Vegan Night at The Depanneur – Every Wednesday. (and other days too)

I don’t think enough people know about The Depanneur (I’m just going to call them The Dep). Or people have heard about them, but don’t realize the rich diversity of options this little food spot has. When I mention it to fellow vegans in town – sometimes they know about it, and sometimes they don’t – it really seems like a missed opportunity to eat delicious food while not only supporting a local small business, but also supporting the unique work of talented chefs. The Dep really is the place where “interesting food things happen”. From having rent-able commercial kitchen space, to running workshops, and having tasty themed food events with guest chefs, it’s also home of the Rusholme Park Supper Club and retail space for local goods. Lately we’ve been really enjoying Veg Out Wednesdays with Emily Zimmerman/Pear & Pepper. New and creative things every week. I like the oddly transient quality of it. The nature of the event makes it impossible to have a favourite dish, because it’s always something different, but always something quite lovely. Every week, I look forward to seeing what she comes up with. Wednesday also happens to be the same night you can pick up your Fresh City Farms grocery order, so you could even pair the two up and feel extra productive. But wait, there’s more…. dinner on Wednesdays is also often Pay What You Can after 7:30. Because dinners at the Dep are always so varied, I started an album on facebook…

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Vegan Brunch at The Steady

We checked out The Steady last weekend after a pal mentioned they did a good vegan-friendly brunch. It’s not an exclusively vegan spot, but it was nice to check it out for a change, and rumour has it, is run (owned?) by a former Hogtown Vegan chef, so I had some faith in the vegan options. When we walked in, the front section was full except for a table for two – perfect. There is tonnes of natural light, and it’s very light blue. We were immediately offered lattes or an americano which was exactly what I wanted at that moment. Coffee. Glorious fancy coffee. They have soy milk. They do charge extra (.50) for it. When JC & I looked at the menu one thing jumped out at me immediately – the cornbread waffle stuffed with greens (I love both cornbread and collard greens), so I ordered it, but unfortunately it turned out to not be vegan. I appreciated the server letting me know, and also appreciated watching him scratch off the little “V”s that had previously been beside the item on the menu. So really, in spite of my disappointment, the experience was positive. (and also inspired me to look for cornbread waffles to make at home and I found a recipe in Vegan Brunch.) Instead, I ended up ordering the Tofu Scramble, which I was ambivalent about (tofu scrambles can be so hit or miss), but it turned out to be lovely. Spiced, seasoned, and full of…

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Getting Ready for the Wedding: Alma Natural Quick Spa

Picture taken by Triage+ Photo

Back in October my mother, my maid of honour Jen, and I went to Alma Natural Spa to get fancied up for the wedding. The idea of spending time at a spa never appealed to me until recently, but I still haven’t fully embraced the activity although I’m glad I made the exception for the wedding. It’s so wonderfully relaxing to get pampered a little bit. I had heard about Alma Natural Spa on twitter, and asked about how vegan their treatments were. They replied that everything they did was totally vegan-friendly, and I got really excited. That excitement was a little short-lived when I started poking around on their website and found beeswax and honey listed in a variety of places. While I didn’t discount them completely, I kept them in the back of my mind for some other day. That day came. I checked their online booking availability, felt lucky that they were available during the exact segment of time we’d want to go in for, & called them to book treatments for the three of us. Aurora, their friendly receptionist made it easy. All three of us were getting a citrus bliss manicure. Jen and I were getting the peppermint pedicure & a Power Facial. When we walked in we were greeted by everyone, and Aurora offered us some tea from Steeped and Infused. Their special “tea of the month” was the Pumpkin Spiced Rooibos and since I’m a sucker for autumn pumpkin things I had to have…

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Grasslands. Repeated Dinner Date Nights & Brunch.

