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Friday, December 31, 2010

New Years Resolutions!

I know that people say that resolutions are silly, but mine usually last through the better half of January, so why not?

-Bake/cook at home more.
-Go out with friends more.
-Take last class and then apply for grad school.
-Start walking to work and start running again!
-Do not use my credit card to purchase anything.
-Plan a big solo vacation for me and only me.
-Plan vacation with mom to NY!
-Really decide what I want to do.
-Move out on my own!
This is an edit! I got inspired to try to do more. I want to hang this list on my wall so I can keep track of it.

Monday, December 27, 2010

3 hours until my birthday!

But you, dear readers, do not care about my birthday. And I don't blame you. You are here to see and drool over some fucking delicious vegan food! Yesss! I'm going to blog about three of my absolute favorite places in Minneapolis to have a good, fairly-priced meal/cup of joe.
1. So. Triple Rock Social Club.
I FUCKING LOVE THIS PLACE TO THE VERY CORE OF MY BEING. *cough* I mean, this place is pretty awes.
It's divey, but this place has the most kickass jukebox and my favorite bartender! The jukebox has the Descendants, Bowie, Queen, Lifter Puller, and every other wonderful band you'd ever want to hear while getting your eat and drank on. Here, I show you:

Oops. Forgot to mention that they carry Cake Eater Bakery goods. This gigantic cupcake would be a vegan marble cupcake. Ummm yum. There are no other words.

Like I said before, delightfully divey, but oh so wonderfully cozy.

This would be one of the many best dishes that the T-Rock has to offer: vegan mac n cheese! Its creamy noochy goodness and that damn piece of fluffy bread it comes with keep me coming back for more. I crave this on the regular.
This place is great if you don't want to spend too much money. The drink deals are fantastic, drinks are relatively cheap anyway and the vegan food menu is HUGE. And cheap. And delicious. They also have a kickass weekend vegan brunch that includes vegan pigs in a blanket, people. Whether your coming here pre or post bender, the T-Rock is always a safe bet. Enjoy, my friends, enjoy.

2. Hard Times Cafe
This place is the shit. Literally. Another divey place but this time, with coffee and no booze!

I fucking love their coffee ever since they decided to start brewing it right. I also have a growing appreciation for their pastries, as they've been getting creative! (See previous post a couple of weeks ago!) But what, you think I'm going to let you leave without feeding your eyes some of this good sturff? Nope. And yes, I meant "sturff":

Coffee and a delicious vegan chocolate blackberry cupcake? Check. Pssst...they also have vegan mochas!! That thing next to it is a vegan cinnamon roll. Yummm...easily the best vegan cinnamon roll I've ever had! The baker knows what he/she's doing.

The dish that you are seeing above is Manfriend and my "default dish". We always get the vegan biscuits and gravy, partially because that freaking huge plate on the left that you're seeing? Shyeah. $5. BEAT THAT. And I believe I mentioned in the other post how these are the best b&gs I've EVER had, bar none.

Even the veggie stir fries are full of flavor. The chili is spicy as shit. I love this place. Sigh...

3. Last but not least! Matchbox Cafe in NE MPLS! See above. It is a very tiny cafe with $1 coffees. This place has THE BEST cup of joe in Minneapolis and they are conveniently located right in NE Mpls. I can surfs teh webz, dranks ma coffeez and eat a vegan pastry or an ABC vegan cookie. So good.

Also, I thought I would mention that I love my new Macbook Pro. This thing is saving my sanity. Hope you all had a good dose of the holidays and that you're ready for me to kick it into high gear! More updates to come...

MN Vegan

Go shortaaay, it's my birthday!

Tomorrow, of course. I'm turning the big 2-4. I haven't been updating in a week or so and I'm really freaking sorry about that. It's been crazy around here and my computer is on the fritz to boot!
Tomorrow, however, I will be updating you all on everything from a brand new, beautiful MacBook. And just to show you how serious I am I will also play 3 straight hours of the Sims, just for you people.

I have tons to blog about and I'm so excited to show you all what's been happening in my kitchen/mouth/life!

MN Vegan

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Mmmm delicious updating!

