It’s Gardening Season!

I never knew I was interested in gardening until I moved in with my partner, Nick, 4 years ago and helped him tend to the 4 or 5 pots of herbs he had growing on his back porch. Gardening was always my mom’s thing and it was always what she did to get away from her kids since her plants didn’t complain or demand things of her. She practically lived in the yard from April-October during our teenage years and I don’t blame her!

I didn’t quite get it then, but I do now. If I have had a particularly bad day or if the library was particularly loud, you’ll most likely find me in the yard tending to my plants in the evening. There’s a meditative quality to gardening and watching things grow from tiny seeds into something that you can eat is incredibly rewarding. In the four years I have lived here, the garden has grown from 4 pots on the porch to about 10 pots on the porch, plus about 1/4 of the building’s backyard and I have gone from knowing nearly nothing about gardening to composting and practicing companion planting and crop rotation for higher yields. It’s amazing what you can learn from a few books and your mom!

This year I got off to a bit of a late start due to all the weird weather we’ve had in Chicago. However, despite doing all of my plantings in mid-June, things seem to be going well and it looks like it should be another good year for my little garden.

Here’s a look at what I have going on this year…

Perennials: 

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 – Lillies flanked by Liatrix –

I planted Liatrix, Calla Lily and some other form of Lily bulbs last spring and the only one that grew and bloomed was the Liatrix. This year, I have full grown Lilies of some sort, as well as, Liatrix, but none of them have bloomed yet due to our wacky weather. It’s July! They should have bloomed long ago. I’m just hoping they bloom soon so I have some more color in my yard.

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The bitter cold this winter killed off most of my strawberry plants, which I’ve had for three years. The one above seems to be bouncing back, but it’s doing so very slowly, so I bought a few new plants from Whole Foods last week when they were on sale to replace all of the strawberry plants that seemed to be gone for good.

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Luckily, the rhubarb plant that has been in my family for 4 generations survived the winter despite living in a pot!

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 – Rhubarb –

My mint plants also survives the winter, which is both good and bad since they’re taking over my yard, yet continue to protect the plants from pests.

 Annuals:

I have had success with peas, small tomatoes (cherry and roma), kale, scallions, radishes, cilantro, dill, and small to mid-sized peppers in the past, so I made sure to plants all of those again this year. I started the peas and tomatoes and the rest either came from my CSA, friends or my local gardening store.

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 – Snow Peas –

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-Small Sweet Peppers –

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 – Green Bell Peppers –

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 – Dinosaur Kale –

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– Tomatoes –

New additions to the yard include cucumbers, tomatillos, pole beans, celery, and my experimental sweet potatoes that look like aliens.

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– Tomatillo –

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– Sprouting Sweet Potato –

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– Baby Sweet Potato Plants –

Yields:

Thus far I haven’t had much in terms of yields, but that’s to be expected since all of my plants seem to think it’s still Spring. However, with a little bit of plant food and all the rain we’ve been getting I should start to see more produce coming through my door.

Here’s what I’ve harvested so far…

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Plus bunches of cilantro and mint, which aren’t pictured!

Looking forward to shopping for some flowers this weekend to attract more bees!

This is my first year composting, so I’ll be writing a bit more about that in the future, as well as, what I feed my plants, where I get my seeds, what I plant together and why, and what my favorite gardening resources are.

I think it would be awesome if more people grew their own food. I’m no expert, but if you have any questions about my methods, ask away!

 

Vegan Shoe Store Coming to Chicagoland!

In case you haven’t heard, Amour de la Terre, a vegan shoe store, is opening up in Oak Park this spring. According to their Facebook page, the store will be located a 130 N. Oak Park Ave. in Oak Park, IL.

So far it looks like they’ll be carrying Olsen Haus, Cri de Coeur and NAE vegan shoes. I’m hoping they’ll also add shoes from my favorite sweat-shop free/cruelty free company, Vegetarian Shoes.

Follow them on Facebook to stay up to date with when they’ll be opening and what else they’ll be carrying!

Paper Moon Pastry

A few weeks ago Nick and I stopped into Paper Moon Pastry’s new brick and mortar location (3523 W. Fullerton Ave) for an event and we were pleasantly surprised by all of their delicious vegan goodies!

Roasted Dandies on Chocolate Custard? Yes, please!!
Roasted Dandies on Chocolate Custard? Yes, please!!

