ZPizza featuring Daiya vegan cheese to open in San Francisco! »
ZPizza is opening SOMETIME IN 2009 (that’s THIS year, fools!) at 833 Mission Street (at 4th Street). Yes, THE ZPizza of serving Daiya cheese fame (it’s vegan! it melts! it stretches! It’s AMAZING!) fame. Quarrygirl reports on ZPizza being super fucking delicious and according to our sources, this is absolutely correct. You can get a super-fancy organic pizza with Daiya vegan cheese DELIVERD TO YOUR DOOR WE CANNOT FUCKING WAIT WE WILL BE BRINGING YOU TO-THE-MINUTE UPDATES ON THIS
If you live farther out in the boonies, you can currently get ZPizza in Danville, Fremont, Livermore (opening soon!), Moutain View and San Ramon! (Update: We just called the Mountain View location, and it appears they won’t be getting Daiya for about two weeks, so be sure to ask!)
You can DOWNLOAD (ugh WHY) the PDF menu (ugh WHY) here.
*So that’s SOMA. Why not in the Mission!? Fuck all our current pizza places, burn them to the ground and put up ZPizza, plz! CALM DOWN, I’m kidding! Serrano’s can stay.
Friday Link-o-rama: Veggie Awards, Naked Dudes, The Tofu Xpress & More! »
IMPORTANT: The VegNews polls close at 11:59 p.m. on July 31, and we want you to write Vegansaurus in for Best Veg Blog! Also, win prizes. Yes! Time to root for the Underdino! If there are any prizes, we’ll totally share.
Veggie Trader provides free classifieds for home-grown produce! People like Meave’s parents, who have uncontrollably prolific orange and peach trees, should really get in on this. The site expressly prohibits the trade of meat, eggs, and dairy products (yes!), and Californians must obey both statewide import laws and quarantine orders for the light brown apple moth.
Ezra Klein is PISSED about how cheap chicken is; <3 that Ezra Klein.
Factory farms are all, We are beneficial to rural communities! And small farmers are all, Actually the stench from your animal torture chambers is poisoning our air, and the runoff is poisoning our water! Amazingly, courts are siding with the small farmers.
Men can get naked for animal rights, too!
The New York Times gives you 101 simple salads, in neat little categories. Nos. 1-36 are “mostly vegan.” Incidentally, Synergia Soyfoods makes this scrumptious vegan feta cheese that tastes so authentic that the first time I ate it I teared up with joy, if you are looking to make salads that ask for such an ingredient.
The Times also presents the crème brûlée cart guy as Mr. Small Business Twitter San Francisco. Vegansaurus strenuously objects to such representation.
The Long Now Foundation! (est. 01996) is hosting a seminar with the authors of Tomorrow’s Table: Organic Farming, Genetics, and the Future of Food. They both teach at UC Davis—an excellent school!—and are married, which makes this lecture sound even more appealing. Go learn something on Tuesday, July 28 at 7:30 p.m. at the Cowell Theater; tickets are $10.
Vinnie’s Pizzeria in Williamsburg has awesome vegan by the slice. AND THIS TRASH CAN. SO AWESOME. Here is a photo of Laura eating vegan pizza at Vinnie’s. If that doesn’t get your motor running, I don’t know what will. Laura wrote this.
So, gianty meaty soups. Campbell’s Chunky: FULLY LOADED is over one pound of “meat” and whatever the hell else, vegetables, say; the Pho Gardens CHALLENGE BOWL is two pounds of noodles with two pounds of “beef with tripe.” In general, the world is fucking disgusting, NEVER FORGET.
Vegan.com discusses the extinction of Bluefin Tuna. SO SAD PLEASE STOP EATING FISH.
The Tofu Xpress, an amazing new gadget that helps make tofu even more delicious, gets a review over at Notes from a Vegan Feast. What have you done for Vegansaurus lately? THE ANSWER: Bought us this miracle-worker! Please! You’re so wonderful, that’s the thing about you. SO GIVING.