So yesterday was a fairly busy day. I went to visit my grandma's sister and presented her with a gorgeous pink scarf. She seemed to like it a lot! I purchased it from Ethique Nouveau here in Minneapolis. I'm really glad she liked it!
Then I went to a vegan meet up at 3 Tiers which has a couple of vegan selections on their menu including a vegan Bahn Mi and another veggie sandwich, a couple of soup selections (I had the tomato basil) and even a couple of dessert selections! (2 truffles, a vegan cupcake). It's a nice little place in south Minneapolis. I enjoyed meeting new people and talking with everyone.

All right let's cut to the fucking chase through all of this frou frou-y bullcrap. Today I have a vegan holiday cookie exchange. I made the chocolate peanut butter filled cookies from Soy, Not Oi! minus the peanut butter filling because I did not have any vegan powdered sugar on hand. This book is DIY up an down and everything I've made out of here, though seemingly pretty primitive (and I say this lovingly), is fucking delicious! I would like to highlight that the banana flops are not to be missed and the recipe to make your own beer is golden. Hell yes.
Ok get ready for a couple of food reviews, because I'm raring to go on this one.

I tried the recipe for Chickpea Cutlets from Veganomicon finally after hearing all these wonderful things about the recipe. HOLY SHIT. I have been missing out. They're so easy to make! I'm not going to paste the recipe here in hopes that you buy the book if you don't already have it because this recipe is golden. Here, take a looky:

The ones on the left were fried and the ones on the right are baked. Personally, I prefer the baked chickpea cutlets. They have a better, less oily/fried, taste obviously.

Yep. This is what happens to a slice of soy cheese in the toaster oven. WTF?!

I personally love eating the chickpea cutlets with a blob of this stuff. It is perfect and completely vegan!

We might have gotten snowed in last weekend and invented a magnetic garlic shelf. Hee.

Ok now Tofurky Frozen Pizza with Daiya. This is something that, when I first saw it, I was like "oh no they didn't". Oh yes they did. But I'm kind of disappointed and believe I am a victim of false advertisement in a way. The crust was crispy, the sauce was tomato-y and mildly sweet but the Daiya vegan cheese?

Minimal. I want more Daiya. Like what it looks like on your package:

Ah well. It should also be mentioned that I got this for XMAS:

I have been baking up a storm with it. In fact! Manfriend and I had a cookie contest at the Uptown Whole Foods just the other week. His recipe did not win against the non-vegan ones, but we were still excited to be a part of it! Here's me with the cookies:

It was really fun! The Whole Foods crew bakes your cookies following the recipe you submitted and then people come in to taste them and they vote on the best one! We had entered Manfriend's vegan tollhouse cookie recipe and got selected as one of five to compete for the winning treat! Like I said, we didn't win, but it was really fun. I enjoyed myself!

Happy Hol's ya'll.

MN Vegan

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Shit's hectic!

Sorry guys. Haven't been blogging in a while because of the hol's. It's been crazy busy and tomorrow I have to make 2 dozen cookies for a vegan cookie exchange!
In other news, someone got Sims 3 as an early birthday present. Fuck yes!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Interview with a Vegan: Melissa

I met Melissa through Donut Cooperative. She's one creative lady! She mad a crap ton of wonderful knit things for Knits for Neuters, Crochet for Spays and she's an activist of the brilliant kind. She also designed one of the vegan signature donuts for Donut Cooperative (Chai) and it was fucking delicious. I also delivered donuts to her when we were first starting out and I was testing for the perfect vegan donut recipe. I initially met her then.
I'm honored to have her as an interviewee, and just as expected she delivered! In terms of her survey answers, that is. This is why I love my blog:

1. How many years have you been vegan?
Going on seven years now, I believe. I was vegetarian for quite some time before I went vegan so it all blurs together a bit.