JC have spent an increasing amount of time visiting Grasslands over the last few months. There have been the celebratory dinners, those random moments of “I would like to take you somewhere nice”, and the quick post-movie bites to eat (it is rather conveniently located a few minutes away from the Scotiabank theater) and those times when you want to take someone from out of town out somewhere vegan fancy-casual. We’ve attempted two large reservations since the tipping issue from our very first visit but it hasn’t worked out for some reason or another. Maybe groups of more than just JC & I + Grasslands just aren’t meant to be? Or we should just make fewer last minute reservations? I’d probably go with that one. Maybe. It doesn’t matter, they seem perfectly capable of seating JC and I most of the time, and it usually ends up lovely. Recently we went with JC’s Mom, and genuinely had a great time (and I think it was more than just company). I keep seeing the same couple of servers every time we go in. They’re great. They’re nice. And they don’t make me wish I was somewhere else. Grasslands feels a bit more like Vedge now, but with a uniquely Toronto vibe, and if they ever have the equivalent of Vedges “Dirt list” at Grasslands (locally sourced random dishes of the day/moment), I will be beyond excited. The ambiance is good, the food is good, and the menu seems to still be…

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Things I Love Whenever: Catching Up. Best of Toronto. Yummy Things. Vegan Donuts.

This has been a really great week. I spent some of it feeling gross and yucky with flu-like symptoms, but even despite that, it’s been a great week. I started writing this on Thursday… but life got in the way. First of all, in “MeShell the Consumer” news, I ordered a couple of adult onesies from TopShop, which arrived this week. And, since I like to embrace my inner child, I’ve been happily wearing them around the house. When else do I have the opportunity to dress like a frog or a reindeer? Never. Board Games I played board games with vegan friends last weekend and it was pretty great. I never think of myself as a board game player or any tabletop game player, but when it comes down to it, I really enjoy them. One of my favourite memories from childhood is when my parents and I would play board games together around the dining room table. Usually it would be a fairly straightforward game like Payday or Aggravation (easily a family favourite) Hedgehogs I get to babysit a hedgehog for a little while. The best part is, I think my friend still thinks I’m doing her a favour… but really it’s the other way around. I don’t think I could commit to having a hedgehog full time (since, you know, cats), but there is something about their grumpy little sounds and mysterious personality quirks that does it for me. This grumpy ball of spikes is a hit at…

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Bento Miso – Urban Acorn – Beatles Themed Dinner Party

Why has it taken me so long to talk about this? I don’t know, but my wedding based excuses are going to run out soon. Many many Thursday’s ago I went to Bento Miso for Urban Acorn’s Beatles themed supper club. It was a great opportunity to talk to other people interested in food and meet the people behind Urban Acorn, and learn a little more about their approach. They bill themselves as “flexitarian” which is one of my least favourite words in the dictionary, but other than that I’ve really enjoyed their approach and style towards vegan-friendly foods. (And making connections online, and social media in general, and visual presentation, etc etc) Our gracious hosts were welcoming, friendly, and kept the food and conversation going. Dinner was casual and inviting, the usually desk and laptop filled coworking space of Bento Miso on Richmond Street was transformed into a dining area with one long table, and several participants sitting around and chatting. I was late, but it didn’t matter, appetizers were being passed around, and the stage was set for a relaxed several course meal. I liked that Urban Acorn had sourced local and vegan friendly alcohol for the event (thanks Barnivore) – I helped myself to a bottle of Mill Street Organic and waited for the food to arrive. The appetizers were all interesting and perfectly sized to stuff in ones face. My favourite was easily the potato pancake topped with sweet onion chutney, but it’s hard to really…

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Things I Love Thursday – So many things. Books, Art, Videos, World Record Achievements

I’m glad I’ve got writing TILTs as part of my routine on Thursday. We’ve been back from our not-honeymoon for a few days and I feel like I’ve been playing catch up with the real world, projects, life stuff, house stuff, and foster cat stuff. West End Food Co-op CSO This week I picked up the remainder of the West End Food Co-op Community supported orchard program preserves I had amassed during the last CSO summer season. For anyone that has considered signing up but been put off by the initial cost – I think it’s worth it, especially if like me, you eat a lot of vegetables. Even splitting it amongst friends would leave you with lots of amazing preserves and treats for the rest of the year. The experience, the community, and the education at the WEFC Community Kitchen/Community Cannery is amazing. Future classes and events. On Tuesday, Doug McNish was also demoing his newest book Raw, Quick, and Delicious, so while I was there I picked up a free copy as a thank you for being one of the testers on this book. I’m not the most enthusiastic about making raw food usually – mostly because it’s typically so time consuming. So when testing for this one I was pleasantly and genuinely surprised at how actually quick (and delicious) many of the recipes I tried were. I’ll have to dig into the book again soon. Check out his demo on Breakfast Television Flowers My parents left Toronto while we…

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Things I Love Thursday: Wedded Edition.

