vegansaurus!

05/14/2013

Vegans: You’ve got four months to get your asses to Chicago for the fanciest, highest-concept, most ridiculous meal you will ever eat. Starting May 8, the theme for Grant Achatz’s rotating-menu, fancy-schmancy, modernist restaurant Next is VEGAN. See preview video above, which is actually more of a masturbatory inside joke about stealing vegetables from Chicago restaurants, but the music is good, so whatev.

This place is so crazy you don’t make a reservation or order a meal, you BUY A TICKET. And for four months only, we can actually eat there! The May tickets sold out in like two hours on Tuesday (sorry I’m not THAT on top of it), but I bet you can get rid of a kidney or something and find some on the underground market, or follow Next on Facebook or Twitter to hear about when June tickets go on sale.

If anyone goes, please document and share with us! I’m seriously considering buying a plane ticket for this. Seriously.

08/30/2012

Guest Post: San Diego part 2: Ranchos Cocina!  »

The only downside, if you want to even call it a downside, to an all-vegan establishment is trying to persuade your omnivorous friends and family to join you. Most of the time, I’m able to join up with a group of co-workers or acquaintances after they consume some of our fallen furry friends or head out to a place that serves mostly liquid items. But the inevitable always rears it’s head, and the daunting task of appeasing many different morals takes precedence.

That’s where Ranchos Cocina in North Park comes in. They refer to themselves as a “Mexican and Vegetarian Cuisine” restaurant which is a tad too ambiguous for my liking, because I believe they are much more than that. The meat-eaters in your Donner Party will be happy with the amount of options available, as will the vegetarian and vegan homies. As soon as you and your squad sits down, someone is ready to hand you complementary chips and salsa. Which, if you have no self control like me, doubles as an appetizer. Their menu is recently refreshed and there are much more tiny, bold faced “V”s hanging around on the new menu. “V,” of course, denotes “may be made vegan.” Music to our hippie ears.


My first trip to Ranchos this past week, I was with two fellas of the non-vegan guild. They were able to order non-vegan things while I was able to order my favorite dish on the menu, Breakfast Combination no. 237, Soy Vegan Chorizo con Tofu. Their breakfast portion of the menu is available all day, because they know breakfast isn’t just for sopping up last night’s booze. This meal is a mountain of tofu scramble with soy chorizo and some assorted grilled veggies. Also a side of potatoes (or rice) and beans with your choice of tortilla. I go for the whole wheat tortilla because of it’s size—it unfolds to the size of manhole cover. I feel like I’m getting a bonus that the corn and flour folks are missing out on.

I digress. Their tofu is off the chains, as the kids used to say. Firm and seasoned, you can see bits of either thyme or pepper in the crumbled bits of Mexican-flavored vegan-ry. The soy chorizo is salty, but in that good way, not in the oops-I-dropped-the-Kosher-salt-into-the-pan way. The potatoes and beans give the plate of food that diner taste and feel. But the diner feel stops there, as the food doesn’t sit in your stomach for 15-minutes only to go into emergency mode. As vegans, at least for me, the “feel” after the meal is the best barometer of how “vegan” a restaurant actually is. Ranchos knows their vegan clientele and appreciates our views. It tastes and feels like real, home-cooked food.


I had to hit them up one more time before I trekked back up to the county of The Angels. This time I went right in as they opened in the morning with just me and my hangover tagging along. I’m not sure if it’s because single dining patrons only rack up bills worthy of tips in the $2-to-$4 range or if this man was genuine, but my waiter insisted on being extremely accommodating. I’m never one to base my restaurant visits on the service.

