Yummy vegan breakfast time!  »

Today we’ll be making the quick and easy cream cheese and jelly on toast! I forgot how much I loved this stuff! And boy, so simple: toast two pieces of pumpernickel bread, spread with vegan cream cheese, then top with your favorite jelly! Voil√†! Yummy vegan breakfast time!

Today I used Follow Your Heart vegan cream cheese but sometimes I use Tofutti cream cheese. I can’t decide which I like better but I think maybe Tofutti. No, never mind, I can’t decide! Stop pressuring me!¬†

To complete your morning, I suggest watching the Gummi Bears like I used to do every morning before school:

[Can’t see the video? Watch it on!]


Review: Valencia Farmers Market  »

Valencia Farmers Market is located on the corner of Valencia and 24th Streets, under the green awning. It’s teeny inside, but every inch is stocked with things someone will probably want and/or need at some point, and not have time to schlep all the way to a big grocery store for. Seriously, every inch, so walk carefully around your fellow shoppers and poke inside those little nooks. They’ve got bulk foods hiding back there, and I’ve heard tell of on-site orange-juicing, and I don’t know what else because I never have enough time to fully look.

They’re open early Monday through Friday, so you can drop in on your way to work for Tofutti cream cheese (!!!) for office bagels. On your way home, stop by for five-for-$1 limes and whatever other seasonal produce you need for supper. This is assuming you have a job, of course, and I would never assume that. It is nice that VFM is open on weekends, too, because you never know when you’re going to run out of Earth Balance (the Miracle Product!) or whatever else, and not want to go any farther to get it than a few blocks. The people I presume to be the owners—the two always working the registers—are unfailingly polite. If you’re out in the Mission getting business done, and suddenly you want something to drink, why not patronize a store where you will definitely not get sexually harassed? I have never been hassled in VFM, nor do I ever get that creepy feeling like someone is watching me browse for sugars. It’s really quite remarkable.

The prices are nothing shocking for a corner store that stocks food for the gentrifiers—or should I say yuppies? Yuppies is kind of an outdated, inadequate descriptor, I think, while gentrifier is too strong to describe Vegansaurus, none of whom can afford to buy a home anytime soon, and some of whom have not seen full-time employment in a good while. We are not going to edge out anyone other residents anytime soon, believe you me. Whichever term you prefer, before we find a new descriptor, say people who use the internet as their primary resource, “prefer” things like organic foods and all-natural peanut butter and Tofutti better-than cream cheese are most likely to benefit from the gentrification wave, and make up a good percentage of VFM’s customers. My point? Don’t cry about the prices; there are plenty of cheaper stores in this neighborhood that would welcome more business, and you know why you shop here.

Lucky me, I have thus far been able to afford the lifestyle I’ve chosen, which includes the occasional fake cream cheese, and 15oz. juice, and I am really happy to have a little market that carries such items so close to my overpriced apartment. It’s good to have been given some advantages in life. One of which now is living so close to such a wonderful corner store. It is something I have yet to take for granted, I swear.

Note: $5 minimum on purchases with plastic. Yes, it’s a violation of terms, but I am not going to argue with those nice people.

[photo via yelp]


A native New Yorker’s guide to real bagels in San Francisco  »

I’m in New Jersey right now, hiding out and hustling from my parent’s dining room. My mother bought me a package of bagels from New York and I have been slowly devouring them, with my coffee in the morning/afternoon (can’t quite get on East Coast time), which made me want to talk about where to get bagels in San Francisco.

Now, if you live in California and you’ve had the pleasure of biting into a New York bagel, let’s make something very clear: bagels in San Francisco are a compromise, a test of your true love. Your palate will adjust, but there’s nowhere on the West Coast that has bagels that are as good (something about the water, I hear?).

That being said, I only consider two places in town as bagel contenders.

Katz Bagels in several locations: Lower Haight, the Mission, and SOMA
The bagels themselves are OK; when eaten fresh they are doughy and satisfying, and certainly not as sweet as a Noah’s Bagel, but I mention Katz here because they are vegan-friendly. They carry Tofutti, including the Herbs & Chives variety, which you can then load up with vegetables if you wish. You can also get peanut butter or hummus on your bagel if the sometimes plasticky taste of Tofutti bugs you.

House of Bagels in the Inner Richmond
Personally, I like House of Bagels the best. They’re a very close approximation of a NY bagel and they even taste okay if you don’t toast them (I have never toasted a bagel until moving to California, TRUE FACT!). However, no vegan-friendly toppings here, so you’ll want to buy a dozen and take them home and do with them what you will. There are a few places in town that sell them, including Real Food and Rainbow, so you don’t have to go to the Inner Richmond if you don’t want to.

What are your favorite places to get bagels in town?

[photo by Rusvaplauke]

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