October 28, 2010

Pattycake Bakery

Vegan Hostess cupcakes???  Say what?  Yeah, you heard me.  

They're from Pattycake Bakery in Columbus...and they are delicious!
Pattycake is a completely vegan bakery.  They use biodegradable packaging, organic ingredients, they recycle and compost...could it get any better?
This is their Whoopie Pie, equally as yummy as the Hostess cupcake.
And their Blueberry Muffin makes for such a lovely breakfast.  The struedel on top is so crunchy and flavorful, and the muffin itself is incredibly moist.
They have all kinds of cookies, cupcakes, muffins and even Pumpkin Whoopie Pies!  Plus lots of gluten free treats!!!

October 26, 2010

Banana Leaf

Two weeks ago I visited Banana Leaf, an Indian vegetarian restaurant in Columbus, for the first time.  I tried their Samosas, vegetable filled dumplings, and their Chole Bhature, a chickpea curry.  Both were so flavorful, spicy and complex.  And their portions are quite large - I had plenty of leftovers.  

I took my dinner to go but if you're dining in, they have a Grand Buffet that I hear is quite spectacular.  

October 25, 2010

Northstar - a Columbus Favorite

Northstar is my go-to spot in Columbus.  They now have three different locations within the city, each with its own charm.  The Easton location is in a beautiful open space with lots of outdoor seating.  

Freshly made Gingerale with ginger, organic cane sugar, lime juice and mint - so lovely and refreshing in the afternoon.
The Crispy Thai Salad with Tofu is filled with fresh lettuce, cabbage, peppers, mango and crunchy tortilla strips topped with a peanut lime dressing.  (I was recently informed that their peanut sauce may contain honey, so I've sent them an inquiry and will post the follow up in the Comments below).
See my previous Northstar posts here and here.

October 22, 2010

Dirty Frank's

Last week I spent a few days in Columbus Ohio and got to try a few new spots with some awesome veg options.  

First up, Dirty Frank's Hot Dog Palace.  The name alone doesn't exactly call out to vegetarians, but names can be deceiving.  Dirty Frank's has as awesome guide on their menu to the vegetarian and vegan options they offer.  They have a Tofurkey veggie dog, a veggie Polish Sausage and a veggie Brat.  They have endless toppings with lots of great suggestions on how to combine them for the best experience.

Several hot dogs offer coleslaw on top, which I found very intriguing.  I ordered a vegan version of Lara's Pittsburgh Princess which includes coleslaw and malt vinegar soaked fries.  When it arrived, it was sans coleslaw (which makes it vegan).  I was hoping to find vegan coleslaw, but at $3 maybe I shouldn't be expecting them to stock Vegenaise....yet.  They do stock vegan chili and Coney sauce, which is a huge plus.  

Overall, it's a really cute spot with lots of personality and tons of vegetarian choices (at really cheap prices).  

Check back next week for more Columbus eats!

October 19, 2010

The Traveling Vegan Gourmand Takes On New York

Eat Pure's monthly post on GirlieGirl Army is up!!!  Check out some of my favorite NYC veg eats!  This is just Part I...much more to come next month in Part II.  Stay tuned!

October 18, 2010

International Pickle Day

Yesterday I happened to be in New York for International Pickle Day (my husband's favorite holiday). So we stopped by for a bite and to listen to some French pickle poetry (much more charming than it sounds).  And it just so happened that Babycakes had a special cupcake for the event - a pickled vegan cupcake.  Hear me out before you judge...a vanilla cupcake with a pickled raspberry center and Gingerberry Kombucha flavored icing.  I realize this sounds strange, but it was delicious.  Not strange tasting in any way...so inventive and fun!  I have been madly in love with Babycakes for roughly 4 years and they never cease to amaze me. 

October 8, 2010

Off to Ohio...

I'm off to spend a week with my family...I'll have plenty of Ohio eats to share with you when I return.  In the meantime, you can follow me on Twitter to stay updated on my adventures!

Photo courtesy of Cory Piehowicz

October 6, 2010

Cafe Europa

While shopping at George, one of my favorite boutiques in Kansas City, I noticed a cute cafe next door.  Cafe Europa has the most beautiful bakery case...none of it vegan...but beautiful nonetheless!
They do have a vegan Tomato Basil Soup that was so flavorful and perfectly spiced.  A lovely afternoon pick-me-up.  For vegetarians, they have Wood Fired Pizzas (I'm sure these could be ordered without cheese as well) and a Roasted Vegetable Panini.  Even just an iced tea would be enjoyable at this spot.  It's so quaint and charming...and did I mention George is right next door?
Photo sources:  The Pitch, Heath Miller (my husband)

October 4, 2010

Emerging Terrain Dinner

Yesterday my husband and I had the opportunity to attend a beautiful outdoor dinner hosted by a non-profit called Emerging Terrain.  Local Omaha chefs came together to create a five course meal from local and sustainable food.  Artists from all over the country submitted artwork to be displayed on the grain elevators to raise awareness about local food.  500 people attended.  It was such a lovely Sunday afternoon.

We started with fresh greens, local red wine or white wine vinegar, bread, local jams, apple butter and pumpkin butter.  Locally made butter, cheese and pate were also available.
A drink was offered to all those who walked, biked or volunteered...we rode our bikes.
My good friend, Elle Lien of Daily Grub (shown below with her partner in crime Joey Lynch), was one of the chefs.  Her course was the only vegetarian course and I was so proud that she was chosen over so many meat-based chefs. 
Her course consisted of roasted heirloom squash and apples with a sweet potato gravy and polenta.  People went crazy over this.  No meat necessary.

One of the other courses had a side of roasted root vegetables, which I was able to eat.  They were incredibly flavorful.  The other vegetable sides accompanied the meat, so I didn't partake.  However, Elle's course was enough for me.  I was so happy to be there.

Apple crisp with honey chevre ice cream, carrot cake and sweet potato cake with caramel were the desserts offered.  I tasted the apple crisp, and it was really lovely...roasted apples with cinnamon and an oat based streusel. (I'm not 100% sure of its vegan status, it may have contained butter and/or honey).
What an amazing experience...good food, good conversation, and an emphasis on knowing where your food comes from.

October 1, 2010

Waldo Pizza

Waldo Pizza in Kansas City is by far my favorite vegan pizza yet.  They have a complete vegan section on their menu, including vegan cupcakes.  

I ordered a pineapple pizza with Follow Your Heart mozzarella.  When it arrived, I had to remind the waitress that I ordered vegan cheese.  She said, yep it's vegan cheese.  I was in complete disbelief.  When you see Daiya cheese, you know it's Daiya.  It looks...different than regular cheese.  Don't get me wrong, I completely appreciate Daiya cheese.  However, it has a certain unmistakable flavor.  This pizza had none of that flavor.  I was amazed!  It looked so real.  And the taste was incredible.  The trick is to bake the vegan pizzas for 2-3 times longer than traditional pizzas.  They come out looking exactly like the original.  

From now on, when it comes to pizza, Follow Your Heart is my choice.