Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Zaytinya, DC #2

Zach and I wanted to have a special dinner -- no special occasion, just a really nice dinner at a place where we knew the food was good. So, we chose Zaytinya, a restaurant that serves Turkish, Lebanese, and Greek tapas. This is one of the many restaurants run by Executive Chef, Jose Andres, one of the most well-known chefs in DC.  It is by far one of my favorite restaurants in DC.

The restaurant is massive, but not in a nasty chain restaurant sort of way. It is absolutely beautiful, spacious, and classy.  In the middle of the restaurant on a raised platform is a large bar, which is surrounded by the two-level dining area. I took a seat at the bar and ordered a glass of sparkling wine - Perelada Brut Reserva from Cava, Spain.

Zach showed up shortly thereafter and we made our way to the table. Having dined here many times before, I had an idea of what I wanted. No matter how many times I dine at a restaurant, I always ask what the vegan options are on the menu for three reasons -- (1) cooking methods and ingredients can change, (2) chefs will change, and (3) some waitstaff just know more than others. So, as usual, I inquired as to what was vegan. I was very impressed with the woman who served a good and bad way. In a good way, she really knew her stuff, but for me, that wasn't necessarily good as she told me more about the cooking methods than I had ever known before. For example, she informed me that some of my favorite dishes such as the Crispy Brussel Afelia were flash fried in the same oil that all the meat was cooked in, therefore rendering it not vegan. Ugh.

After getting over the devastation, we placed our orders. All of the food is served tapas-style on small plates so you usually order 2-3 per person. The food is always served as soon it is prepared so the dishes comes out one by one. While we waited, we ordered drinks, Zach had a special drink that I didn't really like, even though it looked pretty cool, so I ordered a Tempranillo instead. I really like their wine selection.

The first dish to come out was the hummus. I like to get the hummus just to snack on while I am waiting for the dishes to be served. Zach ate it with the bread they serve everyone when you first sit down. As it has a touch of milk in it, I always order sliced cucumbers for my hummus instead. It isn't on the menu, but they can always prepare them for you.  I love how they put fresh pomegranate seeds in the hummus.

The next dish served was the Roasted Cauliflower. This has always been one of my favorite dishes or at least it was. The cauliflower is roasted and served with sultans and pine nuts in a light sauce.  It may not sound exciting, but it is incredibly good. The most disappointing part of this dish is finding out the capers that are usually served on the cauliflower are also flash fried so they weren't served with this dish. The capers were one of my favorite parts of this dish. That did not make me happy.

Next, was a dish off of the specials list called the "Spanakorizo." It was a rice pilaf with wilted spinach and tomato served over spinach puree with preserved cherry tomatoes. The dish was supposed to have feta cheese and, of course, we had it served without it, but it was really missing something. Perhaps soy feta would have brightened it up. That said, it was still very good.

Next, we ordered the Bamya. I love, love, love this dish!  It is carmelized, crispy okra with fresh, crispy chickpeas in cardamom tomato stew. I have no idea how they cooked this dish to perfection, but that is exactly what it was.

Lastly, we had another one of my faves, the Seasonal Mushrooms. The wild mushrooms were sauteed in oil with dates and tossed with toasted almonds. Words can't express how delicious this dish is.

All in all, it was a good, but slightly disappointing experience. The food was good and the service was attentive. The noise level was a bit loud, but I don't think anything can be done about that. The disappointing part was finding out how many of the items in dishes I had once thought were vegan are actually not as anything that is flash fried is fried in the same oil as the meat. I really hope they can separate the vegetables from the meat in the future as I know a lot of vegans who love this restaurant and probably do not know this. That said, there are still tons of vegan options....they'd just be better if they included all of the components that are flash fried as well.

Click here to read my 1st review of Zaytinya from June 27, 2011.

701 9th Street NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 638-0800

Zaytinya on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

TumericALIVE - Elixirs

Most people discover turmeric in Indian food. What many people don't realize is just how good this root is for them. While turmeric is a root, most people buy it and use it as a spice as you can most readily find it in the spice section at the grocery store. This yellow spice has been known for its healing properties for thousands of years in the East. It is said to be used for detoxifying the liver, clearing the skin, purifying blood, relieving pain, improving memory, and supporting lightness in the body.

I've been trying to find ways to incorporate more turmeric into my diet and TumericALIVE's elixirs may be just the way I do so. This new company is using turmeric as the base for their elixirs so now you can drink your turmeric too. I found them at the Natural Products Expo East where I picked up a few of their vegan elixirs.

