Breakfast at Home and Clever Rabbit – Roadtrip 2014

I’m still writing about our Summer Roadtrip in 2014 – so far in our story we had just arrived in Edmonton the afternoon before, and planned to visit my parents for breakfast the next morning. My parents had just come back from a trip to Poland, so I was looking forward to seeing pictures and hearing a few stories about their trip too. (also – I like souvenirs.) My mom also made us waffles – but I didn’t have the wherewithal to take a photo until the last waffle as you can see above in all of its glory. Over the last few years my mom has become an especially incredible vegan cook (because she follows a primarily plant based diet) – so it’s always nice to come back and get a tasty home cooked meal. It’s actually quite tough being away from my parents, flights to Edmonton from Toronto are usually quite expensive, and it’s not always easy to find time to get away, so I was happy to visit back in the summer of 2014 and also a month or so ago. We’d see each other again a few times on this visit, but it was nice to have breakfast with…

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Arriving in Edmonton – Roadtrip 2014

I’ve been eagerly awaiting the arrival in Edmonton on the Summer Roadtrip recap. Because I want to add to my roadtrip recap posts with some of the other lovely spots I managed to visit on a more recent Edmonton visit (last month.) After we left Lloydminster, the drive went by quickly, and as we passed through Refinery Row (a concentration of oil refineries in west Sherwood Park,in Strathcona County just east of Edmonton) it was like there was a sign up that said “Welcome to Alberta” (which of course there was, but just shortly outside of Lloydminster) and oddly enough – a sense of arriving home. The Edmonton cityscape is still one of my favourites, with the Hotel MacDonald perched on the edge of the beautiful river valley, and the variety of buildings downtown, so driving into the city, even from a distance, is still familiar and comforting. I realized at some point that whenever I would leave Toronto, and come back, I’d get that same sense of comfort and “home” when I saw the CN Tower poking up from my highway vantage point. I have three homes in my heart, and the first one is Edmonton. First stop was checking…

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Roadtrip 2014 – Lloydminster Vegan Food – Wok Box

dandan tofu udon noodle box from wok box in lloydminster

I’m still writing about our Summer Roadtrip 2014 adventure when we ate our way through the USA and Canada. After one final morning in Saskatoon, we drove on towards Edmonton. On Highway 16/aka Yellowhead, the natural midway point between Saskatoon and Edmonton has always been Lloydminster, which is a city that exists in both Saskatchewan and Alberta, it’s a decent place to fill up on gasoline, and grab a bite to eat. The weird thing about Lloydminster is that the Alberta-Saskatchewan border is delineated in the middle of the city, by a series of huge metal posts all the way down the street. Vegan options beyond going to a grocery store or Nutter’s Market are minimal, and in years past I was limited to wendy’s baked potatoes drenched in hot sauce, potato related things, or a smoothie, but on this visit I spotted a Wok Box and we rejoiced – especially since it would be the first time JC had ever visited the wonders of Wok Box. Wok Box does exist almost all over Canada (including a few locations in Ontario – Oshawa and London), but it’s still mainly a west-west central thing. But they’ve been a vegan-friendly spot since the…

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Griffin Takeaway – Roadtrip 2014 – Saskatoon

I’m still travelling back in time on our Summer Roadtrip, back in July and August 2014. After we had left our lovely AirBnb in the morning and were ready to head out of town, we made three final stops in Saskatoon before driving on to Edmonton via Lloydminster. First, I visited with a Saskatoon friend and fellow volunteer and animal lover I hadn’t seen in a few years. While I spend a lot of time communicating with people online, it’s quite nice to actually get some face time in, especially since we were in town at the same time. Plus, I got to see her friendly walkable rescue spokescat Joy, again which was also great. Later JC & I visited Dad’s Organic Market – which is a great market that seems to have expanded since I lived in Saskatoon. They have a variety of organic, natural, and vegan-friendly goods. There were a few unexpected finds there – like a package of vegan gluten free perogies from local Saskatoon company Raduga Foods (unfortunately, our cooler wasn’t quite cool enough – so I never got to try them.) Finally – we went to Griffin Takeaway – which was incredibly exciting, because it opened shortly after I moved away,…

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UFondue – Saskatoon, SK – Roadtrip 2014

I’m still travelling back in time on our Summer Roadtrip, in July and August 2014. We visited UFondue in the last few weeks of July 2014, and it was one of the last few spots we visited before driving on to Edmonton. One of the things people often seem surprised at, and I’m still a little surprised about is that Saskatoon has a fondue restaurant. Add to that, Saskatoon has a fondue restaurant with a vegan option for all four courses, and they didn’t just recently jump on the vegan bandwagon – they’ve offered a vegan fondue option for as long as I’ve known about this restaurant, which means since somewhere in 2007. I’ve gone here for fondue a few times now, and every time feels like we’re an anomaly and it feels kind of like there is an odd vibe around it, but they keep it on the menu so I have to assume I’m not the only one ordering it. Servers try not to be awkward about it, but they are awkward about it every time. Despite this, I had to go back with JC and show him this weird and wonderful experience that inspired me and an ex-gf…

