Monday, April 13, 2009

Follow Your Heart Cafe

We were hungry and couldn't face cooking in Art's LA closet-of-a-kitchen. Plus the girls were with grandparents, so we were free to eat experimentally. Our options were limited since it was late on a Monday. Taking all this into consideration, we cut across the San Fernando Valley to Follow Your Heart Cafe, a mostly organic veg eatery that's open 7 days a week until 9. I was excited to eat at this vegetarian landmark and slather vegenaise on everything!

There's my Italian Salad (marinated artichoke hearts, garbanzo beans, red onion, black olives, tomatoes, pepperoncinis, on a bed of organic greens)

and Art's Caesar Salad (vegetarian version of the classic with organic Romaine lettuce, artichoke hearts, tomatoes, croutons, with garlic bread)
Both salads were delicious and devoured.

"finally!" There's Art's Reuben (thinly sliced wheatmeat, natural swiss cheese, sauerkraut, mustard and vegenaise on oversized rye bread)
Mine is a Club (triple decker with wholewheat bread, turkey-style wheatmeat, vegetarian bacon bits, tomato, lettuce, vegenaise, and I added avocado)
each had carrots piled high and was delicious. But Art's would have been better had it not sat in the window for so darn long. duh!

Here's a photo of my sandwich sitting lonely on the table waiting for the other. We waited and waited, and our waiter was no where to be seen, and no one else received our wondering glance. I watched the sandwich sit under the heat lamp...
Never fear, the service won't keep us away, and perhaps it'd be better next time? Though Art chalks it up to classic vegan service. Is there something to this? Have you gotten apathetic service at veg restaurants?

Friday, April 3, 2009

Veggie Grill, Vicious Dogs, & More. It's Southern California, baby.

The girls and I met Karen for lunch at the Veggie Grill on Campus Drive. This place rocked my taste buds and is 100% animal-free! I have a fantasy that this restaurant replaces every single McDonalds on Earth. Imagine that.
Karen ordered The V-Burger (grilled steak burger) for now and The Stack (grilled veggie sandwich) for later at work. I got the Grillin' Chickin' (with cilantro pesto, avocado & other veggies on a wheat bun). Quinoa is a treat in the salads and you must get Sweetheart Fries.

I can't resist vegan cookbooks, so I was eager to check this place. The store is tucked in the back corner of a San Diego shopping center - similar to the way the books are crammed in the store. Stacks and piles of (mostly) cookbooks everywhere! I like scavenger hunts and found an abundant vegetarian section, but not one vegan book. With all the clutter, I asked. She said there's a HUGE demand for vegan cookbooks and she can not keep them in stock. Disappointing. A Moosewood and Newman's Own Organics Guide was the best I could do.

Vicious Dogs. It's a meathouse with killer vegan hotdogs! Willie understands and cooks it separately with pride. I've raved about this place a time or two before, and I mean it, if you are anywhere near North Hollywood and crave a delicious, no fuss, inexpensive vegan meal, you must give this a try. Really, do yourself a favor.
You see fries, a plain with ketchup for Abi, and my new favorite. A #4 "Chicago Style" featuring tomatoes, onion, peppers, pickle, & green relish. What a treat! So fresh & zesty!

I savored a shopping spree at Whole Foods while in California. I miss them and Trader Joe's dearly since moving to Idaho, but I digress. These are the things that caught my eye: I'd buy both food bars again (Organic Fiber Bar & Raw*Revolution) which are vegan and raw. Nature's Path Hemp Plus Granola is completely addicting. O.N.E. coconut water is rich in potassium & good in smoothies, but I'll stick to bananas. We went ga-ga over the eco-planet cookies. And I look forward to raw chocolate adventures with the cacao beans.

and look! I won a BIG jar of Vitamineral Green from Kristen's Raw, who drinks it daily, says: "Many ways... in a fruit smoothie is great, or add a teaspoon to a green juice. If you're not used to it... start small with a teaspoon in whatever you put it in. I'm at a tablespoon serving now, but I worked my way up to it. Sometimes I just chug it down fast with some water or orange juice - it's very green, but so good for you! It's easily hidden in smoothies though :)"
Next up is a Follow Your Heart restaurant review.