Per the New York Times, everything’s coming up vegan in Los Angeles! »
In fact, from power tables in Beverly Hills to pubs in the San Fernando Valley, the surging popularity of plant-based diets is drastically changing the dining landscape. That shift is under way in various cities around the world, but it’s happening in an explosive way in and around Los Angeles: at the elite gastronome-magnets, at casual gathering spots and everywhere in between.
And then Jeff Gordinier goes on to list some of the many amazing vegan foods available in L.A. There’s also a slide show that makes me want to move down south at ONCE. I love San Francisco, but where is our creamy raw pea soup? Where is our giant sandwich with deep-fried avocado? Where can eat creamy corn ravioli and shamelessly ogle celebrities?
If you like to torture yourself with all the amazing L.A. vegan food you can’t have, there’s always our pal Quarrygirl. She knows how to live.
[Photo by Anais Wade and Dax Henry for the New York Times]
Eating vegan at chain restaurants: BJ’s Brewhouse has vegan options! Vegan pizza options! »
I love hanging out with my family and getting away from the city for a few days. The only bummer can be going out to eat with everyone, as I usually end up getting a side of vegetables and a salad with half the ingredients taken out (cheese). I’ve made my peace with the Cheesecake Factory, but that is not the place to go every time I’m visiting. I mean, you gotta wait at least, AT LEAST, a half-hour to get a table, and it’s kinda fancy. What about casual? I just want to eat lunch with my mom somewhere, where we’ll both enjoy our food. IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK?
No it is not! BJ’s Brewhouse just opened up near my parents’ house and guess what? They have a few vegan options! Not only vegan, but some gluten-free options too! Plus tons of beer, including a gluten-free one (shudder), and delicious cocktails (I’m thinking of you, margarita). When my mom mentioned BJ’s for lunch, I figured I’d be eating a salad, yandet took to the internet to see what the vegan word was. You know what? QUARRYGIRL LOVES BJ’S BREWHOUSE.
Now, I do too! When Quarrygirl said BJ’s pizza was one of her all-time faves, I was excited, but skeptical. Silly me. That Quarrygirl knows her pizza! It is pretty epic stuff.
I got their Portobello Mushroom pizza, with caramelized onions, balsamic vinegar, oven-roasted mushrooms, and fresh herbs. I just left off the cheese, obviously! They let me get my pizza on a gluten-free crust instead of deep dish, too. I’m one of those people who tells themselves gluten-free is healthier for me, because I love lying to myself! The gluten-free crust was spectacular, by far the best I’ve ever had. It was light and flaky, with herbs baked into it. As for the toppings—taste party! They were the perfect balance of sweet and savory! I saved half my pizza, just so I could enjoy it when my mom and I got back home too. I told her I want to go to BJ’s every time I come visit!
Oh, Portobello mushroom pizza, I wish I could eat you again today (accompanied by another refreshing Piranha pale ale).
Vegan Pizza Day is THIS SATURDAY! That’s why Walter White is all pissed at that pepperoni pizza. Also, is it July 15 yet?? Head to Quarrygirl for the full rundown of pizza specials all over the United States, check out VegNews' post on more options, and remember our SF Bay Area delicioso dealios: (<— that’s Wario for “delicious deals”!)
1. Beretta: Deal of the Vegan Pizza Day: broccolini, onion, ginger, olives, capers, and tomatoes, delightful vegan cheese. Plus, COCKTAILS. Love, love, love!
3. zpizza: Pizza by the slice! Ow!
4. Source: Dude, there’s a VEGANSAURUS PIZZA! And a quarrygirl pizza! And a dessert pizza! And so much more! And if you say you’re with Vegansaurus or Quarrygirl, you get a 10 percent discount!
Vegan Pizza Day is coming! Let’s get fat and awesome! »
Here’s a list of places to get vegan pizza in the SF Bay Area (and beyond!), do you know of any other places to eat delicious vegan pizza? I know there are lots of places not listed here, but we’re not perfect! For example, I had a BOMB vegan STUFFED CRUST pizza delivered from Red Tomato Pizza in Berkeley the other day that I plan on blogging. Here’s some pics to get you all psyched for PIZZA PIZZA:
If you know any pizza joints that might want to offer a discount for VPD, holler at your girl!
You probably already know about this but if you’re in L.A. this weekend, you better be drinking all the beer and eating all the food at Los Angeles Vegan Beer & Food Festival! It sounds INSANE and so you must go for me and live for me because clearly anyone who is not at this tomorrow is basically dead inside and everywhere else. LIVE OUT LOUD FOR THE REST OF US!