Nick purchased a chocolate covered rice krispy treat with dandies in it, which I was unable to photograph since he ate it before we got home.

We also picked up a few treats for the pups made by All My Friends Are Bread, which they went crazy over!

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Ian's nickname isn't Monkey just because he's rowdy. He also loves bananas!
Ian’s nickname isn’t Monkey just because he’s rowdy. He also loves bananas!
Hooray for vegan dog treats that will make Harlow do pirouettes!
Hooray for vegan dog treats that will make Harlow do pirouettes!

After our visit I did a brief interview with Ana:

SCV: Do you always have several vegan options available and marked or is that something you just do for the vegan events you host?

TB: Vegan options are ALWAYS available, but we recommend that our vegan customers ask what’s vegan because sometimes we have top-secret vegan items that we don’t mark. The reason being that non-vegan customers are sometimes hesitant to try vegan pastries. This way, they eat and love vegan food without knowing it’s vegan, and we get to have sneaky secrets with our vegan customers.

SCV: I saw in one of your previous interviews that you’re planning on keeping a portion of your shop as a boutique for local vendors, which is totally cool! Will these vendors rotate or will they stay the same?

TB: The plan is to rotate the vendors on a monthly basis so there’s always new and exciting things available. We’re trying to stick to local vendors, importing from other cities ONLY when the items are particularly cool and made by people we really love.

SCV: My dogs went crazy over the All My Friends Are Bread treats, please tell me you’ll be carrying those on the regular.

TB: Absolutely, AMFB is a staple at our monthly vegan markets – she’s the best!

SCV: Besides Café Mustache and Wormhole, are there any other places people may have tried your vegan goodies before?

TB: At The Dill Pickle Food Coop, Township, New Wave Coffee, and also in their wildest dreams.

SCV: I think your shop is pretty cool and I read in one of your interviews that you’d eventually like to turn the basement into a venue for shows/a community space. That’s pretty rad!

TB: Definitely looking to book shows of all kinds when the basement is finished – punk, metal, weird performance art, comedians, DJs – anything that makes us happy!

SCV: Can’t wait to come back and try some more vegan goodies and get more dog treats. I wish you the best of luck!

TB: Thanks for stopping in!

Paper Moon Pastry is located at 3523 W. Fullerton Ave and is currently open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 9-5pm.

They host a monthly vegan pastry , confection and gift market, called, The Vegan Vortex. The next one will be held March 29-30 and they are currently trying to raise money to re-sign their lease and open the store on week days, so be sure to check it out!!

This month’s market will include:

Special guest Kelly Peloza, author of Cheers to Vegan Sweets
Vert juice: fresh squeezed juices made by two super pretty girls
Vintage Clothing and Accessories from Poly Golightly Vintage
Literary matchboxes by Lauren Reese (Piedra Papel Tijeras)
Jewelry, Handbags, Wallets from Tarnish
Cards and Stationary from Anxious Alphabet
Vegan handmade soaps from Bitter Betty Bath & Body
All natural lip balm and body care from Lola Moon
Cookbooks from Bake and Destroy
Vegan bike bags from Po Campo
Vegan Chocolate Boxes from Katherine Anne Confections
Celiac safe gluten free treats from Bot Bakery
Tarot Card decks and Candles from Last Craft
Crafts and necklaces from artist katie holland
Vegan all natural dog treats from all my friends are bread
Greeting cards from Betty Turbo
Vegancentric Jewelry from The Lucky Cupcake Company
Used books on consignment from Uncharted Books
Paintings on glass: new work by Brett Whitacre

Brand New issue of Monsters and Dust hot off the presses”pink/punk”.

The event’s menu includes:

$1 metropolis coffee
so many cupcakes
chili cheese nachos with teese vegan cheese
brownies
krispy treats
hot chocolate tarts
cookies
pot pies
pulled “pork”
roasted tofu burritos
granola
apple crumb pie
pecan pie
maple sugar sandwich cookies
and SO SO MUCH MORE

Can’t wait!

Special Valentine’s Day Treat from Bethlehem, PA!

This past Valentine’s Day I treated Nick and a few of our friends to some yummy cannoli from Vegan Treats in Bethlehem, PA. They made me lament the fact that Bethlehem is so far away.

