Friday, January 9, 2009

Holiday Road Trip Food

I seem to have more excuses than I have blog posts and, frankly, I don't really have an excuse for that. One of the things that's kept me outta the blogosphere was our holiday road trip. For ten glorious days, we left Colorado behind and headed west for family, presents, vegan eats, Trader Joe's, and Ikea. Did I already say it was glorious? Unfortunately, I forgot my camera in half the places we ate, but I did manage a few shots and I think I can still remember them well enough to describe what I didn't snap.

In honor of the many delicious vegan meals we had on the road, I've compiled out Holiday Road Trip Vegan Eats 2008 Top 5 list:

5. Pure Luck. (LA, CA) In our quest to scope out the Bicycle Kitchen, we stumbled onpon what just might be the coolest corner in LA. All in one small little corner, there was a vegan restaurant, a bike shop, a community bike shop, and a local ice cream establishment with 5 vegan flavors of ice cream. Being a committed non-dessert person (even in the midst of pregnancy), I can't comment on the quality of the ice cream, though Josh managed to nod and express his enjoyment monosyllabically while enjoying the Banana Oreo ice cream. And, while I didn't love my Jackfruit carnitas burrito, the chickpea salad and tofu pesto sandwiches were quite good--as were the lemonade and homemade tortilla chips.
4. Hugo's Tacos. (Studio City, CA) I've been wanting to try Hugo's for quite some time and our trip to LA was the perfect excuse to go just a bit further and hit up Studio City for some tacos. The soyrizo, potato, and zucchini tacos were really good (though I wished I'd picked a different salsa for the top), but I think I preferred the soppy mess that was Josh's Ahogada Torta. It wasn't pretty and it didn't look easy to eat and the jumble of flavors was a bit confusing, but it somehow worked.
3. Green. (Tempe, AZ) Since we discovered it, our trips to Phoenix have always included a trip to Green in Tempe. They've expanded to include some grocery items now, which made me sad given that they had the Cheddar Teese and we still had 2500 miles to drive before getting back home. To reinforce the pattern, I wasn't thrilled about my entree. Unlike Hugo's Torta, the Mexicali burger did indeed have too much going on. The hummus, nacho cheeze sauce, vegan mayo, and spicy chipotle was sauce overload. I couldn't tell if the patty was any good or not. But, goddamn if the rosemary fries, artichoke gratine, crab puffs, and chocolate mint tsoynami weren't enough to make up for it.
2. Fresh Mint. (Scottsdale, AZ) This vegan(?) Thai restaurant has fake meats that satisfied even the most devoted omni's at our table. But, the real standout here--and the thing I'd go back to Scottsdale for over and over again--is the dessert. Even though we were full, we decided to give the banana fritters a try. I'm might have to turn in my sweet toothless badge. With coconut tapioca topped by fried bananas and chocolate sauce, this is one of the best desserts I've ever had.
1. Mozy's Cafe. (Encinitas, CA) The Tamale Burrito. I don't even know what else to say except that it's the most ridiculous, divine thing I've ever heard of and it never fails to delight me.

*Stay tuned for the conclusion of the road trip food. You won't want to miss it.


Jeni Treehugger said...

Hey there. Glad you enjoyed your trip. I went to England for Christmas.
Here's wishing you a Happy New Year and I hope 2009 is filled with love and laughter.

Bianca said...

Banana Oreo Ice Cream! That sounds like an orgasm waiting to happen.

Curiously, are you a non-dessert person because you don't like sweets? Or is it about refined sugar? Or something else? Just wondering. I used to hate sweets, and then something happened one day, and I couldn't get enough.