Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Frisch Compassionate Eatery, Salt Lake City, UT

After an incredible trip to Twin Falls, Idaho, we headed back towards Salt Lake City airport. Determined to get a good vegan meal, I scoured the web for a place that was open and would be good. Frisch Compassionate Eatery seemed like the best choice. Located in a strip mall with barely any sign, we were just thankful that we finally found it before they closed at 8 p.m.!

This small vegan cafe had a lively interior with bright yellow walls and turquoise accents. It felt like a 50's diner, but much nicer. There wasn't too much seating, but there also wasn't anyone else there so it worked out well. We sat down and after five minutes, got thirsty so I asked for the natural soda I ordered and for them to fill up the water container. They did so promptly.

We started with the Full Whittaker Smothered Nachos. These nachos were topped with spicy soy chick'n and smothered with a nutritional yeast based cheese and their housemade hot sauce. Chris loved it. It took me a few minutes to warm up to the unusual flavors, but after a few minutes I was into it. Chris nearly ate the whole plate!

I also ordered a small Technicolor Tempeh Kale sald for $4 that had mixed greens, kale, carrots, sprouts, and kale. It was very fresh, but the tempeh could have used a bit more flavor.

We also ordered their Spicy Mac n Cheese made with spicy soy curls, tomatoes and the same housemade cheese sauce used on the nachos. I just felt like the cheese sauce worked on the nachos, but didn't stand alone very well. I got some of their housemade hot sauce, which is one of the best hot sauces I've ever had, and that made the meal!

I love that this place is all-vegan and offers very fresh food. Their hot sauce is spectacular, but some of the dishes could use a little oomph. Most items are $7-$9 each so not bad. And the people who work there are super nice. I'd come back, but next time I'd try their sandwiches instead.

Frisch Compassionate Eatery
145 E 1300 S, Suite 201
Salt Lake City, UT 84115
(801) 906-8277

Frisch Compassionate Eatery on Urbanspoon

Sunday, September 27, 2015

DC VegFest is Coming this Saturday!

What's that? Yes, DC VegFest is coming this Saturday, October 3 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Yards Park! Um, yay!!! If you haven't been in the past, DC VegFest is a huge vegetarian festival and this one will be the biggest, best, most delicious DC VegFest ever!

First and foremost, you'll have food vendors that will allow you sample all the delicious vegan food you desire. Companies such as Craft Kombucha, DC Vegan Catering, Kate Bakes, Better Bean, Undone Chocolate, Tofurky, and Daiya. I attended the Media Preview this week and got a wonderful preview of what's to come!

There are restaurant vendors too like Equinox, Busboys, Better Batch, Vegan Treats, Sticky Fingers, and Vegetable Garden.

The speaker lineup, however, is by far the most impressive of all. It includes:
  • David Carter: The 300-pound vegan, NFL Player
  • Richard Landau & Kate Jacoby: Vedge cooking demo
  • DJ Cavem & Alkemia Earth: Culinary Concert
  • Jane Velez-Mitchell:, emcee
  • Gene Baur: Living the Farm Sanctuary Life
  • Rich Roll & Julie Piatt: cooking demo
  • Dr. Aysha Akhtar: Animals and Public Health
See the full schedule at here.
Rich Landau, Kate Jacoby, and me

There will be more than 125 exhibitors, partners, and sponsors including compassionate companies and non-profits!

This FREE outdoor event will be held at Yards Park at the corner of N & 1st Streets SE on Saturday, October 3. And if you are in the market for a new companion animal, check out the animals the Washington Humane Society will have for adoption. There is even a kid's area for the children. Just be sure to get there early. The line for the awesome bags starts hours before the festival opens. See you there!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Twin Falls Sandwich Company, Twin Falls, ID

We had been out BASE jumping all morning off the Perrine Bridge in Twin Falls, Idaho when the winds picked up. High winds = no BASE jumping. So, we took a break and went for lunch in town. Who knew Twin Falls had a little downtown area? We didn't. And there's a little sandwich shop called the Twin Falls Sandwich Company.

Inside this place is huge for a sandwich shop! And it is a cool place to hang out. There are couches and tables with bikes hanging from the ceiling and guitars on the wall. There are a few vegan options here including a cold hummus and veggie sandwich, a hot veggie sandwich, a vegan burger, and a vegan panini.

I ordered the vegan panini to go. When we got back to the bridge, I opened up the package and it looked great. The salad was super fresh with mixed greens, red onion, tomatoes, and black olives.

