Check out these cute vegan ankle boots from Blowfish Alms Shoes! »
In celebration of their new vegan store, the kind folks at Planet Shoes sent me over a pair of adorbs faux-leather ankle boots from vegan brand Blowfish to wear around and report on for y’all. You know I’m a professional shoe reviewer, right?
After about a month of extensive scientific testing, I now deliver the following insights:
1. Everyone should have a pair of cute brown ankle boots with buckles. These go with literally everything I own, including my pajamas and wedding dress. Can we create a program to issue a pair every couple years to everyone ever?
2. If you plan to walk in these a lot and are old and broken like me, get some nice insoles, because the arch support is only meh.
3. The buckles are decorative. REPEAT: You do NOT need to unbuckle the buckles to use these shoes. As a lazy person, this pleases me.
4. Apparently faux leather is kind of delicate? This is my main gripe with the Alms. A month in, I’ve already managed to scratch up the heels and toes like a college student who’s never getting her security deposit back because you can’t actually drag your desk across hardwood floors like that, who knew?
Will these tragic scars keep me from wearing the boots? Obviously not. But would I be kind of upset about them if I’d paid the $69 the boots cost? Obviously.
The Blowfish blog has some tips on caring for their boots that advise using leather conditioner, so maybe I’ll try that next. Anyone else have tips on dealing with such issues, other than just yelling at my feet to toughen up until my shoes start crying?
Planet Shoes Launches New Vegan Online Shop »
Today, Rachel pens a letter to Planet Shoes in appreciation of the vegan-only section they’ve added to their store.
Dear Planet Shoes,
Thank you for taking the time to gather all the vegan shoes into one subsection of your website! I especially appreciate your mix of fully vegan brands, like Blowfish, with the vegan options from brands I might not think of, like Patagonia or Sanuk or Merrell.
Your browse function is well-designed and easy to use, which a lazy person like me truly appreciates. One sad: you currently have no metallic or silver options, which is going to put a damper on my metallic shoe collection. Can you get all the metallic shoes please?
Your reviews are a bit thin right now, but luckily The Rest of The Internet can help me overcome that, until such time as the world discovers your vegan shoe shop and leaves oodles and oodles of reviews.
I will tell all my friends at Vegansaurus that you have launched your new shop, I bet they’ll want to check it out.
PS: Also, thank you for letting me pick out a pair of free shoes! (check back for the shoe review next week!)
Great American Beer Fest is Coming! What should we try? »
Great American Beer Festival is coming to Denver this weekend, which means the whole town is pretty much gonna be just like this for four days straight:
And for the first time ever, Vegansaurus is sending a correspondent INSIDE the madhouse, to report back on all the latest and most important breaking beer news.
There’s a bear trying to break in to your convention!! Photo © Brewers Association
If any of y’all fabulous readers are going to be there, holla at me and we can trade bites of pretzel necklace.
Mine will not look this fabulous.
Otherwise, you have three responsibilities:
- Tune in here and to the Vegansaurus social media for updates on the bestest, most award-winning vegan beers and other shenanigans (or go straight to the source: @razpacker).
- Tell us what YOUR favorite vegan beer is in the comment section, so we can make sure to try it!
- Get sloshed on beer this weekend, in solidarity. Responsibly, of course.
[Not sure if your fave beer is vegan? It’s ok, we’ve all been there. Step 1: Check barnivore.com. Not on there? Become a detective and email the company! You will be doing a service to all of humanity, in the name of beer.]
Thank you for joining us on this magical, fizzy, hoppy journey! Cheers!
Coupon alert! Buy one, get one free from Beyond Meat! »
Just sign a pledge not to eat chickens (EASY) and Compassion Over Killing is gonna hook you up with a buy one, get one free coupon for Beyond Meat! There is NOTHING not good about this situation. Except first you need to get off your ass and go to a store (HARD). But otherwise, WIN!
We know you guys don’t eat chickens but you can still get a coupon AND you should share this with your chicken-eating friends! You can share it with this NYT piece: Fake Meats, Finally, Taste Like Chicken. DARE them to try it.
Reneu Shoes: Vegan footwear that’s cool kid approved! »
In my day job for Backpacker Magazine, I get to try a lot of shoes as a gear tester. Most of them aren’t vegan (go ahead, roast me in the comments), and they definitely don’t ever earn me any style points.* That’s why when the folks at PlanetShoes.com offered to send us shoes from all-vegan line Reneu, I threw elbows to make sure these babies came to me—I’m a serious remedial case.
In addition to being vegan, Reneu is eco-minded and incorporates earth-friendly materials into their shoes. Exhibit A: The first shoes I tried, the Temba ballet flat ($74), have all-hemp uppers.
My actual feet, looking much prettier than they normally do.
First thing I noticed: You probably shouldn’t try to go hiking in these. But if you (hypothetically) find yourself wandering around trails on a friend’s pot farm or something, then the Temba hemp ballet flat will not only be a fitting fabric for the occasion, but will do you good and hold up to the unreasonable demands you are making of it. The memory-foam insole isn’t enough to protect you from actual rocks and sticks and stuff, but it can totally handle a full 9 hours at a standing desk, plus the walk to happy hour afterwards. And they’re small enough to fit in a purse or a pack if you need to bring out the big guns hiker shoes on your commute (2.5 miles of flooded paths! I had to go WADING yesterday! Yes I am that lady who commutes in
sneakers approach shoes then changes!).
And guys: In these shoes, the adorbs 22-year-old designer across the hall from me actually took the time to stop in and tell me she liked my outfit. That has not ever happened before.