Again, I digress. He, the waiter, assumed of my vegan-ness by my asking for soy milk in my iced coffee and was quick to offer up his opinions on what was good. I was a mere half-a-second away from ordering the “Tofu con Soy Chorizo” again until he suggested the “Vegan Breakfast Burrito.” Which I was more-than-proud of heeding his advice for once the plate landed in front of me. This zeppelin-sized tortilla was easily the biggest burrito I’ve seen, and upon digesting it, the tastiest as well. The same seasoned, firm tofu is used in the breakfast burrito as in the scramble, in a flavor orgy with potatoes, assorted veggies and tempeh “sausage.” It was so big and filling, I couldn’t finish the 1/16th scale of the U.S.S. Enterprise in one sitting. So, if you’re keeping score, that’s chips and salsa, iced coffee (that was refilled thrice times), a ginormous burrito (that was used for two meals) for a whopping $9.16 before tip.

Now, math was never my strongest subject, but if you add everything up, I’m pretty sure Ranchos, Evolution Fast Food, and the many other unheralded San Diego vegan eateries are worthy of L.A.-sized exposure. I don’t want to pit San Diego against L.A., because that’s not a fair fight. Just don’t forget about S.D. It’s more than just a city with mediocre sports teams and a big zoo. So thanks, San Diego, we enjoy your second fiddle. Sometimes L.A. smells funny anyway.

Andrew E. Irons is a blogger from Long Beach, Calif. He co-created and contributes to Rhode Island-based hip-hop website The Echo Chamber Blog, under the pseudonym Verbal Spacey. You can track his daily diatribes by following him on Twitter.

08/28/2012

Guest Post: San Diego Part 1: Evolution Fast Food  »

Alternative title: ”Hey, we have vegan food too!”

Growing up in Rhode Island for the better part of my existence, I’ve grown accustomed to having my local habitat being played as the second fiddle. The music and art industries, whether through concerts, shows, or just the available exposure itself to these, seemed to skip the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations (yes, that’s our real, full name) altogether. Everyone assumed this was do to our close proximity to Boston and New York and no one from Lil’ Rhody (yes, that is our real “nickname”) wants to drive to New York or Boston because they’re “wicked fah!” San Diego, I find, kind of sees similar persecution. America’s Finest City is well-populated, and has its own vibe with plenty of culture. But we in the vegan community never seem to hear much about what St. Diego has to offer by way of animal-free food consumption—instead, we in SoCal hear much ado about L.A. More people, mainly us compassionate ones, should know of the mini-vegan food Mecca that is in San Diego.

San Diego was supposed to get the mother of all vegan restaurant chains, Native Foods Cafe, but that either fell through, is still being constructed, or Monsanto stepped in and bought the property. Having a world-renowned chain like Native in The 619 (or The 858 or The 760) would have been huge. Both for me and my friends who live there but also for the San Diego vegan community. However, there are equally as tasty treats deep within the cozy confines of the city. If fast food-themed is your bag, similar to Native Foods, there is Evolution Fast Food. E.F.F. is a must-see for me each and every time I’m in S.D. I have a “go-to” choice and “back-up” ready to order. A back-up is sometimes needed because they tend to sell out of their daily “specials.” Which leads me to believe they have a good sized customer base ready and willing to try new things. During my most recent visit just this past week, they had a new special available of which just the description alone made me weak in the knees and caused cold sweats. It was like I was back in high school when my man parts would do what they wished, when they wished. Male-hormonal rages aside, this is what the board read:

"California Burrito"

  • Carne asada
  • Guacamole
  • Salsa
  • Fries
  • & cheese!

And all these fine basic descriptors were supposedly wrapped up in a whole wheat tortilla. I say supposedly because that Bad Larry was sold out. Bummer. Upon learning the bad news I was back in flashback mode, this time elementary school when I learned Santa Claus didn’t actually check his list twice. Luckily, my standby order is impeccable and cured my sadness post haste. I’ve been a burger-and-fries type of guy since long before my vegan days. And the Bacon Cheeseburger at E.F.F. fits the bill to a T. They’ve recently started using Gardein for their patties on all their burgers, but if processed mock meats aren’t your thing, they also have a house-made bean patty option. I’m a fan of Gardein, so I recommend the O.G. version. The bean patty is too… beany.

