October….official start of fall, National Breast Cancer Month, LGBT History Month, Halloween, Eric’s birthday, my mom’s birthday – you get the gist – many things going on. So much I could talk about, but what have I been chatting your ear off about all month?
I have honestly never eaten out so much in my life. It’s so wonderful to see people trying vegan food and chefs even considering keeping some of the items on their menu after the Challenge is over. Even though it’s a competition, and there will be winners, this is really about building a vegan-friendly community and it’s truly been a pleasure to be a part of it.
It’s also been fun to share my vegan experience with co-workers, friends, and family.
Without further ado, I bring to you a re-cap of some of the restaurants I’ve been to over the last week. Sorry in advance for some of the photos – some visits have been very spur of the moment and only captured by the iPhone, while some others have not been photographed because of “food inhalation” (a.k.a, eating way to fast) due to the deliciousness of the meal.
First stop, Sacramento’s gem, Dad’s Sandwich Shop.
I went to the S Street location hoping to snag their vegan “meatloaf” sandwich, but they were all out They did offer me a BBQ tofu sandwich, which was really good, but it only made me more curious about vegan meatloaf. If it was in such high demand, it must be really good, which means have to have it. Here’s the tofu sandwich.
Later that week,when I forgot to bring a lunch (by accident, I promise), I ventured out to the J Sreet location, hoping to get lucky. And lucky I was. The meatloaf sandwich is INCREDIBLE. Hands down the best “meatloaf” sandwich I’ve ever had. And listen, I’m not a sandwich gal. Give me a huge (and exciting) salad bowl and I’m a happy girl. But this sandwich was something special. If you want to try something spectacular, go here.
I’m not going to spoil all the details of this divine sandwich combination, but there is not a photo of it here for a reason – ” food inhalation”. I’m also happy to report that Dad’s Sandwich Shop will continue to serve this sandwich at their S Street location after the VCC is over, unfortunately J Street will not. So go try it while it’s there!
Next, Eric and I headed over to The Grange to try their vegan fare. I admit, I was very excited about this one after talking with Chef Oliver about the inspiration behind his cooking. I didn’t bring the camera to dinner, and the lighting was dim, so here are a couple of (poor) photos of the food.
I ordered the (not your typical) baby beet salad for the first course. This was my favorite part of the meal. The chef is big on local and seasonal ingredients, which explains why the beets practically melted in my mouth. This nice little dish was orchestrated perfectly with all the pieces coming together in balanced way – bite size flavorful beets, pickled turnips, spiced walnuts, beet-sherry vinaigrette, and corn bread croutons that tasted like dessert. I’m telling you, I could have had this entire course for dessert and been totally satisfied.
The picture does not do it justice.
The entree was a plate of chickpea croquettes with a carrot - cumin sauce and paired with charred brocoli rabe.
The dessert was nice and light - almond milk panna cotta with apple cider granola and a vanilla poached pear. Thumbs up for creativity and a great way to end the night!
Some of my favorite moments of the Challenge so far have been dining out with my non-vegan friends and family. I went out to dinner with my good friend, Misa, who is not vegan, but was eager to give these restaurants a try. We settled on Evan’s Kitchen after looking at the menu.
Vegan Pot Pie?
As soon as we ordered our meal – Watermelon-Tomato salad to split, vegan Pot Pie for Misa, and Eggplant Parmesan for me, we happily chatted over a glass of wine. Then got a surprise visit from Chef Evan, making the meal that much more special. So nice of him to stop by and visit with us. Of course we talked about the Challenge, his vegan friend, and his vegan menu, which is quite extensive. He is not only serving dinner and desert, but went as far create dishes for lunch, and breakfast!
When the meal came, I was completely overwhelmed. I’m mostly all about veggies and raw at home, so this was a change. My plate was full of pasta, vegetables, and eggplant. The eggplant was amazing- just crispy enough. In my opinion, it didn’t even need the “cheese” on top because the breading and the sauce was incredible.
Misa loved her Pot Pie, and I even got a taste. A combination of brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, and other veggies for the filling were so good; no cream needed. The crust was flaky and golden, complete perfection!
I ordered a Coco Yerba Matte Latte and a raw sushi plate. I’m a huge matte fan. Never having been to Argentina, I have a friend who introduced me to the traditional way of having matte. It’s a really nice substitute to coffee, but takes a while to get used to the strong taste. So far, I’m not sold on drinking it this way, but I will try adding it to my homemade running gels and bars for an energy boost on race days or long runs.
Eric ordered the Macroplate. The Macroplate changes daily depending on what’s in season and available at The Fix that day. I had a bite of his, and concluded I liked his best. Warm quinoa served with roasted beets, carrots, nutritional yeast, spinach, avocado, on bed of lettuce.
Oh and I almost forgot about the soup. Miso soup came with my meal, and we both took sips. Loved the mushrooms, but it was a bit too salty overall.
Nevada City is really nice overall – very artsy with a lot of local talent. There are shops full of local art, clothing, independent bookstores and cafes. After exploring some of the stores, we headed back home. But not without, picking up a hitchhiker (my first time), and stopping to take some photos of South Yuba River (not in that order).