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, and I’ve just been watching it from a far for a few years, and it’s an especially vegan-friendly bakery and take-away spot in Saskatoon. We stocked up on several treats for the road and they put up with me running around gleefully taking pictures of all the vegan offerings. I’m not sure how…

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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 to buy a fondue set once upon a time (that we actually even used several times afterwards too!) Way back when I lived in Saskatoon, UFondue was known as The Upstairs, but they’ve since changed the name and the interior. I like the changes –  it feels a lot more open, and takes advantage…

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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 that weren’t already occupied, but it was nice to hang out a bit and catch up on what was happening at home. The buns were great, and stuffed with flavourful sweet potato chilli, it was delicious and we ate some of the last ones. It was stuffed with a roasted yam with…

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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 – but if you go in the entrance you’d see this bronze sculpture of a Girl With Cat which you can take photos of if you want to. I remember seeing this and delighting in the sculpture every time I went in. I have to share the story of this sculpture, because…

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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 with the Curried Spinach Dip with Beet and Yam Chips, Snap Peas, and Jicama Fries. Which was a fresh and tasty starter to the rest of our meal. Crisp jicama paired nicely with the lighty spiced spinach dip, but I was especially keen on the beet chips. Yum. I ordered…

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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 times, I ordered the massamun curry with tofu, which is my favourite dish to order no matter where I see it. Our server on the first visit didn’t ask us to specify anything about our order, so I also ended up with the soft tofu, which is fine, but this…

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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 more. I mean, just recently I saw they had their own Nuit Blanche, it has a community that can sustain these things, sometimes it’s just a matter of someone starting it up. We got into town around mid afternoon, just an hour or so before Keo’s Kitchen was due to close. After…

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Vegan Mofo The End: Saskatoon, SK – The Land of the Living Skies. aka, The Passage way to Elsewhere.

Once upon a time I lived in Saskatoon, SK so I’m ending MoFo where I began writing this blog. Parts of me hated living there (the parts that don’t like to be cold) and parts of me loved it (the parts of me that loved finding fun stuff to do against all odds). People tend to pass through Saskatoon on their way to somewhere else. While I get it, Saskatoon has a surprisingly large amount of things that are actually pretty cool, so maybe you’ll consider sticking around for a day or two on your way to elsewhere. Resources: While I’ve written most of this from experience and memory there are quite a few resources you can check out if you want to learn more. Planet S Magazine – If you’re in town for a while you can check out the special events happening online or in paper form on every street corner downtown. Happy Cow Saskatoon Vegan Saskatoon Meetup Group Raw Food Potlucks: where you can eat stuff like this:

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Keo’s Kitchen on 2nd

A friend and I went out to Keo’s on 2nd (129 2nd Ave N, Saskatoon, SK) last weekend. I’m not sure when they opened the downtown location, but the original Keo’s location (which doesn’t exist anymore) was the first restaraunt with vegan options I ever went to in Saskatoon. So I have some very fond memories related to eating there. This visit didn’t disappoint. At first they weren’t sure where to seat us, so we started out at the bar, but we ended up getting a table. The Broadway Ave location (1013 Broadway Ave, Saskatoon, Sk) can get really busy in the evenings, so I wasn’t sure what to expect with this one. I like their semi open kitchen set up, there is slightly less mystery about what’s happening back there. It was fantastic to be able to see them prepare my meal. We ordered the massaman curry with extra veggies, the pad thai with tofu, and the vegetarian spring rolls to start. I appreciated our server’s suggestion of adding tofu to the pad thai rather than putting it in the curry dish (he said it would probably get soggy, and I can see how.) Luckily my dining companion likes spicy food as much as I do, so we got it all hot. However, you have to specify your spice level, otherwise they bring it out mild. We forgot to specify, despite talking about our mutual love of spice, and why we liked it, for a good ten minutes, and ended up with mild…

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Saskatoon to Edmonton to Saskatoon in 48 hrs.

Surprise I’m in Edmonton. No, wait. I’m not. I woke up this morning and it took me a moment to realize I was back in Saskatoon. The road to Edmonton was beautiful. It turns out 7pm is a perfect time to see the beauty of Saskatchewan, after the horrible weather of last week it was so promising to see the snow melting AGAIN. Now we are having rain storms, and I’m loving it. A few months ago my mom decided that my vegan diet made a lot of sense from a health stand point. And she’s still going strong, which is awesome. I hadn’t been home since she decided to make this change, so I was looking forward to trying some home cooked vegan meals. No matter where I go to eat, it never compares to the food my mom can make (since it’s cooked with an extra spoonful of love.) I’m also going to take credit for her dietary change (which has also effected the way my dad eats) though I guess the PCRM and Neil Barnard have had a lot to do with it too. She made a couscous salad that was fantastic. I should probably get the recipe from her, but to be honest I’d rather she just made it for me. Hee hee. And a very tasty tofu dish. I was thrilled to be home in Edmonton for a day or two. Today was the Saskatoon Raw Food potluck, and it was great to meet everyone and…

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