Options are always awesome as a consumer, especially when you’re a vegan consumer when you’re about to consume vegan goods. It’s like little bits of Christmas morning each time someone behind the counter asks you a closed ended question regarding your order. In addition to the bean patty or Gardein patty, you can also choose between standard fries or the sweet potato version. I’m excessively sweet as it is, so I always opt for the regular spuds. I’m kidding. Sort of.

Evolution Fast Food isn’t really known in my circle of non-vegan compadres in San Diego. Most think it’s still called one of their previous names and others assume all they serve is wheat grass shots and tofu slabs. It’s a brilliant take on the prototypical fast food menu, just vegan’d out. But they also do soft serve ice cream, smoothies and desserts. Best of all, the entire restaurant is 100% vegan. So you’ll never have to worry about cross contamination or wondering if a bun or slice of bread is also fitting to your compassionate ways. There is also a “drive-thru” window, perfect if you’re feeling nostalgic and want to re-live the times the whole family went down to those golden arches. As far as convenience however, you’re better off parking and walking up.

Stay tuned for San Diego Part 2: Ranchos Cocina!

Andrew E. Irons is a blogger from Long Beach, California.  He co-created and contributes to a Rhode Island based Hip-Hop website, The Echo Chamber Blog, under the pseudonym Verbal Spacey. You can track his daily diatribes by following him on Twitter.

05/24/2012

Vegan Roadtrip: Vegas, take two!  »

In under one year I’ve been to Vegas twice! And I don’t even gamble (unless we’re talking about the guys I date, but we’ll save that for another time). I went with another femme fatale you may have heard of—Sarah M. Smart, anyone? Sarah was in Vegas for work, plus it was her birthday weekend, so this whirlwind vacay was taken with our friends Brent and Britney. Party time! Sarah and I often get asked how we have solidified such a strong, vegan friendship and we’re like, “Trips to Vegas, Katy Perry, and a mutual affection for cake vodka!” That’s how it’s done.

imageUnfortunately, I was a little under the weather for this trip, which meant more poolside lounging and eating, as opposed to a little something I like to call “elegant debauchery.” Poor me, right? Poor, hot-tub soaking me.

I like to stay at the Hooters Hotel and Casino, which boasts three pools and two hot tubs! Don’t forget, they have a sandwich that can be made vegan and eaten poolside, the Sassy San Franciscan!

Now, let’s get to the food! In terms of eating, Vegas has got it going on, if only for a little (entirely vegan) place called Pura Vida. Pura Vida is located in downtown Vegas, which is few miles off the strip. It’s like a part of Vegas only the locals know! And now ME!

imageThe brunch I had at Pura Vida was one of the best vegan meals I have ever had. Chef Mayra is creative, brilliant, and quite the spitfire! It may sound as though I’m exaggerating with my whole “It was the BEST,” but I sent my vegan friend and co-worker, Nate, there a few weeks later when he went to Vegas and guess what: He said the same thing, and also that chef Mayra remembered me! How sweet. Next time you go to Vegas, make Pura Vida your first priority! (Maybe go to Vegas just to eat there?) And make sure you talk to the chef, she will brighten your day!

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Brent ordered the empandas for an appetizers and they were delicious! I especially liked that they were very light and not greasy. I can’t find them on the online menu, and also cannot remember what they were filled with! Oops. However, everyone at the table agreed they were tasty and that the chutney they came with was superb! Look how vibrant the colors are!

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I am going to Vegas again, hopefully in the very near future, to chow down on this baby: the Latin’tude breakfast burrito. It changed my life. Look at all those colors! So fresh! So beautiful! I might go back to Vegas and ask it marry me; I mean, when in Sin City, right? Another note on chef Mayra’s food—it’s organic, and she has many gluten-free options available. Now go!