2. What made you choose veganism and why?
I originally went veg in college. I was taking intro to Philosophy the first semester of my freshman year ('98). We really really quickly covered Peter Singer's basic utilitarian argument in one class. I'm talking bare bones version here - animals suffer, we don't need meat to live, we're causing suffering for an unnecessary reason and that's Really Not Cool. That was enough to get me to go veg for three years. Just that blurb. I went "he's right, I can't argue that at all" and I stopped eating meat. I also quit drinking milk - for some reason I justified cheese and ice cream but drank soy to help with the veal connection. Ah, I was young and silly. I remember making mac n' cheese in the dorm with soymilk. *facepalm* Anyway, I backslid my final year of college and started eating poultry and fish again. That lasted about 8-10 months or so until I read Singer's whole book "Animal Liberation". I needed to really go deeper and recognize why it was that I stopped eating animals in the first place. It worked, I went back to strict vegetarian. The next books I read was John Robbin's "Diet for a New America" and "Food Revolution". I went vegan. I've been vegan ever since. I needed to have a firmer, more passionate ethics system in place to stay committed. That one day of Singer philosophy in college got me to start and gave me three years of steam... which isn't too shabby considering it was 45 minutes of class to make that sort of change. Reading the full book, reading as many AR books as I could get my hands on, watching Peaceable Kingdom... these things just gave me more visual and mental images of the sort of suffering animal products entail to fall back on. Cheese isn't tempting when you look at it and see the horrorshow of the dairy industry. Meat is not appealing when you look at it and see a dead and tortured body, not food. In the end, the reason I'm vegan is for the animals. All the billions of them who die every year because people like how their bodies taste. As soon as I related to all those animals, animals I would never meet or know personally but for whom life is precious, I wasn't able to see them as anything other than individuals. They weren't somethings they were someONE. Someone who suffered and died for a completely unnecessary reason. Someone who is afraid and hurting, who cries for their mother or their child, who never gets to feel the breeze or feel the sun ... someone who never knows humans can be kind, who only knows humans who hurt them, yell at them, kill them. Seeing them as we see the animals who share our lives and live as our family members - as worthy of protection and kindness. That small distinction between seeing a thing and seeing a being makes a huge difference in how one relates to our fellow animals.

3. What keeps you vegan every day?
Well, I hate to say it but it's not even a struggle to me anymore. Animal products just aren't food. They aren't even on my radar at all as something to be tempted by. It's relatively easy to be vegan when those non-vegan items aren't a temptation or desirable in any way. Sure, I'll sometimes go "man, I miss X" but when I'm thinking about X, I'm not wishing I wasn't vegan so I could justify eating it, I'm wishing someone made a vegan version! :) Really, going back to why I'm vegan up above, it's the animals again. I'm vegan for them. With the focus on the animals, it's impossible to justify not being vegan. Any of the other benefits of veganism - better health, longevity, environmental stuff, human rights stuff - it's all second string to the animals. They deserve to be free of suffering and there is no way to use them as commodities without causing suffering. None. Humane farming does not exist. Whenever animals are seen as things their needs are secondary (or worse) and they are exploited. Period. The only way to avoid supporting animal suffering in agriculture is to opt out of the whole process entirely. "Happy meat" and cage-free eggs as a humane option are a bald-faced lie. Those animals suffer, too. And even if they didn't they are being used as a means to an end rather than being respected as an end in themselves. They aren't valued as individuals - only as products. Not cool.

4. What's your favorite vegan item from the grocery store and why?
Oh sheesh, Sarah! You're killing me with this one. Just one? Okay, well I'm leaving out whole foods (like produce and such) since I assume you want a pre-made product. I like so many things that are just naturally vegan. Plants are pretty freaking awesome. Like dates - they are magical. Coconuts, too. Mmm. I guess the packaged vegan thing I buy all the time and always have on hand is Almond Breeze vanilla unsweetened almond milk. I use it constantly - in my melted banana morning oatmeal, in agar puddings or frozen banana "ice cream", in chai puddings and overnight oats. Yum. It is always in my fridge and I would be totally lost without it. I make so many things that call for it. Plus, I'm a calorie counter and 40 calories in a cup = lots of nutrition for a small calorie cost. Love it. I also really love Daiya and We Can't Say It's Cheese cheddar spread and Leahey's Garden mac n' cheese. Oh! Artisana Coconut Butter is like some sort of divine mana from paradise. Seriously, if you like coconut - get it. Pricey but worth every cent, it's raw, creamy, naturally sweet and great on cinnamon raisin toast, in oatmeal, as "frosting" on cakes or just out the jar with a spoon. NOM. Since I can't seem to stop, I also really love Sweet and Sara's coconut marshmallows, So Delicious ice creams and Gardein vegan proteins.

