Champs in Brooklyn opens new location, still makes the best vegan brunch! »
Hey guys! I totes went to Champs this weekend for brunch and it was the best ever. I almost got biscuits and gravy like I always do because vegan biscuits and gravy is the greatest meal in the history of everything, but I ended up getting the fresh toast slam instead. But I added a biscuit for posterity! Now, admire its beauty pictured above.
The french toast was delicious. Maybe not as moist or whatever like I remember non-vegan french toast being but it was still extra yummy. And I love their tofu scramble! I’m so over all the spicy and curried tofu scrambles every where else. This is more like real scrambled eggs—though not gross eggy. The soysage rules and I love the biscuits! I could do without the fake bacon but it’s not terrible. Oh and I had the best almond milk latte! But then I was so full, I couldn’t eat cupcakes or any of their other pretty baked goods. Next time I will bring them home. I should also mention the wait for a table was 1.5 hours! But we got there on Saturday at 12:30 so that’s prob the worst planning ever.
But wait, there’s more! They JUST opened a second location! Champs Junior! I haven’t been yet but it’s on Manhattan Ave, between Nassau and Driggs. Why can’t they open one in my neck of the woods?! Please!
I’m expecting a review from A Soy Bean any day now as I’ve seen she’s been stalking the new location on Instagram. Stalk on! The people want to know!
You guys, it’s the brand-new vegan brunch at Donut Farm and it’s off the chain! You need to eat it NOW. You get one plate option, or you can choose a sandwich or pancakes (blueberry or plain). The plate option this week was tofu scramble with tomatoes, mushrooms, and spinach, hash browns, toast with housemade vegan butter. Coffee was good and strong! Everything is organic and at $8 for a giant plate, you’re getting a deal. It’s Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and you’ll be very happy that you went. Trust! I love brunch. I love it so much. That is all.
Recipe: East Coast coffee cake »
I decided to chip in a bit for the most recent SF Vegan Bakesale, and I am a big coffee cake fan so I thought, “Hey! I’ll make a coffee cake! That’s the ticket!” I recently picked up Vegan Brunch by Isa Chandra Moskowitz, and there’s a nice little recipe in there she titles “East Coast Coffee Cake.” What makes it East Coast, you ask? OMG I asked the same thing! Apparently East Coast coffee cake is “a rich, moist, yellow cake topped with a thick messy crumb topping.” OK. I can see that.
My official ruling on this recipe: GODDAMN! It’s good. As I previously stated in the bakesale recap, I had more than one piece before I delivered the cake to the sale. Jeez louise, delish! Way better than that quickity-quick biscuit coffee cake recipe I gave you before. Another nice thing about this one, Moskowitz gives you like 82 variations on the recipe including stuff like chocolate, berries, and figs—oh my! I just did the straight-up O.G. for safety’s sake.
For the topping:
1 cup flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 cup canola oil, plus up to 2 Tbs. more if needed
For the cake:
3/4 cup non-dairy milk (I used almond milk because that’s my new steeze)
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/4 flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tablespoons powdered sugar (optional)
Preheat over to 375F. Grease an 8-inch square pan (Isa says she likes to use a springform pan—interesting). Mix the milk and vinegar together and set aside to curdle.
Make the topping:
Mix together flour, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Drizzle in canola oil by the tablespoonful. Use your fingers to mix until crumbs form. Alternate mixing and adding canola oil until oil is used and large crumbs have formed. Some of the mixture can still be sandy, but make sure you’ve got mostly large crumbs.
Make the cake:
In a large bowl, mix milk mixture, sugar, canola oil and vanilla. Sift (of course I didn’t sift because I’m lazy and sifters are for squares) in flour, baking powder and salt, and mix until smooth.
Pour batter into pan. Evenly sprinkle the topping over the batter and pat down just a bit.
The recipe says bake for 35 to 40 minutes, but honestly (can I be honest?) mine was ready at 30 minutes or even a bit earlier. The cake is done when you can insert a knife into the center and it comes out clean. Let cool for an hour before slicing and serving. Then you can sift the powdered sugar over top after it’s cooled—if you feel like it.
And there you have it! If anyone has made any of the variations, please tell us about it in the comments! OR MAIL CAKE TO MY HOUSE.
[photo by Megan Rascal! Recipe reprinted with permission from Isa!]
Guest post: Book review: Vegan Brunch! »
Apparently Laura was too busy “working” on more “important” things like “making the world a better place” this weekend to come to my birthday brunch. Okay, I guess that’s fair. But as Isa Chandra Moskowitz asserts in her dedication page of her new cookbook Vegan Brunch, “Scrambled tofu saves lives!” So I was doing my part as well in testing out a few recipes from the book.
I had already learned that when invited to a vegan potluck brunch, inexperienced omnivores will bring fruit—they don’t know what we crazy vegans can eat for breakfast! So I needed to wow them with some savory dishes.
Diner Home Fries (pg. 177) did the trick. It’s a good solid potato dish that may not be fancy, but it’s the perfect anchor to any good brunch. I upped the “wow” factor with Sauteed Collards and Spinach (pg. 143) complete with homemade Italian Feast Sausages (pg. 140).
The sausages were my favorite part, as you feel a little bit like a mad scientist or magician creating them. I recommend making them the night before, as it’s a bit of a time investment. I won’t give the recipe away [Vegansaurus respects copyright laws!], but it involves vital wheat gluten and all kinds of spices. You form your dough into mildly obscene sausage shapes, wrap them in foil, and steam.
When they’re done, slice them up, fry them in oil, and serve with mixed with greens or potatoes. Or, just gobble them up as is, by the fistful.
The overall fan favorite dish was the Pesto Scrambled Tofu with Grape Tomatoes (pg. 26); but then, it’s really hard to go wrong with fresh basil.
Vegan Brunch has no shortage of sweet dishes as well. If I hadn’t run out of pans, I would have also made the Brazilian French Toast (pg. 102), which sounds contradictory, but looks amazing. And there are so many waffle recipes I’m thinking of investing in an iron.
Vegan Brunch is worth it for the food porn alone, and the recipes are solid with some old favorites, and inspired new ideas. Next up I want to try the Chesapeake Tempeh Cakes (pg. 132)!