vegansaurus!

03/03/2011

Vegansaurus’ Roadside America!  »

Robin Soslow has a post up at Peta Prime about how to eat vegan when you travel. Is Peta Prime like a Peta blog for old people? That’s the impression I’m getting. That’s cool, man. Gots to keep the old people in the vegan know, too! She wrote this post in response to the most ridiculous USA Today article. This writer, David Grossman, a “Business Traveler,” writes about all the difficulties he faces traveling while vegan. This reads like a Snuggie commercial—like that insanely exaggerated part where the spider web (which represents a traditional blanket) inhibits the person’s ability to function! Check him out:

"Until recently, dining was my passion…. That all changed two years ago. For a variety of health and other reasons, I decided to adopt a vegan lifestyle. Giving up sushi, pizza, filet mignon and hot fudge sundaes was manageable at home, but I soon discovered traveling on a restricted diet presents a more formidable challenge."

All right, I’ll give it to him, traveling as a vegan can be a formidable challenge, but the rest of this?! Kind of nutty. Dining is even more my passion now that I’m vegan! And homeboy needs to catch up on his vegan blog reading; of all things that you have to give up, god damn sushi is not one of them. Filet mignon, yeah, that’ll be difficult, but a hot fudge sundae? EASY PEASY. I mean, maybe he is saying he can’t eat these things because of the “variety of health and other reasons,” but it’s NOT because he’s vegan. By the end of the article, I did become kind of fond of Grossman, but he really does need help. I guess Soslow agreed!

One thing me and Soslow have in common is a love for Happy Cow. When my sister and I drove from Philly to Portland, Ore., we hit up a vegan/vegetarian restaurant in every major city—it ruled! My sister isn’t even vegetarian but she’s a good sport and ended up loving a lot of the food we ate as much as I did. Maybe Grossman needs some more supportive friends! Who will go out to vegan places with him! He also definitely needs to check out Happy Cow because he says when he goes to London, he sticks to Indian and Lebanese restaurants. Those are fine choices (the Indian food in London is out of control!) but come on, if you want sundaes, check out the vegan cheesecake sundae he could have had at London’s Zilli Green:
They have a brownie sundae, too. I think Grossman needs to read my epic guide to London because there’s nothing like vegan bangers and mash!

Soslow’s article could help him out a lot too but it didn’t really give me any new information. I thought it was going to be about how to eat at rest stops and gas stations! I don’t find it difficult to find good veggie options at restaurants when traveling but when you’re on the highway trying to make good time, it can be difficult to find anything to eat. So! Here are some of my rest stop and gas station suggestions!:

1. Corn nuts! Every gas station in America has corn nuts. They have some fat but they are also high in fiber and protein! You’ve got to stay a bit healthy or you’ll get cranky and murder your fellow passengers. It happens. Also, corn nuts always makes me think of Heathers—“BQ!” That was the best.

2. Nuts! All gas stations have nuts. I love cashews, myself. If they have walnuts, you should totally get them because walnuts are a superfood! Almonds are supposed to be good for heartburn so if you’ve been eating other crap, almonds are a good choice (can’t find a link for that but I swear I heard it somewhere!).

3. If you are anywhere near Philadelphia, don’t forget to look for Peanut Chews! They are only the greatest candy ever. They aren’t that healthy but they aren’t that terrible either! Plus, they will make you happy and that helps when you’re trying not to murder your fellow passengers.

4. Snyder’s peanut butter pretzel sandwiches! I seem to always be able to find these at rest stops and often at gas stations too. These are great! And vegan! They also make good impromptu dog treats because they aren’t all salted like other pretzels and dogs love peanut butter.

5. Nature Valley Crunchy Granola Bars! I like the peanut butter. These make a good breakfast! Gas stations always have these.

6. Original Sun Chips! These are better for than chips and they are super yummy!

7. Wheat Thins! Rest stops always always have those mini boxes of Wheat Thins. God bless them! I often like to bring a jar of peanut butter on the road—you can make peanut butter Wheat Thin sandwiches!

8. For fruits, you should check the rest stop Starbucks—they often have a few bananas and green apples at the register. But the BEST fruit is at the roadside fruit stands! Anytime you see one, make sure you stop and stock up on some fruit! They have these anytime you’re in farm country; just keep an eye out for a hand-painted sign!

Those are my best suggestions for on-road dining! What are your roadside go-tos?

10/06/2010

Megan Rascal takes Europe! Part the second: Epic guide to London!  »

Previously in Megan Rascal Takes Europe!: I reviewed Mildreds, and it was the bomb*!