Pi Bar: Take two! »
I was walking Hazel past the Pi Bar this morning and I swear to God I heard that door open from a block away. I was like Scooby Doo, my ears perked up and I was all, “bwuh?” Hazel was mid-crap so I urged her to cut this one short so I could get my foot in the door before it closed. We ran across the street, dodging bikes and cars, barely making it across this dangerous span of Valencia Street alive!* Also, we were naked!**
Peeking inside, first things noticed: it looks TOTALLY different than Suriya. It appears the bar on the right has been completely ripped out and the partition between the two dining areas is gone. They are in the process of painting the interior and it looks pretty good, really open and airy. Looks like there might be a painting of a lady happening on the back wall. Still no elephant.
Anyway, my conversation with the dude went like this:
ME: “Hello, are you the owner?”
DUDE: “No, I’m just helping him out.”
ME: “Oh, well, do you know if there will be any vegan options on the menu?”
DUDE: “For sure, they’re really savvy about that kind of thing.” (!!!!!)
ME: “Okay, great! Not just salads, right?”
ME: “Because vegans, we don’t want salads.”
DUDE: “There aren’t many pizza options around here.” (In the Mission?!?! Uhhh…)
ME: “Um, well, Beretta has good pizza AND THEY HAVE VEGAN CHEESE. For the VEGANS. Who EAT THERE ALL THE TIME. Because they have VEGAN CHEESE. You see?”
DUDE: “Oh cool.”
ME: “Well, let him know we’d love some vegan options!”
DUDE: “Sure thing!”
Then, just like that, I was off. To where? He’ll never know. Some things are better left a mystery. Like my address. In case some uppity EATING-MEAT-IS-MY-GOD-GIVEN-RIGHT jerkface “foodies” try to come after me.
That is all. Just wanted to report back that the encounter was successful. I think. Anyone else have any luck??
*Actually, there was nobody there but action/adventure sells!
Pi Place: New Pizza in the Mission!? »
I got an odd letter in the mail today, informing me that a new alcohol purveyor was opening on my street. Well, sure, I’ll take another one of those! Reading further I found out that this new establishment will be called Pi Bar and is setting up shop at 1432 Valencia—also known as the space where Suriya Thai used to be.
Proprietors Jen and Richie say that they live in the neighborhood and “hope to create a warm and comfortable place serving great pizza and beer.” That all sounds well and good, but I wonder if they’ll be warm and welcoming to some vegan suggestions?
While doing some sleuthing, I found a few other nerdily named pizza joints around the country. Interestingly enough, Pizza Pi is the name of an all-vegan restaurant in Seattle. There’s also a place in Minneapolis called Pi Bar that served vegan pizza, but it closed last year.
I don’t know if these places are related, but if not, maybe we can reach out to our new neighbors and encourage them to take a cue from their vegan brethren who share an enthusiasm for Italian food/math/puns. Anyone got further scoop on this place? I can’t find any contact info for the owners, but their note says to stop by the space anytime while they’re renovating. I say we take them up on it!
Many thanks to Sharon for the stellar reporting! VEGANS, LET’S DO THIS! Get to contacting these fools anyway you know how: stop by the space; email (email@example.com?); send smoke signals; adopt a courier pigeon; don a bear costume, light it on fire, and run down the street screaming “VEGAN PIZZA!!! AHHHH!!!!”; etc. to tell them that vegans have pizza needs! That is right, we need to eat delicious pizza! With vegan cheese! And vegan sausage! Pi Bar, we’re a-comin’ to getcha! Vive la rivoluzione (della pizza)!
Also, happy day-after-your-birthday, Tim!
