SukhoThai – Downtown Toronto

In between the Brewer’s Plate (a celebration of local food and beer and fundraiser for the Greenbelt) last week and going home we grabbed dinner at Sukhothai near St. Lawrence Market. SukhoThai called to us with its sign, a combination of needing a substantial meal after pickling ourselves in local brews at the event for a couple of hours, and curiosity about what I’d find there. JC had visited Sukhothai before for lunch and knew there was at least one vegan dish on the menu. I asked our server when we sat down what our options were – and she said all of the curries could be made vegan (unfortunately, with the exception of my favourite style – the massaman), and all of the pad thai noodle dishes, just let them know. We started with the fresh salad rolls, which were filled with all of the deliciousness you might expect from salad rolls (like mango, lettuce, vermicelli noodles, basil, carrots) , and cut up in convenient two bite pieces. It was a great appetizer and I’d definitely recommend it (and I’ll certainly order it again). JC and I both ordered the Sukhothai Pad Thai, since it’s their “Sukh’ed up” Northern Thai version of pad thai. No matter where we go for pad thai it’s always different, but in many ways always the same. This one was nice and saucy, with good noodle separation. I ordered spicy, but I didn’t realize they also had a “Thai spicy” level – next time…

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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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The Thai on Bloor – Toronto

Thai food has always been one of those foods I gravitate towards – especially being vegan. Yes, everyone talks about hidden fish sauce, but it doesn’t happen often, and from what I’ve been able to tell most of the time when I go into a restaurant people have been honest with me (even if it means they lose a sale.) We live near High Park, and a relatively short walk away from Roncesvalles, which has a couple of vegan friendly Thai restaurants (The Friendly Thai and Thai Chef Cuisine) and since moving to the neighbourhood we hadn’t branched out much beyond those familiar two. One evening I walked by The Thai on Bloor from Keele station. It’s one of those wonderful stumble-upon a place on foot experiences that are so rare with the internet dictating so much of my eating habits these days – but The Thai had a big chalkboard sign outside, and one of the items was “Vegan Options Available.” Just this line was enough to make me feel optimistic, they used the V word, but looking at the menu got me feeling excited. A whole glorious vegan page of dishes, with some meats even. I put The Thai in my mental “To Eat” list and moseyed on my way home. Finally, a friend and I paid them a visit for the first time a month ago, I had the Spicy Curry Soy-Shrimp. It’s meant to be eaten with rice, but I skipped that so it didn’t seem like much…

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Rose City Kitchen – Downtown Toronto Vegan Options

So when we went to the grand opening of Smash Juice Bar a few weeks ago, I hadn’t realized there were three businesses opening up. And I didn’t realize any of the others would have vegan options. I asked the folks at Rose City Kitchen on Twitter the usual question, which they answered quickly and helpfully. @mdgee @thebigjc Yes they are! #Vegan4Life #FalafelsForever — Rose City Kitchen (@RoseCityKitchen) April 20, 2015 JC and I had agreed we’d go back there together for lunch sometime, but the timing kept not working out – so he went earlier this week and got a falafel in a pita (and seemed to like it) so when I found myself in the neighbourhood today at the perfect (lunch) time of day, it looked like it was my turn for tasty falafel box. There is now actual seating (vs high top tables with no chairs) at Rose City Kitchen/Smash Juice Bar/Clockwork Coffee at 36 Toronto Street, so you can sit and relax (with long tables, bench seating, and chairs.) I ordered the RCK Original Falafel – which is humus, tabouleh, fresh cut fries(!!!), carrots, lettuce, garlic oil, and cherry harissa dressing. You can get it as a sandwich or a box meal (served on either rice or kale.) I went with the box meal on rice – grabbed some extra hot sauce and harissa from the counter and also a bottle of cherry chia kombucha from Smash Juice Bar. Service was fast and friendly, they answered my in…

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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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Expowest 2015 (Photos)

