Vegan Corner: the ultimate online vegan community!  »

Say hello to Vegan Corner! It’s “building a nexus between vegans and local business!” It’s basically like a much awesomer Yelp for vegans, so I’m pretty pumped. And guess what! There’s an entry for Vegansaurus! I just looked, and we were already on it! But we have no reviews. Give us reviews! But only good ones because Laura’s a cryer. JK! She’s tough as nails! I’m the cryer. But only in my apartment in the dark with the curtains drawn and the mirrors covered. 

They are already up but they are raising funds to be even cooler. I’m into the perks. I want a t-shirt. I need to be less of a rascal and more of a billboard for veganism!


Yelp adds new vegetarian filter, but it’s not great  »

True story: Laura started Vegansaurus when Yelp kept taking down all her reviews. Their loss, the world’s gain.

That said, Yelp’s still one of the best parts of the internet. And now it’s a little better. Kind of, maybe.

The site’s introducing a new kind of creepy-smart filter. Along with “Open now” or “Good for lunch,” you can now selected “Liked by vegetarians” as a filter option. The Yelp blog's got the full scoop.

The idea is that this is better than just searching for “vegetarian,” because it won’t give you reviews that say stuff like “This place is the WORST for vegetarians!” I love the idea. The execution, not so awesome.

First of all, it’s not available in Denver, which is not cool. I had to use my old haunts of Berkeley and North Oakland to test it out. And I was not pleased.

Search for “dinner” in Temescal, and Cafe Colucci is only no. 5 on the list. Worse, The Brick Pig’s House is right there at no. 6, and that place has no vegan food. In downtown Berkeley, neither Green Papaya nor Saturn Cafe make the top of the results. WTF?

Perhaps this feature will help me discover veg-friendly spots I’d never thought of (Jayakarta, anyone?). Perhaps we just need to start writing better veg reviews, and the feature will improve. But for now, and until The Brick Pig’s House disappears from results, I’m not trusting it.


An update on the Weird Fish menu: Weird Fish responds  »

This was posted on the Bay Area Vegetarians Yahoo group:

As many of you may know, Weird Fish in San Francisco used to have amazing vegan treats on their menu. Some local vegan favorites were the buffalo girls, hell fish tacos and seitan fish and chips. Their vegan brunch was also great. They have recently updated their menu and removed all the dishes that many of us loved so much. I updated my review on Yelp to reflect my dissatisfaction (as many others seem to have done) and I got a response from Timothy, the owner.  Yes, I may have been pretty upset when I wrote my review, but I stand by it.

Timothy stated:

"Please allow me as a person to expand my palate. I am not the same person I was three years ago. Also, I am not vegan nor vegetarian. Now I am a farmer, a father and now since I have taken over Weird Fish from my partner, dedicated and truthful about being a sustainable restaurant. I have served the same menu for 3 YEARS! I am bored with it and want to bring a new feeling into the restaurant. We have 25% of our new menu dedicated to Vegans. Chef and I agreed that the vegan options we had were horrible. "

Personally, I don’t find their new vegan options (all starters, sides or salads) appealing. There are other restaurants in SF that already cater to those needs. Gracias Madre serves amazing vegan tacos. There are countless Thai restaurants that offer salted mango dishes and coconut soups. Most of the vegans who loved Weird Fish loved it for the buffalo girls, hell fish tacos and seitan fish and chips. I can’t believe that he could call those items horrible. It’s beyond my comprehension. I know many omnivores who would go to Weird Fish just for the buffalo girls and seitan fish and chips.

I think it’s important to let Weird Fish know how great those items were (as I have done in my response to Timothy—he has chosen not to engage further) and the fact that many people (vegans, vegetarians and omnivores alike) went to Weird Fish because of those items. Maybe if they hear from enough people they will realize how amazing those dishes were and bring them back. They don’t have an email address, but they do have a Facebook page and they certainly read their Yelp reviews.


New restaurant alert: Loving Hut!  »

Via Eater SF, apparently a new vegan restaurant is opening up in Chinatown! It’s called Loving Hut. I took a look at the menu, and it appears to be a faux-meat bonanza, Chinese style, a favorite of the Vegansaurus gang! The dinner menu has a few nods to the “HK-style” Chinese cafe (a Chinese restaurant that also serves American dishes), so it has stuff like spagetti and a “tofu club sandwich” in addition to the standard variety of noodle and rice dishes.

Who are these people? They are the “fastest-growing International vegan fast food chain in the world.” This new Chinatown location appears to be their seventh. The copy on their website is already pretty great. They say: “At Loving Hut, all dishes are prepared free of animal ingredients (vegan) and served lovingly, in a graciously decorated, pure and peaceful environment, giving one a heavenly feeling.”

We will see how heavenly it makes us feel when they open up on Saturday, Oct. 11!

Update: True to form, an intrepid Yelper has already reviewed the place, even though they haven’t even opened! The reviews for their Milpitas location seem very promising, so I’m even more excited to have another venue for fake meat Chinese in the city!

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