Vegan MoFo: Vegan Vacation in Victoria, BC

A couple of my favourite people are in Victoria, British Columbia (on Vancouver Island) on a short visit, and since I had spent a few months at UVic last summer, they asked me for suggestions for vegan places to go eat while they are there. I haven’t really decided what my favourite thing is, to visit places for myself myself, or visit places so I can recommend places for other people to go and hear about how much fun they had. I hope my suggestions work out for them. And since I started on the topic of reminiscing about Victoria, it got me thinking… hmm, it’s probably a good idea to make a post about it. After spending the summer in Victoria and finishing my studies I planned to move there in the Fall of 2010, but instead ended up in Toronto (which I’m happy about!). One of my favourite things about Victoria is that it’s truly pedestrian friendly, most things are within walking distance of one another. There are also bike paths and dedicated bike lanes making for easy car less transportation (though the buses might get a bit too close for comfort on the “dedicated” bike lanes.) My resources this time around were mostly just from memory but here are some more just in case you felt like digging. – The Victoria Vegan – Vancouver Island Vegetarian Association – Happy Cow listing – Yelp Transit information: – Bike trails are everywhere. I know there are maps everywhere, I saw a bunch at the…

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Vegan Mofo Staycation three! What else can you give me Toronto?

I missed writing in here. I missed you blog. And I missed YOU, whoever you are. Last week was a busy week, as indicated by my absence. My food choices were atrocious and I don’t even want to talk about it (though I can tell you I relied heavily on peanut butter, cho dang tofu, and several day old okra to tide me over.) My weekend was much better. I paid Burrito Boys (218 Adelaide St W, Toronto) a visit after I decided it was necessary to find a better burrito than the crap I had at Chipotle. You can say what you want about Chipotle, you can sing it’s praises, I don’t care. I don’t like it. I ordered a vegan burrito, and it was good. They construct the burrito in such a way that you get the full compliment of flavours each time you take a bite, rather than the usual “oh here’s rice, oh here’s lettuce, oh here’s salsa” feeling I get from some other places. It was quite filling, though I probably could have eaten two for lunch. I think grilling the burrito is a nice touch, crispy on the outside warm and yummy on the inside. They have veggie ground round, and vegan guacamole, and hot sauce that’s actually hot. I wish they also had some daiya, because that would have made this place all around perfect. I hear there is another good place in Kensington Market with Sweet Potato Burritos. Oh boy do I…

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Montreal, Quebec – La Belle Province – Vegan Mofo: 30 days of vegan travel: Day 13

I haven’t been to Montreal in a few years, but I spent a month or so there in the summer of 2008 and remember it fondly. Had I not been in university at the time, I would have moved there. It had a vibrant nightlife and cultural community, the food and people were lovely, the parties, the weather (of course… I was there in summer!) and the festivals, just made me feel at home. Unfortunately, my ability to speak French is lacking. 7 years of schooling (two of those at the university level), and while I can understand a conversation, I don’t feel comfortable participating. Anyway. In Montreal, while the primary language is French, you can get by with English and not have much of a problem. I’d like to head over to Montreal in a few weeks, so I might make use of this little guide for myself. The vegan options are amazing and there is always something to do. Merely walking down a street can be interesting since Montreal is full of old architecture and very taleneted graffiti artists! You might occasionally get the feeling you’re in Europe (especially if you head over to Vieux-Montreal). I know I did. The Old City in Poland really comes to mind. Resources and sites to check out: Vegan Montreal/ Happy Cow/ Mallory’s Vegetarian Guide to Montreal Montreal Vegetarian Association (Default in french, with English option) A Vegan Mofoer in Montreal and you know… AHEM: BIG VEGGIE GATHERING – DECEMBER 4th 2010…

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Staycation Weekend: Vegan MoFo Day 11&12

