vegansaurus!

06/21/2011

A rhubarb daisy, with homemade rhubarb syrup, from the Paupered Chef! Oh please make me one. Or two. Or more. Because I’m home from Georgia and dying for fancy cocktails on a warm summer evening (afternoon) (late morning)!
The recipes for the rhubarb syrup and the daisy are here, plus more gorgeous photos of the cooking process. Summer produce, c’est si bon!

A rhubarb daisy, with homemade rhubarb syrup, from the Paupered Chef! Oh please make me one. Or two. Or more. Because I’m home from Georgia and dying for fancy cocktails on a warm summer evening (afternoon) (late morning)!

The recipes for the rhubarb syrup and the daisy are here, plus more gorgeous photos of the cooking process. Summer produce, c’est si bon!

11/17/2008

Review: Beretta!  »

Beretta is totally fucking awesome. It’s chic, although I hate using that word because it basically negates its meaning. It’s like the word “classy”. Nothing that’s classy can be described with the word “classy.” AM I RIGHT OR WHAT? Beretta is hip, it’s the ALL RIGHT OUTTASIGHT BEST! Inside, you can sit at the bar, or at a long communal table in the middle, or at a personal table. If it’s warm out, you can sit outside along 23rd Street. Even if it’s not terribly warm, they have heating lamps and you own a jacket, you live in fucking San Francisco. They make insane cocktails—some of the bartenders formerly worked at the Tenderloin’s classy Bourbon and Branch—many of which include absinthe! I love it! My favorite is the Dolores Park Swizzle, which is made with rum, lime, maraschino, absinthe and bitters. It’s served on a mountain of crushed ice. It’s the perfect alcoholic beverage. Or you might choose to indulge in a Hemingway, which is white rum, lime, cane syrup, maraschino and grapefruit! Just thinking about their outrageous drink menu, I want to start drinking at 1:30 p.m. on a Monday. Jesus, take the wheel!

Now, all that’s fine and dandy. Great location in the heart of the Mission, super-sleek interior, outside drinking of amazing drinks but WHAT ELSE, VEGANSAURUS? WHY ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT THIS PLACE? SURELY A PLACE SO PRETENTIOUS-SEEMING AND BOURGIE WILL HAVE NOTHING FOR OUR PEOPLE! And that’s where I say, YOU ARE WRONG AND ALSO A JUDGMENTAL JERK I THINK I LOVE YOU! Because Beretta serves up some of the best thin-crust pizza in town MADE WITH VEGAN CHEESE (!!!) AND VEGAN SAUSAGE!!! A recent addition to their menu, we vegans must partake of it in mass quantities so that they know it was worth it! And it is! Because it’s DELICIOUS! I got the potato, rosemary, radicchio, and gorgonzola dolce, sub vegan mozzarella for the gorgonzola and add vegan sausage! HELLO AMAZING CHEESY POTATO SAUSAGE PIZZA! You can substitute vegan cheese FOR FREE on any pizza that already has cheese. Love that! In a world that STILL charges 50 cents when you sub soy milk, WTF?!, this switching cheese for vegan cheese thing is just totally wonderful. I think the vegan cheese is Teese but it might be Follow Your Heart; it’s high-quality. They can make almost all of their appetizers vegan too. Try the persimmon salad and the brussels sprouts, both fantastic.

I really love Beretta. It is now about five steps from my front door (I’m employing hyperbole, but it’s close) and so I plan to be there pretty much every night once the pile of money I’m expecting to land on my face arrives later this afternoon. I’m incredibly excited about Beretta and I want to scream it from the rooftops, I want to dress as a bear and set myself on fire and run down Market Street, screaming its name! Or write about it on Vegansaurus! It was a coin toss, a Russian Roulette if you will. You guys lose, so this is your review. BYE!!!

[photos via yelp]

10/03/2008

Road Trip: Ubuntu in Napa!  »

Sometimes you just want to get the fuck out of dodge. On occasion, we’ll feature different veg-friendly places to visit and dine that are within an hour or two from SF. Let’s start with Napa because I’m a classy drunk. LET’S GET WASTED! SHOW ME YOUR BRA! WOO!

I’ve been to Ubuntu three times and look forward to a fourth visit like it’s my job.  

