Day 5 began with a lovely drive up to Sebastapol to go apple picking at Gabriel Farm. It was a beautiful day and after Torrey, the farmer extraordinaire, gave us the run-down, we were off. As it turns out, you can pick enough apples for everyone you know in about 5 minutes, and since only the Macintosh were really ready to go, we concentrated more on the farm's blackberries. Perfectly ripe, these were a real treat, and worth having purple fingers for the rest of the day.
After all our "work" on the farm, we needed sustenance that blackberries alone could not provide, so we drove on over to Santa Rosa for lunch with friends at a place I've wanted to hit up for a long time: Seed. All vegan, largely raw, and ever-so-cute, Seed is a place I'd go to much more frequently were in not an hour and a half away. Here are some of the highlights:
Feeling like a salad was in order after all the eating we'd been doing, I went with the spinach salad. It had red onion, mango, and this awesome sicy watermelon dressing and was topped with crispy eggplant "bacon." Very unique and quite tasty. My dad felt no need for such girly fare, and went for the chili. Topped with faux cheddar and a corn chip, he raved about not only the taste, but the texture, which was enhanced with crunchy cashews. I must try that next time I make chili!
The jealousy order of the lunch (what I wish I had ordered) went to my mom who got the mac N cheez. Creamy soy cheese clings to corn pasta elbows and gets topped with some more of that eggplant bacon. She was in heaven, and I was slightly jealous. :) One of our friends also had a jealousy-inducing entree, the ravioli. These was a raw dish, so the "pasta" is actually a thinly sliced rutabega. Smart, eh? Inside is macadamia cheese, and it's all topped with marinara, a salad, and a flax cracker. Yum.
And of course there was dessert! On the left is the rich and decadent brownie sundae, and on the right is the all-raw cheezcake. The sundae is topped with a raw caramel sauce and the cheezcake gets a drizzle of raspberry sauce. Both are a must-try when (not if) you go to Seed.
After our drive back, we relaxed a bit before dinner at one of my favorite places in San Francisco. The delicious and reasonably priced Arabic fusion cuisine at Saha really should be better known in the vegan community. Also a great place to take your others (half the menu is non-vegan), the food is always amazing, and my mom claims this was the best meal of the trip. Sadly, the reddish mood lighting that makes for great ambiance also makes for no-so-flattering pictures, but here ya go anyway:
We started with some fouel (left, above), a hummus-like dip made from fava beans and za'atar spices and served with warm pita, it's my favorite way to start a meal at Saha. It slowly awakens your tastebuds and gets them ready for things to come. Things like the fatoush salad (right, above). Spiced with sumac and sesame, and topped with briny olives, this salad is crisp and vibrant and adds the perfect lightness to contrast some of the heavier dishes. Speaking of heavier dishes....
On the left is the Arabic version of a knish. A potato dumpling so good you'll swear it was magic, especially when paired with the smoky bean puree. I'd be willing to bet that you have never had anything that tastes like this (unless, of course, you've been to Saha) and you really, really should. On the right is my go-to favorite at Saha, the vegan bastilla. Veggies and shrooms wrapped up in phyllo and baked to perfection with savory spices and served with saffron sauce. It's heaven.
You'd think after a day like that, we'd take it easy on our stomachs the next day, but boy are you wrong. Instead ,we went for something SF Weekly called the best "gut bomb." More on that next time....