5. If you wanted to eat good vegan food, where in the world would you want to be and what would you get?
I know it's SUCH a cliche but I'd be back in Portland, OR. Everywhere I ate there was just fantastic. Blossoming Lotus (walnut crusted tempeh! raw cheesecake!), Bye and Bye (really amazing bar food - best meatball sub ever), SweetPea Bakery (amazing Sunday brunch - biscuits and gravy to die for.), Back to Eden Bakery (too many good things to list) and Cartopia (vegan crepes with dark chocolate and pear... seriously delicious) were just some of the ones I immediately recall. I'd probably try to eat as much as possible and then want to lie on my hotel bed and moan for a bit. Oh wait, I already did that. ;)

6. If you were in Minneapolis and you wanted to go out for vegan food, where would you go and what would you get?
Another tough one since it varies on my mood. The places we go regularly include Ecopolitan (rawvioli and tostadas are my favorites), Evergreen (I always get the vegan Moo Goo Gai Pan) and French Meadow (tempeh cutlet, perfection on a plate). I also was recently introduced to Triple Rock and really like their french toast, pancakes and sandwiches. Also, since I'm living in St.Paul, I need to give our grub some loving! Here in STP we really like Fasika (best Ethiopian ever - I like the split peas, greens and stew and the injera is so amazing), Tampopo Noodle shop (kitsuna soba is my jam), Pizza Luce (Rustler, baby, with rinotta) and Bravo (vegan fish with mushrooms and brown rice.)

7. What's your favorite vegan meal consist of in full detail and where can we find this meal?
Oh sheesh. Okay, I'm going with the tempeh cutlet at French Meadow. But, it's under protest(!) since I am loathe to pick just one.I don't know how French Meadow does it but they have managed to make a perfect meal. Dense flavorful tempeh is rolled is some sort of tasty light breading and then pan fried until perfectly crunchy. They serve this marvelous chunk of heaven with the most delicious lightly steamed chard and spicy, creamy coconut red beans with savory dirty rice. And then they cover it with a tangy, sweet and sour blood orange viniagrette. It is all these different flavors and textures brought together in this absolutely perfect balance. You read the menu description and it's like "eh, that could be weird" but it's NOT. It's amazing. Kitchen magic at its finest.

8. What's your favorite place ever to get vegan desserts?
Hoo boy. It's billion way a tie. The Green Owl in Madison, Wisconsin makes a coconut cream pie that I would gladly accept as my last meal. It is perfection - we will swing into Madison whenever we drive past just to see if they have it that day. I'm not even kidding. We also had the most amazing cookie ever at the Cheese Factory in Wisconsin Dells. Yes, a vegan/vegetarian restaurant exists in the Dells! They make a maple walnut cookie that is the ruling champion for best cookie ever eaten. I would be remiss to not mention the Chicago Diner in Chicago and their epic shakes. Chicago Soydairy ice cream concoctions, they are so good it's probably illegal. I like the cookie dough and peanut butter combo. Here in the cities, Ecopolitan is my dessert champ. Their raw coconut cream pie is just as good as the Green Owl's non-raw version, just different. Also, their berry parfaits are epic. Now I'm hungry. This is a pretty cruel survey. '

9. Do you think that you'll stay vegan for the rest of your life?
Without question, yes. Barring a zombie apocalypse. All bets are off then.

10. What would you do if you were given a pool full of cooked spaghetti? Be descriptive.
I would get a dump truck and take it to the chickens at Chicken Run! They LOVE spaghetti. :D I'd make some lovely sauce, grab all my friends and have a pasta party with the chickens (as guests of honor, not the entree!).

A million thanks, Melissa! I always learn something wonderful from you. I now know that chickens eat spaghetti (really?!), my surveys make people incredibly hungry and that I really should've tried the brunch at Sweetpea Bakery in Portland when I was there. I'm a sucker for good biscuits and gravy.

Fin, meng.

MN Vegan

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Psycho Suzie's in NE Minneapolis!

NE Minneapolis has really become the hot spot to party on the weekends. The people here are fucking nice as hell and there's a couple of strips of really great bars to get your drink on.

Psycho Suzie's is one of my favorite places to, I guess. They have a drink menu a mile long that includes a flaming punch bowl that I might have taken to over the last couple of years. I love this place and have for a while, but they never had a vegan cheese option for their pizza up until they opened up in their new location.
Background: A couple of years ago, I went here with my momma and got a freaking HUGE pizza thinking that they had soy cheese by rumor. Well, they did have soy cheese, but it had casein in it. Gross. So alas, I had a (pretty decent) soy cheese-less pizza.
Well that was then, and this is now!
This place has re-opened in a larger venue a tiny bit closer to my house in NE Minneapolis, AND THEY HAVE DAIYA! Wahoo! Something should be said for the new decor too. Everything is tiki-themed...even the drinks!