The first one I tried is simply called "Vegan Elixir." This one has combined the nice taste of turmeric with the sweetness of ginger and spearmint and finishes with a hint of cardamom. Inside the bottle, you'll find ultra-purified water, agave, lemon juice, turmeric, ginger, celtic sea salt and other spices such as cardamom, spearmint, cayenne, and cinnamon. The 12-ounce drink has 27 calories, 6 grams of sugar, and 80 mg of sodium.

The second one I tried is the "Vegan Coconut Nectar." This one had a similar taste with added coconut. I really liked this one too. It included coconut nectar, coconut oil, and black pepper as well as most of the same ingredients as the Vegan Elixir.  TurmericALIVE states that the addition of coconut oil and black pepper helps facilitate the movement of the turmeric root’s potent, phytochemical curcumin across the body’s cell walls, enhancing its bioavailability. The coconut nectar is a natural low glycemic sweetener, that delivers vitamins, minerals and aminos. Plus, because tumeric elixir is not a juice, but a unique herbal formula, the full nutrient value of each whole ingredient is preserved.

They also claim that the elixirs kickstart metabolism, ignite flexibility, alkalize muscle tissues, and keep your systems burning clean and strong throughout your active day. Well, I can't attest to all of that, but I do think these drinks are very healthy. They recommend you drink one first thing in the morning on an empty stomach and another two hours after lunch. At up to $7 per bottle, that can get pretty pricey, but then again, I can't think of a better way to spend your money than on good, healing food.

Right now, TumericALIVE's elixirs are sold mostly in NY and northern California, but also in random stores across the U.S. Click here to find stores near you. Also, you may have noticed that they are spelling turmeric incorrectly in their name "TumericALIVE." When I asked about that, they mentioned the founder found "turmeric" difficult to say and didn't feel it rolled off the tongue as well as "tumeric" so he chose to take the "r" out of their brandname.  Huh.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Proof, DC

For Zach's birthday, I wanted to take him somewhere special that wasn't too expensive and was still in close proximity to the theater we were going to later. After hearing such great things about Proof over the years, we had talked about trying it out sometime and this seemed like the perfect opportunity. Even more than its cuisine, Proof is known for its outstanding wine selection boasting 1,000 different bottles and over 40 by-the-glass selections. Led by Chef Haidar Karoum, the cuisine is also known to be stupendous.

On this particular Saturday night, we had an early 5:30 p.m. reservation so we'd be sure to make the theater on time for the show.  As soon as we sat down, we were handed the wine selection. This 50-page book was very overwhelming showcasing wines from the New and Old World. We spent about 20 minutes just trying to decide on a bottle and eventually chose the Bergstrom Shea Vineyard Pinot Noir (2009) from Willamette Valley, which we absolutely loved.

Proof has a great selection of modern American cuisine, but only offers one vegan entree. I knew this coming in and had contacted the chef ahead of time to see what our options would be as far as appetizers and sides. He said that the salad of local frisee, roasted beets salad, and butter crunch lettuce salad could all be made vegan. They would also be able to change the vinaigrettes to avoid the honey. Additionally, three of the sides -- the grilled ramps, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli, could be made vegan. So, I felt comfortable knowing there were some options.

They started out by serving some bread with some sort of dairy sauce. One bread was not vegan, but the flatbread was so I ate the crispy flatbread while deciding what to order.

Zach wanted to order the vegetarian gnocchi, which was not vegan, so I started with the tempura instead.  Tempura is not that exciting as you can find it anywhere, but I found this tempura to be particularly good. There were wild mushrooms, French beans, red peppers, asparagus, and eggplant all cooked to perfection in tempura batter. But, it was really the sauce that brought the flavors out. The lemon-truffle dipping sauce made with daikon radish really brought out the flavors of the vegetables. The wild mushrooms, in particular, were amazing.

As we were waiting for our entrees to come out, I admired the decor.  On one side of the restaurant, there was an exposed brick wall on which gold framed mirrors were hung. Along the wall were large booths and throughout the restaurant there was ample seating for patrons. There was an amusing sign leading to the restrooms that illustrated a man peeking over the stall at a woman that Zach found disturbing. I found it to be quite funny.