Sarah, Britney, Brent, and I also hit up the Cheesecake Factory in Caesar’s Palace. (Please don’t tell anyone I made them go to Kardashian Khaos in the Mirage afterward, okay? Like, for an unsatisfying dessert.) I’m okay with eating at the Cheesecake Factory, because they have this cocktail called the Asian Pear Martini that I just adore! Plus, they have this new Skinnylicious menu, with many vegan or easy-to-veganize options.
I like to get the beets with goat cheese salad, minus the goat cheese. It is still very satisfying, with beets, arugula, pecans, apples and a vinaigrette dressing!
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I also like to get the mushroom lettuce wraps! They come with shitake mushrooms, ginger, garlic, water chestnuts and green onions, all sauteed in a light soy dressing. They are very refreshing, especially wrapped in the crisp, lettuce leaves.

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Lettuce taco, coming atcha!

Another place the four of us went that is worth mentioning is Red 8 in the Wynn hotel. It is an Asian Fusion bistro, with many vegan options, including vegan dim sum! How exciting!

We ordered dim sum, which I sadly do not have a picture of. I also cannot find their dim sum menu online, but I will say that the jade dumplings feature another love of my life, spinach!

Britney and I split the Gardein cashew Chick’n, celery, mushroom, and ginger entree, as well as the tofu and shiitake. So delicious! Now that I’ve broken the bank at both of the vegan restaurants I wanted to at the Wynn, I don’t feel the need to go back in the near future—unless of course my future sugar daddy is paying.
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Chick’n, cashew, celery, mushrooms, and ginger plate!

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Tofu and shiitake plate!

I know there are tons of places I didn’t get to in this last trip, but I will eventually. I can’t wait to get back to Vegas! It is my vegan haven!

01/17/2012

Road trip: Pho 14 and more in D.C.!  »

In 2010, PETA named Washington, D.C. the country’s most veg-friendly large city. This is clearly bullshit. Other than Sticky Fingers Bakery, D.C. has no “holy shit you HAVE to go there” kinds of vegan places like SF, NYC, Denver, etc. Nevertheless, there’s some good eating in that city, and over the holidays I did my duty as an American and spent a lot of money eating out so my I wouldn’t have to blame all my weight gain on the vegan Christmas cookies my [awesome] mom made.

I hit up Pho 14 in Columbia Heights with some omnivore buddies one night. Pho is all about accessories, like [insert style pop culture figure whom I’m too big a nerd to keep track of]. The vegetarian broth is kinda sweet but then BAM! add some lime juice and it’s a whole new thing.
Notice the bowling-ball lacquer on the table.

My man DK and I shared some spring rolls (so tightly wrapped!) as an appetizer, then ordered a large tofu pho, which felt like stealing because they split it for us in the kitchen, and the two bowls were huge and dinner was so cheap! This would be a great place to bring a date because you’d look classier than you really were!

Another night, DK and I wanted something romantic near the Mall (the one with the monuments, not the one with Bath & Body Works). Mandu on K Street seemed a good choice given how obsessed we were with Sura in Oakland.

The waitstaff totally got the whole vegan thing, and only brought us munchies that had no shrimp or fish sauce. Our entrees were fresh and filling but a little bland—I wanted to run into the kitchen and whip up a sauce for my bi bim bop, but instead I just ate it all including every tiny little grain of rice.

D.C.’s also know for its Ethiopian food, which I love. We hit up Dukem this time, which had a nasty bathroom, a suspicious taste of butter, and was pricey, pretty much not worth it. Try Etete or Meskerem if you’re there, those are better. But really just go to Cafe Colucci in Oakland, it’s the absolute bestest, I’m considering having children so I can send them there to be indentured servants and learn to cook for me that way.

The actual highlight for me was all about booze, duh: The Gibson, a $12-fancy-cocktail joint near all the Ethiopian places on U Street. Make a reservation and bring a smartphone, because you’re going to need to Wikipedia the shit out of their changing, incredible menu (Akvavit what?). Everything we tried was spectacular—better than SF’s Bourbon & Branch or Williams & Graham in Denver—but watch out for the egg whites they sometimes want to put in things. Gross. Definitely a great date place, especially if someone else is buying! I’m gonna start dating again just so people will buy me drinks; it’s good for my husband, too, though, I swear.

