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!!
It’s National Oatmeal Day! Whenever I’m forced to eat breakfast in a non-vegan-friendly restaurant at a work event or whatever, I can almost always count on the oatmeal to help me leave feeling full, if not exactly satisfied (“$7 for this? I make this at home every morning. Thank god someone else is paying…”).
But maybe it’s time we kick our oatmeal up a notch. Maybe it’s time we do steel-cut oats, and in a slow cooker, with cardamom and rose water and pears. Maybe it’s time we MAKE THIS RECIPE!
Or just get a packet of the instant stuff and eat it straight, no water, whatever you need to do to get through the day.
Let’s have a moment of silence for all the oatmeals out there. Amen.
Details Emerge on Highly Anticipated Kitten Bowl »
Leave it to the Hallmark Channel to come up with the mind-numblingly cutest idea ever…Kitten Bowl! Ballsy too, since this bad boy will be competing with not only a little thing called The Super Bowl, but also Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl. But lest ye doubt the wisdom of this, check out the new details that just came out. According to Vulture:
"Beth Stern, wife of Howard Stern, will host, Yankees radio announcer John Sterling will do the play-by-play, and the special will run from noon to 9 p.m. Also, 60 to 70 kittens will be involved in the festivities, which will include playoffs and a championship showdown."
NINE HOURS of kittens! This better be good. It will be though, right? My whole identity is based around the unfailing cuteness of kittens, let nothing disrupt that.
[photo by Pen Waggener via Flickr]
Friday’s StoryCorps on NPR was the sweetest, did you hear it? A Boise couple waxed on about how cute and loving all the rats at their rat sanctuary are, and hurray the whole lefty, NPR-loving world heard about it! Tune in for your dose of heart-warming and adorbs for the day.
VEGAN CRONUT!!!! Everybody buy plane/bus/train/rideshare/hitch-hiking tickets to Philadelphia, because shit’s about to get crazy!
Ok they can’t actually call it a “cronut” because that name is trademarked by evil genius food inventor Dominique Ansel (dude: smart move, but DUMB NAME). Yet the fancy-food gurus at Philadelphia’s Vedge have created our very own, animal-free love child of a donut and a croissant, using what can only be called “vast” amounts of Earth Balance, and theirs sounds like most amazingest ever.
Point 1: “We enjoyed the vegan fritter more than any other of the Cronut copycats we tried around Philly,” says the Zagat post that broke the story. Boo-yah!
Point 2: The early versions, available as of Sept. 19, are filled with apple. Nice move.
Point 3: “Starting October 1,” says Zagats, “the as-yet-unnamed croissant-donut hybrid will be on the regular dessert menu. Expect a version with a tangy fruit stuffing - perhaps cranberries - and a horseradish cream to help cut the sweetness. Yes, horseradish. ‘When you have something like this on the menu, you know everyone’s going to order it,’ [chef-hero Kate] Jacoby says, eyes twinkling, ‘So this is our opportunity to sneak in a bit of something new and different.’” LOVE THAT, Kate! You sneak culture into our crazy desserts!
[Photo by Danya Henninger]