Tag Archives: travel

A Weekend in Los Angeles: Part Two

25 May

On Sunday we got up around 7  a.m. to head to Van Nuys and start setting up the FARM table for WorldFest. I volunteered to help out for the day promoting and take registrations for the Animal Rights National Conference in LA this summer. Plus free admission! Score!

Here I am, keeping an eye on things.

Since we were there for about 10 hours there wasn’t much to do to keep ourselves entertained during the slow spells besides sample all of the delicious food available.

First things first. Vegan funnel cake with strawberries and whipped cream. That’s right. Funnel cake. It was from that vendor with kettle corn and lemonade thats been at every festival or fair you’ve ever attended.

I had been eager to sample something from Jam Vegan Bakery since I heard they would be attending. My little oatmeal cream pie was quite tasty!

Northern California’s own vegan nacho cheese company Nacheez was there slinging up nachos. I swear, it was exactly like I remember 7-Eleven gas station nachos tasting as a kid.

And they were sharing a booth with So Delicious where you could get your scoop of mint chocolate chip or mocha almond fudge coconut ice cream with a brownie!

As for non-food related items, there were baby cows from Gentle Barn that just about made my heart explode. You do not know adorable until you’ve had a calf rub its face on your tummy! And there were all sorts of great vegan businesses hawking their wares. I picked up this awesome tote bag and some stickers from the Herbivore booth. It’s the perfect summer tote; I can see it easily holding  a beach towel, water bottle, and of course my knitting.

After a successful day for FARM we packed up the booth and started the six hour journey home. Overall, I thought it was a great event! Certainly the best vegan/eco festival I’ve ever attended. I would love to be able to go again next year, but I also have my fingers crossed that something similar will come to the Bay Area!


A Weekend in Los Angeles: Part One

23 May

I finished up the semester on Wednesday! Hooray! I am looking forward to spending my extra two days off a week over the summer reading and knitting both by hand and on my machine. I have so many plans! But first, Alex and I made the 12 hour round trip drive down to Los Angeles and back so that he could table for his job with FARM at WorldFest in Van Nuys. We both have friends and family in LA, and there’s so much great food that we decided to make a weekend of it.

We had heard that Madeleine Bistro would be closing up shop indefinitely on Saturday the 21st so we made a reservation for Friday evening with a few friends. I ordered the Filet No Fish with a caesar salad and gluten free macaroni and cheese on the side*. The lighting was so bad I had to ask my friend with a masters in photography to take the photos for me. I think he did a great job!

Filet No Fish and Caesar Salad

GF mac n' cheese

While I thought the food was great (someone please teach me how to make the seitan in the Filet No Fish!), it was pricey for the portion sizes. I don’t think anyone in our group felt satisfied after our meal. I hope that Madeleine will reopen one day with some minor adjustments to the menu pricing! I would love to eat there again.

Early on Saturday morning we went for brunch with our friends at Sage, an all vegan bistro in Echo Park not too far from where we stayed the night. I immediately zeroed in on the Smoked Macaroni and Cheese. Mac n’ cheese at 9 in the morning? Yes, please!

Smoked macaroni and cheese with biscuit & gravy and walnut sausage

The mac n’ cheese was an instant favorite and the walnut sausage was unique and delicious! The prices were also shockingly fair for an all organic restaurant. Next time I’m in the area I will absolutely be going back.

That afternoon we drove about an hour to Irvine where Alex’s younger sister lives; his older sister and her family also met up with us and we all went to Native Foods for lunch. I had a really hard time choosing what to order, everything on the menu looks so good! I finally went with the Wild Buffalo Wrap with a side of kale and Alex ordered the Classic Deli Reuben.

Wild Buffalo Wrap

Classic Deli Reuben

My wrap was great, but I love any combination of buffalo sauce and ranch dressing, so I pretty much already knew I would enjoy it. However, I stole a few bites of Alex’s reuben and I am fairly certain it is the best sandwich I’ve ever had. The seitan was perfect! and they did not skimp at all on the filling. Native Foods, please open a location in San Francisco (there have been rumors!) so that I can eat this sandwich all the time!

For dessert we split a chocolate cupcake. I can’t even properly describe how good this frosting was. Kind of like eating sweet and creamy air?