First visit
A really wonderful, super-romantic dinner. The food was delicious and perfect, especially the coconut watermelon basil soup. That soup is ridiculous. It will change your life. It’s better than the sex (that you have, most likely. Not me, I am amazing at sex). It is like drinking the blood of virgins. Eating it is what winning gold at the Olympics must feel like. The wine list is filled with sustainable, organic and biodynamic (wtf does that mean?) wines. The prices were totally reasonable based on quality of service and food. I didn’t see one heifer doing yoga. Just the thought of a Skinny White Bitch running around with a yoga mat under one arm and a little crop-top (YARG) that says “namaste” on it is enough to make me lose my shit/lunch so plus-multiple-stars for that. I cannot hang.

Second visit
Holy shit, why am I impossible to take out in public?  I did quite a bit of wine-tasting with my friends Maria, Ed and Suzanne in downtown Napa before (including one place that I thought was a free tasting room but was actually a bar! Oops, we have to pay for that?! Thank God I have fabulous slut friends who are willing to exchange numbers for many bottles of free wine!) and so wasn’t entirely prepared to enter a classy establishment for dinner.

DO NOT INFORM THE HOSTESS THAT YOU ARE DRUNK WHEN YOU ARRIVE. You will be rightly cut the fuck off.  it went a little like this:
Hostess: Hello!
Laura: I’m DRUNK!
Hostess: OK, what’s the reservation under?
Laura: I’m DRUNK!
Maria: It’s under “Ed.”
Laura: HE’S DRUNK TOO!!! HAHAHA!
…and so on and so forth. Don’t worry, I hate me too.

Once seated, we were politely and tactfully informed that we were being cut off because of my outburst and the, you know, being openly intoxicated in a nice restaurant thing. the wait staff and management at Ubuntu handled it VERY well. They never made us feel unwelcome or called out or anything like that.  and the food helped. I swear, everything tastes even more amazing when you’re drunk. That is, it tastes amazing until you want to die. I wanted to die right before dessert so I headed out to the car to take a power nap. It felt so good, I can’t even tell you. We then headed back to the city and don’t worry for my safety and for the safety of others, kind Vegansaurus readers, I didn’t drive! Ed was sober sister and is an excellent driver and made an amazing mix CD.  if you’ve never seen Maria and Ed perform Usher’s “Love in This Club,” you are missing the fuck out. You have not lived until Ed has looked you in the eye and told you he wants to set you free, sexually, emotionally, mentally, physically. Or however it goes [Ed.: “physically, mentally, sexually, emotionally”]. It’s hot, trust me. I think they’ll be doing it tomorrow at Temple bar, in fact. You should totally be there.

Third visit
To celebrate my friend Joel’s recent entrance into adulthood a good 10 years before his time (i.e., buying a house at 25. OVERACHIEVERS! UGH!). The food was equally as delicious this time and I remember it all very well. The soup remained the star of the menu—who knew that coconut and watermelon and basil and edible flower = magical magicallity. Well, I guess I do now and so do you. We had more of the delicious chickpea fries, the creamy polenta was delicious as was the farro (far less saltier this time, I wonder if they’d gotten complaints?) and finished it off with the super-tasty almond milkshake and yummy mini-vegan carrot cake cupcakes.

The cupcakes are not on the regular menu so make sure to ask for them—beg if you have to! Actually, they only have ONE vegan dessert on the regular menu and it’s some whack shaved ice shit. I mean, it’s good but COME ON. One vegan dessert at a vegetarian restaurant* isn’t enough. I guess that’s my only complaint. That and the soup isn’t endless, like at the Olive Garden (those people are geniuses!).

In conclusion: Ubuntu. Delicious when sober. Delicious when drunk. Delicious for dinner. Delicious for lunch.  Please someone send that into the New Yorker poetry editor, kthx!

*sorry, “vegetables” restaurant! they don’t like the term “vegetarian,” I guess it turns off the snob foodies and the snob foodies LOVE this place. It annoys me that they don’t embrace “vegetarian” but hey, the New York Times named it one of the 10 best new restaurants in the country. I’m sorry but that’s fucking awesome for a vegetables restaurant.

UPDATE 10/5/10: Not so much enamored with Ubuntu anymore. We sad.

[interior photo via yelp; food photos by Joel, of Joel and Nibbler]

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