You can still get Source’s Thanksgiving dinner today. LOOK AT IT! Plus, mention Vegansaurus and get a FREE DESSERT. »
The delightful quarrygirl sent us photos of her Thanksgiving feast at Source and two things: 1) she said it was AMAZING (yes!) and 2) that’s enough to get us over the bridge and into its delicious arms today. Yes, they are also offering this insane Thanksgiving feast all day today! Ow! And if you mention Vegansaurus, you get a FREE DESSERT! Don’t say we never did anything for you!
Here’s what she ate:
cup of squash soup
gobble with gravy
savory mushroom stuffing
fresh cranberry sauce
baked yams with marshmallow (dandies!) topping
Here are her extremely motivating photos:
and (bonus!), the most outrageous collection of hot sauces she’s ever seen!
Get over there! And don’t forget to mention us so you can get your free pumpkin spice snowball or live pumpkin cheesecake ON. I’m sorry I keep saying “get your BLANK on!” I think I ate so much yesterday that I lost brain cells, only explanation. I can’t stop! God bless the holidays! Especially when you get to choose exactly what you want to eat!
Los Angeles vegan eating, in pictures! I love L.A.! I love it! »
I was recently in L.A.
taking meetings just to eat (lez be honest), and here are some of the really, really delicious things I ate. As usual, I turned to Quarrygirl for advice, because girlfriend knows her vegan eating, and I was not led astray. Man, I ate so much, I really love Los Angeles. On the travel panel for Vida Vegan Con (miss you, VVC!), we were asked what our favorite vegan eating city is, and most everyone said Portland (valid) or New York City (valid), and I had to be the sole voice of dissent (I’M SO BRAVE), and went with Los Angeles. Seriously, the vegan eating in L.A. has really stepped it up, and it’s UNSANE. We’ve written about it before, but here’s more. In pictures. And words, I guess, because I can’t shut the fuck up!
All this shit is delicious and I highly recommend eating it immediately:
2) MIND-BLOWING Biscuits and Gravy from Flore Vegan Cuisine:
3) SO DAMN GOOD Fried Mac and Cheese Balls (!!!), Chef Salad, and Bahn Mi Spring Rolls from Sage Organic Vegan Bistro:
4) EXTREMELY TASTY Chicken Caesar Wrap from Veggie Grill:
5) Case of delicious house-made vegan meats at Vinh Loi Tofu. YOU MUST GO HERE:
Patxi’s Chicago Pizza is opening in the Inner Sunset! »
So many incredible and amazing things come out of Chicago. Top 5: The Handlebar, Sultan’s Market, Mercy for Animals, me (I’m actually from the Bay Area, but I lived there for three years) and CHICAGO-STYLE PIZZA! I had it a few times before I went vegan, and man, is it decadent (by which I mean super, amazingly delicious)! Now that I live in San Francisco, I no longer have to go without, because everything is veganized here!
Although I haven’t eaten at Patxi’s Chicago Pizza yet, that my friends, is about to change. They are opening up a new location in the Inner Sunset! That’s almost right by my apartment! I can get some exercise walking over there before I gorge on a 5,000-calorie pizza (junk food is junk food—actually I’m TOTALLY in denial about that. The onion rings I just devoured were HELLA HEALTHY. My body is a temple and it is just thriving!).
Patxi’s is opening its fourth location late this summer/possibly fall, at Ninth Avenue and Irving Street. My apartment JUST SO happens to be conveniently located between Escape From New York and the future Patxi’s. I can get my daily serving of fruits and vegetables from pizza alone, can’t I? Yes? Goodbye outside world, I’m only leaving the house to eat pizza. Or pay the delivery guy. Or go to work to pay for said pizza. Actually, this is beginning to sound like the life I currently lead.
While trying to find vegan Chicago-style pizza IN Chicago, I stumbled upon this recipe from Quarrygirl. FUCK YES.
Patxi’s will be located at 822 Irving St. and its first East Bay location will open June 15 in Lafayette, at 3577 Mt. Diablo Blvd.! Lafayette?
OMG, how could I forget about OLD STYLE??? I wonder if Patxi’s can get a hold of this delicious beverage for the complete Chicago experience?
Clearing the MeatPhotoGate air! »
Disclaimer: I am a columnist and the editor-at-large for VegNews magazine. I obviously have ties to the magazine and I am proud of my relationship with them. That said, I am not in the office for day-to-day decisions, and other than emailing my advice on how I thought this whole thing should be dealt with, I haven’t talked to them about it. Because I have ties with VegNews, I didn’t want to comment on the situation unless I could be 100 percent honest about my feelings, and I feel I can be now. Yay for expressing feelings! (I say that because I’m a woman.)