At the bar, I noticed that all of the wine bottles were kept refrigerated in a a stainless steel Enomatic machine from Italy that allowed the staff to dispense wine into a glass without removing the bottle from the refrigerated area. It was very cool. On the screens above the bar, Proof pays homage to the Portrait Gallery across the street by displaying images from the museum's collection on flat-screen plasma monitors.

After a little bit of time, our entrees were served. We both ordered the Napolean as that is the only vegan item on the menu. It consisted of vegetables sandwiched between two layers of crispy fried tofu and topped with crispy mushrooms.  The tofu was firm and elegantly prepared so much so that I inquired as to how it got its consistency. I was told it was pressed, then vacuum sealed to get all the water and air out. Interesting. The broccoli, bok choy, and carrots were steamed while the Hen of the Woods mushrooms were fried to a crisp. It was topped with a sweet chili-garlic sauce. This dish was very good.

But, while the entree was very good, it certainly wasn't mind-blowing, which is really what I was expecting from Proof. Everything we had had an Asian twist, which really isn't novel in the vegan world. We inquired as to whether they were considering adding more vegan options and it didn't sound like they were as there are only eight entrees on the menu and apparently only one can be vegan.

All in all, the service was spectacular, the wine was exquisite, and the food was good. Next time, we may just come for drinks and appetizers though.  The meal itself with wine was pricey -- in the end we paid over $200 including tip. If I am going to spend that kind of money, I can think of a few other places in the city I'd rather go. That said, I'm glad we went to experience Proof and certainly enjoyed the experience.  If they were to offer a new vegan entree at some point, we would definitely return.

775 G Street NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 737-7663

Proof on Urbanspoon

Friday, October 26, 2012

Cork & Fork Wine Class Giveaway Winner - Oct 2012

It is time to announce the winner of the South African wine tasting and education class for two at Cork & Fork to be held next Thursday from 7:30 - 9 p.m. And the winner is [drumroll]....Jeff Stevens!

He was one of many people who answered the following question correctly: Which grape variety is the most popular in South Africa?  The answer is Chenin Blanc.

Thank you to all who entered and even if you didn't win, you can still sign up for the class by calling the store at (202) 588-5766. The next few scheduled classes are as follows:
  • Thursday, November 1: South Africa. $50/person
  • Thursday, November 8: Burgundy Pinot Noirs, France. $50/person
  • Tuesday, November 13: Pinot Noirs (5 countries). $50/person
  • Thursday, November 15: Australia. $75/person
To read more about them, go to  


I hope to see you at one of the classes!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Spindrift - Sodas

I'm proud to say that I stopped drinking sodas a few years ago, that is, sodas as most people know them -- the ones filled with artificial everything. Fast forward to today and there is a new class of "sodas" on the market. Spindrift is the first soda made with fresh squeezed ingredients. We're talking triple purified sparkling water, fresh squeezed fruit or berry puree, and a dash of cane juice. This means there are no syrups, juice concentrates, additives, preservatives, artificial sweeteners or colors. That takes all the bad out of the connotation for sodas.

So that all sounds great, but how do they taste?  Wonderful! I tried each of the six flavors and loved them all! Light, refreshing, and a perfect balance of flavors. I really couldn't choose a favorite. Take, for example, the cranberry raspberry, which is made with 16 raspberries, 9 cranberries, and fresh squeezed lemon juice. So good. And, get this -- the color comes from the fruit, not from insects! (In case you don't know to what I am referring, most artificially flavored products use cochineal extract to color products red, which is made from crushed insects. Yuck!)

Then there is the orange mango, which is just weird, but so am I, so I liked it. It is made with 1/2 a fresh squeezed orange and alfonso mango puree.

Seriously, they are all great. I even liked the Half & Half, which is tea with lemon even though I really don't like iced tea. The lemon makes it so much better than just straight tea.

And I love the label which states, "Sodas: A reintroduction - I'm sorry - we've gotten off track. Let's start again. I'm a soda. I'm made of sparkling water and crushed fruit. Simple, light, refreshing. Give me a second chance, please?" Ha! And you may be wondering what a spindrift is. It is a light spray blown from the crest of waves or snow. And drinking these sodas sort of feels like that. So go out and try all of the flavors: cranberry raspberry, orange mango, blackberry, lemonade, half & half, and sparkling grapefruit and experience the Spindrift for yourself. You get the drift.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Rasika, DC #2

If you are looking for a excellent, Indian restaurant and fine dining experience, look no further. Having just opened its second location, Rasika is known for serving the best modern Indian food in DC.  Nestled in the bustling area of Penn Quarter, this restaurant is a great place for a business lunch or a romantic dinner for two.

