!

Have any readers hit up either of these places? What do you think?

[crimson quinoa salad photo via Calafia Cafe]

08/19/2010

Peninsula Vegan Bakesale is in San Mateo THIS SATURDAY, August 21st., from 11am to 2pm, and they’re getting ready to rock and roll (read: sell you cookies and other delicious treats) next to the EVO store at 159 S. B Street in San Mateo! 
SEE YOU AWESOME PEOPLE THERE. Oh and if you want to bake, it’s not too late, and they neeeeeed bakers so just shoot Francisco a line DO IT.

Peninsula Vegan Bakesale is in San Mateo THIS SATURDAY, August 21st., from 11am to 2pm, and they’re getting ready to rock and roll (read: sell you cookies and other delicious treats) next to the EVO store at 159 S. B Street in San Mateo!

SEE YOU AWESOME PEOPLE THERE. Oh and if you want to bake, it’s not too late, and they neeeeeed bakers so just shoot Francisco a line DO IT.

07/28/2010

You know how, as a vegan, there are certain places you don’t even bother to check out because you already know there’s nothing for you? Like ‘The Meat Hut’ or ‘The Cheese Shack’ or whatever? You might think MilkShake Werks in Redwood Shores is kind of like that, but you’d be making a huge mistake! Because…VEGAN MILKSHAKES! Yay! SIDE NOTE: Actually, you might think all of Redwood Shores is kind of like that. It’s mostly a big tangle of housing developments that sprang up south of Redwood City after Marine World moved away; on first glance not a lot of exciting vegan potential. But again, huge mistake! More on that later. First, MilkShake Werks and their delicious VEGAN MILKSHAKES! The shop has been there for a while, but we only found out about the vegan shakes recently—surprise! We zoomed over and ordered chocolate-chocolate chip, which was the vegan flavor the owner made that morning. All the ice cream is handmade from scratch (not delivered in bulk by some stinky truck) using plenty of local ingredients. There’s always at least one vegan option, but the available flavors are determined by what got made most recently, so call and check if there’s a flavor you MUST have. Anyway, back to the shakes: we were sooo happy. Haven’t had a “real” milkshake in years and years, and this more than lived up to the memory. It was thick but not TOO thick–-easily drinkable through a straw, no problem. Lots of yummy speckles of dark chocolate throughout. Special bonus: the shakes are served in Greenware cups that are actually made from plants, so no plastic or Styrofoam guilt there. Once we figured out they had vegan ice cream, I starting nosing around and other possibilities opened up as well. They’ll make vegan ice cream cakes! You can have a regular sized one or a cute little one that serves 4 to 6. Also, the hot fudge isn’t vegan (boo) but the chocolate sauce is, so you can even pig out on vegan banana splits. Nice. From 4 to 6 p.m. every day is Milkshake Happy Hour-–20 percent off — and they’re always hosting special events like the “Shake It” Milkshake Drinking Contest this Saturday (July 31). The owner says the vegan ice cream has been a hit so far, so keep sending them love!  Now, let’s say that for some reason you consider a milkshake or banana split to be merely dessert? There are tons of meal options in easy walking distance. You could try: Yeah! Chinese: The menu has a vegan-meat section, subbing in faux pork, beef, fish or chicken in some classic dishes, but that’s just a starting point – they’ll veganize almost anything on the menu. Definitely try the (vegan) sweet-and-sour pork if you’re eating with die-hard meat-eaters and want to fool them. It’s so realistic we freaked out the first time and demanded proof that it was really fake (it is.) Or if faux meat isn’t your thing, they have a big selection of veggie-based main courses also. Or how about Ike’s Place: Yes, I said Ike’s Place! Almost no one knows about their Redwood Shores location because it’s tucked in an office building and is phone-order only, but no problem–-just call from the parking lot then stroll in for the BEST VEGAN SANDWICHES EVER. (You may have to duck in to grab a copy of their huge menu first.) Just try not to hog all the soy cheese because they sometimes run out, OK? I want some too.
Or Amici’s: Yes, a Redwood Shores location! Their vegan pizza used to be kind of meh, and now is great because they switched to Daiya cheese. And their pizza sauce has no hidden meat–-only tomatoes, basil, garlic and salt–-so you can go ahead and order any pizza you want, just ask for the vegan cheese. Yum yum yum.
Thanks to writer/illustrator/vegan/feral cat feeder/Vegansaurus reader Rhonda for this fabulous write-up on what to do in Redwood Shores! If you want to highlight your town and let readers know about what the vegan options are, holler at your dino! Or your other dino! All of the dinos are here to serve you. I actually think this is kind of a rad idea because we can’t fully cover all the vegan options in the Bay Area, so if we’ve neglected your slice of the Bay, we want to know!

You know how, as a vegan, there are certain places you don’t even bother to check out because you already know there’s nothing for you? Like ‘The Meat Hut’ or ‘The Cheese Shack’ or whatever? You might think MilkShake Werks in Redwood Shores is kind of like that, but you’d be making a huge mistake! Because…VEGAN MILKSHAKES! Yay! SIDE NOTE: Actually, you might think all of Redwood Shores is kind of like that. It’s mostly a big tangle of housing developments that sprang up south of Redwood City after Marine World moved away; on first glance not a lot of exciting vegan potential. But again, huge mistake! More on that later.
 
