Sunday, 2 December 2012

Day 8: Bodega Bay to Fort Bragg

We awoke on Day 8 ready for more Yves "Bacon".  Here you see it grilled with Daiya cheeze.  Another trip favourite.

We went for a walk along the coastline at Bodega Bay.  It was freaking gorgeous:
We saw a DEER!  It ran away too quickly for us to take a photo.  Still, very rad.

Then we headed inland a little and visited Armstrong Grove.  Large trees.  There may have been actual hugging of trees.

We found an all vegan resort in Mendocino (just outside Fort Bragg). Unfortunately it's hella expensive (but we have plans to go back when Cam's a Consultant ;).  Luckily it has a restaurant attached called Ravens' Restaurant.  Wow.  This place blows Millenium out of the water.  We started with cocktails.  I had Sangria and Cam had a Bloody Mary (which began the great Bloody Mary obsession of 2012 that is ongoing):
Amy, in an extremely attractive pose.  Like the t-shirt I got from Old Navy?

The view from our table.  You could see Ravens circling outside.  Freaking gorgeous.
 We started with an amuse bouche.  Tempted to describe it as "amusing".  It was goodly.

Then bread and hummous.  Mmmmm hummous.  Surprisingly, we didn't actually eat much hummous while we were in the USA.  Bread was good too.  Nice and fresh.  If you hadn't noticed, they like serving everything with flowers.  Odd, but interesting.

Then we had a pizetta - that day's one had rocket and pesto.  Goodly.  The base was lovely and crunchy.  Pesto was nice too.

Cam had the Maple Barbeque Tofu.  The glaze-y bit was quite tasty as I recall.

I had the Tamales.  Tamales are just not available in Australia.  I did try making them a few years ago, but as dried corn husks are impossible to find, they didn't turn out well.  Also, dirty rice isn't really that popular in Oz either.
I LOVE Mexican food, and this was probably one of the most amazing Mexican dishes I've ever had (though the one I had at Real Food Daily on day 1 was pretty freaking fantastic too).

Dessert.  OMG, the dessert.  As far as I'm concerned, this was the best dessert of the whole damn trip.

Cam had the pecan torte:

I had the vanilla bean creme brulee.  Wow.  I still dream about this dessert over a month later.  It was creamy (I'm guessing it was a cashew base) and the vanilla bean wasn't overpowering.
The topping was brown sugar (I think).  It was definitely toasted, but the clash of the toasted sugar and creamy custard was outstanding.

They liked serving everything with a flower on the plate.  It was a nice touch, but a little, um, odd?  It certainly makes the photos look good.

If you're heading up the California coast, please stop in at Ravens' Restaurant.  And stay at the Stanford Inn if you can.  They allow pets (which is awesome) and it's a seriously beautiful place.

Day 7: San Francisco to Bodega Bay

We started the day with breakfast at Herbivore - The Earthly Grill in Berkeley.

I had the savoury crepes with marinara sauce.  OMG so good.....

Cam had a combo plate with scrambled tofu, french toast with banana and home fries (which Cam enjoyed, but looked gross to me because of the damn banana):

We got takeaway food for the road.  A brownie:

And a raspberry-vanilla cupcake:

We stocked up at Whole Foods for dinner for the next few nights.  I miss Whole Foods.  So much vegan food.  So cheap (compared to Australia it's cheap, anyway).

Then we headed out over the Golden Gate Bridge.  Took a million photos of the bridge:

 We then drove to Bodega Bay.  I nicknamed it Dawson's Creek.

We checked into a cute little B&B.  Which was insanely expensive, compared to everywhere else we stayed.  For dinner we had frozen meals!

 There's no really attractive photos of dinner, so here's an unattractive one of me mid chew:

Dessert was Justin's Organic Peanut Butter Cups!  NOM!

The frozen meals were okay.  Not fantastic.  I have to say that the mac and cheeze was just frozen pasta with a block of daiya in it that melted.

The best part of dinner was the Yves "Bacon". OMG, that Yves "Bacon".  I can safely say that it was our pick for 'mock meat of the trip'.