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For those who don’t know, Vegan Treats started offering their cannoli online for Thanksgiving/Christmas in 2013. They also sold cookie boxes for Christmas and boxes of awesome looking chocolates for Valentine’s Day.

An order of cannoli includes a dozen cannoli – 6 plain and 6 dipped in chocolate. I was a big fan of the plain, while Nick preferred the chocolate. The filling is creamy and sweet and the pastry was delicious and flaky.

The box arrived the day before Valentine’s Day via the US Postal Service and each half dozen was packaged in these cute little boxes:

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They also came with a couple of postcards:

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The cannoli are pricey ($48 for a dozen or $50 for a gluten free dozen), but definitely worth it! After all if I can’t get to Bethlehem, PA every year, at least I can get something delivered right to my door! I’m hoping they do something cool for Halloween and even though I don’t celebrate Easter, I wouldn’t mind another opportunity to get more goodies!

 

 

90’s Hardcore Vegan French Toast

Last weekend I spent roughly an hour rummaging around looking for one of my old mainstay recipes. I couldn’t find it because it was written either on a scrap of paper or on the inside cover of a lyric book I used for my band that sadly hasn’t been touched in close to 2 years. This recipe originally appeared in the Bark & Grass Vegan Cookbook (cook zine really…) by Kim Nolan, that was printed in the early 90’s. For some reason, I think I bought it at the 1992 More Than Music Festival in Dayton, OH. I carried this zine with me from Buffalo to Baltimore to D.C., back to Buffalo and finally to Chicago.  Over time it became increasingly tattered and it finally met the trash can when a very young, Ian Mackaynine, ravaged all of the books on the lower shelves of my bookshelf the first time he was ever left alone overnight…needless to say, Bark and Grass was among them.  The zine was reprinted here and there, but hasn’t been in print for years, so I only have 2 of the recipes still within my possession: French Toast and Pancakes. Okay, story time is over so let’s make some French Toast!

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Ingredients:
3 Tbs Flour
2 Tsp Sweetener
1/2 Tsp Cinnamon

1/2 Cup Soy or Almond Milk
1/4 Cup Water

Vegan Margarine

Vegan Bread

Grab a shallow bowl wide enough to accept a piece of bread horizontally. Mix up the dry ingredients. I’ve used a variety of dry sweeteners over the years – cheapo sugar, sucanat, and Vegan Cane Sugar from Whole Foods. It all works the same but we prefer the Vegan Cane Sugar from Whole Foods because its clearly marked.

Then add your wet ingredients. I can’t remember if the original recipe from Bark and Grass used the mix of water and soy milk that I listed, as my only existing version of the recipe is hand written and I know that using all “milk” makes the batter a bit thicker and thus, doesn’t cover as many pieces of bread. The days of clinging to soy milk for every recipe have also passed (which is what the original recipe used), so the French Toast pictured used plain almond milk because that’s what we prefer.

Mix up the batter and heat up the pan on low-medium heat and melt some margarine on the pan.

Let’s take a moment to talk about vegan bread. Most cities have some local bakery that provides fresh Italian and/or sour dough bread to local businesses. This isn’t usually “top of the line” bakery bread, but its fresh and not full of all sorts of crappy processed food ingredients. Instead its your typical: flour, water, salt, yeast sort of bread. This stuff is ideal for French Toast. Since you’re essentially burying most of the original bread’s flavor in sugar and cinnamon, there is no reason to use the best vegan organic bread that money can buy. So feel free to use the slightly cheaper vegan bread or even stale bread for this dish.

Bread tirades aside, dip your bread in the batter coating both sides. Don’t soak it all the way through or you’ll end up with soggy French Toast. Just make sure the entire surface of both sides is coated. Toss each piece in the pan and cook until browned and dry on each side.

Finally, when you get down to the bottom of the batter, you’ll find that all of the liquid is gone, but there is still a bunch of the flour/sugar/cinnamon. Don’t let that go to waste. Pour another tablespoon or two of almond milk into it and you can squeeze out another 1 or 2 pieces from it.

All told, you should expect to make 6-10 pieces of French Toast with this recipe depending on the size of the bread.

Smoky Bacon and Navy Bean Soup

Whenever we go to Buffalo to visit Nick’s parents, his mom always makes great soups. My family never ate much soup, but after eating several of her soups, as well as, several delicious soups at The Chicago Diner and at Native Foods Cafe , I decided to try making some of my own, since they’re always great on a cold winter day.