The panini looked good too until I looked inside. It was described as a panini with fresh mushrooms, bell peppers, tomatoes, and onions topped with a garlic olive oil and red wine vinegar. Instead of plural though, the vegetables should be singular as there was hardly anything inside the bread. It was like an empty sandwich with just a few slices of mushrooms, a couple onions, and a tomato. It was very sad. The bread itself was spectacular and had it been loaded with veggies, this sandwich would have been great. Instead it was a let-down. Next time, I'll have to ask to quadruple the veggies because this was a bit ridiculous. The sandwich also needs a sauce like a pesto sauce - then it would be perfect.

They also gave me a sample of their hot sauce, which was oh so good.

Twin Falls Sandwich Company - I'm not giving up on you yet. Please add more veggies and a brighter sauce to this panini and make us vegans proud! For $7, you should be able to load on the veggies and we'll all be happy as we sail off into the sunset eating your vegan panini.

Twin Falls Sandwich Company
128 Main Avenue N
Twin Falls, ID 83301
(208) 734-8372

Twin Falls Sandwich Company on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Equinox, DC #5

Okay, okay, I know I've reviewed Equinox a lot, but I just can't get enough of this place. I was intrigued by the Vegan Smackdown Challenge Chef Todd Gray has been doing this year where he invites one chef a month to provide him with one of their signature meaty dishes, then he veganizes it! What a grand idea. This month was Mary Sue Milliken's Summer Sweet Corn Tamales.

My friends were intrigued too, so I met them there on a Thursday night. The dining room looked as nice as it always has with its classy white tablecloths and tall black comfy chairs. We were seated in the large glass dining room.  Chef Gray came out to greet us as two out of three of us know him. He's always so pleasant. He started us off with some Black Bean Beignets that were absolutely scrumptious. They were not on the menu, but they really should be!

What really surprised us was that not only do they have a Vegan Tasting Menu, but they also have a bunch of items on the regular menu that are vegan that are different from the tasting menu so options at Equinox are aplenty! We still decided to go with the Tasting Menu though.

But, wait, before that starts, let's get an order of the Artichokes Alla Romana! These fried artichokes were served with Italian parsley and red pepper aioli. This wasn't my favorite dish of the night as I felt the aioli needed something else, but one of my friends liked it a lot.

For the first official course of the tasting, we started off with Chilled Avocado-Cucumber Soup made with almond milk. Sesame eggplant, cilantro leaves, and pistachio crumble was quickly covered with the avocado-cucumber soup. This soup was excellent. The eggplant really was an unusual twist to this soup and the crunchiness of the pistachios was a great addition. So much flavor, so little time.

The second course was the Sweet Corn Tamale with Garbanzo Beans. I loved this dish. The tamales were really good and served with a corn, black-eye pea, and red pepper succotash and tomatillo sauce. This was a hit at the table. It's a shame this is off the menu because I feel like this could be a staple.

The third course was the Housemade Bucatini pasta made with red beets and mixed with garlic-almond cream. On top was caramelized artichokes and chanterelle mushrooms with shaved "parmesan." Pretty good and very creative.

The fourth course was the Crispy Heirloom Cauliflower with Maple Sherry Glaze. This dish was good, but a bit too sweet for me. I'm not much of a sweet and sour girl. I loved the spinach and scallions and thought there should have been more of them. The ratatouille underneath was excellent and the toasted coconut was a nice touch.

Finally, we were served the Golden Peach Cobbler with lemon-almond streusel and vanilla bean gelato. This dessert was to die for. I could just come here and have this cobbler with a glass of wine and die a happy girl.

Afterwards, as a parting gift, we got little brownie bites and salty almond chocolates.

That was a lot of food for a weeknight. The vegan tasting menu is only $65 so it is hard to pass up, but afterwards I just felt guilty. Guilty pleasures! I do think the courses should be slightly smaller on this tasting menu though, but on the flip side, the value is quite good given the good price and plentiful food. The service is always great here and the ambiance romantic. As always, I'm leaving here satisfied and excited at the thought of returning in the near future.

Previous reviews
July 1, 2015
August 16, 2013
December 9, 2011
October 17, 2012

818 Connecticut Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20006
(202) 331-8118

Equinox on Urbanspoon

Monday, September 21, 2015

Natural Products Expo East 2015

Another year, another show. This year's Natural Products Expo East felt smaller than ever. That's not to say that there weren't some great companies there, but the energy, vibe, and people were definitely less than previous years. Hopefully, they will continue to have this show in the future despite the low attendance. Here are a few of my favorite items that I found at the show in no particular order:

#1 Sweet Earth Farmstand Flaxbread Vegan Breakfast Sandwich

#2 Theo Classic Coconut Bites

#3 Garden of Flavor Cold-Pressed Juices

#4 Hilary's New Burger Flavors including Spicy Thai

#5 Bao Fermented Giardiniera and Sauces

#6 Five Star Foodies Artichoke Burgers in French Herb and Indian flavors

Until next time!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Love Muffin Cafe, Moab, UT

What is the most popular breakfast spot in all of Moab? Well, that's easy - Love Muffin Cafe!  The line coming out of this cafe on a Sunday morning is a sight to be seen! As we waited in the line, we were like, "this better be good." As one of the most vegan-friendly establishments in town, Love Muffin is a local favorite.