I had to go. It was imperative.
I got a medium Daiya soy cheese pizza with all of the vegetables I could handle. This ended up being really expensive so DO NOT order all of the veggies you can handle, unless you get a different size than a medium.

Now I love Pizza Luce very much (mainly because I have to because Manfriend works there) but Psycho Suzie's pizza crust cannot be beat. It's crispy and chewy and at the same time, has the floppiness of a New York style type of pizza beyond the crust. The red sauce, which is vegan, is slightly sweeter than I'm used to, but with the Daiya it created this sweet/savory combination that was really delicious!

And as I noted before, this place is wonderful for really strong tiki drinks. This mug is typical of what your drink would be served in and the tiki mugs are handmade! So freaking cool!

Do not forget about their vegetarian chili (which is vegan without the toppings). It's also great for days when you need something good and hearty in the middle of winter.
Do it up!

MN Vegan

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

An open letter to the modern "ideal" woman body:

Dear modern "ideal" woman body:

My struggle with disordered eating started in the 4th grade because of your shitty ideals. I was stupid for buying into what you were selling back then, but I am more stupid for letting you affect my self esteem and how I feel about myself in general up until this point. That's nearly 15 years of being obsessed with how I look size-wise, fretting over whether or not I weighed more than my girlfriends, comparing myself and what I eat to other women, restricting my diet to the point of passing out, the period in my life of dealing with anorexia that I went through, the period of compulsive overeating that I went through and how I felt about others that weighed either less or more than I do/did. Why the crap I let you affect me so long IS very clear, however. From a young age I was a perfectionist, later in life finding out through getting a B in math among not making the JV basketball team that perfection was not something I would attain all the time (or really ever).
I have not loved myself before others because of you. I have not loved others as I much as I could because of you. I have not let others love me as much as they wanted to because of you. Frankly, I'm fucking sick of it.
So I'm going to do what the gutter punk in me says to do. I'm going to rebel against your shitty ideals. Hell yes I'm not a size 2 or even a size 6. I actually have an ass (and a nice one at that) and hips and boobs that are bigger than a B cup. Hell yes, I fucking eat healthy every day, exercise whenever I get the chance and indulge occasionally. I LOVE DESSERT and there's nothing you or the number I see on the scale can do about it. I am rebelling against the notion that in order to be and feel skinny/happy/satisfied, I have to be constantly stressing about the number on the scale/my size/what I just ate. Fuck it. You will have no control over it anymore. If I eat healthy and I exercise, there's no reason why I have to EVER worry about your rules or mold to your standards. I know I will naturally become larger/smaller to whatever my body size is supposed to be. I'm not going to compromise my sanity for you anymore.

You fucking suck,

MN Vegan

Interview with a Vegan #2: Ryan

Ryan is a wonderfully informative and very passionate vegan I met through Animal Rights Coalition. She is someone I have already learned so much from in the short time I have known her and she also shares the same love for Daiya vegan cheese that I do! I am very happy to know her and very fortunate to have her as an interviewee in my blog.

Without further delay, here's the interview, coming atcha:

1. How many years have you been vegan?
I have been Vegan almost two years

2. What made you choose veganism and why?
I'm not proud to admit this but I was trying to lose a little vanity weight and bought Skinny Bitch having no idea that this unassuming diet book punches you in the face halfway thru by detailing what gruesomely happens to animals for our palates and how bad animal products are for our bodies. The reason I don't talk about that much is because in hindsight, that book is full of speciesist language that ultimately enforces our notions that animals are less than us (like saying if you eat too much you're a "fat pig"). I hadn't even finished the book before I decided to be Vegan and I didn't even have a "last meal". I've been Vegan since. And I lost THIRTY pounds. I was aiming for ten.

3. What keeps you vegan every day?
My morals and ethics keep me Vegan every day. I can't live out of line with my values of compassion for non-human animals. This is made markedly easier because I like to get active about things I'm passionate about. I got involved by volunteering immediately and have made a lot of great friends. The first few months are definitely the hardest if you don't have any support, thankfully I did but I had to seek it out.