One of my favorite soups from The Chicago Diner is their navy bean soup, so I set out to create my own version of it using Upton’s Naturals bacon seitan and here’s what I came up with. It’s not the same as the Chicago Diner’s soup, but it’s delicious!

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Ingredients:

2 cups dry navy beans
4 medium red potatoes, cubed
1/3 Red onion, chopped
2 Tbsp Earth Balance or other vegan margarine
4 Tbsp vegan Liquid Smoke
1 vegetable bouillon cube
1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk or other unsweetened non-dairy beverage
5 slices of Upton’s Naturals bacon seitan
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp salt

Soak navy beans in water overnight or for at least 8 hours. Once soaked – rinse and drain. Pour 6 cups of water into a large soup pan and add beans – boil for 30 minutes.

While beans are boiling, cube your potatoes and place in a separate bowl. Chop red onion into small pieces and chop bacon into small strips, as well. Place 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a small frying pan and fry bacon with onion until the onion is translucent and the bacon is a little browned – set aside.

After beans have cooked for half an hour, drain again. Place 5 fresh cups of water into your soup pot and add beans again, as well as cubed potatoes and bring to a boil. Dissolve 1 vegetable bouillon cube in 1 cup of boiling water and add to soup mix. Add 2 tablespoons of liquid smoke and one tablespoon of salt and stir. Allow soup mix to boil for 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Take off heat and use potato masher to mash soup mix.

Once beans and potatoes have been mashed, add bacon and onion from the pan you set aside earlier and return pot to heat. Stir and allow to simmer until water evaporates and mixture starts to look like mashed potatoes (10-15 minutes). Stir in almond milk, margarine and the other 2 tablespoons of liquid smoke. Allow to simmer for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally so nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Makes 3-4 bowls.

Enjoy!

Second City Vegan is Back!

Last year was an eventful year for Nick and me, which left little time for blogging.

I went from working as a nanny 25 hours a week to working full-time as a librarian out in the suburbs in August of 2012. At that time I also got involved in organizing the three day Combatting Latent Inequality Together Music Festival, which was held in Chicago back in August of 2013. It was a great event and I got to meet lots of cool people, but coordinating it took a lot of time and energy, which stretched me pretty thin for parts of the year.

Nick tore his ACL at work last summer and a couple of months later he broke one of his fingers. He had surgery for the torn ACL in October and is doing well, but both injuries put him out of commission for the rest of the year. He’s been using his down time productively, though, and is in the process of creating his own miniature board game, called Broken Contract, which you can read about over at a gaming blog he does with friends called, 2nd City Warzone, so you won’t be reading much from him here at Second City Vegan for a while, but he’s still around and he’s invaluable when it comes to taste-testing all of my creations.

Things seem to finally be settling down for me, though, and I’ve gotten used to my new schedule, so I’m back and I’m planning on posting here at least once a month, hopefully more. I’ve missed messing around with recipes for the blog and posting about all of my favorite vegan places, products, books, etc. I miss being part of the vegan community on the interwebs. I plan on posting all of the usual stuff,  like recipes and reviews, but also just general stuff about life as a vegan.

As always, if you have intel on a new vegan  or vegan friendly joint opening up, let me know so I can add them to the Restaurant Guide. I also welcome guest posts if you’re interested – just e-mail me at secondcityvegan[at]gmail[dot]com.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for new recipes, soon!

Veggie Fest 2012 – Vegetarian Food Festival (Naperville, IL)

This weekend is the annual Veggie Fest in Naperville/Wheaton, IL. We’ve attended the last 3 years in a row to eat some delicious vegan food and check out the vendor tents. They also have speakers and live music.

Since we’ve attended multiple times now we have a routine and know the layout. The tents are roughly laid out in avenues every year with an avenue of basic vegetarian info/organizations, another with health and beauty vendors, one with spiritual information and several with food and other product vendors. We save the vendor avenues for the end after we push all the way to the back and go straight for the food court.

Every year we’ve been there the highlight is Caribbean Kitchen. Its a tent exclusive to Veggie Fest that features two types of faux fried chicken and rice. One is spicy Cajun style and the other is a more traditional breading. Both are delicious. The food vendors are constrained to a ticket system and most of the entrees are 5 tickets (each ticket is $1.00).