10/04/2011

Harvest Home Sanctuary’s Toast to the Turkeys celebration! Buy your tickets RIGHT NOW!  »

You know what’s fucking ridiculous? The fact that it’s almost 2012. It was JUST 1998, am I right?! How the hell are we almost living in the future!? I can’t handle this passage of time bullshit. Like sand through the fucking hour glass, so our the days of fucking lives passing us the fuck by.

Since it’s later in the year, that means time to talk turkey! More specifically, petting turkeys and feeding them cranberries (they love ‘em!). Harvest Home Sanctuary (one of our favorites!) is having their second annual Toast to the Turkeys Celebration on Saturday, Nov. 12 in honor of their rescued turkeys. You’ll get to poke around the sanctuary and hug everyone, have delicious vegan food and drink, and PARTY WITH THE TURKEYS. Ain’t no party like a turkey party ‘cause a turkey party has TURKEYS EATING CRANBERRIES.

Harvest Home Sanctuary is really wonderful, they provide excellent care to nearly 200 animals at their rescue and rehabilitation center in Stockton. If I were a rescued animal, I would totally want them to take care of me. It’s the lap of luxury!

Since Vegansaurus is an official sponsor, we will also be there; you can meet us and steal locks of our hair. So fun! If you want to join us in sponsoring the event, email Christine for more details! To buy tickets, head here.

Also, this is really cool: Woop Studios (the Harry Potter series* graphic designers!) created a turkey print for Harvest Home in honor of the event. A portion of the print sales will benefit their work so if you want rad art and want to support an amazing sanctuary, you will buy me yourself me AND yourself one today!

*HEARD OF THEM!? Well, maybe you haven’t.

[The turkey in the photo from last year’s celebration is named BURL: 1) Best name for a turkey ever; 2) How can people eat turkeys!? They’re little dinosaurs! A dinosaur will fuck your shit up!]

10/03/2011

All October: Sacramento goes vegan. Road trip!  »


Now’s probably a good time to go take that tour of the state capitol you’ve been putting off since fourth grade, because for a limited time only, Sacramento has new vegan dishes!

For the month of October, chefs at 10 restaurants are featuring special vegan options. It’s a contest! The idea is that you go eat the foods, and then vote on what’s the best, and then you can win “prizes” if you vote. There’s also a thing where you’re extra special if you go try the vegan foods at all 10 restaurants. That would take way more eating out than my budget can handle, but if anyone wants to buy me a plane ticket from Denver and subsidize my meals, I’ll share the prizes with you, I swear.

I know zilch about the group that organized this, and whether the prizes are legit or will be like a half-used roll of postage stamps or whatever, but for those of you out Sacramento way, it seems worth checking out. 

The restaurants:

06/02/2011

North Bay vegan eats: Slice of Life  »


I arrived in California 16 months ago after a four-day trip, with two cats, across the country from New York. When we pulled into town, we were disgruntled, like only a five-hour drive through the blizzarding wilds of southern Wyoming in January can make you, and deeply in need of some comfort and quiet. Through some trick of fate, we ended up by the Whole Foods in Sebastopol on that quickly-darkening and drizzly winter evening, having resigned ourselves to a dinner of cold, prepackaged food. Have I mentioned that I’m a total food snob? I am. Then, as we headed into the bright grocery store from the gloom and damp of the parking lot, I spotted a sign on a small restaurant storefront, tucked snugly between a video store and a hair salon. A cursory glance at the menu confirmed my hopes: Pizza. And it was goooood. I’m not going to lie to you.


Slice of Life
, Sebastopol’s comfortable little diner, has since become a staple for us. This all-vegetarian restaurant features a varied menu with macrobiotic salads and platters, Mexican, Italian, all-day breakfast, and, of course, pizza. The pizza’s a little pricey. A large with a few toppings and soy cheese will set you back a cool $30. But the crust and sauce are all fresh and homemade, and they have veggie pepperoni! Bring on the fake meats! Of course, one can’t get a $30 pizza every day of the week—if you can, I want to hunt you down and kill you—so we were eventually obliged to explore the rest of the menu.