Oh the weekend. It couldn’t come soon enough.  Normally, they don’t mean anything to me, because I have other things I need to be doing, but this week I was ready for it to be Saturday…. on Tuesday. And I got some much needed downtime. I introduced an omnivore to Vegetarian Haven (17 Baldwin St, Toronto, ON) on Saturday. I (almost) wish I could say it was the first time he’d ever been to a vegetarian restaurant, but he’d been to Live before, so not only had he been to a vegan restaurant, he’d been to a raw one and liked it. Regardless, it was a great meal. We started things off with an order of crispy oyster mushrooms and seared dumplings. I wish we had ordered two orders of the crispy oyster mushrooms because I can never have enough, they are so rich and flavourful and the sweet slightly spiced sauce is a perfect compliment for it. We both ordered the Special of the Day which was a tofu skin wrapped taro root mash on a bed of greens, with a side of noodles, an AMAZING mango salad. Our waitress totally sold it when she brought it over. Her description totally got my mouth watering from the very beginning. It adds so much to a meal when the server is friendly, and she was wonderful. I was feeling pretty full after finishing my plate, but there is always room for dessert. My dining companion and I shared a piece of chocolate cake and…

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Vegan MoFo: 30 Days of Vegan Travel – Day Ten – Warsaw, Poland – Wegańska Warszawa

Well I’ve been slacking on this whole MoFo thing, I’ve offered up enough excuses in my last post, so it’s time to just get on with it. 🙂 I’m hoping to get back my MoFo mojo. I’m jumping across the sea today. It’s just a short (well, okay, it’s short to a girl who takes 12 hour bus rides for a weekend trip) flight away (10 hours! yeah!!!). I’m first generation Polish and it’s been much too long since I was last in the motherland. Next year in September, I have a wedding to attend, so this is much less hypothetical than some of my other posts (will be). Plus it’s the perfect time to visit Poland, before they start using the EURO in 2012 and everything becomes extremely expensive with the exchange rate. For other Polish Vegan options and ideas, I’ve veganized a few traditional dishes for the holidays last year, and WiecejYofu a bilingual blogger from Poland is doing a daily veganized traditional Polish recipe, so that’s pretty exciting. I’m heading towards Warsaw (Warszawa) in the region of Masovia (Mazowieckie). I was last there over a decade ago, and it’s changed A LOT since then so I am really looking forward to seeing what’s new, and to see all my relatives again. Resources: (Most of these are in English) Lonely Planet Restaurant Guide Happy Cow Veggie Heaven WikiTravel Warsaw Life Tripadvisor Forum Veg (Polish) Some helpful phrases: While many people learn English in school these days, not everyone…

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Vegan MoFo: Biting off more than I can chew this week.

Whelp. I’ve slacked off on my posting lately. Somehow two jobs seemed like a good idea at the time. 🙂 What’s your favorite spice or spice blend? I like mixing my own blend of whatever, but I think if it was down to deciding on one, it would be cinnamon. Perfect for both savory and sweet dishes! You have $20 to spend on fresh groceries and produce for the whole week (with a fairly well stocked pantry of dry goods, legumes, grains, and spices). what do you buy? Okra, Kale, 2 cartons of soy milk, chocolate sauce, extra firm tofu, apples, bananas, tomatos, mushrooms, carrots and potatoes. What’s your favorite way to make tofu? Fried and battered in quinoa Vegan guilty pleasure? any kind of vegan cake If you could make anyone vegan, who would it be? I don’t like the idea of making anyone do anything really. If you could only read one other vegan blog, what would it be? That’s WAY too hard. How about everyone on the MoFo feed… Were you always interested in cooking, or did veganism change the way you saw and interacted with food? I was always interested in food and food prep. I liked experimenting with flavours and trying new things. I went vegan fairly early in life so I don’t know what I would have done had I been on my own for a while as an omnivore. Excluding analogues, what new things have you tried that you probably wouldn’t have as…

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Vegan MoFo: 30 Days of Vegan Travel – Day Ate – Washington, DC – Looking for The American Experience

This last summer I met a girl from France, while I was in San Francisco. She was au pairing in Washington, DC and we got to talking about travelling. She told me that the museums in DC were free. See, this is why I love hostels, I never would have met this random girl over breakfast, and learned this delightful piece of information. For whatever reason, this blew my mind. It didn’t make any sense. Free museums? And why hadn’t I been there already? Anyway, ever since that moment, I’ve been plotting to go to DC so I can satisfy my hunger for both delicious vegan food and delicious free information. How can I go wrong? That’s right, I can’t. After a very depressing search for flights, bus rides, train rides, etc, I know it will be a while before I head over there, and it will probably coincide with some kind of NYC/Buffalo bus trip, because taking a flight out of Canada can really stink. Resources VegDc – The Vegetarian Guide to Washington, DC and surrounding area. Yelp Search The Smithsonian Institute Another MoFo’er ACTUALLY in DC A Blogger’s Vegan Visitor Guide to DC (from 2008, still good info though) Transit The Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority. A day pass for the MetroRail is $9 and a weekly pass (there is no day pass) for the MetroBus is $15. They don’t seem to be cross functional passes. Each bus trip is $1.70, but the fare is good for 2 hours.…