Open only for breakfast and lunch, they have many vegan options such as warm quinoa, waffles, and tofu sandwiches. We placed our order and grabbed a table. As I enjoyed my kombucha, we talked about the day and how we'd further explore this little town. Inside the cafe, there's a lot of energy, color, and artwork. It was a fun atmosphere.

After some time, myVeerrito finally arrived. This breakfast burrito filled with tofu, onions, spinach, chickpeas, poblano peppers, potatoes, and salsa, was pretty tasty! Of course, I added hot sauce. And for only $6, I really couldn't complain.

But, even better was the vegan peanut butter muffin! Oh. my. god. This was good. I'll take two next time.

Love Muffin - I love your vegan muffins! Good food and great prices. This will be my breakfast go-to from now on!

Love Muffin Cafe
139 N Main Street
Moab, UT 84532
(435) 259-6833

Love Muffin Cafe on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Twisted Sistas' Cafe, Moab, UT

After a long day of hiking in Moab, we were pretty hungry. I narrowed it down between two restaurants and we decided to give the Twisted Sistas' Cafe a go. Located right on the main road with a very colorful sign, it was easy to find.

Inside, the bar was bustling with lots of people enjoying happy hour. The wood rafters and balcony gave this place the feel of a country ranch while the colorful chairs and Christmas lights gave it a hippy spin.

We sat at a table for two. While there was only one vegan item on the menu, I was hoping we could find an appetizer as well. We inquired about the garlic herb flatbread with olive tapenade and the server assured us it was vegan. After ordering, she came back and said the flatbread was not vegan because there was dairy in it, but she could serve me some rice crackers with the tapenade instead. Okay, fine. It was actually pretty good! It went well with the wine as well.

For my entree, I ordered the vegan item on the menu -- Vegan Thai Vegetables. This coconut-based lime curry was loaded with squash, carrots, broccoli, red peppers, mushrooms, and tomatoes. It looked really good and definitely hit the spot, but the sauce needed more flavor.

We spent about an hour there eating dinner. The service was okay, the atmosphere was a bit dry, and the food left something to be desired. Also, for this small town, I'd say the food was definitely overpriced as the entree alone was like $16!  Next time, I think I'd choose another place instead of this one, but the truth be told, it's a small town without a lot of options so there's only so many places to go! Perhaps grabbing dinner from the local co-op and enjoying it picnic style on the rocks is another option.

Twisted Sistas' Cafe
12 E 100 N
Moab, UT 84532
(435) 355-0088

Twisted Sistas Cafe on Urbanspoon

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Eklecticafe, Moab, UT

Having driven all night from Salt Lake City to Moab, Utah (six-hour drive!), then sleeping in, by the time we awoke, we had a hankering for some good vegan food! But, "where to go?" I asked the locals. They all said, "Eklecticafe!" And, so, we went.

I really love this little town. Moab, Utah is this magical place with beautiful red-rock cliffs and some of the most unique rock formations in the world. It's a tourist destination for a number of outdoor sports including hiking, rock climbing, and BASE jumping, which is why we were there. The people who live here are outdoorsy people -- low-key and down-to-earth. This cafe reflects Moab very well.

True to its name, Eklecticafe is eclectic. Outside and inside, it is very colorful with plants galore! Inside, they sell artwork such as jewelry and pottery from all around the country including some local artists. The menu had a number of items that were vegan or could be veganized like scrambled tofu, tofu wrap, veggie wrap and PB&J. We placed our orders and went outside.

They have a great patio where you can enjoy the nice Moab weather. In fact, this little birdie came to visit.

I ordered the Indonesian Satay and it was delicious!  Over Indonesian-style rice with peas and raisins was tofu marinated in Braggs and topped with a peanut sauce. It was served with pickled cucumber. This really hit the spot.

I felt like I could have sat there all day, but we had hiking to do.  We didn't stay for long, but really loved this place. It is low-key, the service is fine, and the prices are fine as well. Oh, and the food was great! Definitely a must-visit in Moab. Just be aware that they are only open for breakfast and lunch. And be sure to check out the oversized steaming cup of tea on the way out!

352 N Main Street
Moab, Utah 84532
(435) 259-6898

Eklecticafe on Urbanspoon