Vegan Soul Food in Oakland, California – Souley Vegan

I’ve talked about Souley Vegan enthusiastically with anyone that would listen. On my first visit to San Francisco in 2011, I discovered this place, and never wanted to leave. I went to Souley Vegan three times in a week. This time we just went twice (in one week), but it was great both times. The front staff has changed a bit (unsurprisingly with two years passing, and increased success) but they’ve got a good and friendly crew from the person that takes your order at the cash, to the serving staff, to the bartender. The clientele is a great mix of different people, when we went on a Thursday evening, it was busy with lots of chatting families, nerdy looking professionals, and several groups of friends. You walk in and take a look at the menu, order and pay at the front desk, and someone will give you a number on a stick. Food comes out reasonably quickly, even on the night it was busy. We ordered the Everything plate, as I did the first time I visited, and it was appropriate for two people (though we still took stuff back to the hotel anyway.) It comes with a taste of each of their delicious menu items.  Mustard greens, black eye peas, yams, lentils, BBQ tofu, southern fried tofu, potato salad, cornbread, mac and cheese, and southern fried smothered tofu. We added the red beans with rice and the fried okra, and the mashed potatoes with gravy to our order for a…

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Farmers Market San Francisco and another visit to Souley Vegan

Since I was missing the Edmonton Farmers Market on Saturday, and had to fill that void so I walked over to the San Francisco Ferry Building Farmer’s Market to check it out. It had such a huge variety of mostly organic items, and was full of people (a distinct combination of locals and tourists.) One cart had at least five different varieties of nectarines, with samples! Everything was super expensive though, even by my usual Edmonton farmers market standards. There are a bunch of other options in the city, and a lot of them are more economical, but not all of them have organic produce. Of course, my favourite part of the farmers market was actually one of the Ferry Building’s regular features, besides the beautiful view, there is a Pepple’s stand from the vegan donut folks in Oakland. Now, I’ve done the Ronald’s Donuts thing, and I can say they are probably my favourite donuts (tied with Sweetpea in Portland, OR.) But the Pepple’s people have cake donuts down perfectly. While it’s been over a decade since my last Tim Horton’s Donut, I still use them as a barometer of donuty goodness, and Pepple’s is there. It didn’t taste healthy, or “vegan”, but it wasn’t too sweet, and it had a nice texture and moisture balance. Considering this was just a stand, I bet getting them at the Oakland location would be even better. Maybe next time. Though, I did end up in Oakland again that night, I had…

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San Francisco – Day 1.5

I got into San Francisco yesterday morning after a slight delay… surprise! there was fog in San Fransisco. The BART system from the airport is wonderfully convenient, and walking to Green Tortoise Hostel wasn’t a big deal from the Montgomery Station. The hills are pretty epic, but nothing too major. Yesterday was quite the adjustment in terms of weather. I had almost gotten accustomed to the Las Vegas heat. I remembered when I was sitting at the Hostels sauna last night that I had been walking around in weather like that just days before. I wasn’t sure what to do after I got checked in and put away my luggage. But my policy on travelling is when in doubt, WALK. So I went on a walk with no destination in mind, and ended up seeing a bunch of things I wanted to see anyway. First thing I did was visit The Nature Shop (1336 Grant Ave, San Francisco) it’s within easy walking distance from my hostel and I picked up a special blend of juice for colds (I caught one in Vegas.) It had carrot, garlic, parsley and something else in it. Sharp and delicious. From there, I walked towards the Embarcadero and the various piers, I stumbled upon The Plant Cafe, but I got there just as happy hour was starting (and they weren’t making any food), so I decided to come back later and try them out later when dinner was on. I kept going, and turned towards downtown, and started…

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