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Vegan MoFo: 30 Days of Vegan Travel – Day Seven – Staycation weekend – Urban Herbivore

This weekend was a nice little break, today it’s back to the grindstone. I finally tried a chimichuri sandwich at Urban Herbivore, and after all that wait, it was… okay. The moment the sad little sandwich was passed over to me in the paper box, I felt sad that I didn’t get a quinoa bowl. Sure it was tasty enough, but it felt oddly like fast food, without the requisite smile. I didn’t have my camera, so cellphone pictures will have to suffice. My lunch companion and I were talking about the many uses of pumpkin. It’s one of my favourite autumn veggies, especially when it’s spiced. I suggested some pie alternative pumpkin dishes, savory options like pumpkin curry or salted roasted pumpkin and some that were sweet but not pie related (pumpkin cinnamon buns, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin sorbetto). After all of this pumpkin talk it seemed perfect that when I turned around, I saw a piece of gluten free pumpkin pie in the glass case. My mouth was primed for pumpkin, so I had to order it, and I was not disappointed. Very delicious, and I loved the crust. My only question… does Urban Herbivore have plates? If so… I sure wish I got one.

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Vegan MoFo: 30 Days of Vegan Travel – Day 6 – Staycation – in Toronto, Ontario

Well. I said I wasn’t going anywhere this weekend, and I was serious. On the bright side, the weekends are a beautiful time to enjoy the city I do live in. So what happens in Toronto on a Saturday? One of my favourite things in the city, the St. Lawrence Market! While other farmers markets are closing shop (because it’s getting pretty chilly out) this one can keep on keeping on. It’s a great place to pick up heirloom tomatoes (and carrots!), fresh herbs, unique spices (that I’d have a hard time locating elsewhere), fresh bagels, & raw creations from Cruda Cafe. And yeah, I know it’s open throughout the week, but Saturday is my favourite! I briefly wandered around the Distillery District this afternoon with a couple of friends, I have to make a note to check out the farmers market there next year. It is a national historic site, with the most amazing Victorian industrial architecture, full of arts and culture. I must go back, and I must go back soon. There is this amazing juxtaposition between modern arts and culture, with this overwhelming feeling of HISTORY, like I stepped back into a time long ago. I’ve been told that Balzac’s Coffee Roastery (Distillery District, 55 Mill St, Toronto, On) is THE place for coffee in Toronto. There I was in the neighbourhood, and did I pick up a cup? Sadly no. Shamefully (really, I’m ashamed) my belly was already full of a venti chai latte. Did I…

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Vegan MoFo: 30 Days of Vegan Travel – Day 5 – Charleston, SC – The Holy City

Today I’m feeling like taking a vacation somewhere lowkey, warm and relaxing, but still with a rich history and decent arts community. So I decided on Charleston, South Carolina. It is a cloudy 3C (37F) in Toronto this morning and Charleston is much warmer. I want to be somewhere where I can say “it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.” It’s known as The Holy City because of a large number of churches dotting the lowrise cityscape. Another thing I found interesting about the city is that it’s been billed as “the best mannered city” in the United States and won a lifetime achievement award for manners. Resources Forbes – The Best of Charleston Charleston City Paper – A good place to find local events and information. Happy Cow Things to eat. The Sprout – Organic Cafe and Juice Bar – They have one heck of a delicious looking menu. I’d be very excited to check this one out. They have entrees and desserts. Yum Fast and French Gaulart & Maliclet French Cafe (98 Broad St, Charleston, SC) – Ah, a french restaurant with vegan options! The O’Vegan Sandwich sounds yummy (Tapanade on Toasted Canadian Rye bread. With soup or tossed salad) Brent’s On Broad (19 Broad St, Charleston, SC) – There are hummus and veggie sandwiches, I like this place primarily because it’s very close to Waterfront Park, and I imagine I’ll wander there at some point. Daily Dose Cafe (1622 Highland Ave Charleston, SC) – Word on the…

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