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Walk for Farm Animals and veg tourism

6 Nov

A while ago I posted about a vegan bake sale I participated in to raise funds for the SF Walk for Farm Animals, which benefits Farm Sanctuary. Our team raised $792 and some of that is going to be matched by one teammate’s company, so I think we did pretty well! If you want to make a donation to Farm Sanctuary, you can use this link to do so until Nov 12! Today was actual walk, which was held in Golden Gate Park. We were blessed with great weather!

After the walk was over, we engaged in a little veg tourism in Berkeley. We grabbed some lunch at Cha-Ya, an all-vegan Japanese restaurant. I ordered a sushi/inari lunch plate, miso soup, and gen-mai cha. It was pretty freakin’ delicious.

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That last picture is the sukiyake that one of my vegan buddies ordered. It looked amazing.

After a tasty lunch, we checked out Berkeley Bowl. It’s got a reputation for having a beautiful and extensive produce section. I was impressed by the selection (lots of stuff I’d never seen before!) but I think Rainbow Grocery is still my favorite SF market.

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MoFo #22: Halloween!

31 Oct

Halloween is my absolute favorite holiday of the year so I always try to do something special. This year we did a bunch of new stuff, which included checking out a new haunted house, trunk or treating, and seeing a special Halloween concert in SF.

Trunk or Treat is basically a way for parents to provide a safe space for their kids to celebrate Halloween. A lot of churches do it because it’s an alternative for parents who don’t want to send their kids out to strangers’ houses on Halloween plus they can control how spooky everything is. The parents line up their cars and sit in their Halloween-bedazzled trunks, handing out candy. Since everyone knows each other, you can totally make homemade sweeties to hand out instead of pre-packaged candy! I’m usually stuck buying the “boring” (i.e., non-chocolate) candy for Halloween, since the cheap chocolate is full of dairy (and slavery!) and the fair-trade/vegan stuff is way too expensive.

I didn’t have a lot of time to make stuff so I opted for chocolate-covered pretzel logs (with vegan Halloween sprinkles!) and caramel popcorn balls.

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They came out great! I put the pretzel logs in special bagse you can find at any craft store. I also had Sour Patch Kids and Swedish fish, but the homemade stuff was the first to disappear! In fact, I think the pretzels were gone in the first 10 minutes 🙂

The next day we went into San Francisco to go see a Halloween performance of The Phantom of the Opera. Of course, if we were in the city we had to check out a new vegan restaurant!

There’s been some buzz on the PPK about a new vegetarian Thai restaurant, Thai Idea. There’s also a good review of the place in SF Weekly.

Here’s what we ordered:

Thai iced tea
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Firecracker balls – they are deep-fried, panko-crusted and nori-wrapped veggie tuna balls.
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Massaman curry with tofu
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Pad Thai with veggie chicken
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Everything was good! The restaurant was super cute and all the entrees were under $10. The service was really attentive, too. I recommend the firecracker balls. They tasted a little fishy from the nori and they were served with a delicious sweet chili sauce. The Massaman curry was one of the best I’ve ever had (and I’ve had a lot!). The Pad Thai was just ok…it needed more zip but I’m also really picky about my Pad Thai. We were hoping they’d have mango sticky rice for dessert, but instead they offered deep fried bananas with coconut ice cream. As good as that sounded, I was only in the mood for mango so we passed.

Yay for a great new Thai restaurant (sans fish sauce!) and yay for Halloween!

MoFo #2: SF Veg Fest

3 Oct

The SF Veg Fest was this weekend!  The South Bay PPKrew carpooled up to SF to make a day-long vegan field trip out of it. It was a blast!

We skipped all the scheduled talks and went straight into the vendor fair. There were a few good food vendors, some book stands, and charitable organizations represented. I drooled over Vitamixes for a while as the demo guy pureed whole raw veggies into soup.

After cruising the vendor booths we grabbed a snack from Flacos. I’ve had their taquitos, horchata, and pozole at the Berkeley farmers’ market before so I tried out the banana leaf tamale this time. It had an unusual mix of olives, capers, and TVP and was drenched in a spicy green sauce. I guess I was too excited to grab a picture before I chowed down so you’ll have to believe me that it was yummy!

We got dessert at the Genuto stand where I had the best vegan ice cream (erm, I guess it’s gelato) of my life. It’s completely nut-based, which makes it rich and creamy! There were loads of flavors and I tried the pistachio, chocolate cardamom, and ginger. OMG I dreamed about the ginger gelato last night. I remembered to snap a picture at the very last minute right before it went my mah belleh.

Next we headed over to Rainbow Co-op Grocery, a completely vegetarian grocery store! We must have been in there close to 1.5 h! And that’s why it’s great to grocery shop with vegans 😀

I bought some berbere so I can start cooking Ethiopian food,

marveled over the aisle of bulk pasta bins (!),

was amazed by the bulk tubs of miso,

and drooled over the vegan baked goods (I limited myself to one vegan donut. It was painful!)

It was a good day!

We ended the day with a trip to Source, which I reviewed yesterday.

Thanks for reading! See ya tomorrow!

MoFo #1: Source San Francisco

2 Oct

Hey readers! Oct 1 is the start date of the Vegan MoFo and I’m going to try and follow the rules of posting 5 times/week. If I’m lucky I’ll get around to posting every day!!

My first MoFo post ever is a review of Source, a new veg restaurant in San Francisco.  We stopped there for dinner on our way home from a field trip to the SF Veg Fest and Rainbow Co-op (more about that tomorrow!).

Source has a pretty big variety of “American” foods, like salads, pizza, sandwiches, and burgers as well as dosas, Indian curries, and Asian veggie & noodle dishes. We ordered the Bahn Mi sandwich, a pita pocket overflowing with pickled veggies, cilantro, and veggie duck, and the Philly cheese steak.

The fries that came with the sandwiches were good but needed salt and the ketchup was homemade. The Bahn Mi sandwich was super tasty but the veggies made the bread a bit soggy and there was too much veggie meat for my liking.

On our way out I bought a chocolate chip cookie sandwich to go and drooled over the vegan twinkies (!!!), snow balls, and cookie sandwiches in the goodie case. I’ll definitely be visiting this place again and bringing my omni boyfriend. They do use dairy-based cheese which makes the pizza little more omni friendly (although the vegan cashew cheese looked really good!). The service was friendly and attentive and there was lots of seating, including an outdoor covered patio.