We are in the beautiful North Bruce Peninsula this week for a little break after the excitement, stress, and fun of planning, then having our wedding last weekend. I’d like to post a more detailed update about the wedding soon, but for now – I (and JC) had a lovely time. I went in thinking whatever will happen will happen, and no matter what I would be leaving married to an amazing partner, lover, and friend, and that’s what it was all about. Everything else was just icing on a tasty vegan wedding cake. I loved seeing friends and family I hadn’t seen in a while and meeting new people and some of my new family for the first time. Unfortunately it was a tough year for some of my family/friends and several pairs couldn’t make it due to illness, but they were in my thoughts. I’m still left with this lingering wish I had invited more people that were important to me – but didn’t invite because I thought they wouldn’t/couldn’t come, or it wouldn’t work out some how. Because there were some invites I sent out, with no expectation of attendance, where I was pleasantly surprised. I also wish RSVPs and Invitations didn’t get lost. We mailed out about 70-80 envelopes, and it turns out some still haven’t arrived. This doesn’t completely shake my love of the postal system, but I do wonder if my terrible printing had something to do with cards never arriving. I’ll try and…

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Through Being Cool Vegan Bakery in Toronto – New!

So the vegan internet has been a buzz about Through Being Cool Vegan Bakery opening up to the public this weekend. You might have tried Through Being Cool baked goods before at other places around the city – I know I’ve eaten some delicious examples of their skills a few times at Disgraceland. Unfortunately, I was out of the city for an organizing meeting at a cottage this weekend (okay – it’s not really that unfortunate), so I missed TBC’s opening day on Sunday, September 29th,  But JC was kind enough not only to bring home a box of donuts and whoopie pies, but took a bunch of pictures too so i didn’t feel like I missed out. What a sweetie. Of course, on Monday I was in the area (and made sure I was in the area) picking up my wedding dress (ack), so I walked over to Through Being Cool and checked it out. However stressful and cumbersome it is to travel around with a large dress bag as a non car-driver, donuts help and felt like a natural pairing at that moment. It’s quite a lovely space, but don’t take my word for it. Go there yourself. First thing I noticed when I walked in were the shelves covered in preserves. There is ketchup, BBQ Sauce, as well as varieties of pickled vegetables, mustards, and sauces. TBC uses Anchored Coffee in house, and also sells several bagged varieties. Anchored is an ethical coffee project/roaster out of Nova Scotia…

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End of #VeganMoFo – Vegan Wedding Edition – Weirdest Giveaway? You’re Invited.

So, as you may know, JC and I are getting married in October. We have a lovely venue booked, the menu has been planned out, the ceremony has been written, invitations have gone out (& RSVPs have even come back), dresses and suits have been purchased and fitted and talked about, flowers have been booked, hair and make up appointments are set, and everything is mostly ready to go. JC and I have been playing with this idea for a while, especially since we do know a few people would like to attend the relative novelty of an entirely vegan wedding even though they don’t particularly know us much beyond this blog, or twitter, or facebook, or just vaguely within the community. So you’re invited. And I’m not kidding. (phew… I’m really not kidding am I?) Please leave a comment and tell us why you’d want to attend, and from those comments, we’ll pick our favourites. Please make sure to write in a valid email address where we can contact you. This is open to anyone awesome 18+ that will find themselves in Toronto, Ontario on October 13, 2013. Dear Friends & Family who are already invited Please know that we absolutely love you, and we’re really glad you’re coming to our wedding. You are really important to us, and that’s why we invited you, and hoped you would join us on our special little day. I hope you don’t feel that having some enthusiastic vegan wedding crashers takes away…

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