On this particular occasion, I was meeting someone there for a business lunch. We had reservations for 11:30 a.m. as there was no other time available before 1:30 p.m. I have found it very difficult to get reservations here without a week's notice so I'd recommend you make them as early as possible.  That said, when we walked in, it was pretty empty as they had just opened. We were seated in the front near the windows where we could take in the beautiful sunlight from the spring day. We were immediately greeted by our waitress who took our drink order. Rasika offers a special fresh-squeezed juice every day, but, unfortunately, their fruit shipment had not come in this day so there wasn't any fresh juice. Instead, I started with the lemonade.

My dining companion had never been here and was not vegan so I asked if he would mind if we split a vegan appetizer. He happily obliged.  So, we started with the Ragda Patties. The patty was made of spiced potatoes and chickpeas served over a chickpea sauce. It was a bit deceiving as it was called "ragda patties" yet there was only one patty. Seeing that half of it was covered in the tamarind date sauce and the other half in the mint chutney, I split is so we could try both sauces. It was so incredibly flavorful that it blew both of us away. It was soft, seasoned well, and the spices were intoxicating. Both sauces were delicious and I loved how they topped it with crunchy raw onions and cilantro. Yum x 10.

For my entree, I ordered two small plates instead of one large one. I also ordered some basmati rice, which, by the way, doesn't come with the dishes, and an order of Roti bread.

The first one I tried was the Bhindi Amchoor, which was sliced okra fried with dry mango powder and topped with tomato and cilantro. The okra was good, but not quite as flavorful as my other entree or appetizer. I'm glad I ordered small plates - it is a good way to try some dishes without committing to an entire meal of just one.

Next, I tried the Papeta Ringna Nu Shak, which was potatoes and Indian eggplant cooked with mustard seeds in a tomato sauce and topped with cilantro. Besides the delicately cooked potatoes and eggplant, I was most impressed with the fresh tomato sauce and the accompanying spices. This dish had a fresh, refreshing flavor as all of the ingredients meshed well together.

All of the food was absolutely delicious including the Roti, a whole wheat bread.

I really liked our server as well as she was very knowledgeable about the vegan items on the menu.  The only thing I didn't like is when she came over to ask me if I wanted another lemonade and remarked that it would be an additional charge. It is such a classy place that the remark just seemed so petty. When one spends a considerable amount of money on the lunch, you'd think the least they could do is offer one complimentary refill, but even so remarking that it is additional seemed a bit chinsey.  Putting that aside though, I think Rasika just went back to the top of my list of favorite restaurants in DC. It isn't number one, but it is definitely in the top 10. Highly recommended.

Read my previous review of Rasika from July 2011 here.

633 D Street, NW
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 637-1222

Rasika on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Raw Indian Madras Curry Sauerkraut Wrap

It's funny how things just come together sometimes.  Over time, I acquire different products then, voila!, I figure out how to make them work together. This time is no different. Imagine Indian-spiced cauliflower sauerkraut wrapped in a raw coconut wrap topped with spiced mango chutney! Need I say more?

It started with a sample of Wildbrine Madras Curry & Cauliflower Sauerkraut Salad. When I first received this, I thought, 'what the heck am I going to do with Indian-spiced sauerkraut?' Then, I picked up these Pure Wraps, which are wraps made of coconut meat, coconut water, and Himalayan salt. A few days later, it dawned on me that these would make great wraps! Just fill them with spinach and sauerkraut and you have an easy, healthy, raw meal.

The raw fermented Wildbrine Madras Curry & Cauliflower Sauerkraut Salad is good enough to eat right out of the container. The spices really tame the sourness and make it very palatable and I love that there are chunks of cauliflower in there too! Plus, because it is naturally fermented, it is loaded with probiotics. But, when wrapped inside the coconut wrap, the flavors really spark together. Then, when you add Sukhi's Mango Chutney on top to give it some zing, it is like icing on the cake. Disclaimer: I don't think this chutney is raw.  Try it for yourself!

Raw Indian Madras Curry Sauerkraut Wrap
Serves 4


Put some baby spinach leaves in the middle of a wrap. Layer with the sauerkraut salad.

Top it with more spinach, if desired.