Unfortunately for you, I’m so single-minded that I order the same things over and over again. Fortunately for you, that means I am completely qualified to sing the praises of the Slice of Life breakfast menu. Particularly wonderful are the Tofu Om-lets. Though (much to my chagrin) available only on weekend mornings, these are tasty and available in a standard configuration of onions, mushrooms, and cheese or as a Greek version of the same with spinach and sun-dried tomatoes. They don’t always get the cheese as melty as I’d like it, and believe me when I tell you I am freaking well acquainted with the trials and travails of melting vegan cheese. I suspect that this is due to their exclusive use of Follow Your Heart mozzarella, which is excellent news for the Daiya-haters among us. (I know you’re out there. I don’t understand your ways.)


Should you find yourself at Slice of Life outside the Tofu Om-let window, don’t despair; order the Tofu Rancheros or the Tofu Parmesan. Add soy cheese to either for a paltry sum and relax back into the warm, fuzzy feelings that come with supporting a vegetarian business. And because you’ve only got just the one life to live, you might was well order a pancake or two. That’s right: vegan pancakes. Incidentally, these are also wheat-free for our grain-challenged friends. Then go home and join me in wondering why pancakes aren’t vegan everywhere. It’s SO FREAKING SIMPLE. 

[To check out Vegansaurus’ other recommendations for Northern California, go here! Or you can just get outta town with the suggestions here!]

Marla Wick lives in Sebastopol, a small community in Sonoma County, Calif., where people never change out of their yoga pants. She spends her time cooking, baking, knitting, and raging about politics when she’s not working as a freelance editor and writer. She blogs about food, animal ethics, cultural politics, and horror movies at Vegan-Squared and Bully Pulp.

05/11/2011

Ubuntu in Napa revisited AGAIN  »

Quick recap: Ubuntu is this fancy-fancy vegetarian vegetables restaurant in Napa that I have a tumultuous relationship with. However, I recently returned and had probably the best meal of my life—they tried to knock me out with flavor flav and almost succeeded! The meal was UNSANE and you can read all about it at SF Weekly! Oh, and you can look at my fairly crappy pictures here and ALSO, I posted some below. Bam!

This is my current amateur opinion on the state of Ubuntu: You just gotta go balls-out, throw caution (read: your wallet) to the wind and order at least the prix fixe menu, preferably the chef’s tasting menu, which can be done vegan in a way that doesn’t sacrifice the dishes at all. You can’t go to Ubuntu hoping to piece a meal together from the a la carte menu, you gotta GO BIG OR GO HOME (hungry). Being in the SF Bay Area, we’re super lucky to live so close to a restaurant where vegans can really do it up, and eat a meal that rivals those available in the best restaurants in the world.* Anyway, if you don’t have a sugar daddy or a trust fund, you best get one and fast. Also, if you are either a sugar daddy or a trust fund, let’s get it on! I am willing to completely bankrupt myself in every way for another taste of that sweet sweet Ubuntu lovin’. 

ARTICHOKE PASTA FROM HEAVEN:

SWAMP SOUP:

*I mean, I guess, I don’t even know if the food in those restaurants is that great. I’ve eaten in some of them as an omnivore and enjoyed the meals less than I did an order of veggie chow fun from Golden Era or the tamales at Gracias Madre but I’m no foodie asshole expert.

