Monday, June 13, 2011

From Bagels to Tacos and Oatmeal to VLTs

Four recent discoveries on the streets of Portland, Maine:

1. Local Sprouts Cooperative - If you're in town and looking for a consistently good vegan lunch, look no further. Local Sprouts Cooperative has got more than one option for you - yes! more than one! My favorite sandwich is the VLT, their vegan take on a BLT. It's made on the most fabulous thick slabs of hearty wheat bread with strips of Lalibela Farm's tempeh, tomato and lettuce and the most wonderful veganaise I have ever had in my life. Seriously. I need their recipe. The consistency is more like that of a soft cheese and it has a nutty, sweet flavor. Mmmm! The sandwich comes with a little side of their daily salad - sometimes a slaw, sometimes pasta, sometimes just greens. All for $7, which seems pricey, but seriously, it's worth it!

2. I am a very open minded person and like to try new things. So when I heard there was a new restaurant in town called Gogi serving Korean tacos and that they had vegan options, of course I wanted to check it out. No brainer. Justin and I went for lunch last Friday and well, it's easier for me to just show you the review I posted on Urbanspoon:

"My fiance and I went for lunch. The restaurant was totally empty except for the owner and his children who stared at us the whole time we were there (the owner didn't bother saying hello). The interior really needs some TLC - it's a cross between country, Asian, Victorian and modern decorating. We ordered seaweed "tacos" and potato fries. The fries were ok....very soggy though. The "tacos" were a disaster. It was basically 4 sheets of nori wtih some tofu, cabbage, cilantro and lime thrown in the middle - and by some I mean 2 tablespoons, if that. You can't bite through 4 sheets of nori unless your teeth are serrated so the whole thing was a mess to eat and just totally unpractical. Needless to say, they did not make a good first impression at all and we will not be going back any time soon."

Beware of least until they get their act together. And seriously, I hope they do because Portland could use some more reasonably priced eateries with vegan options.

3. A quick breakfast out is so hard to find. I'm surrounded by coffee shops when I get to work, yet none of their baked goods - muffins, croissants, scones - are even close to vegan. My only option lately has been a toasted multi-grain bagel from Starbucks, plain with nothing on it. When I asked if they had jelly, the girl just blinked. When I asked if they had margarine or a non-dairy spread she blushed and apologized. Oh well. Dry bagels it is. Until I discovered that Starbucks offers oatmeal and they make it with water. Perrrrfect! Next time I need a quick breakfast (which doesn't happen often because I'm really good about making it at home) I'll try out CBD to see if they make their oatmeal with water too because I'd rather support local.

4. Speaking of bagels, Justin and I were at the Old Port Festival this past Sunday which was filled with booths of food food food and all we could smell was cooking meat. It made me a bit nauseous. On our way home, we stopped in at The Works Bakery Cafe for a snack. Now I had never been to The Works so I had no idea what I was going to find, and boy was I surprised. Guess what, friends? They have Tofutti! I had a sesame seed bagel with veggie Tofutti and it was fantastic. I had never tried the veggie kind and it was really smooth and creamy and actually had small bits of REAL vegetables in it. Mmmm, yummy!

Have you made any vegan discoveries in your town recently? Do share!

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