4. What's your favorite vegan item from the grocery store and why?
I'm a little bit of a junk food nut. I like Veganaise (mayo) and Daiya (Cheese) and I put them on almost everything. I'd say the biggest must have would probably be "nutch" (nutritional yeast). It's got a great cheesy, nutty flavor and is perfect to sprinkle on pastas and salads and just about anything. I like spinach a lot too. Oooh, and avocados. And cilantro. Oh yeah, Tofu (after I freeze it, of course). Thanks, now I'm starving.

5. If you wanted to eat good vegan food, where in the world would you want to be and what would you get?
I would love to be Vegan in Oregon or New York or California. Minneapolis is really veg friendly though, it's hard to say what I'd seek out elsewhere. I guess I'd like to try something from Loving Hut but I don't know where the closest one is, definitely not in MN. I'd also love to go to a really swanky restaurant that's all Vegan. The closest thing here is Ecopolitan, not swanky, raw, but at least you can eat everything there.

6. If you were in Minneapolis and you wanted to go out for vegan food, where would you go and what would you get?
There may be no better place on earth for Vegan food besides Evergreen on Nicolette near "Eat Street". The greatest thing in the world is their Pepper Fried Mock Pork. I just die every time I have it.

7. What's your favorite vegan meal consist of in full detail and where can we find this meal?
Same as number 6. It's pepper fried battered mock pork. There's peppers and it's fried. What more do you need to know!?

8. What's your favorite place ever to get vegan desserts?
I love that Minneapolis is now blessed with Vegan Donuts thanks to the Donut Cooperative. :) Those are delivered though... I really like Namaste in Uptown on Hennepin. The have a Vegan coconut carrot creme brulee that will blow your mind.

9. Do you think that you'll stay vegan for the rest of your life?
I have no choice. I have a tattoo on my wrist that says Vegan and there's few things I dislike more than contradicting myself. Even if I didn't have it, yes, I would always be Vegan. I don't think there is any other way to live. And it's too easy. Veganism is becoming so mainstream that anyone could do it.

10. What would would you yell (if you had to yell something) if you were at the top of Mount Everest alone?
Probably something unbelievably stupid like "Riiiicooollllaaa!"

Thank you again Ryan! You never fail to make me laugh until I freaking piss myself. Ryan can be seen volunteering with the best of the bunch at Animal Rights Coalition (Ethique Nouveau in Minneapolis). You all should get to know her and I believe her blog is featured in my blog role as Vegan Minneapolis on the side of my page so make sure you follow that shit, people.

MN Vegan

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Cafe Bravo! Plus tofu success!!

Cafe Bravo is a lovely little gem right off of Grand Ave in St Paul. This place is great! Their treats are not vegan, but they can make vegan bubble tea and their whole menu (consisting of Chinese cuisine), is vegan except for two dishes. The non-vegan dishes are also clearly marked.
My mother and I went here a couple of weekends ago. She got the tofu in szechuan sauce with brown rice and broccoli and I got the kung poa tofu. However! We did start off the meal with these delicious Chinese dumplings, which were vegan of course.

Fucking awesome! They were very good.

Now, the picture I'm about to show you is of my mother's plate, someone who claims to abhor tofu.

Yep. She loved the tofu. She loved the sauce, and she LOVED THE TOFU. If this place made my mom like tofu, then that's saying something.

My plate looked similar, of course.

Yep. Go now! This place is great. I might crave their food every day....maybe.

Bravo! Cafe and Bakery
1106 Grand Ave
Saint Paul, MN 55105

MN Vegan

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Cake Eater!

There are a handful of places that a vegan can get treats. Wedge Co Op, Ethique Nouveau, Hard Times...the list may go on.
But, for those days when my sweet tooth is craving a decadent as well as delicious-in-every-single-way treat, I look to Cake Eater Bakery.

This place is a fantastic place for vegans to discovery really well-made vegan baked goods. They usually have a couple of of vegan items, which includes but is not limited to cupcakes, whoopie pies, cookies, bars and scones. I know what you're thinking. "Sarah, I could just make this shit at home".

No no no. See you can't just make this shit at home. They have the most delectable vegan desserts ever and these are quality. I personally have never had a better vegan snickerdoodle and I KNOW the best and worst of snickerdoodles as they are my favorite cookie.
It's not like what your baking up at home. And plus, they also sell coffee, tea and other items inside.