Caribbean Kitchen

My selections this year were a plate from Caribbean Kitchen, a falafel (which I DO NOT recommend), and Lemonade (which was just okay). Total expense: $11.00. Not bad for being filled completely. Lisa and her friends all partook in Dosas from The Art of Dosa, and from what I gather they made the right choice. Their plate included a large dosa, a cup of sambar, a couple of chutneys and some curried potatoes, all for $5 . Lisa also partook in the Caribbean chicken and got vegan ice cream from Nada Moo for dessert. As you navigate your way through the food tents make sure you look for Vegan markings on the signage that lists the ticket amounts.

The Art of Dosa

After we chowed down on (mostly) delicious food we walked around and looked at all of the vendors. This years vendors included Gardein, Earth Balance, Chicago Vegan Foods, Vega, NadaMoo, Manna Organics (which we’ve reviewed before), V-Dog, and many others. Some of the vendors were giving out samples and coupons and some had actual product to sell. Lisa stocked up on Vega powder and so did some of her friends because they jumped online with their phones to price compare and discovered they’d be saving some cash by buying at their tent. Not only did she get a discount from the retail price but they threw in a free shirt, tote bag, samples and coupons as well – not a bad deal.

Of course, this report is late in the game since day 2 has already started but it runs until 8PM, so you have 6 more hours to run over there. Admittance and parking are both free! So load your car up with some friends and go check it out.

Veggie Fest
4S 175 Naperville-Wheaton Rd, Naperville, IL

 

 

On the Road: Grand Rapids

It’s been 6 months since my last post and while I find that a bit embarrassing and have chastised myself often about it, I’ve decided to shrug it off and move on since it couldn’t be helped. However, for those of you looking for an explanation lets just say the past 6 months involved 3 job changes, lots of 12 hour work days, a few computer meltdowns, the birth of a puppy, quite a bit of freelance work, fleas, a bit of  home reorganizing, some super secret plan brainstorming with super secret people and a couple of short vacations, the last of which was a day trip to Grand Rapids, Michigan.

The trip was sort of my last hurrah for the summer, since I started my new full-time position as a children’s librarian today. No more 12 hour days for me = more time for blogging, cuddling with dogs, taking pictures and pursuing my other interests!!!

Why Grand Rapids? Well, I’d been hearing a lot about the wonders of the Megabus and their cheap fares, so I decided to see where it would take me from Chicago. I was limited to day trips since a) I had about 3 million things to do before starting the new job and b) I felt bad leaving the dogs with a sitter for longer than a day, since Nick was on tour in the Pacific NW with his vegan straight edge band, Poison Planet.  Grand Rapids was perfect, because it wasn’t terribly far, I knew they had good vegan food (or so I’d been told, since this was my first visit) and I had 2 coupons for free sandwiches from Bartertown Diner thanks to Nick’s contribution to their Kickstarter last year. I texted my friend M and asked her if she’d like to join me and next thing we knew we were being dropped off in a parking surrounded by warehouses in Grand Rapids.

The first place we went was the Bartertown Diner (6 Jefferson St SE, Grand Rapids, MI – (616) 233-3219). Bartertown is a vegitarian/vegan/raw, worker owned and operated diner. According to their website, their goal is to: “promote fresh, local ingredients along with a positive, fair working environment.”

Bartertown is a casual place with tables made from old doors and a counter made from reclaimed wood and old window panes. They have revolutionaries painted on their walls in red and black and several figurines gracing the counter next to an assortment of hot sauces, like a Ric Flair action figure and this pig:

At first glance, the menu appears a bit Spartan, with it’s 2 appetizers, 5 sandwiches and 4 entrees, but when you stop to think about the fact that they only use local ingredients that are in season, it makes sense. Plus, they had a couple of daily specials up on a board above the counter.

M and I got excited when we saw that they had locally made sodas, so she ordered a Black Cherry Soda which they served up in a mason jar and I ordered a root beer, which unfortunately the were out of 🙁

Black Cherry Soda

As I mentioned before, our coupons were for sandwiches, so we both ordered the Deluxe Chickpea Melt, which featured a patty made from mashed chickpeas, diced veggies, and vegenaise topped with tempeh bacon, lettuce and tomato served on delicious bread toasted to perfection. I opted for the side of baked beans, which tasted more like chili without the meat or veggies than the sweet beans from a can that I’m used. They had a slight kick to them that went well with the sandwich and I was very pleased with my choice.

