My last day in Virginia, after dragging my mom around Maymont Park, I made her eat vegetarian food at Ipanema Cafe. Kevin and I went last time we were in Richmond and had a lovely brunch. Tofu or tempeh benedict, I think. And pie, glorious pie!
Now it was lunch time. And there was a BBQ Jackfruit sandwich on the specials board. I’ll take it! Even my mom liked the jackfruit. Which reminds me, I need to send her some cans. They topped it with tangy slaw, with sides of sweet potato fries and salad. Perfect!
My mom had a hummus wrap which she really liked, and then strawberry rhubarb pie which was outstanding. Since I’d had their pie before, I decided to try the Coconut Creme Brûlée. Because how often does a vegan get that chance?
It did not disappoint. But I did find myself with pie envy and kind of wished I’d order a slice to carry away. What was I thinking?
So, I packed up the dog and my bike and drove to my mom’s in Virginia for Passover/Easter weekend. Tak is pretty good in the car, once I get her off of me and into the passenger seat. She still won’t lay down and sleep. She tries for a second then gets right back up and sits. Exhausting for a little dog! At least she did lay down on the way home. Maybe it’s because she doesn’t know where we’re going on the way there, but knows we’re bound home on the way back. Who knows.
My mom’s cat, Smokey, is 21. He’s a frail old man but still gets around okay, eats, purrs, uses his box and is an all-around sweetie.
When I first got to Atlanta, I thought Piedmont Park was a shithole. I thought maybe it was just the whole “everything is inferior to San Francisco” problem. But having been to a few cities I’ve come to realize that pretty much everyone has nicer parks than Atlanta. This is the Japanese garden at Maymont Park in Richmond. I remember hopping across those rocks on a school field trip in elementary school.
A waterfall by the Japanese garden. See what I mean? Don’t get me wrong, we do have some nice little parks in Atlanta, and if you drive a little bit outside the city you’ll find lovely places like Sweetwater Creek State Park, but nothing like this. I will say that Piedmont Park has improved quite a bit since I first got here in ’98 so I would no longer classify it as a shithole. Oh, and Maymont Park is free. More pics here.
I don’t really think of my mom as living in the country. But turn to the left out of my mom’s neighborhood and this is what you get – country.
A different kind of "share the road" sign
With the exception of a few short stretches, this is the kind of road I had to work with. No shoulder. And sometimes no white line on the edge. These roads have a speed limit of between 45-55 mph. I was a little concerned, but didn’t need to be. South Chesterfield County, VA drivers were very respectful of my space and didn’t crowd me or yell redneck things out the window. I even had someone stop to make sure I was okay while I was eating a snack.
Road into the park
The temperature and humidity was about perfect. I wasn’t even sweaty at the end of the ride. The hills made my knees a little cranky. Probably because I forgot about my granny gear until the last half of the ride.
Lots of animals … goats, a chicken in the woods, chicken houses (sad face), and a bunch of horses. At one point a turkey vulture flew towards me and then over my head. So huge! I was glad he was alone, though. A group of them might’ve made me wonder if they were waiting for me to become a tasty snack.
Urg, so behind. Kevin was in Las Vegas a couple of weeks ago. You know what that means .. a Ronald’s Doughnuts delivery! Kevin went all professional this time and got a plastic bin just for the doughnut transport.
There are really only two doughnuts I care about: the Boston cream and apple fritter. So as soon as the box was cracked open, I reached in for one of these babies and destroyed it.
Whoops, forgot this picture. It’s the innards, the most important part!
Then we ran off to make vegan doughnut deliveries all over the place before meeting up with folks at Mi Barrio for dinner and more doughnuts. The doughnuts are awesome as an occasional thing, but I sure didn’t want a giant box of them sitting in the house. I’d feel obligated to keep shoving them in my mouth hole until they were gone.
Apple fritters are filled with apples and regret. So good going in, but such a gut bomb afterwards. Half is plenty, but you really want to eat five. This might be the lemon filled next to it. That one was really nice. Tart and not excessively sweet filling.
Our last meal in Seattle was a return trip to Wayward Vegan Cafe. There were too many things left behind on the menu that we hadn’t tried yet.
I got the breakfast biscuit sandwich. Who doesn’t like old school hash browns? My only complaint is that it was basically scramble on a biscuit which was kind of hard to pick up and eat. Omelet style would have been easier.
Kevin got the blintz. Some vegan blintzes in Atlanta would be awesome.
Someone got pancakes. I’m not sure who.
And we got a club sandwich to eat on the plane later. It held up pretty well. I bet it was delicious right out of the kitchen.
These are the Full-filled Your Dreams fried wontons: Deep fried vegan wonton skin wrapper which are being filled with vegetarian meat paste and tofu cream cheese then served with sweet and sour sauce.
They have tons of fake meat options. I rarely get duck, so I thought I’d try it in the form of Roasted Duck Curry: A perfect matched of curry paste, soy protein roasted duck, coconut milk, cherry tomato, pineapple, bell pepper and fresh basil served with rice vermicelli noodle, white or brown rice.
This was good, but where the duck really shined was in the salad Beth ordered, the Spicy Roasted Duck Salad: Marinated roasted duck tossed with red onion, green onion and our homemade chili-lime sauce then served over sliced of green apple and garnished with crispy chow mien and cilantro. Too bad I didn’t take a picture.
Our last day in Seattle, I was on a mission to put some vegan bahn mi in my mouth. It worked out just right to swing by the downtown Cafe Pho and get some sammiches. They don’t have a vegan version of the mayonnaise sauce so we just left that off. Still delicious. Maybe I should use some of my time off next week to make some at home.
Okay, so maybe it was time to find the healthier side of vegan food in Seattle. Chaco Canyon Organic Café seemed like it might do the trick. Whose waffle is this? I’m definitely waiting too long to post this stuff…
This is a small Hippie Bowl which I would be happy eating some version of every day, any meal. Tofu, carrots, quinoa and sprouts in a tahini sauce.
And this juice was delicious, whatever it was.
Kevin had the Tofu Scramble Sandwich.
And a samosa made with sweet potatoes.
After this, we dropped Jared off at the airport and went up in the Columbia Center to check out the view. It was the clearest day of our trip, but we were still denied awesome mountain views.
Of course we went to Plum Bistro while we were in Seattle. The raving about the Mac & Yease could not be ignored. It seemed like it might be healthier than Soul Vegetarian’s but just as creamy and tasty. What put it over the top for me was the crusty bits.
We also got a plate of sliders, three different types, that we cut up in pieces so we could all try them. And their slider size is about normal home burger size.
My entrée was Fennel Grilled Tempeh with a polenta cake and greens.
I think Kevin had the Country Fried Seitan Steak sandwich. But I’m not sure. It looks more like that than the Crazy Jamaican.
Taylor & Kevin full of noms.
And, later that evening, the whole reason for the trip, Portishead. This was easily one of the best sounding shows I’ve ever seen. The crowd was so respectful that they held most cheering and noise for between songs. Everyone was nearly silent.