Minnesota – Hard Times Cafe

So continues our VeganMoFo cross country road trip adventure! Ever feel so incredibly out of place, and yet feel a pull from some nostalgic core about a place? Well, that’s how I felt about Hard Times Cafe the moment I walked in. I’ve never been much of a punk. I lived in a punk house, and we had punk shows in our living room, but I never really fit in. At least aesthetically. Still don’t. Luckily, it didn’t really matter. As we walked a little further into the lounge at the Hard Times Cafe there were a whole bunch of different people in there. From entire families, to college kids, to a mad scientist looking type reading a big book, and then there was us. Canadian tourists fresh out of visiting the Mall of America. Don’t worry about fitting in, come in for the food. I ordered a Jolt Cola when I walked in and took a menu for JC and I to look at. What happens is you look at the menu, write down your order (except for drinks) on a piece of paper (per person – write your name on it), tell the cashier your drink order, and pay for it at the cash register (p.s. they are cash only). Then someone calls your name, and you pick up your food from the back at the kitchen. Service was friendly, and straightforward, and generally better than some of the spots we’ve visited in Toronto that I wont mention. It also didn’t take our orders very…

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Minnesota – When Pizza is Exciting.

We arrived in Minneapolis, Minnesota super late at night after driving up from Chicago, via Madison, Wisconsin.  After a frenzied search for a hotel, while parked in the Mall of America parkade (we went to the Arizona level) having a hard time finding wireless signal, we eventually settled in for the night at one of my least favourite hotel chains. So, I’ll say I’m not usually excited about pizza. For me, it often turns into food for the sake of eating something, which I don’t like doing most of the time, but JC actually likes pizza, and found a pizza place I hadn’t heard of with lots of vegan options, and gave them a call: Pizza Luce. So I shrugged and said whatever. Well, I was wrong to not be excited, and probably tired, and hangry at the time, because this pizza was tasty, with a great crust. Another nice thing about Pizza Luce is that they also make their own nut based vegan cheese called Rinotta, that we got on our pizza. It’s not really like cheese, and sort of reminded me a tiny bit of Maniocheese, but it was nice to have a daiya and dairy alternative to try. They do delivery, but JC went and picked up. On their website you can organize things by “vegan or vegan by request” (and also by gluten free or gluten free by request” if that’s your scene) In addition to pizzas they also had hoagies (the Mock Muffeletta sounded interesting),…

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