Amici’s pizza has seriously stepped up the New York-style pizza game in San Francisco. As of this past weekend, they started serving vegan cheese. It’s melty, gooey, tasty Cheezly vegan cheese* and it is marvelous. A little vegan birdie told me that this would be happening months ago and I dared to dream but didn’t think too much about it because if it didn’t happen, I would’ve been all stabby. But then the day came and vegan cheese is on the menu and, my friends, it is a damn good day.
Amici’s is a local chain with two restaurants in San Francisco and the others spread out all over, from San Rafael to VACAVILLE. HOLD THE PHONE. YOU CAN GET VEGAN CHEESE PIZZA DELIVERED TO YOUR HOUSE IN VACAVILLE?! Yes, yes you can. And oh yeah, they have a pretty large delivery area so check their website to see if you can get it delivered right to your mouth. And the variety of toppings is outrageous. We got our pizza with fried eggplant, slow-roasted garlic, carmelized onions, roasted red peppers and artichoke hearts. It was about $30 for a large but you know what? It will make two meals for two people. Not bad. Also, I have salad makings from Farm Fresh to You so I GUESS I can/should/won’t eat the delicious yet fatty pizza with a disgusting yet nutritious salad. I GUESS. Ugh, why does FFtY not deliver vegan pizza and chocolate bonbon’s?! I’m turning into some unnatural combination of Peg and Al Bundy over here. Help.
So stop reading this and get on their site and ORDER ONLINE (no talking to another human! Can I get a what-what for the technology!?) and have vegan pizza at your doorstep in 45 minutes. Oh and let them know you’re thankful for the vegan cheese and maybe one day soon, they’ll start offering their four-cheese lasagna vegan-style. Hyperventilating at the thought. They could use Cheezly, Dr. Cow, Sheese and Teeze and make THE MOTHER OF ALL VEGAN LASAGNAS!!! Ugh, now I’m Garfield.
*Cheezly is a hard to find British vegan cheese that they’re now selling at Rainbow! I like the extra melty mozzarella and the bacon flavored best. The bacon-flavored cheese is especially good for mixing into creamy sauces, gives them a carbonara flavor! Ow!
Vegansaurus’s sexy Valentine’s Day vegan dining guide! »
Giving you the gift of game, part 1.
It’s a vegan cliché to go here for a special event, but take it up a notch by booking a table at the Aphrodisiac Dinner (next month’s is February 15), along with a room at the adjoining Hotel California.
While Greens is guilty of a more old-school, covered-in-butter, ’70s-style of vegetarian cooking, it’s so gorgeous you may just have to put up with it. Greens is offering an $88 prix fixe menu on V-Day (double the price of their normal prix fixe menu) but if you want to drop the cash while admiring the ocean (and the good looks of your date), be sure to call ahead to make sure you can actually eat something.
Another restaurant that you can also parlay into an overnight hotel rendez-vous (it’s inside the Hotel Carlton ), Saha is a small plates, Middle Eastern restaurant that’s vegan-friendly. They even feature that holy grail: a vegan dessert at a non-vegan restaurant.
Yes, you can eat the same genre of food cheaper at Udupi Palace paces away but it’s Valentine’s Day, not Tuesday night takeout. It’s time to have some class with your potato-stuffed pancake and array of chutneys. Expect a long wait. Remove some of the class you just earned by going to the liquor store across the street and drinking on the sidewalk.
In the erstwhile Last Supper Club space, Beretta has only recently started catering to vegans in a real way by offering vegan cheese (we think it’s Teese) and vegan sausage on their tasty thin-crust pizzas. They also have an excellent drink menu. This would be a nice V-Day option for a “special friend” or someone you just started dating who you don’t want to freak out. It’s nice, but it’s still casual.
The Front Porch
A Vegansaurus Favorite, the sexy Front Porch rarely disappoints (and if they do, they are very nice about it and will continue to push French fries on you). They have a daily rotating vegan special and wine in a box! No prix fixe, but they say they’ll have some special treats on the menu. As with Dosa, expect to wait for your table.
