Thursday, May 31, 2012

Guest Blog: Carisbrooke Inn

My wacky parents are on the road again (retirement sure is grand, eh?) and this time they were happily surprised at a B&B.  It's a short post, but they're on their way to Canada, so expect more dining from the road soon....

That's breakfast at the Carisbrooke Inn in Ventnor, NJ. It's a B&B that Mom got a Groupon for and they made us this really delicious meal. Vegan homefries and sausage with toast, sliced tomato and homemade avocado spread. All of which was preceded by abundant plates of fresh fruit. You never know what to expect at a B&B but place was a delight!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Take Me Out....

I love a good baseball game, but this year the always gorgeous and fun AT&T Park has really outdone themselves.  You see, their old veggie dogs, which were strictly vehicles for condiments, have been replaced with the delicious and hearty Field Roast Frankfurters.

Ok, so I know I covered up the actual dog with kraut and stuff, but trust me - it's under there and it's AWESOME.   Now I can root on the Giants with a happy belly.  Hooray!

Have a great long weekend, everyone.  I'll be back with more eats soon...

Friday, May 18, 2012


Bay Area Peeps, there's a new organization in town that is pairing local musicians with local food and, if their first event was any indication, they rock. Locaphonic put on an epic evening of loveliness at Greens Restaurant, with the gorgeous tunes of the Real Vocal String Quartet.  I could only assume it was fate that brought together one of my favorite local groups and one of my favorite local restaurants, so off we went last Tuesday.  Here's what transpired.

First, little spring roll bites came around.  Love that spiced peanut on top!

The asparagus salad was absolutely perfect.  Beets, local greens, and fabulous olive oil all complemented the beautifully cooked stalks, which were a delight to eat.  Acme bread was also in the house.  Love it.

Our entree was a cylinder of roasted veggies (the non-vegan ones were held together with icky cow secretions) served up with rosemary skewers of baby potatoes and onion.  Baby vegetables just taste better, in my opinion, and with the faint hint of rosemary, these were no exception.   The roasted veggies were also quite good.  My only complaint was that the cost of admission also included wine and I was in need of something a bit more substantial at this point.  At my age, you would think I'd have learned how to pace myself.  Nope.   At least there was dessert!  But first - music.

Love these ladies.  If you haven't checked out RVSQ, do it.

Ah, fruit crisp with soy vanilla ice cream, you were so heavenly.  A nice sweet ending to a very sweet night.  (Though, yes, I must admit I was jealous that the non vegans got chocolate tarts!)

I have no idea if Locaphonic's upcoming events will be as vegan-friendly as this one.  I, for one, prefer my music served up sans cruelty, and I would go to a hundred more events just like this one, so let's hope so.  Cheers to good food and music.... together!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Helmand Palace

I love a good deal, so when I saw a recent Groupon for a restaurant in my neighborhood that I'd been meaning to try anyway, I jumped on it.  And thus, we dined on flavorful Afghani foodstuffs at Helmand Palace last week.  With a separate vegetarian section of the menu, most of which can be made vegan, this is definitely a place worthy of a return visit to try more of their menu.  But let's see what we had this round, shall we?

We split two starters, the Shornakod Salad, above, and the Gulpea, below.  I highly recommend this combo because the former is light, bright, and refreshing, and the latter is spicy and savory.  The salad is an herbaceous combo of potatoes and chickpeas with lemon that would be perfect at a summertime picnic, and the gulpea is reminiscent of Indian Aloo Gobi, only without the potatoes.  Stewed cauliflower in a rich tomato-based sauce really wakes up the taste buds.  Great starters.

My entree, below, was the Korma Challow.  Challow is the baked rice with cumin seed that is uber tasty, and the mildly spiced veggies and spinach are the perfect accompaniment.  I added some of the table's hot sauce to the spinach for an extra kick and recommend you do the same.  My husband had the "Special" veg entree and I loved it for its inclusion of baked pumpkin, giving you a little dessert on the plate without having to order dessert.  :)

We will definitely go back to Helmand Palace soon.  Their unique flavors left me wanting to explore more of the menu.... and that Shornakod is crave-worthy!

Next up, an awesome new business opens up.  I've literally been there almost every day for a month so it's time to tell you about it.   Meanwhile, have a great Tuesday...

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day at Millennium

My favorite restaurant, Millennium, only opens its doors for something besides dinner one day a year -for Mother's Day Brunch.  Mother or no mother (our group today was mom free), it is an experience not to be missed.  Today we started with treats "Baked by the Kids":

This picture happened after the cinnamon sugar beignets were already eaten, but the other stand out on this plate of sweet starters was the chocolate chip coffee cake.  Incredible.  I would have ordered a loaf to go had the option existed.  And that maple butter would be good on just about anything.

