March 30, 2011

Allison's Gourmet in Nevada City

Two weekends ago, I set off to Northern California for my childhood best friends' 30th surprise birthday party...
When I arrived, it was snowing.  And it continued to snow all weekend.  Not what I was expecting, but it was really really beautiful.
How cute is this town?  This is their theatre, where we saw The King and I, which I highly recommend.

And luckily, Nevada City is where Allison's Gourmet is located.  The majority of their business is mail order, but if you're in the neighborhood, the Briarpatch Co-Op sells their vegan cookies.  I picked up the Butterscotch Pecan and Chocolate Chip.  They were so nice on a long day of traveling.  I bought four cookies and two of them didn't make it past the Sacramento airport.
See my previous post about Allison's here.  

It was a quick trip, but if I had had more time, I would have stayed for Nevada City's Vegan Meetup.  Most cities have their own Vegan Meetups, you can find your local meetup here.

March 28, 2011

San Francisco Soup Company

Last week on my way to Sacramento, I had a short layover at the San Francisco airport.  In Terminal C, the San Francisco Soup Company has roughly a dozen soups to choose from everyday.  Each soup is labeled on whether it is Vegetarian, Lowfat, Dairy Free, Spicy, Low Carb and/or Gluten Free. 

They offered one vegan soup that day, Organic Smoky Split Pea.  Smoky, creamy and filled with chunks of carrots and tomatoes, it was lovely on an extremely cold and rainy day. 
They also offer numerous salads and wraps that can be customized to be vegan.

March 19, 2011

Off to Northern California...

This weekend I'm in the adorable town of Nevada City visiting one of my oldest friends from elementary school.  Then I'm off to Columbus Ohio next week to visit my family.  I'll have lots to share when I return!

In the meantime, you can follow my eating adventures on Twitter @eatpure.

March 16, 2011

Saigon Sisters

The French Market is a great indoor market in the West Loop of Chicago.  All kinds of vendors are there, selling wine, produce, prepared foods, pastries, beer, you name it. 

My husband and I stopped by for lunch last week and I was so pleasantly surprised to see vegetarian options at the Vietnamese vendor, Saigon Sisters.  I'm half Vietnamese and LOVE the food more than anything, however, I find it very difficult to eat out at Vietnamese restaurants as a vegan.  

Saigon Sisters offers a Vegetarian Banh Mi, Vegetarian Pho and Tofu Rolls or Goi Cuon.  The Vegetarian Banh Mi is filled with lemongrass teriyaki tofu, red peppers, cucumbers, carrots, jalapenos and fresh cilantro on a french baguette.  The flavors are so perfect, a nice balance of sweet and savory.  
I can't wait to go back and try their Pho! 

March 14, 2011

Karyn's on Green

Karyn's on Green is a truly amazing vegan restaurant in the West Loop of Chicago.  I've eaten there several times and each time it gets better.
My first visit I had the Shepherd's Pie, which features seitan, carrots, parsnips in a red wine gravy topped with a horseradish potato pancake.  It's a great take on the classic dish.  The potato pancake gives it such a nice crisp texture.

My second visit I ordered the Chorizo Sliders and the Arugula Pizza.  

The sliders consist of portobello bacon, frisée, vegan cheddar, chipotle aioli and tomato-pepper jam on mini ciabatta rolls.  The flavors are paired so perfectly, and the tomato-pepper jam takes it to another level.
The Arugula Pizza is topped with thinly sliced yukon potatoes, caramelized onions, roasted garlic oil, vegan mozzarella and fresh arugula.  The crispy thin crust, the creamy mozzarella, the peppery arugula...seriously delicious.
On my third visit, I had the Crab Cake, accompanied by grilled bok choy, rosemary aioli and yukon gold pepperonata.  I've never actually had a real crab cake, but from what I've seen and heard, I would imagine it would taste just like this.  And I've never seen a crab cake with accoutrements as beautiful as these.
If this isn't enough food lust for you, see my post on their brunch menu here.

March 10, 2011

Sushi Samba Chicago

Sushi Samba is a really unique Japanese/Peruvian/Brazilian fusion restaurant with locations in several cities.  I've been to the New York and Miami locations, and now Chicago.  Truthfully, I go for one thing.  The Peruvian Corn - it's just a side dish, but I love it and it's pretty rare to find in restaurants. 

I started with their Field Green Salad, really fresh and filled with great texture.
The Green City Roll is filled with sweet corn, green beans, asparagus, and green tosaka.  I also ordered an Avocado Roll, a vegetarian sushi staple.
And for sides, I chose the Peruvian Corn (obviously)...
And the Japanese Eggplant sauteed in a soy glaze.
I always love creating a meal by piecing together different small plates, that way you get to taste all kinds of amazing flavors, you're not just limited to one.  I consistently order small portions so that I have room to try everything!

March 8, 2011

Bangers and Lace Follow Up

This weekend I made my way back to Bangers + Lace in Chicago to partake in their Vegetarian Sausage with Ratatouille, Shaved Fennel and Fresh Dill.  Such an inventive dish with lots of different textures.  The ratatouille is so flavorful and nicely complemented by the cool fennel and dill.  

It is normally served with cheese, but they're happy to accommodate vegans by omitting it. 

March 4, 2011

Bangers and Lace

Bangers + Lace is a really cozy comfort food restaurant and bar in Chicago.  They've got Pendleton-style blankets covering all of the furniture, beautiful vintage lights and awesome vegetarian offerings.

I went for the Chicago dog (with a vegetarian hot dog, of course), full with all the trimmings.  If you're not familiar with Chicago style, it includes tomatoes, peppers, bright green relish, mustard, onions, a dill pickle spear and celery salt on a poppy seed bun.  I have no idea what a real hot dog tastes like, but my husband (an omnivore) tried it and quite liked it.

I will for sure have a follow up visit to Bangers + Lace, to try their Vegetarian Sausage with Ratatouille.  It's seriously my favorite type of place where both omnivores and veggies can eat together and be completely satisfied.  (It's even better when the omnivores taste my veg option and like it better than theirs!)

March 2, 2011

Caoba in Chicago

This weekend, I had lunch at a great Mexican restaurant in Bucktown/Wicker Park.  Caoba has one of the best salsas I've ever tasted.  It's just the right amount of spice and and the perfect consistency.
The Tacos con Vegetales are filled with roasted corn, tomatoes, zucchini, squash and poblano peppers sauteed in an amazingly flavorful salsa, topped with shredded lettuce and fresh avocado with rice and vegetarian beans on the side. I simply asked them to omit the sour cream to make them vegan.
Also, they have a full vegetarian section on their menu, most of which can be altered to be vegan.