Chocolate Cupcake

On the way back to LA form Irvine I finished my Watershed Cardi in the car! Turns out you can get a lot of knitting done when you’re stuck in traffic for most of the day! It’s blocking now so I’ll have a post soon!

I’m skipping over our dinner at Stuff I Eat (a vegan soul food restaurant) because I didn’t really like it. I would be willing to try it again, but I would get a sandwich or enchilada pie instead of the Soul Food Platter.

We left Stuff I Eat and went to visit my Aunt who just happens to live near a Veggie Grill. Since we were both still hungry after not eating much for dinner we headed over right before they closed and each had a Santa Fe Crispy Chickin’ Sandwich. I added a side of the GF Mac-n-Cheese to mine.

Santa Fe Crispy Chickin Sandwich and Mac-n-Cheese

I had eaten at Veggie Grill before so I already knew I loved the chickin’ sandwich (I’ve pretty much been dreaming about it since my last trip to LA 2 years ago), but this was my first time trying the mac and cheese and I really wasn’t into it, I took about 4 bites before I quit. Not too surprising since it’s made with Daiya and I don’t really like Daiya!

So that concludes Friday and Saturday eating in LA! I’ll have another post this week talking about WorldFest.

Have you tried any good restaurants in the LA area?

* You will be able to find a detailed report of the mac n’ cheese dishes I tried on The Noochy Noodle.

A Magical Land

7 Feb

I have returned from Portland! I am back at work and school, trying to get my routine for the next semester in order before it is all uprooted and turned upside down again in 4 months.

As usual I had a great time in Portland. I ate an embarrassing amount of delicious vegan food, hung out with old and new friends, drank gallons of coffee, and most importantly, I got to visit my dream yarn store Yarnia!

Yarnia is not a traditional local yarn shop. Instead of shelves piled high with different skeins and balls of yarn, you’ll find cones of single strands on shelves separated by fiber. You can pick out a few different yarns and they’ll wind them together for you right in front of your eyes! Awesome! I’m crazy about blends and finding thay perfect combination for specific projects, so this was something I had to try.

I knew I wanted enough worsted weight yarn to make a slouchy beret, so I picked out a strand of grey bamboo for yumminess, one strand of an off-white acrylic for body, and one strand of teal cotton purely for color. Here are my yarns being wound together:

The "Machine"

And within about a minute you’ll have your own cone of custom yarn! I love the way the colors came out and can’t wait to start knitting with it!

Bamboo, Cotton, Acrylic

If this sounds as cool to you as it does to me, but you won’t be in the Portland area any time soon, you can shop online and create your own custom blend, though I highly recommend the in-person experience.

By the way, I’m now a contributor over at the fashion blog Chic Vegan. I kind of forgot to mention that. I got to meet up with Mandi in Portland and had a great time. Check out my first post here and stay tuned for more in the future!

On the Needles

26 Jan

My current work in progress is the Dandy Neckerchief in Berroco Weekend. So far it’s been a fun but fairly mindless piece to work on. As of right now I just plan on knitting to the end of my second ball of yarn.

Tomorrow I’m headed to Portland, Oregon, the vegan capital of the world! I plan on eating a whole lotta vegan food, shopping, and exploring the cities  numerous yarn shops (especially Yarnia!).

Oh, and check out my new little side project The Noochy Noodle, where I try out every vegan macaroni and cheese related recipe, product and menu item I can get my hands on.

The Woes of Photography and Cardigan Progress

23 Nov

I’ve had an amateur interest in photography for awhile now. I started with taking pictures of food; give me good natural light, a decent camera and I can take some pretty tasty photographs.

Tofu Florentine

Cinnamon Roll

For some reason though, photographing knitting is something I still struggle with. I think with food it’s possible to get a good close-up shot that still features the entire plate, but with my knitting it seems like I’m always having to choose between a close up and capturing the entire piece. Sometimes I’ll take up to 50 photos and not like a single one, even after extensive photoshopping.

On that note, here’s a close-up photo of the completed back of my Who Me? Cardigan. I can’t get over how good the hand dyed yarn looks! The back neck stitches are going to be picked back up later and used to make the sailor collar.

This week I’m back in Austin visiting my family for Thanksgiving. If you need me I’ll be relaxing, cooking, eating, watching all the Harry Potter movies, and making some progress on my cardigan!