Roll it up, cut it in half, then top with the mango chutney, if desired. That's it!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Cork & Fork Wine Class Giveaway - Oct 2012

Cork & Fork, a wine store located in Logan Circle, is holding a series of wine education classes with tastings through the end of the year. Since I love giving things away, I am offering yet another chance to win a free wine class for two!  The prize will be two passes to the South African wine class to be held on Thursday, November 1 from 7:30 to 9 p.m. worth $100.

So what exactly happens at these wine classes?  Typically, upon arrival, you'll be offered a light sparkling wine. You'll have a chance to mingle with the other 10 or so people, then the class will begin. The instructors will vary from experts employed by Cork & Fork to distributors and sometimes the winemakers themselves. They are always very knowledgeable about the wines and take the time to describe the terroir, vinification, and tasting notes.

You will try a variety of wines and snack on French baguettes with hummus or olive spread. You will also be provided with informational materials about the wines and the country from which they originated. I have really enjoyed the ones I've attended and have learned something in each one.

So, if you are interested, just complete the form below and answer the question and you'll be entered into a drawing for a complementary wine class for two!

About the class to be held on Thursday, November 1: South Africa
South African wines are grown in one of the world's most special places - with ancient soils, two oceans, soaring mountains, and unparalleled natural beauty. The South African winelands are renowned for their breathtaking scenery and the wines are as full of variety as the myriad of cultures that form this rainbow nation. This event will review the top independent producers from various regions.

About the speaker: Theresa Morrison, Importer/Distributor, Boutique Vineyards
Theresa is the owner of a fine wine distribution house in MD, DC, and VA, that specializes in small production, hand-crafted wines that provide good value and offer uniqueness and quality. Wines are carefully selected from all over the world. The producers are all committed to superlative quality, with a guiding principle that the wines should reflect their distinct terroir. These are real wines made by real people who are passionate about the wine, not the quantity or quarterly reporting. Hand-picked and handmade, production is usually less than a few hundred cases per varietal.

Giveaway details:
  • Requirements: just to answer the question below correctly
  • Prize: 2 free passes to the wine education class on Thursday, November 1 from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Cork & Fork at 1522 14th St. NW in DC (not transferable)
  • Deadline to enter: Thursday, October 25 by 5 p.m.
  • Winners will be announced on this blog on Friday, October 26

Good luck!

*Please note that the distributor will not know whether any of the wines are vegan or not.

Friday, October 19, 2012


When I begin preaching about how people should eat more whole foods, I am often hit with opposition as people explain to me that they just don’t have the time to make healthy meals. Enter scratchDC into the picture. This new company, founded by Ryan Hansan, an entrepreneur, is providing fresh, locally sourced organic ingredients already prepped and ready to cook along with the recipes that make it all come together. It is a novel concept that is emerging at a great time in DC as employment rates are up and people are truly busy.

The genesis of the idea came out of Ryan's own frustration in the kitchen.  He was a busy college student with a refrigerator full of beer and tomato sauce. If he wanted to make a good meal, he'd trek to the grocery store, find a whole bunch of fresh ingredients, and spend all night in the kitchen only to have a lot of ingredients, e.g., parsley, left over that eventually went bad. He thought there had to be a better way and the result is scratchDC.

Here’s how it works: a different meal is offered Monday – Thursday that you can order either a week in advance or for those last-minute procrastinators, each day anytime up until 9:30 p.m. Yes, they deliver the same day. Sometimes they offer a vegan meal, but, unfortunately, it won’t be every day or even every week, but when they do, you should snag it. I had the opportunity to try the Vegan Habanero Sweet Potato Patties in a Spinach Coconut Callaloo Sauce and I’m so glad I did.

Ryan Hansan delivered the order to my home at the time I requested. (For delivery areas in DC, click here.) It was a cute brown box tied with twine – I felt like I had just gotten a present. I took it upstairs and tore it open. I must admit that it was a bit intimidating as I pulled out container after container. I mean, I cook some complicated meals, but I don’t do so on a weeknight. This was test to see if this is something you can reasonably make on a weeknight and I was up for the challenge.

Inside, was a sheet called, “What’s in my bundle,” which described each ingredient and where each one was from. For example, the organic sweet potatoes were from Sunrise Ridge Organics in Kirkwood, PA while the organic spices were from Vanns in Baltimore, MD.

