I love weddings. I love the love, yes, but I also love the free food and drinks and DANCING! Try the latter on an empty stomach one too many times, however, and weddings will quickly turn into something to dread. This is the case for many a vegan, myself included. I've been reduced to eating the garnishes off a buffet and/or subsisting on bread and salad at one too many a betrothal, and have since learned to carry energy bars in my purse just to get me through the reception. I know for a fact many other vegans do the same. How do I know for sure? Well a bunch of us were all at a mutual friend's wedding in Boulder last weekend standing around in awe at the spread put out for us and loving the fact that none of us would have to break into our secret stash!The Mexican buffet was plentiful and everything that was veggie was marked with a star; Everything vegan got two stars. I loaded up with tortillas, rice, beans, salad greens, roasted veggies, tomatoes, salsa, and guacamole. Talk about dancing fuel! To all my friends getting married in the future, the bar has been set high. Oh, and did I mention the delicious margaritas???On our way back to San Francisco, we swung through Denver so I could check out WaterCourse. I've heard many a good thing about this restaurant and was not disappointed. The vegetarian menu is HUGE (see left) and everything can be made vegan. Yes, everything. It took us a while, and I almost ordered about 8 different things, but it was their unique salads that kept my attention, and I finally decided on "The Dickens."
The funny name was not explained, but this bed of romaine topped with smokey tempeh, butternut squash, cannellini beans, maple dijon dressing and (drum roll please....) onion rings was the best dang salad I've had in a long time. Maybe ever. The smokiness of the tempeh paired so well with the sweet and savory dressing, and the creamy beans and squash matched up against the crunchy onions rings perfectly. I felt like every taste bud had been hit. A little more about those onion rings, you ask? Best EVER. Seriously, let's take a closer look:
Light, crispy batter with just the right herbage surrounds perfectly cooked (not crispy but not mushy either) onions and the whole thing just melts in your mouth and makes your tummy very very happy. I would go back to WaterCourse just to get more onion rings if I ever find myself in Denver again. Headed to that neck of the woods? Don't miss WaterCourse.
Back by the bay, the eating continues. Stay tuned for my first visit to a San Francisco institution and my second visit to a classic veggie haven before I turn around and take off again - this time for Minneapolis!