Boston – Grasshopper Vegetarian Restaurant

After our last day at PAX East we opted to check out Grasshopper Vegetarian Restaurant. Once we got over there it was kind of funny… it was pretty much next to Peace O’Pie but we hadn’t even noticed in our myopic pizza quest the night before (and also probably didn’t notice because it was pretty dark outside.) Grasshopper Vegetarian has a casual atmosphere and friendly unintrusive service. There was a group of boys that went next door and brought in their own “drinks,” which I thought was incredibly weird on their part but somewhat nice on the part of the restaurant.

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PAX East Recap – Gamification, AbleGamers Foundation, Nerdification

After our Brunch at Veggie Galaxy it was time to go Nerd out at PAX. A couple of the signs outside the convention center really capture how it feels to be there – “Welcome Home” was my favourite, another one referencing WarGames was ‘Would you like to play a game?” The Boston Convention Center was totally packed with people and there were so many things to do, it was hard to decide. We managed to catch one of the panels I really wanted to see called “If I hear Gamification one more time I’m going to scream” was great and I’m glad we went. While sometimes it felt like a big self-promotion fest, there was a lot of valuable discussion on what gamification is and isn’t, and it’s potential uses for education, health, and fitness (as evidenced by Fitocracy.)

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Boston – Veggie Galaxy, Vegetarian Diner to the Stars.

Sunday was going to be our big PAX East fun day, since we’d have a full day to explore the exhibitors, the panels, and meet random folks from around the country (and North America.) But first, we had to have breakfast, of course. I wanted to go to Peace O’Pie after the great dinner we had the night before, but they were opening at 11am which would dig into our PAXing time too much. Veggie Galaxy fit our needs a little bit better and after a few tweets of encouragement from @MountainJammer we were on our way. Veggie Galaxy is open bright and early at 9am on Sundays and is easy to get to with public transit. One trip on the RedLine Subway to Central Square station, a very short walk, and you’re ready to eat. It’s vegetarian with most things veganizable. Expect to pay a bit more for the vegan options. It’s total classic diner style, has a brightly coloured exterior, and was full of oddly pleasant friendly people. They were nice, and service was good. It made me wonder what Boston has in the vegan water that Toronto is lacking in that department.

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Boston – Peace O’Pie vegan pizza & other deliciousness

Eventually after we recovered from the Samuel Adams Brewery Tour, we figured it was time to go for dinner before we fell asleep again. But where? We’d whittled away at our options getting lost on the internet for a few hours, but we ended up (happily) going to Peace O’Pie. Peace O’Pie (487 Cambridge Street,) is in Allston, MA and if you decide to visit from South Station by public transit, I wouldn’t recommend taking the red – green, subway – LRT combo we took the first time we went out there. The #66 bus is significantly faster from Harvard Square (Red line.) Walking in, it almost looks like a regular American pizzeria, a couple of tables, and that warm, bready aroma that hits you as soon as you’re in the door. Paper menus (and online) are at the front by the cash register or you can check out their specials on the chalkboard to the right of the counter. The menu is full of options, we were having a tough time deciding, but it came down to The EP and BBQ Chik’n. A foursquare tip said to go with The EP, so we did. While it wasn’t exactly my style, I liked it and it was full of interesting flavours. Smoked organic tempeh turned into ground round, sundried tomatoes, spinach and smoked garlic make for a great combination. I loved the thick fluffy crust and the slightly salty dough. We also ordered the cheesy bread, but the mozzarella daiya…

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Samuel Adams Brewery Tour, educational, fun, boozy.

A visit to the Samuel Adams Brewery was on my To Do list last year when I was in Boston for PAX East, but it never happened. With a day to ourselves, we opted to fill up Saturday with as much as possible. After a delicious brunch at True Bistro, we explored Harvard Square for a few hours and eventually made our way over to the Samuel Adams Brewery. According to Barnivore, most of Samuel Adams beer is vegan with the exception of Cherry Wheat (which has honey in it). So that was a big plus. And I just generally like the oddly friendly impression I get from them as a brand (i.e., their marketing department is doing a great job.) The Brewery (30 Germania Street, Jamaica Plains, MA) is easy to get to by public transit (and by subway specifically.) There was even a helpful MBTA transit employee letting people know how to get over the the brewery, which in case you’re wondering is Left – Right – Left as you exit Stony Brook station on the Orange Line.