On the other side of the sheet was the recipe in 14 steps. At the top, it included the types of pots or pans you would need. It also specified that you’d need mouths and appetites. Cute. But, this isn’t where the cuteness stopped… The first instruction was “Hi there, we’re scratchDC and we’re so glad to be cookin with you tonight! Put on your tastebelts because it’s time to head to deliciousville.” Well, okay then.

I started off by making the sauce that consisted of coconut milk, spinach, habanero peppers, red peppers, paprika, thyme, salt, pepper, tomatoes, and onions. This simmered for 25 minutes.

Then, I spread the sweet potatoes that were already marinated in olive oil, allspice, cumin, thyme, chili flakes, salt, and pepper onto a sheet pan along with the garlic cloves and roasted them for 20 minutes. They even provided the aluminum foil.

About 10 minutes later, I cooked the habanero pepper and spring onion mix in a different pan. There was a lot going on here at once!

When the potatoes and garlic were done, I put them in a bowl along with the onions and habaneros and mashed it together along with the lime zest and coriander mix to form patties that I then fried.

To plate, I put a couple patties on a plate and drowned them in the callaloo sauce. It made 6 patties so there was enough for 2-3 people. The final step number 14 stated, “Welcome to vegan heaven. Rave about us to your friends, family, co-workers, pets, etc. and order again soon.” Ha! We dug in and absolutely loved the dish.

I was so impressed that they actually used habaneros as most companies assume that people don’t like things that spicy. Zach and I can take the heat and we really enjoyed this dish. It was bursting with flavor. From the perfectly spiced patties to the robust coconut milk-based sauce, there was more flavor in this dish than you would ever expect.

In the end, it took about 35 minutes to prepare so only 5 minutes longer than the directions specified -- perfect for a weeknight meal. Overall, I was really impressed with the timely home delivery, the detailed instructions, and the meal itself. For $21, I think it is priced well as I’m not even sure one could buy all of these organic ingredients for that price. And the service is great -- there is even a phone number you can call if you get stuck and want to ask questions about the dish! I predict this new business will need to expand soon to be able to accommodate the demand for their fresh, organic meals. And maybe if the demand is there, they’ll start offering vegan meals weekly! So, order yours today. You'll be glad you did.

(Disclaimer: I was not paid by this company – I am just very enthusiastic about it!)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Chicago-Style Vegan Hot Dogs

It wasn't until I met my significant other, Zach, that I realized what a foodie city Chicago was. From upscale food to casual dining and everything in-between, they have it all. They have even developed their own versions of pizza and hot dogs. I mean, whoever thought to put the tomato sauce on top of the pizza?! Well, Chicagoans did and they also thought of this unique way of making hotdogs.

Zach decided to show me just how it is done, vegan-style, then I added a little flare afterwards.

Chicago-Style Vegan Hot dogs
Serves 6

  • 1 small onion 
  • 3 Kosher dill pickles
  • 1-2 small, ripe tomatoes
  • 1 package vegan hot dogs (recommended: Field Roast frankfurters)
  • 1 package whole wheat hot dog buns
  • Yellow mustard
  • Celery salt
  • Sport peppers (recommended: Puckered Pickle Company brand)
  • Optional: kimchi (recommended: Wildbrine Miso Horseradish Kimchi) (NOTE: this is not for the traditional Chicago hot dog)

Begin by dicing the onion, then cut the dill pickles into quarters.

Then, cut the tomato in half and slice tomato slices that look like this:

Begin cooking your vegan hot dogs as according to the package. You can usually either boil, grill, or saute them. I chose to grill them on my grill pan.

We found that the hot dog buns that we bought had way too much bread so we actually hollowed out the top of each one by cutting and scooping some of the bread out, leaving the outside layer intact. This also made more room for the toppings.

Once the hot dogs are cooked, place them in the buns, then top with diced onions. Squeeze mustard on one side. Fill with tomatoes on one side and pickles on the other. Then, sprinkle with celery salt and top with sport peppers.

These hot dogs promise to be a taste explosion in your mouth. They are so good! How can I ever eat them with just relish ever again? Chicago, you have ruined me.

But, now, for my take - I also topped them with Wildbrine's Miso Horseradish Kimchi. Kimchi hot dogs you say? Don't knock it until you try it. They are darned good and spicy!

Quick note: this was our first time trying Field Roast frankfurters and we thought they were out of this world. They are definitely some of the best tasting vegan hot dogs I've ever had. No wonder they are currently Field Roast's top seller.