When the whole thing surfaced, I have to admit, I was taken aback. I knew that VegNews used stock photos (I mean, I have eyes) and honestly, I didn’t think it was a huge deal. I thought it was industry standard, and dismissed it as that. Bigger things to tackle, etc. Reading a lot of the insightful and brilliant comments on Megan’s post (our readers are the BEST. Even when you’re mad at us, I still love you for being all opinionated and sassy and on it!) and all over the internet, I realize now that I was wrong about the use of stock photos. Although I sympathized with VegNews' initial response, I knew when I read it that it wasn't the apology and commitment to change that people needed to hear. I think it’s understandable that VegNews responded the way they did because when you’re the target of an exposé!!!-style post like that, your natural inclination is to defend yourself. They’re human, just like all of us. I know I’ve said stuff here on Vegansaurus that was not right, and been called out, and had to eat shit and promise to be and do better.
But I’m telling you, I did not come around immediately! As it stands now, I’m super-stoked about their sincere apology and I’m ready to move on with them to become an even better and radder magazine. There are incredible, passionate people who work at VegNews—some of the best vegans (and people!) I know—and I would honestly say that even if I didn’t have ties. Hell, I wouldn’t be involved with them if I didn’t think that! Life is too short to half-ass it, know what I’m sayin’?? So, now you know what’s up with me, because my opinions are very important and that’s why I blog! Also, for the occasional free sample of candy. That is also why I blog!
But before I can move on, there are a few things I would like to clear up as a self-appointed MeatGate Scandal Expert (you love it) (maybe). A lot of information and misinformation has been going around and it’s hard to know who to listen to. Different authorities in the vegan community took different stances and I think that’s good and everyone should have their say. Now normally, your girl (that’s me!) doesn’t like to talk smack on other vegans—ex-vegans, bring it on! but vegans, not so much. But when someone is exploiting a situation and spreading misinformation, I gotta start flapping my gums. That’s why I want to address Erik Marcus’ whole reaction over on Vegan.com. I was disappointed and a little freaked out by how he handled things. He’s posted 10 times on this issue. For real, 10 TIMES. AS OF YET. To put this in perspective: Quarrygirl, the blog that “broke” the story, posted TWICE. Marcus? TEN TIMES. I mean, I guess it’s a break from his incessant blogging and reblogging of Jamie “save America’s fat kids via organic skinless chicken breasts!” Oliver and Mark “not vegan but okay we love him too” Bittman, but jeezus louiseus!
I’d like to respond to a few of the things he said. As someone who is involved with VegNews, I know some things the general public does not (read: I’m fancy), and so I thought it would be helpful to clear up some of Marcus’ not quite-truths and frankly kinda-crazy statements. Fun! Here goes:
In the beginning, Marcus was dropping bombs like:
I should offer some analysis: with the exception of the New Yorker, the Economist, and a handful of other periodicals, most magazines suck.
That should read, “With the exception of a handful of white-male-dominated magazines that I read when Mark Bittman tweets about them, all magazines suck, because I am an expert on magazines!” Did a magazine kill his mom? Really, it’s just bizarre and snobbish.
It’s the same kind of sociopathic know-you’re-gonna-get-caught-but-do-it-anyway behavior you would expect from a Ted Haggard, a Larry Craig, or a Bernie Madoff.
He just compared VegNews to BERNIE MADOFF. I’m sorry, WHAT? No, they are still a vegan magazine with a dedicated vegan staff, who are doing a lot for the cause. They are not sociopaths swindling people out of their life savings. Some perspective, please.
But enough about VegNews. Niche lifestyle magazines are for chumps who still think it’s the 1990s. They’re filled with ads for overpriced supplements and yuppie doohickeys, and the editorial content is typically assembled by short-timers who don’t give a shit.
Just a cheap, weird blow. Niche lifestyle magazines are actually doing pretty OK right now, and I’d love to know where he gets his intelligence. And this is rich: FILLED WITH ADS for OVERPRICED SUPPLEMENTS. All Vegan.com does is push supplements so Marcus can make money off the site! It’s called RUNNING A BUSINESS. As for the bit about “short-timers who don’t give a shit”, many of the contributors to VegNews are people Marcus links to all the time, including Mat Thomas and Mark Hawthorne. It’s clear to me he hasn’t read the magazine in a long time (maybe ever?). He later states that VegNews doesn’t pay its writers, and I know that to be untrue. I feel like he’s been holding onto some grudge toward VegNews for eons and saw this as the time to unleash his bottled up anger. Kinda like when you have all these things you want to say to your mom and then one day you just burn her house down? Kinda like that. And what really sucks about the whole thing is many of his posts could have just been sent to the editors at VegNews. As he was on the advisory board, he could have advised them a bit instead of posting 10 times. There’s something to be said for getting two sides to a story, too.