Day 6 Dinner: Millenium!

Wow.  This was soooooo long ago now.

So we spent the day shopping around central San Francisco.  We'd booked into Millennium the day before.

It is probably the swankiest vegan restaurant we've ever been to.  Actually, it reminded me of the restaurants in New York you see in Woody Allen movies.  Of course, we felt weird about taking photos of the interior, so there's just the foods....

We decided on the tasting menu.  We started with a pate and bread thingy:

I found the description of the menu from the Facebook page, but it didn't include the pate...
Fall Harvest Menu
October 11-13, 2012

1st Course
Roasted Beet Salad
Belgian Endive, grapes, Meyer lemon-macadamia nut cheese, Zinfandel grape & sage mostarda 

2nd Course
Charred Scallion & Tofu Dumplings mushroom-ginger broth, shiitake & blue chanterelle mushrooms, Ma La oil, spicy pickled chilies

3rd Course
choice of:
Lobster & King Trumpet Mushroom Étouffée
seared Sonoma fresh tempeh with blackening spices, white creamy roasted corn grits,
black eyed peas & collard greens with caramelized smoked onion
Which Cam had:

brik pastry dough, Kuri squash, grilled seitan & dried apricot filling, beluga lentil & tomato tagine, sauteéd fall greens, Fresno chile harissa, cucumber-mint raita, cinnamon-almond dust
Which I had:

We added fries ('cause we were pigs and on holiday damnit):

Chocolate Layer Cake
coffee bean cream, chocolate ganache, Lucky Hand Black Lager caramel, peanut brittle, malt chip ice cream

I have to say that my favourite of the meal was the dessert.  It was so good that I didn't notice the coffee in it (Cam loves coffee, I can't stand the smell of the stuff).  We'd definitely recommend going to Millenium if you're in San Francisco!

Monday, 5 November 2012

Day 6: the first meal in San Francisco

So, and obviously I neglected the blog for the rest of the trip. Rest assured that we took lots of food photos to share. (yes, the wedding was beautiful, yes, we'll share photos on Facebook when we get the proper ones)

We decided to spend all of day 6 in the big smoke. We took the train across the bay to Powell, Street station. Which was cool. Ended up in the centre of the city. First stop:the food court at the bottom of a fancy shopping centre.

What did we find? Loving Hut! It was pretty much awesome. (and none of that super annoying indoctrination television in the background!!!!!)

I had a Pho soup.

Cam had a some stuff from the warmer, including the biggest pile of kale I've ever seen!

Our dinner in San Francisco was at a rather fancy restaurant. Millennium deserves a post of its own don't you think? ;)

Monday, 15 October 2012

Day 5: Santa Cruz to Berkeley

We started in Santa Cruz and had the 'free' breakfast at the hotel (which had the worst shower ever made).

We headed into San Francisco.  We stopped at the Legion of Hono(u)r.  We thought it was going to be some sort of war memorial.  Turned out to be a pretty good art museum.  We spent about 90 minutes wandering through.  We really enjoyed it - despite the fact that neither of us know about visual art at all.

We drove down the hill to Baker Beach and got some awesome shots of the Golden Gate bridge (isn't Cam getting good at the artsy shots? :))

We then headed over to Berkeley.  Stopped at a little vegan cafe for a super late lunch.  It wasn't particularly good, so I won't waste your time with those photos.

For dinner we headed to Herbivore - The Earthly Grill.  It was really freaking good. 

Started with cocktails:

We had the vegan nachos:

I had the quesadillas:

Cam had the orange pepper chicken:

We headed to the Albatross Bar for a few drinks after dinner (it was just down the road from our hotel).  It was a pretty cool bar.  They had games, so we played a round of chess, connect 4 and boggle.  I only won at boggle (Cam whopped me at the other ones).

On day 6 we headed into San Francisco on the train. That's for another post!

Day 4: Pismo Beach to Santa Cruz

We headed out of Pismo Beach at the crack of dawn.  We stopped at a little cafe in San Luis Obispo called Linnaeas.