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Boston – True Bistro Saturday Morning Vegan Brunch

No PAX this morning still meant I woke up super early (6-7am, so actually early, not just early for a Saturday) to a very beautiful sunrise near the harbour. We have a water facing room at the hotel so the first thing I saw this morning was an orange sky and a cute little steam boat. First thing on our agenda for the day was to have brunch. Some people say the Boston  area isn’t vegan friendly, I think it’s not bad. There are quite a few options for brunch, but we decided on True Bistro (1153 Broadway, Somerville, MA), because it was 100% vegan and because it was easy to get to by Subway from Boston (Take the Redline, exit at Davis Station.)

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Boston – Grilled Vegan Sandwiches from Flour Bakery and PAX East

We successfully arrived in Boston yesterday. The trip out of the Toronto’s city centre airport is so much better than flying out from Toronto’s Pearson International. It’s not as crowded, the security process is quick and easy, and there is a lounge space with free wifi and free drinks (like coffee, tea, juice, and soda.) JC and I weren’t sitting together on the plane (that’s what we get for booking separately!) so I got some quality time with my kobo (incidentally, if you haven’t read Quiet: The Power of Introverts by Susan Cain, it’s fascinating.) The one thing I like about porter is the snacks are a few steps above the usual stuff. Vegan options included Terra chips and plain blue diamond almonds. Top that off with a nice golden glass of vegan friendly Steam Whistle (a Toronto brewer,) and I almost forgot I was in a plane.

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All plans were for naught. PAX East consumed my time and energy and I loved every second of it.

Well, I’m just outside DC now, hanging out with a friend, and looking back on the past few days, I can’t help but think what an amazing time it all was. That said, I did not get ANYTHING but PAXEast done off of my To Do list. There were so many things to see and do at the event, that there just wasn’t enough time for anything else. I did get the chance to hang out on the beach, so if you ever are in the area, it’s worth taking the train to one of the many coastal stops. In my case it was Revere Beach, which was sunny and lovely, albeit windy. I was one of the Enforcers at PAXeast this year, and I’m so glad I did it. Such a great way to meet and interact with different people, and get involved with a great event. I’ve put next years PAXeast on my mental calendar. They had a great number of vegan snack options like cliff bars (and whoa those Zbars are kinda yummy) and mixed nuts, and fresh veggies with little dishes of hummus, so I didn’t go hungry. There were so many fantastic folks behind the scenes, and I’m glad I had the opportunity to geek out with them in the [E] room and nerd out about video games and computers. My favourite thing about PAX other than all the awesome people I met, and the general ambiance of a convention center full of people like…

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Boston Bound – PAX East

Well, I’m heading to Boston, MA for the first time, and I’m really excited about it. I found putting together a guide really helpful for myself when I’m running around in a city that’s unfamiliar, and this way I try not to miss anything fun going on. Things that are helpful for me, and so maybe they can be useful to someone else: The Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority – Day passes are $9, Weekly passes are $15. You can buy them at transit stations and various other locations. Yelp Boston – Vegan Listings – A good collection of rated restaurant options that are exclusively vegan or have vegan options. VeganBoston – local boston vegan group. They hold events and provide information and support. I’m going to Boston for PAX East, so that’s my primary activity this trip, but I have a feeling I’ll be back again some day. Food Options: I hunted around on twitter, yelp and the rest of the internet to find options that sounded interesting or delicious. There are quite a few places to eat veganly in Boston, so this is by no means a comprehensive list, but these are the ones that caught my eye for one reason or another. I’m excited/curious to try the Vegan Lobster from Grasshopper Restaurant (1 N Beacon St, Allston, MA), which looks to be a mostly asian fusion vegetarian restaurant. Pizza from Peace O’Pie Gourmet Vegan Pizza (487 Cambridge St. Allston, MA) To be entirely honest, my favourite reviews are the ones that…

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