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Category: travel (page 1 of 13)

Eating Vegan in St. Thomas

Almost every year, Kevin’s company has a reward trip to some tropical destination and usually at an all-inclusive resort. In 2013, that location was St. Thomas. Kevin and I had been to St. Thomas before as a cruise stop. While Matt and Danielle got to eat Rootsie’s food, we went scuba diving. We were a little sad about it because Rootsie’s was THE vegan food to get in St. Thomas and apparently it was fantastic. And now he’s not cooking anymore. Sadface. But, his sons do have a food truck. Sadly, we saw the food truck once from an excursion van but never got to actually get food from it. More sadface.

Back to the all-inclusive situation. We’ve been in a few of these resort situations now and they generally aren’t super vegan friendly. The breakfast buffet is usually fine. But after that it often devolves into piles of fried. This time was no exception. And the resort was not close enough to anything to walk, so it was a fairly expensive cab ride to get away from the resort. But we did it anyway to eat some non-fried food.

Barefoot Buddha is a little coffee shop that serves food. Very vegan friendly. And it’s right along where they dock the cruise ships and close enough to walk. They have non-dairy milks for coffee drinks and a couple of tasty options each day that are vegan. We went here a few times. Here are the Coconut Curry Chickpeas over brown rice:

vegan coconut curry chickpeas

And this was a ridiculously tasty coffee drink, something like an Almond Joy Latte.

vegan almond joy latte

If you’re staying in a place with a kitchen or just want snacks, there’s a health food store a couple of “blocks” from Barefoot Buddha and on the same side of the street. It’s in Happy Cow. They have a small juice bar in the back. Snacks are painfully expensive, but sometimes you just need them.

The other place we checked out was Natural Livity It’s a juice bar and carry out Ital place. I thought they might have closed, but Happy Cow shows them as still open, so you may or may not find this place open if you try to go there. They had the typical sorts of Ital dishes on the hot bar but their specialty is a cashew mac & cheese that is fantastic. But they don’t do it every day, so you just have to get lucky on that. Here’s my shitty picture of the hot bar:

natural livity hot bar st. thomas

Other non food items at the resort, lots of iguanas!

iguana in St. Thomas

iguana in St. Thomas

And some dranks happened, at least for me. I still don’t drink nearly enough for it to be worth it to pay for all-inclusive.

fruity cocktail

So eating vegan in St. Thomas goes much easier if you plan to be near the vegan food and not tucked away in an out-of-the-way resort full of fried.

The quickest trip to Asheville for vegan eats and nature

About eight months after the bakery opened, I had to get out of town, even if just for one night. So Sunday after we closed, we zipped home, grabbed a bag and the dog and headed to Asheville.

We were staying at the Aloft Hotel which allows dogs. Not just allows, but caters to them with treats, toys and beds. Tak, of course, slept IN the bed because that’s what she does. Here she is enjoying the view of the pool we wouldn’t be using in February:

Tak enjoying the view at the Aloft in Asheville

Sunday night, we ate at Laughing Seed Cafe and I’m embarrassed to say that I completely failed to take pictures. We were exhausted and I totally didn’t think about it. The food was delicious though, I promise.

The next morning, we had breakfast at The Green Sage downtown which was just a short walk from the hotel. First up, gotta get in that caffeine:

coffee at the green sage asheville

Then I had the vegan version of the Green Sage Plate, tofu scramble, kale, a biscuit with mushroom gravy and sweet potato home fries:

green sage plate

After we fueled up, we went to enjoy some easy trails at The North Carolina Arboretum. I like to walk by water, so we picked a trail by a creek. Tak also enjoys the water.

Tak enjoying the North Carolina Arboretum trails

After all that walking, we earned a big ol’ lunch at Rosetta’s Kitchen. Kevin has brought me back food from Rosetta’s but I hadn’t ever actually eaten there.

We started with the Tempalo Wings:

rosetta's kitchen vegan tempalo wings

Yes, they’re as good as they look. Since I’ve had the peanut butter tofu before, and actually have the recipe and make it often, I went for a tofu avocado wrap. But I think Kevin got the peanut butter tofu, because someone had to.

tofu avocado wrap at rosettal's kitchen

Did I leave room for cake? Damn straight I did! I think this is some kind of peanut butter and chocolate cheesecake. I also had a glass of Buchi, they have it on tap. I’m not sure how it escaped being photographed.

vegan cake at rosetta's kitchen

And after this, we waddled over to French Broad Chocolates and bought pretty much everything they had that was vegan, bars and made on site. Because, vegan chocolate.

Sadly, that was all we had time to do. Next time I’m definitely going to try Plant. If you ever visit Asheville, there’s plenty of vegan food. All you have to do is check Happy Cow, like we vegans do, and plan your gluttony.

Voodoo Doughnut delivery

Kevin has spent a couple of weeks working in Portland recently. After eating all their awesome vegan food, he brought back a pink box full of Voodoo Doughnuts to share with those left behind.

Ha! I just noticed Tak’s little photobomb. Let’s see what’s in here…

Covered with Coco Puffs? Check. The triangle doughnut is supposed to be a joint.

The Texas Challenge, next to a normal-sized doughnut for comparison.

It’s a little messed up, but this is the Portland Cream. I’m always going to head for the chocolate covered cream filled doughnut first.

“…how I love to lick your creamy center!” Bonus points if you recognize that quote.

 

A return to Ipanema

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?

Afterwards, I walked over to Harrison Street Coffee Shop for a coffee. Because they’re awesome.

Road trip to Virginia

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.

Oh, I also got in a nice bike ride, but I already posted about that.

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