Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Jumping for Vegan Joy in San Francisco

Ahoy Mates!

I'm not sure how it's possible, but I seem to be 100 times busier on hiatus than when I was working. Go figure. Anywho, as I mentioned, I made a quick trip to San Francisco last week when I caught a ride with my friend Neal who was driving back to Norcal from San Diego. Therein lies the beauty of being unemployed--I can just decide at the last minute to drive up state in the middle of the week for no other reason than just wanting to be in weather cold enough to actually merit wearing one of my many scarves.

On to the food...

Basically every restaurant we saw looked incredible. I could spend decades there and probably never make it to all the awesome dining options. So for our one day in the big city, we had to choose wisely. I checked out Quarrygirl and To Live and Eat in L.A. for ideas and they both seemed pretty smitten with Herbivore, so that's exactly where Neal and I went after a wonderful morning at MoMA.

My fellow bloggers raved about the grilled seitan shwarma wrap, so it didn't take me long to order. Soon out came my wrap packed with grilled onions, tomatoes, hot sauce, hummus, tahini, pickles, and the awesome seitan. Would I like to add eggplant and potatoes to that? That would be a yes--I'm on vacation after all! I could easily eat this wrap every day for the rest of my life--it was that good. Neal ordered the falafal wrap which was also delicious. I was also very pleased that the wrap was totally easy to eat--it wasn't constantly in danger of exploding and dripping like wraps are wont to do. (These pictures are much better than mine)

The desserts sounded uber delish, so we couldn't resist ordering a slice of german chocolate cake. The server brought out this huge slab of heaven, which we devoured even though we were already so full we wanted to die. The fudgey icing was the best I've had--vegan or otherwise.

The added bonus of eating at Herbivore, was that while we chowed down in the sunshine, we spotted a very cute looking Indian restaurant. When we were craving Indian later on, we knew right where to go. It was back to the Mission for us!

Dosa serves South Indian cuisine which is different than the stuff one sees on a usual Indian menu. I was pleased to see a note at the top of the menu pointing to the vegan options. I ordered the Tamil Vegetable Curry which was made up of cauliflower, green beans, potatoes, plantains & cherry tomatoes in a "Chettinad-style" curry. Spooning the curry over coconut basmati rice made for one of the best meals I've had, period. The menu described the curry as mild which makes me fear what they find spicy because it was actually quite hot. Neal ordered a dosa which was unfortunately not vegan, because it looked amazing.

Neal and I had an amazing time in SF and I cannot wait to go back--especially because I found it to be even more vegan friendly than L.A. which is very impressive! Thanks to Foodeater and Quarrygirl for the great advice! Also, after eating at Dosa I really want to start cooking obscure Indian dishes more often. Anyone have a good suggestion for a vegan (or easily veganizable) Indian cook book?


Destiny's Vegan Kitchen said...

That sounds like so much fun! Looks like you made the best choice on lunch AND dessert. Whoa.

Foodeater said...

Cool, I'm so glad that you liked Herbivore and their yummy shwarma! Sadly Herbivore seems to not get much love from the locals but I still haven't figure out why. I visit their Mission St. and Berkeley locations every time I visit, and every time, it's delicious. Maybe you just need to be a tourist to appreciate their awesomeness :)


I'm soooo jealous.
Herbivore breakfast rocks.
I guess you didn't get to try MILLENIUM?
My husband is also in the entertainment industry and when he goes on hiatus/unemployment, he's also busier than when he's employed.

I'm glad you had a great time!!!

Liz (¡Yo Soy!) said...

Foodeater--yeah, I was surprised at how un-busy they were. Weird.

Vegan tickles--sadly I didn't have the time nor a big enough balance on my credit card to try Millenium :) but I hope to the next time I'm up north!

Lisa (Show Me Vegan) said...

Liz, you could check this vegetarian blog for Indian recipes, and she has many vegan dishes too. She's taking a break from current posts, but there are a couple of years of recipes to explore!

Anonymous said...

WELCOME BACK! that food looks awesome. i am very jealous that you got dessert at herbivore! i never got to try that.

yum...that wrap is so good. i swear i'd eat it everyday if i lived in SF!

chefsassy said...

Liz, I laughed out loud at your comment about wearing your scarves. I feel the same way about my cool-weather hats. ;O)

I LOVE LOVE LOVE that shawarma. Hubby and I eat at Herbivore every single time we head to the City.

Since we're always completely stuffed to the gills when we leave, we order their to-die-for chocolate cupcakes to go. They sit in the car for a while as we drive around and take in the sights, and they turn to melty perfection with our afternoon coffee break. ;O)

I also recommend checking out Fantastic site for vegan travelers.


VeganCowGirl said...

Sounds like an amazing trip!

Beatrice said...

I'm a big fan of Maya Kaimal's "Savoring the Spice Coast of India." Easy to follow recipes, and although I'm veg not vegan, I substitute canola oil for ghee and everything turns out fine. (There is a fish chapter and a chicken/egg/meat chapter, but a good part of the book is veg/vegan-able.)