Next up was a salad that was good but not noteworthy.  But then,

The tempeh benedict was simply awesome.  Savory tempeh on toast with perfectly cooked asparagus and yummy sauce....mmmmm.....   potatoes were simply the icing on the cake.  And speaking of cake...

This brownie with sea salt caramel sauce and vanilla bean ice cream was outrageous.  A more decadent ending than is normally found at brunch, it was still a welcome treat, not to mention sinfully delicious.

You can be sure that we'll be at Millennium for Mother's Day brunch as long as they keep serving it up, as it's so fun to see what Chef Tucker can do outside of the dinner realm.  Turns out, he's pretty good at cooking at all times of the day.  :)

Here's hoping your Mother's Day was lovely as well.  Next up, some unique eats in my 'hood.  Enjoy the rest of your weekend, everyone.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Cindo de Mayo Eats

On May 5th, we celebrate... well, I'm not exactly sure, and my Mexican friends tell me it's not something they even celebrate in Mexico.  So, for all intents and purposes, on May 5th we celebrate Mexican food and culture!  For me and my group of friends, this meant taking a lovely ferry ride over to Tiburon for a fantastic lunch in the sunshine at Guaymas Restaurant.  I've been there before, as you know, and I'm happy to say they are still tasty, vegan-friendly, and great with large groups.  In addition to buckets of Corona and pitchers of margaritas, I also enjoyed...

The Fiesta Ensalada (sans cheese).  It comes in a fried tortilla.  I am not a hater.  Also...

Grilled plantains.  Sweet and delicious on their own, the bright cilantro lime sauce drizzled over the top makes them uber yummy and the perfect sweet ending to a meal there.

Next month, we are taking a trip to Mexico with friends of ours from there and this little taste has got me so psyched to get the authentic stuff soon.  Of course I'll be writing about it.... but meanwhile, stay tuned for some great new SF eats.  Coming at ya soon, promise.   Happy Friday, everyone!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Candy Caps Gone Wild


Have you ever smelled a candy cap mushroom?  They smell like maple syrup and not at all like mushrooms.  I'd never eaten one, and I still have no idea how I'd serve them up in a regular meal, but I did have the unusual pleasure of trying Far West Funghi's incredible candy cap marshmallow.

This cube of vegan goodness can be yours at the Far West Funghi kiosk in the Ferry Building and I highly suggest you try it.  It may be mostly corn syrup and magic, but there are mushrooms in there!  They are not disguised, but rather their sweetness is played up nicely and transformed into something fluffy and gooey and pretty darn cool.  I don't know if I'd be making s'mores with these bad boys, but I'm glad I had one and encourage you to do the same.  Go!

Next up, something far more healthy.  :)

Monday, May 7, 2012

St. Francis Fountain

Since I was posting about breakfasty type things over at Vegan Favorites today, I figured it was time to tell you about a fantastic morning meal we had a week or two ago at St. Francis Fountain.  I have long known that this SF institution (open since 1918!) does right by vegans, but due to laziness (it's all the way across town) I'd never been.   What a dummy I was!  Turns out there's even more vegan options than I thought AND they are all stupid delicious.  For example...

Strawberry pancakes and vegan sausage!  Yes, that insanely good combo of sweet and savory can be yours, vegans, and at a very omnivorous restaurant to boot.  If there is anything better than dragging a forkful of smoky sausage through maple syrup, I've yet to try it.  But, wait!  Look at this mess of goodness:

That right there is the "Vegan Thing" y'all, and I hereby declare it my favorite hangover meal.  Consisting of a pile of potatoes, vegan pepper jack cheese, green onions, salsa, and a gob of guacamole, it just might be the world's best brunch plate ever.  I love you, St. Francis Fountain, and I WILL be back.  Reader, I suggest you gather all your omni friends and join me!

Next up:  A really whacky item you can get at the Ferry Building.  It's crazy.  Really.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Chocolate for All

Attention Bay Area Vegans (and vegan-curious):  The incredibly amazing (and totally sweet and wonderful) Alyssa Cox is giving a chocolate class on May 19th from 1-3pm at Other Avenues.  You will make raw, vegan, chocolate yummies and have fun doing it, you lucky duck!

If you're smart, you'll go.  Maybe even have lunch beforehand at Judahlicious and make it the world's greatest afternoon ever.   I can't make it and am super jealous of anyone who can.  If you attend, enjoy... and tell Alyssa I said hello!