And can I also mention that this place has an ultra adorable interior as well as exterior? It's a fantastic place to slow down and take it easy. Maybe eat a couple of cupcakes and have a cup of joe. You know, chillax. The people here have been super nice every time I've been coming in lately so they'll help you figure out everything you want.

So if you're looking for vegan treats in the Twin Cities, look no further than this place. It will satisfy even the pickiest sweet tooth.

Cake Eater Bakery
2929 East 25th Street
Minneapolis, MN 55406-1325

MN Vegan

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Interview with a Vegan #1: Manfriend

This is a new series of blog entries that I'd like to do here. I love hearing about how people came to choose veganism because everyone's way of getting there is always different. Today I will be interviewing Manfriend. He's pretty great and mucho entertaining, but I've never really asked him the questions below so this will be interesting.

1. How many years have you been vegan?
I don't know, four years.

2. What made you choose veganism?
My girlfriend.

3. Why did this make you choose veganism?
I wanted to make my girlfriend happy.

4. What keeps you vegan every day?
I can't handle the thought of something dying so I can eat.

5. What's your favorite vegan item from the grocery store and why?
Super firm tofu. You don't need to press it.

6. If you wanted to eat good vegan food, where in the world would you want to be?
Triple Rock Social Club (in Minneapolis, MN).

7. Why?
Vegan Po' Boys (a sandwich).

8. What's your favorite vegan meal consist of in full detail and where can we find this meal?
French fries, Vegan Po Boy, Hardcore Cider at Triple Rock Social Club.

9. What's your favorite place ever to get vegan desserts?
Cake Eater (Minneapolis, MN) or Voodoo Donuts (Portland, Oregon).

10. Do you think that you'll stay vegan for the rest of your life?

11. What would the cross between an elephant and a moose be called, if there was such an animal?
A melephant.

Well, there ya have it, folks. Brutally honest, just how I likes it.

MN Vegan

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Minnesota, I'm baaaaccck...

What's up homies (literally)?!

Yep, I'm home. I've been home, but this will be my first post in this new blog about Minnesota. The blog has arrived!
I'm going to dedicate this post to something near and dear to my heart. This is, specifically, biscuits and gravy. There are so many ways to fuck up biscuits and gravy. There are so many ways to make bland biscuits and gravy. And then! There's Hard Times Cafe! This place is a gem for Minneapolis. You won't get the kindest service here, but you will get a full belly. This place is DIY up and down. They have donated books for you to read, games for you to play and fuck if they'll bus your table. This place is grungy and I loves it.
Not only that, but I have had many a tasty cheap dish here and they have the BEST VEGAN BISCUITS AND GRAVY EVER IN THIS WORLD. I shit you not, you will not find better biscuits and gravy. I've done the legwork on this one. Promise. This will have even the most omni-est omni down on their knees begging for more.
I got to tell you's the gravy! See?

What's also nice about this place is they have hot sauce and nooch ready for you to top your dish with at the pick-up counter. This is heaven. Flaky biscuits smothered in a thick mushroom (not almond, motherfuckers, nonono, mushroom!) gravy topped with green onions and dices of tomato. Yep, I'm drooling. But wait, there's more.

They also have black bean and corn chili that will burn your ass off. This was perfect if I was a person who could taste their food through a thoroughly fried tongue. Spicy! Not that it was bad at all but I will say once again the word "spicy". Spicy as hell!
Hard Times is also a great place to indulge a sweet tooth and get a decent cup of joe for super cheap. They usually have vegan muffins, cupcakes and cookies and they're freaking huge. It looks like they've been traversing outward though when it comes to their vegan baked goods.

A vegan apple tart. Yep. They only other place I've even seen a vegan tart was in Portland. And maybe in NYC. But not Minnesota, hell no. Same goes for this delectable treat...

A vegan chocolate croissant. Which I have not had until this appeared in front of me. It was awesome! I never even had one of these when I was pregan and the only other place I've ever seen these attempted was in Portland. Hot damn. Makes me wonder where they're getting their vegan puff pastry for that tart...

Anyways, you all should already be there eating by now! What's the deal? Get over there!

Hard Times Cafe
1821 Riverside Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55454

MN Vegan