First, MilkShake Werks and their delicious VEGAN MILKSHAKES! The shop has been there for a while, but we only found out about the vegan shakes recently—surprise! We zoomed over and ordered chocolate-chocolate chip, which was the vegan flavor the owner made that morning. All the ice cream is handmade from scratch (not delivered in bulk by some stinky truck) using plenty of local ingredients. There’s always at least one vegan option, but the available flavors are determined by what got made most recently, so call and check if there’s a flavor you MUST have. Anyway, back to the shakes: we were sooo happy. Haven’t had a “real” milkshake in years and years, and this more than lived up to the memory. It was thick but not TOO thick–-easily drinkable through a straw, no problem. Lots of yummy speckles of dark chocolate throughout. Special bonus: the shakes are served in Greenware cups that are actually made from plants, so no plastic or Styrofoam guilt there.
 
Once we figured out they had vegan ice cream, I starting nosing around and other possibilities opened up as well. They’ll make vegan ice cream cakes! You can have a regular sized one or a cute little one that serves 4 to 6. Also, the hot fudge isn’t vegan (boo) but the chocolate sauce is, so you can even pig out on vegan banana splits. Nice.
 
From 4 to 6 p.m. every day is Milkshake Happy Hour-–20 percent off — and they’re always hosting special events like the “Shake It” Milkshake Drinking Contest this Saturday (July 31). The owner says the vegan ice cream has been a hit so far, so keep sending them love!
  
Now, let’s say that for some reason you consider a milkshake or banana split to be merely dessert? There are tons of meal options in easy walking distance. You could try:
 
Yeah! Chinese: The menu has a vegan-meat section, subbing in faux pork, beef, fish or chicken in some classic dishes, but that’s just a starting point – they’ll veganize almost anything on the menu. Definitely try the (vegan) sweet-and-sour pork if you’re eating with die-hard meat-eaters and want to fool them. It’s so realistic we freaked out the first time and demanded proof that it was really fake (it is.) Or if faux meat isn’t your thing, they have a big selection of veggie-based main courses also.
 
Or how about Ike’s Place: Yes, I said Ike’s Place! Almost no one knows about their Redwood Shores location because it’s tucked in an office building and is phone-order only, but no problem–-just call from the parking lot then stroll in for the BEST VEGAN SANDWICHES EVER. (You may have to duck in to grab a copy of their huge menu first.) Just try not to hog all the soy cheese because they sometimes run out, OK? I want some too.

Or Amici’s: Yes, a Redwood Shores location! Their vegan pizza used to be kind of meh, and now is great because they switched to Daiya cheese. And their pizza sauce has no hidden meat–-only tomatoes, basil, garlic and salt–-so you can go ahead and order any pizza you want, just ask for the vegan cheese. Yum yum yum.

Thanks to writer/illustrator/vegan/feral cat feeder/Vegansaurus reader Rhonda for this fabulous write-up on what to do in Redwood Shores! If you want to highlight your town and let readers know about what the vegan options are, holler at your dino! Or your other dino! All of the dinos are here to serve you. I actually think this is kind of a rad idea because we can’t fully cover all the vegan options in the Bay Area, so if we’ve neglected your slice of the Bay, we want to know!

10/20/2008

Review: Fraîche frozen yogurt!  »

As Maria has said, Fraîche’s storefront is cold and joyless. I would think that places serving frozen treats would want to make customers more comfortable, rather than forcing them to sit on freezing metal chairs at pointy-cornered tables. And yet, they do not, so when you leave you can see the bruises you got from bumping into those pointy table-corners already forming underneath the first few layers of your skin, which has become creepily translucent with the onslaught of cold it’s suffered. Such are the penalties one pays for delicious soft-serve vegan frozen yogurt, right?

I appreciate the idea of vegan frozen yogurt. I love vegan yogurt that tastes as close to my ma’s homemade cow’s milk yogurt that I ate throughout my childhood. The vegan fro-yo at Fraîche combines the texture of the most perfect frozen yogurt with the sour tang of plain yogurt, which confused me with every bite. Is it dessert? Mixed with jam, is it my ma’s version of dessert that never fooled anyone? It has been almost seven months since I went and I still cannot make up my mind about it.

I can’t accuse them of false advertising, as they don’t say anything about it being sweet; they also serve their non-frozen yogurt with oatmeal, but this in particular seemed a little schizophrenic to me. Further, the gentlemen at the counter who served my friends and I were not the most helpful people I have ever done business with. To wit:

Laura to yogurt-server: Are your toppings vegan?
Yogurt-server to Laura: I don’t know; ask him (gestures to his right at a barista, because of course Fraîche has an espresso bar in addition to offering vegan and dairy frozen yogurt, and oatmeal, and granola)
Yogurt server to barista: Are the toppings vegan?
Barista to yogurt-server (does not look up from the coffee he is artfully pouring): No.
Yogurt-server to Laura: No.
Laura to (frustratingly idiotic) yogurt-server: I assume the fruit is (gestures to various small bins of fruits, including strawberries, bananas, blueberries, &c.)
Yogurt-server: (shrugs)

So. If you are jealous of the soft-serve frozen yogurt everyone else is eating, get down the Peninsula (public transportation options include Caltrain and SamTrans) to Palo Alto and order Fraîche’s oddly sour vegan version. I advise at least trying it; I also advise limiting your interaction with the employees to the barest minimum, and not eating inside.

(Fraîche is the feminine form of the French adjective for “fresh;” the French word for “yogurt,” yaourt, is masculine; so, if the name of the shop were in reference to its main product—frozen yogurt—it ought to be Frais, “fresh” in the masculine form. But it seems that noun-adjective agreement was not this establishment’s highest priority so much as “foreign word pleasing to the Anglophone ear,” and so instead we have a terrible parenthetical diatribe on French grammar.)

[photo via Fraîche]

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