I started writing this at the airport after our trip down to ExpoWest – a massive natural products trade show and networking event in Anaheim, CA, and have continued writing bits of it as time has passed. Lots of time has passed – We were at ExpoWest early last month. JC and I went last year, which lead me to post a three part look at some of the new stuff I got to see. We booked that trip in a last minute frenzy, I didn’t get much of a chance to look at some of the exhibitors I wanted to see, and there are thousands of them anyway. It’s hard to narrow it down – even with some advanced planning, it was still hard to take in everything (but I think we managed). My angle is go super intense into exploring on the Friday, and maybe into Saturday – trying everything I see that sparks my interest (and generally avoiding the ingredients section until later in the weekend) then, I have the opportunity to go back and visit some of the vendors and creators that interested me the first time around and find out a bit more information from them. My usual questions – vegan? where is it made? when/if it will be available in Canada? And whatever else they want to tell me. I attended as a retailer last year, and press this year, and it was a slightly different experience, but still generally pleasant. On the bright side…

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V’s Caribbean Vegan Vegetarian in Toronto, ON

Around a month ago JC and I visited V’s Caribbean Restaurant – Vegan Vegetarian a bit late this evening, just a bit before closing (they close at around 7pm) but they still had a bit of food left so they put together a container for us, and we were really happy about it. The food was delicious and hearty, with rich satisfying flavours. This week, I went back again with a friend, and had a full and amazing plate of food – The Pong Special (named after one of their chefs) which is the perfect plate for indecisive or hungry people that want to try a little bit of everything V’s Caribbean has to offer (and I highly recommend it so you can find your own favourites!) Almost everyday – the folks at V’s post their menu for the day on Instagram – so if you follow them, suddenly when they open there is a series of posts of their various mouthwatering stews and other dishes. Today they had: Cauliflower & Lima bean stew Curry TVP (textured veggie protein) chunks Steamed/fried callaloo Curried chickpeas & potatoes Maple jerk tofu (which was straight up incredible) Creamy fried Bammies (aka cassava) and steamed okra Basmati rice & peas Spiced baked mash potatoes (omg) Mixed veggies  (onions, cabbage, broccoli, brussels sprouts, peas, carrots, more) Desserts – like vegan donuts Soups – porridge and pea soup At the moment – they are cash only, but it sounds like they plan to have debit eventually. They’re currently open Tuesday…

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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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Lazy Weekend, Snowy Weekend

I didn’t spend my weekend quite how I wanted to – we were going to go for a work visit at Cedar Row on Saturday morning, but as we looked out the window, and checked road conditions we ended up staying home because of heavy and projected snowfall. I’m not sure if we were over cautious, but I hope to attend a future one sometime. The night before I picked up a long pair of purple galoshes, hoping they’d be perfect for digging around in the mud. I guess I’ll have to wait to find out.   If you’re not sure what happens at a work visit, there are a variety of tasks to do, cleaning the sheds, the goat barn, getting rid of some of the poop and shovelling it into a wheelbarrow, taking it to a pile at the side of the house, and doing it over and over again. It’s hard work, but it feels meaningful, helpful, and the time passes quickly because while you’re scooping shovelfuls of shit, you are also talking to people and laughing and just generally having a good time. Occasionally one of the animals comes up and wants to know what you are up to in their house. It’s definitely worth going to one of the work visit/potluck combos if you’re able to. At the moment, the next work visit is not yet posted – but you can check out the Cedar Row website for their work visit calendar. Mid afternoon I realized I…

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Top 4 List of Winterlicious Vegan Options in Toronto

Winterlicious is an annual event in Toronto and it’s kicking of on January 30 – and goes on until Feb. 12. It’s a great way to encourage people to go out and enjoy the various spots in the city during the colder months. This year will see more than 200 top restaurants throughout the city offer a three-course menu at three price categories (lunch $18, $23, $28 and dinner $25, $35, $45). Of the 200 plus restaurants throughout the city participating five restaurants are offering vegan Winterlicious special prix fixe menus. Of those 5, some of them look pretty exciting, but I’ve put all of them on this list for the sake of information. While I think it’s great that people and places are trying to incorporate vegan menu items into their offerings, I’m not longer excited simply to be acknowledged, there are some incredible vegan options in this city, even at non-vegan restaurants, so I was surprised they didn’t showcase their talents in plant-based cuisine. (Perhaps next time veggielicious rolls around?) I’m feeling a bit sarcastic, but sorbet and berries or a bowl of fruit as the vegan dessert option is so last decade, I can get that at Cora’s for breakfast, but some of these talented chefs and restaurants? What are you up to? I sincerely hope that some of these offerings are more exciting than their menu description is conveying, and I still look forward to seeing what these individual restaurants come up with, especially if I found the menu listing…

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