Monday, December 14, 2009

I'm Dreaming of a White (Food Free) Christmas

After a tooth whitening experience at Brite Smile the other day (I know, I know, but I've always wanted to try it and then Groupon had an amazing deal, so shut it) I had to eat nothing but white food for a day and a half. I thought this would be easy and stocked up on parsnips, cauliflower, potato soup, fennel, bananas, and hummus. Yummy stuff, for sure, but man was I craving some COLOR when everything was said and done. As I write this, I just had a big salad and some kombucha for lunch and am feeling much more human. Eat the rainbow, my friends. (And that is more than just a plug for Skittles, which happen to be vegan btw.)

Before the whole white food extravaganza, I tried a new-to-me vegan product, the mushroom and tofu pate pictured here. Made by Alexian, I got it at Rainbow after spotting it in the cooler by the hummus. I was psyched because it looked yummy and the whole block only had like 75 calories. I should have known from that number alone (I mean, is anything low calorie ever super yummy?), but it was pretty bland. I ate it with some Mary's Gone Crackers (a fave) and honestly I only tasted the crackers. Blandness aside, I think I will try the tomato basil flavor that Rainbow also carries. I'm just a sucker for things you can eat on crackers or with a toothpick. Verdict in the future.

Meanwhile, I'll be leaving for NJ and NYC at the end of the week and all sorts of good eating will be happening. I'll be heading back to some old faves and trying out some new places as well, so stay tuned. Here's wishing you all Happy Holidays, and good eats for you... and all your others.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Last night I had the pleasure of joining a big group of friends for some tasty bites and drinks at the brandy new Delarosa in the Marina. It was packed (of course) but the service was decent and the food was, well, kind of like de ja vu. I don't speak Italian, but I'm pretty sure delarosa translates to "grey and orange Beretta."

Don't get me wrong. Beretta, Delarosa's sister restaurant, is one of my favorite places to eat in all of San Francisco. I just didn't expect their menus to be so dang similar. I was thrilled to find some familiar treats to ingest, but I guess I was just hoping for some new things as well. Luckily, the food is amazing so who cares. There are lots of vegan-friendly options, including the inherently vegan spicy marinara pizza, and a slew of items that just need cheese removed. Here's what I had:

One of my favorite things available on both menus is the herbed onion bread. It is soft, fluffy, and has just the right amount of onion to match well with its fruit olive oil companion. Bread perfection... and I take bread seriously.

Another dish you might remember from Beretta is the eggplant caponatina. I get mine sans burrata, obviously, and it is downright delicious. Perfectly charred eggplant with roasted tomoatoes, olives, pinenuts, celery and capers is served room temp and practically dancing on the plate it's got so much flavor. I could eat bowfulls.

I also had the arugula and fennel salad because arugula and fennel are 2 of the best things to eat on the planet and because at Delarosa they come dressed with olive oil and sea salt to pretty much form salad utopia.

Overall, I just felt like something was missing at Delarosa, and I don't just mean the vegan cheese and sausage items. (Honestly though, what gives? Vegans live North of Market too, ya know.) Yes, they just opened and yes, we were a huge party, but the food just wasn't quite there. Hopefully as they get more in the swing of things, it'll all come together because I know I'll be back. Especially if those rumors of the vegan cheese arriving shortly are true.... You know I'll keep you posted.

Also, for those of you wondering about our Sunday dinner at Roti, I decided not to post about it because I stupidly forgot my camera. Just for the record though, that place is still my fave for North Indian food in SF. Hands down. Go. Try. Eat well.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The SF Vegan Bake Sale (as part of a pretty darn great Saturday)

So yesterday was the SF Vegan Bake Sale. It was friggin' fantastic and we raised more than $4200 for Save a Bunny and The Food Empowerment Project! Big love to all the bakers and to all the folks willing to part with their hard-earned cash in the name of sugar overdose... I mean, charity.

Here are some things I learned in the process:

1. Do not underestimate the degree to which marshmallows will expand in the oven. I don't know what I was thinking, but as you can see, my s'mores pie idea went to hell pretty quickly. Next time, I think I'll bake the brownie dough in the graham cracker crust until almost done and then put a layer of marshmallows ON TOP. Duh.

2. Everyone loves their Sugar Beat Sweets T-Shirts. Here I am with SBS ladies themselves, Melisser and Jennifer. Good times.

3. It's not just me who loves my white chocolate chip macadamia nut cookies! All 4 dozen sold out pretty quickly. Hooray! (And double hooray for me who has a ton of organic macadamia nuts leftover in her kitchen.)

4. Bunnies are really cute. Like really. Next time you see "angora" on the label of your sweater, think about this guy and how he really isn't into giving up his hair for you.

5. People will pay top dollar for vegan treats. Also, people love to pose with lots of money.

After the bake sale, the hubby and I hopped on the bus (check out our stylin' vegan shoes we got at MooShoes) and met up with some pals for dinner at possibly the most vegan-friendly of mid-range eateries, California Pizza Kitchen. I love their Smashed Pea and Barley Soup as well as their Grilled Vegetable Salad. The soup is especially hearty and warming on a cold SF night, and the veggies on the salad are grilled nicely, accompanied by sundried tomatoes and avocado, and served atop a bed of romaine. What's even more awesome is that you can find all their vegan options clearly listed on their website.

We chose CPK because of its proximity to the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. If you want to see high-caliber musicians on the cheap, a concert there can't be beat. Last night, the orchestra tore up some Brahms. Bravo, college kids!

All in all a terrific Saturday. Tonight we're off to an old fave for dinner, and tomorrow we're hitting up the brand new Delarosa. I can't wait to try it because if it's anything like its sister restaurant, Beretta, I'll definitely be eating well with others. :) Enjoy the rest of the weekend everyone!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Last Day of the Long Weekend

I meant to blog this sooner but somehow this week is just flying by. So, long story short, we hosted a brunch for some pals last Sunday. I made a kick ass fruit salad:

Isn't it beautiful? Mangoes and grapes and berries and bananas, all with the juice of half an orange squeezed on top (it's my not-so-secret fruit salad trick). Yum. But of course when you also have the bestest most wonderful cinnamon rolls in the world, nobody gives a crap about your fruit salad:

Seriously guys, Sugar Beat Sweets has mastered the vegan cinnamon roll. In fact, one of my brunch guests was heard saying, "Those cinnamon buns are amazing. There must be like a stick of butter in each one." To which I replied, "Gotcha - they're vegan. No butter at all!" Silly omnivores.

Want to get some of those sweet yummies for yourself but are too lazy to special order and can't wait until their storefront bakery opens? Come to the SF Vegan Bakesale this Saturday at Ike's! All the proceeds go toward Save a Bunny and the Food Empowerment Project. Yours truly will be there from 2 o'clock onward hawking my S'mores Pie and White Chocolate Chip Macadamia Nut Cookies. More than 50 bakers are coming together to give you the best treats in the Bay Area all while supporting some fantastic causes. Be there!

Coming soon: Trips to three restaurants. 2 old faves and 1 brand spankin' new... to me and to SF!