Hey NYC: Cinnamon Snail is a delicious vegan food truck! »
This is my art director Landen at the moment he realized he brought no cash. Silly Landen!
Yay! I finally got to go to Cinnamon Snail! This New Jersey-based food truck has been making the rounds in NYC and I finally got to check it out when they were in Flatiron last week. Bonus: they were being filmed by the Food Network, so I may be even more famous than I already am! Other bonus: It was raining like cray and kind of hell, but it was like a lil’ adventure!
Let’s get down to business: the food = delicious! I got the special of the day, the roasted tofu pesto sandwich. It was hella good. I forget what my partner Landen got but he was into it. He also got the Mexican chocolate donut. I didn’t get a picture but I got to try it and it was DAMN GOOD! Like, approaching Ronald’s-good. I love all vegan donuts but so often they are cakey instead of soft, tangy, old-school donuts. This donut was old-school and yum. And because I am the nicest ever, I got my other coworker the lemongrass five-spice seitan sandwich and he said it was awesome.
This is a terrible pic of my sandwich; I didn’t have my real camera and the lighting in my office is plain silly. But trust: it was good!
In conclusion: Cinnamon Snail rules! If you want to keep up on when and where Cinnamon snail will be in NYC, follow their twitter!
Hold the mother-loving phone, what amazingness is this?! It’s a pear, raspberry, and vegan bacon grilled cheese sandwich from That Was Vegan? Dang, that sounds awesome times eleven! I want one of these in my mouth, stat!
8 best fake meat sandwiches in SF? »
It’s a day of lists and of linking to weeklies! SF Weekly has up this list of the Top 8 Fake Meat Sandwiches. Agree? Disagree? Want me to stop linking to top whatever lists? WELL FUCK IT IT’S FRIDAY.
[Rhea’s sandwich! delicious!]
Hello, Jason Stackhouse po’ boy. I love you. Want to get married? I think it’s legal in Washington state, now.
[brilliant recipe and photo by That Pain in the Ass Vegan!]
New Quorn Vegan Burgers: Yummy! »
Quorn’s got a new vegan offering and I got to taste it! I like it a lot! Yay for new foods! The company sent me a free package of the new frozen patties via flying monkeys, a.k.a. FedEx, which made me feel like a rock star.
The directions say you can microwave, grill, bake, or pan-cook them. Since I was at work and am impatient and lazy, I nuked the thing in order to taste it right away.
If you’ve ever had the non-vegan Quorn chicken patty, just go ahead and erase that memory forever; these ain’t nothing like that. They’re thinner and not breaded and have more of a smokey, baconesque flavor profile. The microwave made the thing really tough and chewy, kind of like a jerky patty which sounds gross but which I dug in a salty-MSG-yum kind of way.
A few days later I did the Quorns up right as part of a sandwich with coleslaw (BBQ sauce woulda been swell too, someone should buy me some of that).
This time I cooked them on the stovetop and they were much moister and softer. Husband said the texture reminded him of fish sticks, kinda flaky. The smoky flavor is pretty strong, so don’t expect these to meld or fade into your meal like a slab of tofu or whatevs.
Bottom line: This Boca Burger hater has found a new sandwich filler of choice. Yay fungus! But I’d be even happier if the company offered a few flavors to mix it up. May Quorn come to a store near you!
I love you, Subway. Now give us more vegan options! »
Last time I posted about how much I love fast food/chain restaurants, the responses were mixed. Some of you were all, “Me too (and duh, of course the beans have bacon in them),” while others exclaimed, “WTF is wrong with you, you live in SF, eat somewhere better!” I’ve taken all sides into consideration and I’m back, to shout my love of Subway, from the rooftops of San Francisco! (Or type it out while watching Seinfeld in my apartment, whatever).
I’m not saying pick Subway over Ike’s Place or anything, but on a road trip in the middle of fucking nowhere, with no gourmet vegan restaurant to eat at; in the suburbs in the middle of nowhere at your parents’; stuck with picky eaters (only pasta with marinara sauce or dry turkey sandwiches, for real?): a popular chain restaurant it is! SUBWAY! I totally recommend the ‘Veggie Delight’ with sweet onion sauce as your condiment! DELICIOUS.
Subway, I loved you, but I wasn’t IN love with you. Until today! In honor of Vegetarian Awareness month, Subways asks us, the vegan people, what we want them to carry on and for their sandwiches! Compassion over Killing has made a spiffy little website where you can leave comments about what Subway should do and what products they should carry. You guys, it’s a forum for you to COMPLAIN ABOUT SHIT, and it will be valued. DO IT. Get your vegan angst out! Subway WANTS you to!