Restaurants With Explicitly Labeled Vegetarian Options for V-Day That We Haven’t Been To:
Cafe Majestic: ($70 prix fixe vegetarian menu)
Maharani ($42 vegetarian menu)
Mission Beach Cafe ($75 five-course dinner with champagne toast. OpenTable also says there will be vegan options, but no menu on the website yet!)
Know of any other restaurants offering veg options on Valentine’s Day? Any other nice restaurants that you’d recommend? Leave it in the comments!
Review: Lanesplitter Pizza & Pub! »
Lanesplitter is a local pizza-and-beer chain in the East Bay that serves up some fantastic thin-crust vegan pizza. It’s not made with a traditional fake cheese, instead it’s like a ricotta style tofu mixture…sounds fucked but is actually pretty damn good. They have lots of veggies to choose from and everything mixed up tastes amazing. They also have vegan calzones which make a good grab-and-go item if you call ahead. The vegan eggplant bake is heaven for everyone.
I rarely eat in because the staff consists of incompetents, assholes, and incompetent assholes. I am told that their house-made micro-brews are pretty good but they just taste like beer to me. I dunno. Are you so fancy that you can tell? I can’t. If you put me in a blind beer taste test, I’d be able to recognize two beers: Bud Light, and everything else. I’d be taking shot after shot of beer, yelling out, “nope!”, “nope!”, “Bud Light!”, “nope!” Actually, that sounds like a lot of fun. Is anyone in? You buy the beer! Email me! So anyway, all their microbrews are on tap but if you want to enjoy them, you have to drink there. Apparently Lanesplitter (and Johnny Law) don’t trust me to leave my pint of fancy brew untouched on the ride home. They are smart.
[photos via yelp]
Review: Delfina! »
I wrote this review of Delfina awhile ago on the Yelp site but I will just publish it here now. Fuck Yelp. I kid, that site is great. I’ll probably update it later but not now, I have about 60 emails to respond to and a million things to do in the hour I get to be on the internet today. Fuck me sideways.
Everyone sit down, Mama has some news. I went on a date tonight. That’s right; I’m not sure if you are ready to let your little Laura fly away into coupledom during which time Yelp will become the red-headed step child I am ashamed of and lock in the basement and occasionally beat. This time, next week, I’ll most likely be engaged to be married. Unless I’m really not. Which brings me the actual date. Here is how the big D went down and I can be 100 percent honest because I’m like 90 percent sure this fool is way too cool for school/Yelp. We met through a mutual friend and he emailed me to ask me to have coffee (GAY) and talk about how the world is fucked. I, of course, am amenable on the world being fucked front and so I said, how about you buy me dinner (as I am poor AND fat! Some might call me a double-threat!) and you have yourself a deal, sir! and by deal, I of course mean, easy lay.
Delfina is the ultimate first date place, according to Yelpers, Zagats, Chowhound, my parents and that homeless dude who soft shoe(lesse)s in front of Tartine. So, I didn’t make the plans but when he suggested Delfina I was like, “PREDICTABLE. SNOOZE.” But again, beggars can’t be choosers and I’ve always had a delicious time at Delfina so Delfina it is! Now, the food was great and the conversation so-so-meh but I have one huge problem with this place and that is this: the waitresses are freaking Goddesses. I’m not trying to have a first date at some place where I look like I have Down Syndrome in comparison to these beautiful sirens. I felt like fucking Beauty and the Beast up in that bitch. Not cool. Seriously, first date place, Yelp? First date if you want your prospective husband to go home and jerk it to the chick who served you Pasta Putanesca! I mean, for realz. I cry “Uncle” to Delfina. I cannot win in a situation like this. You know what a perfect first date place is? McDonald’s. And here’s why: They employ actual retards. It’s part of the leg up program or whatever it’s called which is just darling and I love it AND you can’t help but seem attractive and semi-sane in comparison with the differently abled. It’s win/win, people! Man, fools at McDonald’s are having awesome dates and I’m over here at Delfina’s trying to feign interest in what this jackass across from me is blathering on about and it’s damn hard when I want to beat a bitch down based solely on her unholy good looks. I want to beat her and then make out with her, GOD HELP ME. When I decided I wanted to make out with the waitress more than I wanted to make out with Hipster McUseless start-up across the table, I knew this was not MTB (look it up, people. We were all teenage girls once. For some of the women on this site, it was mere weeks ago.) The other clue that this was not the man for me was at this moment in our conversation:
Date Boy: God, it’s such a beautiful day today, don’t you think? And you know what day it is, right? The first day of spring!
