Weekend in Detroit

I’ve needed to get out of town. Somewhere new(ish). Somewhere interesting. But still something close enough to drive to on the weekend. So we decided to visit Detroit last weekend. When we left Toronto it was windy and rainy, as we continued on the highway it got worse and worse. Visibility was low, you could see large commercial trucks weave into adjoining lanes with nearly every gust of strong winds. It was no joke. When we pulled into the Ingersoll En Route, it seemed like our trip was over. It was windy, raining heavily, and a lot of cars didn’t seem to be driving with consideration for the weather.  We grabbed a couple of teas and dry toasted everything bagels from Tim Hortons (yes – they’re vegan [most of the time]) and decided to spend the night somewhere close by, maybe Ingersoll, maybe London. Probably not Detroit. At least not that night. I booked us a night at a hotel in London and we started driving there. The road seemed a little calmer, and a little less hectic. Traffic wasn’t as tight. When we got to the hotel, a computer glitch meant we hadn’t been booked in that night, but a week later.…

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Detroit – Brooklyn Street Local

Friday night JC and I drove down to Detroit this weekend for a quick shopping trip, and a brief getaway from Toronto. Our first stop after a reasonably restful, but also semi-mediocre stay at the Hilton Garden Inn in downtown Detroit was Brooklyn Street Local, a diner-y spot with the V word on the menu,  which was a mere 20 minute walk from the hotel. Before we left, I clicked on my ResQwalk App which I’m using to passively raise money for SCAT Street Cat Rescue a cat rescue in Saskatoon that I’m still involved with from afar.  According to the app, the walk from the hotel was a little over 2 km (which didn’t actually matter, since the more I walk with the app on, the more money the rescue can raise.) We got to Brooklyn Street Local, and they were full, but we went up to the hostess and left our name with her. She invited us to grab a coffee outside and wait. The wait seemed to go by quickly, and I’m sure it was aided by their brilliant idea to have an outdoor coffee station for all the folks hanging around waiting for their turn at breakfast. And probably decent…

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Weekend In Detroit – Detroit Vegan Soul

After a few hours in London, JC and I kept driving south to Detroit. A brief boarder crossing experience later and we were in the city again. I like Detroit, and I think it’s because it feels like it’s building itself up again, a movement of people trying to grow where they’ve been planted. With all of the community and collective projects that are going on, it’s one of those places where anything can happen, and it is happening, and that’s often a good thing for budding entrepreneurs or organizations trying to make things happen. Detroit has been on my radar especially for local group organized food policy and urban agriculture work. There are organizations that are doing exciting and inspiring work – as an example, check out Food Lab Detroit. They’re an organization that acts as a hub for existing organizations and business, and provides a space for Good Food entrepreneurs to collaborate and share information, knowledge, resources, and financial/emotional/other support. In partnership with others, they have a kitchen space for local entrepreneurs called Detroit Kitchen Connect. At least from talking with food makers here in Toronto, I know how tough it can be to find available and adequate commercial…

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Detroit Wrap Up – Avalon Bakery, Inn Season Cafe, and Whole Foods extravaganza

On Sunday Morning we woke up too early and started our day as early as possible. I had wanted to catch Vegan Brunch, but it just wasn’t possible. So instead we found Avalon Bakery on the interwebs, and drove over. It was totally full of people, but the service was quick and friendly. I overheard (was eavesdropping on) someone asking about vegan focaccia, so we bought two pieces. Fluffy, and covered in fresh sweet tomatos, basil, and diaya. But then there was more to order. Chocolate cake, cookies, soy latte, and there was our perfect brunch. Avalon is not entirely vegan, but everything is clearly labelled. They had beautiful loaves of bread available, but we didn’t pick any up. Maybe next time. After a failed trip to the Detroit Art Gallery (no parking), we decided itwas time to start taking care of our to do list. One of those items was going to a Whole Foods and using up all the free product coupons I had acquired during Vida Vegan Con last year. Unfortunately, Coconut Earth Balance has not really spilled into the Toronto market that much, and not in any of the big stores. I’ve seen it at Evergreen…

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Detroit Visit – Day 0.5 – Dinner and a Casino.

We’re back in Toronto again, but had a great time in Detroit and the surrounding area. I wouldn’t mind visiting again sometime. After we had arrived, checked in, and got comfy in our hotel room, I scanned the internet for a suitable eatery – Seva jumped out at me. Seva has two locations, one in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and more recently (as in, in the last two weeks) they opened a location in Detroit. Seva Detroit – (66 E. Forest Ave. Detroit, MI). It’s located behind the N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art (the restaurant entrance is on the left side of the building.) There appear to be two seating sections, a bar/lounge/young adult table zone in the back, and a place where grown ups can eat in the front. We were seated in the back at the kids table, near the bar. It was pretty busy in the front, so I’m assuming that’s part of it (they do accept reservations). The back bar space has a very nice collection of art from the N’Namdi Center, during our visit it appeared to be mostly by Valencia Robin, and we sort of eased into the relaxed atmosphere, people chatting, espresso machines espressing,…

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On the road to Detroit – First stop – Veg Out in London, ON

After a very long drive into Detroit, we made it in at around 5pm yesterday. Of course, we stopped in London to eat and buy a GPS to avoid getting lost. Before yesterday I hadn’t ever been to London (Ontario that is), but since we were going to need a lunch stop, and there are a bunch of nice looking restaurants there, we planned to stop there. Veg Out was not the first on my list to visit, but last minute I changed my mind and said, hey let’s go to Veg Out. I’m so glad we did, though at the time I also kind of wish we never left the car, it was windy and freezing out there. Brr. So Veg Out (646 Richmond St.) is a great little place in London, Ontario. It’s got a casual atmosphere and the service is friendly and welcoming. It was full of people, which is always nice to see. I started with a Cocobanana smoothie, which with coconut milk, bananas and dates, was a clear winner. Super thick and lightly sweet, it beat JC’s Blue Sky pop choice out of the park. Next we ordered a dal soup and a home made garlic…

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Joe Yee Vegetarian Sushi and we`re driving to Detroit.

This Thursday was one of my favourite Thursdays in a while because it also happened to be Date Night. Which also sounds silly, because JC and I do things on days other than date night, but set aside (usually Tuesday) to plan on doing something together. Since this week’s Tuesday was filled up by my sewing class we rescheduled. I think we might both be going stir-crazy because JC booked a zip car, and I hunted down a restaurant that was outside of Toronto. Yelp reviews by trusted friends made me choose Joe Yee Vegetarian Cuisine (9688 Leslie Street (Between 16th Avenue and Major MacKenzie Drive), Richmond Hill, ON), and I’m so glad we went. It`s a small space, and there were several people already eating and enjoying their meals. Service was friendly, and the tea was delicious. I really loved that they provided both a written menu as well as a separate menu with pictures. The food is vegetarian pan-asian, sushi, noodle dishes, Thai style soups, and other options, there is probably something for everyone. The fake salmon items are not vegan – it has whey in it – but there are several other vegan options to choose from. We started…

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