[image courtesy Compassion Over Killing]
Top 10 links of the week: a shuffle board game through veganism! »
First of all, SO FLATTERED: We’re on Carpe Vegan’s neat Vegan 100 list: vote us to the top! Also, the San Francisco Bay Guardian totally gave us a Best of the Bay 2011 award for “Best Righteous Vegan Sass” (WHAT?) and we’re extremely pleased and honored and in very fine company so WOO AWARD WINNERS WHAT?
Apparently in Bosnia, they make bulls fight each other and they used to beat them up first to get them angry. They aren’t going to do that anymore—the beating part at least. A win? Why do people like these crazy events?
Yo! The U.S. (where I keep all my stuff) may impose sanctions on Iceland for whaling! I HOPE THOSE ICELANDIC FUCKERS GET WHAT THEY DESERVE.
Good has a vegan guide to getting it on. Like, sex.
Downer about dead baby dolphins over at HuffPo.
Birds massage each other! Birds are so smart! And kinky!
The emperor penguin Happy Feet (gag on the name, but whatevs) is recovering well, and here’s a video of him passing his penguin physical.
Whaling is a slowly dying form of murder, so we’re happy to see that Japan is hopping on the bandwagon. The country’s Fisheries Agency has released a report with its first-ever mention of discontinuing research whaling as a viable option.
The lovely Sarah M. Smart heavily contributed to these links! Thanks, Sarah!
Lunch in Oakland is getting sexier, or at least more vegan »
If you’re around Lake Merritt and hard up for a sandwich, Merritt Station Cafe has got your back. Situated too close to a Gold’s Gym for my liking, it’s still a pleasant place to sit down to a large $4.99 Tofurkey sandwich with all the fixings! Check out this mega-sandwich that I had for mega-cheap! Also, the guys who made it were super nice! Also, I got to stare at people in Gold’s going up on down on ellipticals, and try not to think about sex. VERY ATHLETIC AND AWKWARD SEX.
Secondly: Have you been to Brown Couch Cafe (340 14th St. at Harrison) yet? It’s right around that area with Golden Lotus (it’s a Golden Era! in Oakland!) and No Worries and Rico’s Diner and Breakroom! Man, Oakland, with all your stealthy vegan food everywhere! Anyway, Brown Couch has several vegan menu items, and most others can be made vegan if you just ask. Definitely try the ridiculously tasty vegan chicken salad, which you can have in a wrap or on top of a salad. It’s ridonk. Also, the smoothies are fresh and tasty! The service is very friendly, and overall, it’s a fantastic lunch option and another excellent alternative in the area—all these delicious places make me want to get a business-lady job in downtown Oakland (LIES).
[Thanks to Kristy and Megan for bringing these fine establishments to our attention!]
Morty’s Deli in the Tenderloin: nice sandwiches you got there! »
First of all, I love me a nice sandwich, and I love me vegan options in SF’s Tenderloin. I also love that Morty’s Deli’s motto is “…a nice sandwich,” and its logo is a basset hound. Hilarious! Plus they have beer on tap! WHAT MORE COULD YOU WANT?
Morty’s is a kick-ass deli with more vegan options than the menu appears to have. You just have to ask; for example, the No. 174 can be made vegan with marinated tofu, even though the menu doesn’t say it. Tim, the handsome face behind the menu, says he recently started leaning toward veganism himself for health reasons. Go, Tim!
The vibe is coffeehouse-meets-deli, and the beer is free-flowing on weekdays till 8 p.m., so maybe look into weekend hours? The people demand beer and sandwiches on weekends!
Now I love to eat, so I ordered a whole lot. Of course, I started with a salad.
because salad is all vegans eat, AM I RIGHT?!
But on the realio, the lettuce, tomatoes, and tangy dressing were all crisp and fresh, and the homemade croutons were top-notch. (Not pictured: french fries, because I ate them too fast.)
Then came a Soy Reuben. I was super-pumped for this sandwich, maybe overly so, because sauerkraut makes me rather damp in the crotchal region.
It was tasty, even though we had to sub dijon mustard in for the Russian dressing. However, might I suggest pressing the tofu a little more? I know tofu preparation can seem formidable, but it really doesn’t taste right to me unless it’s good and dry before you marinate and cook it. Juicy seitan? Good. Juicy tempeh? Excellent. Juicy tofu? Kinda gross and floppy. However, the flavors were good, the sauerkraut (UNGFDHGFDNGFGHT) was crunchy and tart, it came on real rye bread, and I would order it again.