03/03/2011

Vegansaurus’ Roadside America!  »

Robin Soslow has a post up at Peta Prime about how to eat vegan when you travel. Is Peta Prime like a Peta blog for old people? That’s the impression I’m getting. That’s cool, man. Gots to keep the old people in the vegan know, too! She wrote this post in response to the most ridiculous USA Today article. This writer, David Grossman, a “Business Traveler,” writes about all the difficulties he faces traveling while vegan. This reads like a Snuggie commercial—like that insanely exaggerated part where the spider web (which represents a traditional blanket) inhibits the person’s ability to function! Check him out:

"Until recently, dining was my passion…. That all changed two years ago. For a variety of health and other reasons, I decided to adopt a vegan lifestyle. Giving up sushi, pizza, filet mignon and hot fudge sundaes was manageable at home, but I soon discovered traveling on a restricted diet presents a more formidable challenge."

All right, I’ll give it to him, traveling as a vegan can be a formidable challenge, but the rest of this?! Kind of nutty. Dining is even more my passion now that I’m vegan! And homeboy needs to catch up on his vegan blog reading; of all things that you have to give up, god damn sushi is not one of them. Filet mignon, yeah, that’ll be difficult, but a hot fudge sundae? EASY PEASY. I mean, maybe he is saying he can’t eat these things because of the “variety of health and other reasons,” but it’s NOT because he’s vegan. By the end of the article, I did become kind of fond of Grossman, but he really does need help. I guess Soslow agreed!

One thing me and Soslow have in common is a love for Happy Cow. When my sister and I drove from Philly to Portland, Ore., we hit up a vegan/vegetarian restaurant in every major city—it ruled! My sister isn’t even vegetarian but she’s a good sport and ended up loving a lot of the food we ate as much as I did. Maybe Grossman needs some more supportive friends! Who will go out to vegan places with him! He also definitely needs to check out Happy Cow because he says when he goes to London, he sticks to Indian and Lebanese restaurants. Those are fine choices (the Indian food in London is out of control!) but come on, if you want sundaes, check out the vegan cheesecake sundae he could have had at London’s Zilli Green:
They have a brownie sundae, too. I think Grossman needs to read my epic guide to London because there’s nothing like vegan bangers and mash!

Soslow’s article could help him out a lot too but it didn’t really give me any new information. I thought it was going to be about how to eat at rest stops and gas stations! I don’t find it difficult to find good veggie options at restaurants when traveling but when you’re on the highway trying to make good time, it can be difficult to find anything to eat. So! Here are some of my rest stop and gas station suggestions!:

1. Corn nuts! Every gas station in America has corn nuts. They have some fat but they are also high in fiber and protein! You’ve got to stay a bit healthy or you’ll get cranky and murder your fellow passengers. It happens. Also, corn nuts always makes me think of Heathers—“BQ!” That was the best.

2. Nuts! All gas stations have nuts. I love cashews, myself. If they have walnuts, you should totally get them because walnuts are a superfood! Almonds are supposed to be good for heartburn so if you’ve been eating other crap, almonds are a good choice (can’t find a link for that but I swear I heard it somewhere!).

3. If you are anywhere near Philadelphia, don’t forget to look for Peanut Chews! They are only the greatest candy ever. They aren’t that healthy but they aren’t that terrible either! Plus, they will make you happy and that helps when you’re trying not to murder your fellow passengers.

4. Snyder’s peanut butter pretzel sandwiches! I seem to always be able to find these at rest stops and often at gas stations too. These are great! And vegan! They also make good impromptu dog treats because they aren’t all salted like other pretzels and dogs love peanut butter.

5. Nature Valley Crunchy Granola Bars! I like the peanut butter. These make a good breakfast! Gas stations always have these.

6. Original Sun Chips! These are better for than chips and they are super yummy!

7. Wheat Thins! Rest stops always always have those mini boxes of Wheat Thins. God bless them! I often like to bring a jar of peanut butter on the road—you can make peanut butter Wheat Thin sandwiches!

8. For fruits, you should check the rest stop Starbucks—they often have a few bananas and green apples at the register. But the BEST fruit is at the roadside fruit stands! Anytime you see one, make sure you stop and stock up on some fruit! They have these anytime you’re in farm country; just keep an eye out for a hand-painted sign!

Those are my best suggestions for on-road dining! What are your roadside go-tos?

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