We had an orange and pomegranate muffin.
It was pretty good.  It was not a flavour combination I would have guessed would work.

We drove north along the Shoreline Highway most of the day.  Saw some pretty incredible views.  (I'll add more photos from Cam's camera when we get home).

We stayed the night in Santa Cruz.  We stayed across the road from a super depressing casino.

For dinner we went to the Saturn Cafe.  We had shakes to start.  I had the mint chocolate chip and Cam had the vanilla.  They were basically melted ice-cream.  (not pictured because we inhaled them so quickly).

I had a 'chicken' burger and Cam had the jalapeno burger:

We split a short stack of pancakes to finish.  NOM!

Day 3: Los Angeles to Pismo Beach

On day 3 we headed out of Los Angeles into Santa Barbara.  We visited the Mission there (it was pretty cool - Mum and Dad, you should definitely visit - it has a religious retreat thingy and a Moreton Bay Fig!).

Breakfast that day was in LA.  We visited Trader Joe's again for Tofurkey.  Damn, even the cardboard was good.

After visiting the Mission, we stopped at Whole Foods to grab a few things for a picnic lunch.

Our heads may have exploded inside the store.  This is a few photos of the cold section:

For lunch we had pizza from the in-store food area.  THEY HAVE VEGAN PIZZA.  FOR THREE DOLLARS. 

For dinner we had a selection of Tofurkey deli slices, olives, Daiya cheeze and yummy sourdough bread.  (We didn't get a photo of this spread).

We also headed to the Designer Factory stores at Pismo Beach.  Cam bought so many work shirts (he was excited 'cause now he can get away without ironing for more than two weeks at a time).

On Day 4 we headed to Santa Cruz.  Post to come shortly.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Day 1 and 2: Los Angeles

Howdy  everyone!  This is our belated beginning of Vegan Mofo.

We arrived in LA at about 6am yesterday morning.  The hilarity started when we were lining up for customs.  Their air-conditioning had broken down, so the nice woman from delta was having issues with her colleagues on the walkie-talkie.  I guess you had to be there.  They were complaining that it was hot.  They haven't been in North Queensland in February, so they really have NO IDEA.  Lol.

Anyway, after picking up the car (and getting used to driving on the other side of the road), we headed to Veggie Grill for lunch.
Buffalo Wings

WOW. This place is relatively new as far as I'm aware. It was so good! I had a Chikin' Burger thing, Cam had the Bayou burger, and we shared Buffalo Wings.

Pretty freaking awesome. probably only We managed to stay awake all day (despite not getting much sleep on the plane). We headed to the Snake on Mullholland Highway. Cam tells me it's some sort of motorcycle thing. There were lots of bikes winding up and down the road. Pretty cool.

After checking in to our nice hotel in Santa Monica, we walked down to the pier. So cool! We took a ride on the Ferris Wheel and watched the sun set. Cam got a pretty awesome photo:

We then headed to Real Food Daily for dinner. We've had the Real Food Daily cookbook for many years (and have only made one recipe from it - I'm lazy and a lot of the recipes seem to be pretty long). We started with the Lentil Walnut pate:

I had the Supreme Burrito (it was deliciously cheezy and yummy): 

Cam had a taco:

We shared the brownie bowl for dessert.

This morning we discovered that there's a Trader Joe's right on the next block. So we had Hickory Smoked Tofurkey on sourdough (OMG, that Tofurkey).

Lunch was at Native Foods Cafe in Westwood. This place was so cool! I had a meatball sub. Cam had a bacon cheeseburger.

I'm running out of superlatives to describe how good the food was. We thought we should start a goodly meter for the food. (This was actually the conversation at Native Foods)

Dinner was takeaway from Vegan Thai in Santa Monica. We had Tom Yum soup, Penang Curry, Pad Thai and Mango and Sticky Rice. It was spicy but good.

We're heading out of LA tomorrow, up to Pismo Beach. Woo!