M opted for the curried coleslaw as her side. I’m not typically a fan of slaw, but it was surprisingly good with the slightly sweet curry they added to it.

As you can see they don’t skimp on the portions. Both M and I left feeling more than satisfied. We also got a piece of raw chocolate cheesecake from their dessert case to go, which was delicious, but I failed to photograph.

We spent the majority of the afternoon wandering around downtown Grand Rapids admiring the architecture, hanging out by the river and reading magazines in the periodicals room of GR’s beautiful library.

Our initial plan was to get dinner at Brick Road Pizza (1017 Wealthy St, Grand Rapids, MI – (616) 719-2409), which we’d heard great things about from several people, unfortunately they are closed on Mondays though, so we had to come up with a plan b.

We walked a few store fronts down to visit Tree Hugger (947 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids, MI – (616) 454-8733), a package free grocery store (though I’d call it more of a general store than grocery store) just to see what it was all about. Walking around the store made me wish there was something like it in Chicago. Tree Hugger is very environmentally conscious. Not only do they sell package free groceries, they also sell upcycled and recycled items AND they have a recycling center.

The way the grocery part of the store works is you either a) bring your own container in or b)buy a mason jar from them and fill it with everything from laundry detergents to Bragg’s Liquid Aminos to Daiya to grains and more, which is rad!

The rest of the store had eco-friendly items for every occasion. There were several Preserve products, compost bins, bamboo kitchen items, grocery totes, clothing, stationary, purses, soy candles, bath and beauty products and more! I was really impressed how every business we visited in Grand Rapids seemed to be all about eco-friendliness and buying local.

Once we left Tree Hugger, we got onto Vegan Grand Rapids to figure out what the nearest option was for us that would keep us in the area or take us back in the direction of our bus. We ended up settling on The Green Well Gastro Pub (924 Cherry St. SE, Grand Rapids, MI – (616) 808-3566), which seemed like the antithesis of Bartertown Diner. Unlike Bartertown, the Green Well serves meat and unlike Brick Road Pizza, they don’t have a dedicated vegan menu. Instead there’s lots of meat, cheese and wine. The clientele reminded M and I of something out of The Stepford Wives. There were women in pearls and skirt suits and lots of middle aged men wearing polo shirts. Needless to say I felt a little out of place in my jean shorts with the ink stain and a tank top. There were cloth napkins and the sinks in the bathrooms looked like something you’d find in a spa.

Our waiter was friendly, though, he seemed a little taken aback when I used the word “vegan” while ordering. He came by frequently to re-fill our waters and see how things were going. M and I both decided to go the safe route and order the Pad Thai, since it was the only thing the folks at Vegan Grand Rapids recommended that didn’t require us telling him to omit anything. We were both pleasantly surprised by what he brought us. It wasn’t traditional Pad Thai, instead is was rice noodles in a sweet and slightly spicy curry sauce with seasonal local vegetables topped with peanuts and it was delicious!

Like the other businesses we visited, the Green Well Gastro Pub was not only concerned with sourcing ingredients locally, they are also  located in an LEED certified building and offer locally crafted beers. They were a little on the pricey side for me and the ambiance was far too formal, so I wouldn’t go out of my way to eat there again, but it’ll do in a pinch.

All in all, it was a nice affordable day trip filled with good food and great company and I look forward to doing it again sometime.

Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is a week away – Eeek! Here are some ideas if you’re still looking for something to get your loved ones:

Mixing Bowl Bakery:

Looking for something sweet? The Mixing Bowl Bakery can hook you up with vegan truffles, cupcakes, cookies and more! Orders must be placed by February 10th and 10% of profits go to Mercy for Animals.

Vegan Cuts:

Vegan Cuts is currently offering a great deal on vegan truffles, but if your sweetie isn’t a fan of sweets or you’ve had your heart stolen by a four-legged cuddle monkey, like this girl,  they’re offering plenty of discount codes to some great companies.

Rescue Chocolate:

As always, if you’re looking for quality chocolate that’s vegan and helps save lives check out the Peanut Butter Pit Bull bar or my personal favorite, the Wild at Heart dark chocolate hearts filled with raspberry ganache!

Don’t forget to mention your favorite local rescue at check-out (some of our favorties are Chicago Bully Breed Rescue and Broad Shoulders Animal Rescue ), because they can get part of the profits from your sale.