Monday, June 30, 2014

Mango Tasting!

If anyone is looking for something fun to do and for an excuse to go to South Padre Island soon, Rivers End Nursery in Bayview is having its annual mango tasting festival on July 19. They grow a huge variety of mangos. You would not believe how different they can be from each other. My favorite is a variety called Carrie. You can read about the festival on the nursery's main page, if you scroll down. Make sure you pick up a bunch of fresh ruby guavas while you are there. If you need advice on eating vegan in the Rio Grande Valley, just let me know, and I can help. Here is the website:

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Arlo's Is Back!

After six months of being shut down, Arlo's has new owners and is back in business next to Cheer Up Charlie's on Red River. They have the most amazing vegan barbecue burgers. They are insane. Most people rave about their vegan bacon, cheese burger. I don't care for cheese, vegan or not, so this is not really for me. Their street tacos are also really nice.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Eating Vegan in North Italy, Part III

Before going to Italy, I got a frantic email from the conference organizers that the hotel where the conference would be held in Gargnano, Italy, would likely have trouble accommodating a vegan. They told me to come prepared with goodies from home. I didn't do that. I know I can eat vegan anywhere, even if it may not be the most exciting of options. That said, however, the hotel did know how to make vegan food. Here are some examples of dishes they prepared just for me. They were lovely. I also loved having fizzy (frizzanti) water available for each meal. And of course, they plied us with lots of coffee and even an occasional glass of wine or even limoncello.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Eating Vegan in North Italy, Part II

In case anyone cares, I got a chance to go out to eat on my own today for lunch in beautiful Gargnano on the shores of Lago di Garda. I went to a restaurant called Al Miralago and got the Spaghetti Aglio, Olio, and Peperocino. It was intensely garlicky and was fantastic. Afterwards, I got a fresh peach and some dried figs and dried, sugared kumquats from an awesome little grocery.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Eating Vegan in North Italy, Part I

So far, I have not had much free time to explore much on my own. The conference has been providing food, and they have made a point, which is awesome, to prepare me something specifically vegan (I'm the vegano, according to the waitress). The best dish they have given me was a mushroom risotto, but unlike any risotto I have ever seen, it was made with long-grain rice. Last night, I got a fairly bland spanakopita because it was basically the same as everyone else's, expect that it was made without the cheese. I was also given a big bowl of plain beans, fava I think, and those were quite tasty. I have been getting salads at lunch and dinner, too. Most of those have had in-season tomatoes, which are fantastic, and olive oil as the only dressing, which is a little weird. The one I had the day before yesterday was really good because the dressing included balsamic vinegar, and it had this tasty corn. Breakfast has been really simple, bread and jam, but I prefer a light meal first in the morning. For dessert at lunch yesterday, they gave a big bowl of fresh fruit. The peaches were awesome, even better than the peaches we have been getting at this point in the year from Fredericksburg, but hopefully, those will get better soon. The first night in Gargnano, I had a mushroom pizza, senza mozzarella, and it was really good, too, but the crust was a little too thin, in my opinion, so it did not exceed the pizza I got in the JFK airport. The only dish I really had on my own was in the travel from the Milano-Malpensa International Airport to here. Outside of the main train station in Milan, I had a superb falafel sandwich, one of the best I have had. What really separated it was the bread, which is the same as the bread used in donar kebabs in Berlin. It is something like a cross between focaccia and ciabatta. Everything inside it was really fresh, and they were not afraid to put chili in it. The fries were so good. I just don't understand why fries are not made like this more, at least in the United States. I'm attaching a picture of that meal here and of the typical breakfast I would have.

Vegan, Milan, Falafel Sandwich, Fries, Italy

Vegan, Italy, Gargnano, Breakfast

Saturday, June 21, 2014

A Vegan Lifeline in the JFK Airport

Hungry, tired, I just got into the JFK airport in NYC from Austin. I walked around a bit, feeling the vegan blues with all of the meat-heavy places I passed. I finally lost my patience and went for a cheeseless pizza (the California) from PizzaVino. I am not kidding when I say this was the best pizza I have ever had. What the heck? An airport?

Monday, June 16, 2014

I am really addicted to whole roasted fresh garden tomatoes. They really are insanely good. Here's one in a whole wheat tortilla with roasted chilis, onions, potatoes, barbecue tempeh, and freshly made salsa. The only thing that would have made this better is some avocado, but there really was no room to spare.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

I created a new hotdog for lunch today: Field Roast Frankfurter with chipotle mayonnaise and a pico de gallo (sans pico) with onions, tomatoes from the garden, lemon juice, and garlic. I always cut the frankfurters in half because they take up too much space. It was amazing.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

With all due apologies (and gratitude) to Vegan Nom, I just made one of the best tacos I have ever made: whole roasted tomatoes, whole roasted chilies, barbecue tempeh, and avocado. Wow. I was too ravenous to take a picture, but believe me, it was good, and we got through a lot of the tomatoes and chilies from our garden.