The winner of the day was the Garden Sandwich (order without cheese). It was super-amazing: hummus and veggies, including ARTICHOKES and avocado and greens, on an onion kaiser roll. The hummus was supremely flavorful and added just the right amount of creaminess to the crunch of the veggies. It’s a basic sandwich, but it was my favorite.
Other options: daily made-from-scratch vegan soup (and the french onion soup is vegan if you order without cheese, HUGE bonus to me), Shroomin’ Sandwich, build your own sandwich, gluten-free bread, beer, delivery (HELLO SANDWICH BUDGET), and did I mention BEER?
Another thing I like about Morty’s is you don’t have to be like, “Does this have mayonnaise on it?” or “I want that without cheese,” because you can just say, “Make it vegan” and they totally know what that means. Seriously, get in there. N.B. I tried to pay for at least some of my huge order, but Morty’s was having none of it. Thanks, Morty’s! I’ll be back, not in a Terminator kind of way.
Interview with Susan from The Breakroom Cafe! Plus, they’re serving VEGAN BRUNCH!! »
Have you ever wondered how one of your favorite vegetarian restaurants got their start? Here’s the story of The Breakroom Cafe in downtown Oakland! Susan, a 10-year veteran of working in bars and restaurants (and a kick-ass, awesome girl), and her partner Jason, a former department store manager (and all-around really cool guy), dreamed about opening a vegetarian restaurant and went for it! Coming up on the fourth anniversary of The Breakroom, Susan and Jason reflect on starting their veg business.
Vegansaurus: What was your opening date?
Susan: July 14, 2007. You were there, Anne! I think you just happened to be walking by or something, and you saw we were finally open. I remember us forcing all these free pastries on you.
What made you want to start a vegetarian restaurant?
While living in Cleveland, I always fantasized about moving to another state and running a vegetarian restaurant. After moving to Oakland, I served at a vegan restaurant for a few years, where I learned that there was definitely a market for vegetarian food out here. While browsing Craigslist, Jason found a space available, and voila! To be honest though, I thought this place would be more of a coffee shop that sells veg sandwiches. It turned out to be a sandwich shop that sells coffee.
Where do you draw inspiration for your menu items?
I guess it’s different for each menu item. I remember loving Sloppy Joes as a kid. Remember that Manwich stuff? Loved it! And since becoming vegetarian at 16, I had a craving for it, so I knew we had to have a vegan Sloppy Joe on the menu.M ost of the menu items are veg versions of familiar standard American sandwiches that people may miss eating since becoming vegan/vegetarian.
What’s your most popular dish?
It’s a toss-up between the Meatball, Club and Turkey/Bacon.
If your Sloppy Joe sandwich was a song, what song would it be?
Maybe “Cool It Now,” that New Edition song—for those that think it’s too spicy!
Tell us a funny story about an unwitting omnivore who ordered one of your veg sandwiches.
None specifically comes to mind, but there are those that just don’t understand the imitation meat concept. We’ve had people say, “So when it says bacon, it’s not really bacon?” We say “nope,” and the next question is, “But what about the Ham & Swiss sandwich? That’s real ham, right? We answer “No,” and then they move on to questioning the “turkey.”
I noticed that there’s a cock on the front of your building, what’s up with that?
I guess the owner of the previous business Zodiac Desserts put it there. I didn’t even notice it until a few months after we bought the business, a friend and I were walking by the shop and we both noticed it at the same time. I was like “Where the hell did that rooster come from?”
If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to start a vegan business, what would it be?
Make food that NON-vegan/-vegetarians will like, and make them believe they could survive not eating meat.
This is Laura here and I just want to chime in because Breakroom just started doing Sunday brunch! It’s from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and it’s the BOMB! A huge plate of potatoes, veggie ham, tofu scramble, fruit, AND french toast for like 10 bucks! You’ll be full for days! MORE VEGAN BRUNCH IN THE EAST BAY, Y’ALL!!! Oh, and here’s a shitty camera phone picture because I love you:
Uh, and you can check out their Facebook page for more updates and better photos!
Breakroom Cafe: 300 13th Street, Oakland. (510) 836-3864. Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m. - 3:30 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Anne Martin is an eater of free pastries and a lover of veg restaurants. She is a Ph.D. Candidate at UC Berkeley’s City & Regional Planning department, and is a member of the Berkeley Organization for Animal Advocacy. When Anne is not researching or eating vegan Hearty Bagel sandwiches at The Breakroom, you will find her volunteering with Harvest Home Animal Sanctuary.