Growing up in New Jersey as I did, it should be no surprise that I'm a big fan of diners. However, being a vegan in high school meant eating lots of salads and french fries. How pleasant it was, then, to find the Saturn Cafe in Santa Cruz. It's much like a diner, with its breakfast all day, late night hours, and super casual vibe. But the similarities end there. First of all this circular eatery is decked out with a spacey decor of Saturn-ringed light fixtures and huge photos of galaxies far, far away. But Saturn's most important distinction is that the menu is all veg.
Not everything is vegan, but they are very accommodating. I went with one of my favorite breakfast choices, granola. This was super-good, homemade stuff, served up with vanilla soymilk, and tons of fresh fruit. Dad, on the other hand, went savory and had the breakfast burrito. Spiced and scrambled tofu is wrapped up and served with vegan sour cream, guacamole, and salsa. Two great ways to start the day. But, behold, the holy grail of veggie breakfast - the vegan donut:
On the left is a deep, rich, chocolate donut topped with chopped nuts. Like the donuts of my distant past, it was sweet and decadent, only without all the cruelty. Amazing... but it gets even better. On the right, is something I've wanted to try ever since I heard of its non-vegan counterpart; The Maple Bacon Donut. I'm a sweet and savory kind of gal, and someone who always swishes her vegan sausage through her syrup before eating, so I knew this combo of flavors was for me. However, this taste sensation was strictly for carnivores until now. Take a wonderfully fresh, maple syrup-infused, cakey donut and top it with soy bacon bits. Oh yeah, it was good.
After we rolled ourselves out of Saturn, it was back to the city for me, and back to NJ for my parents. It was a great trip, full of great food, and great memories. As I write this, I'm actually on a plane to my next eating adventure in Boston, so stay tuned to see what vegan treats I can find in that relatively un-vegan-friendly town. Summer may be coming to a close, but my stomach is open for business!