If you are ever stuck in Heathrow Airport terminal 3, go to Yo! Sushi—it’s my new favorite place. Totally retro-futuristic! There’s a conveyor belt and you grab food as it goes by! So future. Plus, good vegetable gyoza.

You know I love the vegan shoes, and a lot of great vegan shoe companies are based in England—I had to check one out! I decided on Bourgeois Bohème. H-E-double-hockey-sticks was it far away! It was kind of in the middle of nowhere; specifically, Hydrex House, Garden Road, Richmond. And not like on the strip: it was in an alley in the middle of some alleys.

My official ruling is that there’s no reason to go here. I know, sounds harsh, but it’s really just a showroom with the same stuff they have online. Plus, it’s a trek. If you REALLY need to try shoes on or hate ordering from the internet (freak), then it might be worth it. They did have great shoes though, like the Ingrid wedge that I scored. They are hot. I am hot in them. I’m also really into these gators! If any of you dudes can pull these off, you are the man and let’s adopt children together. (These may actually be a reason to go to the showroom because I can’t find them on their website.)

Next stop: Zilli Green! It has mixed reviews but I thought the food was off the hook. Vegan bangers and mash!

And check out this cheesecake I got for dessert!

Unfortunately the service was wack, and there was this weird guy sitting outside at a table by us who kept telling women, “I’m looking for a wife!” Like I said though, the food was great. My pal Lizzy got the couscous burger; I tried it and it was super yummy. I was disappointed with the barley soup I had as a starter (I’m all about the three-course lunch deals everywhere in Europe!) but overall, great.

After that, I headed to the Secret Society of Vegans! They have a store, Vx that’s adorbs for real. And it’s centrally located by the über metro stop, King’s Cross, where you also catch the Eurostar trains. Definitely worth a visit! They don’t have a good shoe selection like I was hoping, but they do have hella T-shirts with their own designs. Their logo is so dope! I got the logo T-shirt because it rules. They sell Cheezly and stuff like that, and have baked treats, but I have to warn you against the profiteroles, which were really grainy.

Besides the store, Vx has a lounge downstairs with free wifi and all kinds of coffee, which might save your life considering the Brits aren’t that great with the soy milk. It’d be a good place to get work done if you have to. It’s not a cafe, just a sunny room with nice big chairs.

Oh! I almost forgot! They sell the vegan dog chews by Veggie Pets that are impossible to buy in the U.S.! Figaro totally loves them! And you know I had to get him a present on my trip.

For my last night in London, my cousin who lives there (he’s a genius!) and I went to the much-recommended Manna. It was everything people said and more! The food was so great and the server was super-nice and friendly. We even met Robin Swallow, one of the chefs and owners, because my cousin is not as shy as me and was like, “let’s meet this amazing chef!” Sigh, so bold. She was so very very nice, and she loves bloggers! She actually gave me 10 percent off the meal! People love doing stuff for me.

I got the corn fritters as a starter—BANGING. My cousin got the living pad thai (“living” as in “raw”). He was ‘bout it; said the sauce was excellent.

Normally I try to get something exciting for you guys, but for some reason I just really wanted the spaghetti and “meatfree balls.” Pals, it was a good choice. Delicious!

My cousin got the chef’s special which was pretty awesome. That night it was a red bean gumbo over rice with corn bread and a bunch of other stuff. It was kind of the sheezy.

For dessert, I got the banoffe trifle, which was banana and chocolate cake with custard, etc. It was all right. I didn’t love it but I think I just don’t like trifles. My cousin got the mixed berry shortcake, which was so good! It was the biscuit-y type cake, a real-deal shortcake. That’s my word.


Another thing I found in London is my new favorite beer: Freedom Lager. It’s totally vegan! It says so on the back! Huzzah! I got it at Zilli Green and Manna. There’s always room for beer!

Finally, I want to give a big shout out to those special family members who are so accommodating of our veganism. I actually have two cousins in London—twin cousins! I was staying with the other one (also a genius!) and his family and it was super. One night they made me vegan lasagna, the next night they made this dope pumpkin soup—I have to get the recipe (don’t worry, I’ll share!). Because they were so nice, I made my little cousins vegan pancakes the morning before I left! I used this recipe but we didn’t have any soy milk. I decided to just use water and see what happened. I added vanilla and it turned out pretty great! The girls were skeptical but then totally liked them. Here’s little Sophia.

That’s all folks! There’s your vegan guide to London! Live it up, bitches.

*I’m bringing it back! Quién es la bomba? Yo soy la bomba!

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