Laura B.: GAY!
Anyway, Delfina. Delicious and a few vegan options, and the kitchen is very accommodating. Upon learning I was vegan, the chef made me spaghetti with all sorts of delightful vegetables in it including my favorite, artichoke hearts! I love those little suckers! The fries are always amazing, thin and crispy with herbs and salt…POIFECT! But awful, terrible first date place. Actually, I’m sure it would be fine if you had healthy self-esteem and sense of your own worth, which I’m assuming you don’t as you are a woman. Even if you are a man who reads my reviews, you are a woman and this world can often be hard on the thinking, feeling lady. Now, come tell Mama your problems, it looks like she might not be going anywhere for a long, long time.
I really hope this dude doesn’t read this.
UPDATES FOR VEGANSAURUS
Well, I now have a super-great boyfriend so that has changed.* And Delfina remains a solid choice when you want a plate of no-frills pasta in a semi-fancy environment. You won’t find tons of choices for vegans but sometimes you just want really good spaghetti with plum tomatoes, garlic and extra virgin olive oil. Also, there is an attached pizza place where the crust is vegan so you can get a cheeseless pizza there too. You can also sit out front with your dog. But if you’re gonna do that, just go to nearby Beretta for as-delicious pizza with the options of vegan cheese and vegan sausage AND THEY ALSO HAVE ABSINTHE. Decision made!
*But I’m still not going anywhere, suckas!
[photos via yelp]
Review: Serrano’s Pizza »
Hello, let’s talk about California pizza. By which I do not mean, “let’s have an argument about East Coast vs. West Coast or thick vs. thin crust.” That won’t get anyone anywhere, least of all this review underway.
At Serrano’s you will find the only edible pizza outside the Eastern time zone—though according to the logo, at Serrano’s it’s always pizza o’clock!—with plentiful toppings and spicy fresh sauce that they will ladle on extra for no charge. You will not find any vegan cheese, or fancy vegan options, but you will find people who have never once messed up my order, because they listen to their customers when they say things like NO CHEESE. You will also find my favorite cheeseless toppings combination, the “Art & Tom Terrific,” comprising artichoke hearts, fresh garlic, and sliced fresh tomatoes. What? Yes, baked all deliciously on top of a big mound of spicy, fucking zesty marinara sauce and a perfect crust.
A word about “Chicago-style” pizza, or as some might call it, crust aberration. Chicago-style pizza is ridiculous: I don’t want to hear about the merits of Zachary’s or Little Star; they and their double-crust triple-cheese wonderlands are ridiculous. Thank goodness Serrano’s knows what to do with a crust (which is not “make a pizza sandwich out of it”).
Do not mess around with other, inferior pizza delivery places in the area. They will disappoint, and you will be sad, and then you will come back to Vegansauraus and read this review of Serrano’s and it will say “I told you, other places are a mistake!” Serrano’s or switch cuisines! Then you’ll feel even sorrier for yourself, as you chew on the enormous hunk of congealed dough some pizzerias around here try to pass off as “crust.” But truly, the best measure of Serrano’s (Serrano’s’s? Serranos’s’?) success is that their slices cold the next day are as good as they were when you got them hot and fresh. San Francisco, you cannot get better delivery than this pizza.
[photo of pizza that while vegan is not Serrano’s by shil]