VegNews has always had the chance to leverage strong editorial judgment to bring you the very best of the vegan world, but they consistently squander that opportunity and instead give you lowest-common denominator crap like wedding issues, celebrity fluff, and popularity contest awards.
Again, he obviously hasn’t read VegNews in awhile (or ever), because they have some of the strongest, hardest-hitting reporting on vegan issues out there! Just a few that come to mind are Mark Hawthorne’s excellent “Injustice for All” piece on the human cost of factory farming, Marla Rose’s plastics exposé, Mat Thomas’ piece on food recalls, and “The Price of Free Speech” by Will Potter. Yeah, total fluff. Marcus also gripes about how their content isn’t available for free online. Again, they’re a business, and never claimed otherwise! If he’s as concerned about the trees as he says he is, they offer a tree-free edition. Also, they provide updated blog posts on their website every day. Honestly, about as many as Marcus does, with the added bonus of no begging-for-money posts. I get it, I make a little money off of Vegansaurus (roughly 25 cents a post, no joke) but I never attacked anyone else for trying to earn a living. Plus, he gripes about their celebrity coverage and writes about Jessica Simpson and Natalie Portman on the regular! I mean, so do we but we love that that shit and don’t claim otherwise! Methinks he’s upset he never won any of the popularity contests. :(
A post-mortem on this mess and its favorable conclusion: QuarryGirl and I—as well as everyone else pushing VegNews to do the right thing—got a lot of criticism for our efforts this week.
Uh, dude. Don’t count yourself in with Quarrygirl. They had the balls to BREAK the story and do not have a relationship with VegNews. Up until the day of the scandal, Marcus was on VegNews' advisory board. He needs to stop taking credit for something he didn’t do. I also enjoy that he refers to Quarrygirl as she, when it was Mr. Meaner, another writer on the site, who broke the story. It’s a website, dude, it’s not a “she.” I mean, if Marcus thinks he’s in the trenches with QG doing god’s work, he should at least come correct. Another difference between Quarrygirl and Vegan.com? Quarrygirl allows comments, whereas Vegan.com does not. Ironic that he should run his mouth about VegNews' commenting policy and not leave himself open to deal with public response. Uh, I guess you can comment on his Facebook page if you have an account and want to give him more “likes.”
It’s clear to me that Marcus has a bone to pick with the publication for whatever reason. Maybe it didn’t want to go to the prom with him? Tears!
I totally understand the need for everyone to talk about this publicly and to sort out their feelings. People need to be heard, changes needed to be made, and ultimately, it’ll make VegNews and the vegan community even stronger. And that’s exciting! Let’s take veganism to the Next Level, and I know VegNews will be there making the movement look pretty and smart. Now that this thing has been done to death,* I’m excited to put my energy into pushing forward the movement, too!** Of course, I had to get a word in on all this shiz because DO YOU KNOW HOW HARD IT IS FOR ME TO KEEP MY MOUTH SHUT!? I swear, I developed hemorrhoids from the strain. LAURA! GROSS! What? You wanted to know how I feel, and now you know! Now, who wants to get drunk and talk about kittens? Holler at your girl!
*Those of you who asked for my contribution, THIS IS YOUR FAULT. You know I’m one wordy bitch with THINGS! to SAY! Did someone say something about getting drunk? Because YES PLEASE.
**Like, check out these vegan geniuses who are already launching a vegan stock photo site! It’s the same geniuses behind Food for Lovers vegan queso, that Texas-style cheesy wonder food we love! Here’s to vegans coming up with solutions and making that shit happen. To you, I raise my plate of MEGA NACHOS and my Tofutti Cutie (breakfast!) because you’re rad!
Epilogue to this long-ass post because I know you’d like to hear more from me: Marcus is still at it! Just today, Marcus blogged about Nikki Bennoit getting arrested for leafletting at a community college and then goes on to basically bag on community colleges for being less than “real” colleges. Yuck. Way to make all vegans look like snob elitist jerks.
Did you see Quarrygirl’s epic photo bomb of the many vegan delights at the Natural Products Expo West? It’s kind of amazing. There’s seriously like a hundred pictures of beautiful vegan food! Brand new products and hard-to-find items I dream about! Like the adorable vegan peeps above. I don’t actually like peeps but it warms my heart to know a vegan version exists!
Check out the pictures and try not to die. Warning: you might die.