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Roadtrip 2014 – Honey Bun Cafe – Saskatoon

This is just a quick post in a series of posts about our 2014 Roadtrip around North America. At this point, we had driven from Toronto, through Michigan, taken an extended stop in Chicago, IL, and driven on through Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, stopping in Winnipeg, MB and Riding Mountain National Park. Our time in Saskatoon is winding down with only a couple more stops before heading on toward Edmonton. When I lived in Saskatoon, I attended a few sessions of the Rosebud Burlesque school of dance and fun, and one of the nicest things I got from those classes was connecting with people I hadn’t ever met before and lasting friendships. Conveniently, one of those pals saw I was in Saskatoon and gave me the heads up about Honeybun Cafe having some vegan stuffed buns that day. So of course we went, and picked up two of that day’s Featured Stuffed Bun – the Roasted Yam and Black Eyed Pea Chilli Stuffed Bun. They had non-dairy milk (for an extra charge) for coffee. We whipped out our computers and hung out for a while, connected to their wifi. It was tough to find a plug in, at least ones…

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Roadtrip 2014 – The Mendel Art Gallery in Saskatoon

I’m playing catchup on our writing about our 2014 Roadtrip around North America. At this point, we had driven from Toronto, through Michigan, taken an extended stop in Chicago, IL, and driven on through Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, stopping in Winnipeg, MB and Riding Mountain National Park. Our time in Saskatoon was winding down, and one thing I wanted to show JC was the Mendel Art Gallery – a place I viewed as a refuge from the blahs, and the occasionally rough Saskatoon winter. A place to see new and old art, a good source of regularly good fancy coffee (at Museo), and the lush greenery of the conservatory space. Sadly, as I found out while I was there, the Mendel Art Gallery is closing this year, on June 8th, 2015. I’m glad I go to see it at least one more time, because I do have a lot of great memories of that place. I’m hopeful that the Remai Modern centre will still touch on some of those enjoyable qualities – but that’ll be more apparent when they open up in 2016. Unusually, the gallery isn’t very pro-camera, so I couldn’t take any pictures of the other exhibits –…

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Road Trip 2014: Nosh Eatery & Tap – Saskatoon

I’m currently catching up on my Roadtrip 2014 posts – This visit to Saskatoon happened in late July 2014, and this is still quite early on in our trip, but when we got back to Toronto at the end of August we had put thousands of miles on our new car, and seen & done some amazing and wonderful things. Nosh Eatery and Tap in Saskatoon was one of my favourite stops on our trip – mostly because it was incredible to see the caliber of food happening in a place that seems otherwise under appreciated, my dear old Saskatoon. Beautiful colours, fantastic service, creative plates, with a real appreciation for the versatility and functionality of vegetables. Vegan options were meaningful and exciting, and prepared with care for flavour and appearance. I had been watching Nosh from afar – because I still feel connected to Saskatoon despite no longer living there – so it was great to actually get to visit them in real life and have it live up to expectations. Menus might change, but Vegan, Gluten Free, Raw, Meat, Nut items are clearly marked, and there is something for everyone, but there is more of a lacto-ovo-vegetarian focus. We started…

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Roadtrip 2014 – Keo’s Kitchen in Saskatoon

I’m catching up on posting all of our Roadtrip adventures from the summer. This is shortly after Riding Mountain National Park near Winnipeg, Manitoba, we were there at around the last week of July 2014. We went to Keo’s Kitchen twice during our stay in Saskatoon. First time was a bit of a let down, but the next was a huge improvement. I think service was essential towards a positive experience, and the other (for me) was spice. For reasons I don’t understand everything on menu at Keo’s Kitchen is not-spicy by default, as in, spice level zero. If you don’t specify spice, and your server doesn’t ask, then if you are me, you end up with an acceptable and tasty but not quite-what-you-wanted dish of food without heat. Then, again, if you are me, when you ask for more spice afterwards, and they charge you $2 for a small dish of chilli oil, you are even more annoyed. Anyway, it was still 100% edible, and JC seemed to enjoy it both times, perhaps enjoying the first visit even more as he collected several photos of me looking spice-less and grumpy for his own amusement (and eventually my amusement as well.) Both…

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Roadtrip 2014: Hello Again Saskatoon.

I’m catching up on posting all of our Roadtrip adventures from the summer. This is shortly after Riding Mountain National Park near Winnipeg, Manitoba, we were there at around the last week of July 2014. After a couple of lovely days at riding Mountain National Park we decided to drive into Saskatoon. JC had never been to Saskatoon, where as I lived there for four years during university. And I tried to like it, even when it was so cold the buses weren’t running, but the university was still open. I liked it, because it was so easy to dislike it. Too easy. Too easy to complain, and too easy to sit at home. And I’m stubborn. I found the things that made me happy. I created the things that made me happy, and to some extent I still feel connected to the city with my work helping out SCAT Street Cat Rescue. I feel protective over Saskatoon, and the Prairies. As someone that’s now an outsider – Saskatoon seems to have only gotten better with time, and in my absence I’ve watched it grow from afar, with new vegan-friendly businesses & restaurants, an active and evolving arts community, and…

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