I also tested out the Nia strappy faux-leather sandals ($79), but did not love them as much. It’s a tough fit when only the back strap is adjustable, and I found myself tripping on them even though they’re actually a half-size smaller than I’d normally wear. Luckily PlanetShoes.com has free returns, though, so if that fit issue happened to you, it’d be all good.
In summary: CUTE!!
*Actual quote from a friend: “You’re like a disco hiker or something. You have these normal outfits on, then you’re still wearing shoes like you’re about to run up a mountain.”
MORE ISA News! Not only does her new restaurant have an opening date, but she made a preview video of it!
Highlights: Cat knee socks, dance interludes, the “intimate lounge”, and the fact that she’s pretty clearly papering her Omaha restaurant window with the New York Times.
Let me repeat: Cat. Knee. Socks.
Denver’s Watercourse Foods ditches dairy and goes all-vegan! »
Vegan deviled eggs. That’s probably all you really need to know about the completely overhauled menu that launched a few weeks ago at Denver’s premier vegetarian restaurant, Watercourse Foods.
Watercourse was already one of the best things about Denver, with its huge, all-vegetarian, mostly vegan menu and hip wall art that makes me want to get a tattoo every time I walk in there. But now they have a new chef and they’ve kicked out the dairy and eggs! It’s a whole new day in D-town.
The vegan deviled eggs were kind of a revelation and probably worth the price of a plane ticket. The “whites” are made with tofu, agar, and black salt. The yolks are all creamy and mustardy, and they’re pink because of beets or something. They’re pretty intense, so get a plate to share. But hell yeah, this is a food I have missed.
I visited less than a week after the new menu launched, and I will say that I think they were still working out some of the kinks. The black bean cassoulet side was too salty, the hush puppies were dry, the menu was full of typos, and the servers were a bit confused. But give it a couple months and I’m pretty certain this is going to be an excellent change. Especially as they kept some of the best stuff from the old menu, like the Po Boy and Seitan Grinder sandwiches and the seitan wings. And especially as they won’t be supporting the devil dairy and egg industry anymore. Oh and they serve breakfast all day now! Biscuits and gravy at 8 pm, here I come!
Here’s some of what my table ordered. The photos kinda suck because I didn’t follow Isa’s advice and ask for the Instagram seat near a window, but that just means you’ll need to go see it for yourself, stop relying on me for everything, ARG. [Ed. note: these pics are super, you goof!]
Roasted cauliflower salad.
A trio of sides: Coconut curry soup, slaw, and kale.
Red Beans & Rice with hush puppies.
Green Chili Burger with black bean cassoulet.
Final ed. note: WE CANNOT WAIT TO GO HERE!!!! Rachel, can we stay at your house? Do people still have futons? I call the futon!
ATTENTION VEGAN WORLD: Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s restaurant, Modern Love, opens June 8 in Omaha! »
Obviously you remember that vegan queen Isa Chandra Moskowitz is opening a vegan restaurant called Modern Love in Omaha, Nebraska. This lady is way ahead of the curve.
And there’s news! Modern Love has a website, a Facebook, an Instagram, a Twitter, a newsletter you can sign up for, and most importantly, a DEADLINE! There’s a countdown clock on the website, and according to my math, the restaurant will be opening at the stroke of midnight (local time) on June 8. You Nebraskans should start lining up now.
The menu hasn’t been announced yet but they’ve been teasing us with some sexy preview photos, a few of which we have poached and will now display for you here:
Who’s going right away? Who’s gonna buy my plane ticket?
Native Foods Cafe Gets Hella $$ To Expand »
I would completely pay $15 million dollars to eat Native Foods’ Soul Bowls for life. Photo by Bing / Flickr
Native Foods just got more mainstream, in the bestest most amazing way! Several moneybags private capitol investment people just decided the whole Native concept was worth $15 million, so BAM! Native Foods Cafes will now be literally everywhere. There’s one opening in my living room.
Get the full details via hard-hitting Nation’s Restaurant News.
- Same owners
- Chicago and Colorado helped prove the concept worked nationally (you’re welcome, I eat at the Boulder one SO MUCH)
- 12-14 new locations opening this year (including 5 in DC), another 25-30 in 2015, and hopefully 200 by 2019.
BRING IT ON, Native Foods! One day we’ll be telling our grandkids about the days when the only good road trip food for vegans was Chipotle. Psych, remember when Subway was literally the only thing?!?
Isa Announces Restaurant in Omaha! ROAD TRIP! »
"First staff meeting. Can you guess what the restaurant is called?" Nov. 1, 2013, @isachandra via Instagram.
Ed. note: Rachel wrote this a while ago, I didn’t post until now. Forgive me!
Astute stalkers of the queen of vegan cookbooks will already know that Isa Chandra Moskowitz is planning to open Omaha, Nebraska’s first vegan restaurant. Now, in her local paper, she reveals its exact location, and its name. First, take a moment to guess.
No idea? Yeah, that photo didn’t tell me squat. Answer: Modern Love. Not to be mistaken for the New York Times column—that’s an SEO/Google search problem I wouldn’t want to deal with, but unfortunately I was not consulted.
Deets are few, but the paper reveals a couple:
"Moskowitz describes the menu as ‘swanky vegan comfort food,’ and she said the restaurant will serve a revolving menu of made-from-scratch dishes. She’ll make her own cheese, condiments and soda. She said she’s working with local farms, and the food will focus on vegetables. She’ll also serve homemade pie."
You had me at “swanky.”
Oh, and don’t be too jealous, but my home of Boulder, CO, is only 552 miles/7 hours and 45 minutes from this impending hotbed of awesomeness. A road trip is clearly in order once the doors open this spring. Stay tuned!!