Double Greeting Wonton House – Edmonton – Roadtrip 2014

When I went vegan a few decades ago Double Greeting Wonton House was one of the vegan-friendly Asian restaurants that was open super late and open almost everyday. My dad and I would go after he finished work, my friends and I would walk over at 11 pm, and get something to eat, and I suppose it still has a certain legacy within my social circle. I don’t know how truly vegan friendly it is, so your comfort level may vary, but of the dishes I keep ordering, I’ve been assured they are. We’ve kept going back for over 10 years out of a blend of nostalgia, and enjoyment. In that time, it hasn’t changed much if at all. The neighbourhood surrounding it hasn’t changed much either, though on our most recent visit I noticed there was a lot more construction than I remember in the past, so I imagine that can be a blend of good and bad. My go-to dish has changed over time, but the last few years I’ve wanted the sweet corn on rice, and my friends tend to order the shanghai noodles and the mushrooms mushrooms mushrooms on rice. Of course, the important thing to specify that you want the vegetarian version of whatever it is your ordering, especially if you’re just writing numbers down like we usually do) You’ll notice that there are two shanghai noodles, but both have the same numbers – and default will result in a meaty noodle dish. That said,…

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Edmonton – Ethiopian Vegan Buffet at Abyssinia Restaurant

Shortly after arriving in Edmonton for a brief visit, hanging out at home and with my parents’ cat Misha, my mom and I decided to head over to Abyssinia Restaurant, a Ethiopian restaurant in East Central Edmonton, just a bit north of the downtown core. Abyssinia is an Ethiopian family restaurant in Edmonton that serves a variety of meat and vegan dishes everyday, and offers a totally vegan buffet twice a week on Wednesday & Friday evenings between 5-9pm. I couldn’t help but think if this place was in Toronto it would have been PACKED full, especially on vegan night. But instead there were a couple tables occupied, but otherwise, it was not so busy. Service was helpful and friendly, and they told us all about the food they had to offer. So many incredible dishes, like kei misir wot (spicy lentils), alicha misir (turmeric lentils), gomen (chopped spicy greens), tikel gomen (cabbage & carrots), fosolia (green beans, carrots, and potato), kik wot, okra, sweet potato dishes, fresh green salads, and all the injera (made with corn, buckwheat, and teff flour) you could ever eat. I piled my plate full of everything, sampling a bit of this and that of whatever drew my eye. There is something especially so fantastic about Ethiopian food – the spices, the flavours. It’s warming and comforting, and while dishes are similar between restaurants and rooted in tradition, every chef has their own unique style. They make it their own, and I was really delighted by what…

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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 the family like old times, and have JC join us. They of course told us about their beautiful trip to Poland, where there was more vegan friendly stuff than you might expect – which was especially relevant to my mostly-vegan mom. Places like Krowarzywa – a vegan burger spot and Veg…

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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 into our hotel downtown (The Coast Terrace Inn), we had arrived just before the new downtown location of Earth’s General Store (EGS) was to open – conveniently on the other side of where we were staying.  EGS was at one time was a totally meat-free Edmonton grocery store (since we were…

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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 beginning, and they’ve been transparent about allergies and veg food both on their website, and with posters up at every location. I’m all about the Extra Spicy Dan Dan, with tofu, on udon noodles, and I get the same thing, every time. Be it in Lloydminster, or by gate 58 at…

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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, 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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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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Seasoned Vegan – Amazing food in Harlem

On our last trip to NYC, we made a point to visit Seasoned Vegan – a soul food vegan spot in Harlem, just north of Central Park. We stopped in for dinner. Service was friendly, the atmosphere was cozy, with bench style seating and tables, pillows, and cool art on the walls. The first thing I noticed was the penny finished floor (check it out!) At this point, we had been following their progress for well over a year or so – when we spent a summer month in NYC in 2013 – Seasoned Vegan was just getting ready to open, but things stalled (regulatory things I believe) and it didn’t happen. Fast forward to now – they’re open, and seem to be thriving. The atmosphere was inviting and lively. Boisterous patrons near us were laughing, music was playing, and it smelled wonderful inside. To start they brought us a side salad to start off with. Lightly seasoned, but with fresh soft and crisp leafy greens (as part of our entree.) The Lemon Crusted Chicken Nuggets come in two sizes 8, and 20 pieces, and come with two different sauces – Jiggy’s Harlem Renaissauce (which is like a BBQ) and Uptown Tangy (which is more of a sambal mayo). We went with the 20 piece plate with expectation that we would take home some of it later on, but once they got to us, even with planning to take some home, we realized we totally over ordered – the nuggets were much bigger than…

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