Category Archives: Restaurant Review

Souley Vegan

If you ever find yourself in the Bay Area, you simply MUST go to Souley Vegan in Oakland! If you plan a trip to San Francisco, make sure you take the BART or the ferry across the bay. And once you’re at Souley Vegan, order the toasty burger.It’s a combo of bbq tofu as well as southern fried tofu all in one delicious package.

I had a Living Social deal for Souley Vegan to use up, so the husband and I headed up to Oakland during the holiday season. This was my second time visiting, and I must say this burger was every bit as good as I remembered.

On the side I ordered macaroni and cheese, but I must say I was a bit disappointed. It tasted very flour-y, like it hadn’t been cooked long enough. Serves me right – I was GOING to order the potato salad which I know from first-hand experience is fantastic. Oh well, all the more reason to find an excuse to go back.


finally a sign of life…

Okay so this blog has been deadly silent for an embarrassing length of time. Life got turned upside down when I found out some bad news in November. Life has been pretty topsy turvy since then and there are some big decisions to be made in the coming weeks. But onward and upward. ‘m trying to stay positive. And what’s more positive than blogging about delicious vegan eats?

During the holiday season I made a trip up to Canada to see my parents. My parents live in a small town in the middle of nowhere, but the closest airport is in Winnipeg. Before dropping me off at the airport when I was flying back to California, my mom and I stopped at Boon Burger – an all vegan veggie burger cafe. I lived in Winnipeg for four years way back when I was an undergraduate student, and boy do I wish something like this had existed back then. Their menu is great and they have daily specials that change all of the time. It is kind of small and they have communal seating, which I really hate, but I love how busy it seems in there. Lots of Winnipegers are loving their vegan burgers!

I perused the menu for a good long while and finally settled on the “bacun cheese burger” – a grilled patty, mayo, dijon, Daiya, smokey bacun (which definitely seemed to be tofu-based), pickled, red onion, tomato, and lettuce. The patty itself was made out of mushrooms, brown rice, tofu, and oats. Wow. Words cannot describe this. It was hands down the best burger I have EVER tasted. I’d love to recreate the patty here at home, since flying all the way to Winnipeg whenever a craving strikes seems a little extreme (and expensive).

My mom had the Oslo burger – same patty as my burger, mayo, a caper remoulade, cranberry sauce, pickles, fresh beets, red onion, gravy, and dill. I wasn’t sure about that combo of ingredients, but I had a taste and it was really good too! I think it’s hard to go wrong at this restaurant.

On the side we split an order of poutine. This poutine is pretty non-traditional – it comes with green onion, Daiya cheddar, and gravy – but it was still delicious! Their fries are made with sesame oil and they were super crispy and fantastic. I do wish the Daiya had been more melty – I’m thinking they just throw it on and then top with gravy. A little zap in the microwave or a little time under a broiler would help with the melting. But that’s a pretty small gripe, overall my experience was fantastic and it was such a great end to my trip.


Sometimes life happens…and a belated Walk for Farm Animals recap

Whoa, where the heck have I been?

Life threw a curve ball a couple of weeks ago. The company I worked for had massive lay offs that nobody saw coming (well I guess somebody saw it coming, but for the most part they were a surprise). Basically over 750 people showed up to work one day and were told “go home now.” Unfortunately I was one of the people that were no longer needed. It was quite a shock.

Anyway, to make a long story short, I think in the long run it is for the best. I was getting quite frustrated with some aspects of my job, and I already have 3 interviews lined up for next week so I know I’ll be okay. There are some big decisions to be made in the near future, but basically I am doing all I can do and then wait and see where the chips fall. In the meantime I am getting caught up on the gazillion errands that fall by the wayside when you are working full-time and taking advantage of my extra time for working out and getting back in shape now that I have been cleared for cardio post-surgery (still no running until early Feb though…boo). I’m feeling like I’m in a good place. It’s kind of a scary place as I’m someone who likes to be in control, but I know I’ll land on my feet (or foot…).

Anyway, this post isn’t all doom and gloom. A couple of weeks ago I participated in Farm Sanctuary’s Walk for Farm Animals in San Francisco. I was still in my air cast/walking boot, so I didn’t think I’d be able to do the walk, but actually Kathy, Autumn, and I did  a shorter version of the walk and it felt pretty good to be out and about, especially given that the walk was in Golden Gate Park which is stunning.

Here we are afterward with a friendly pig:


We wanted to grab some lunch after the walk, so we headed to Berkeley to check out Cha-Ya, an all vegan Japanese restaurant. It took me soooooo long to figure out what I wanted! They have a very large menu and everything sounds scrumptious. The big toss up was between sushi or noodles….noodles won out. I ordered a vegetable curry dish with soba noodles.


Autumn ordered a delicious plate of vegan sushi:


And Kathy ordered the vegetable sukiyaki:


I definitely need to get back to Cha-Ya to sample more of their dishes. Next time I’m for sure getting the sushi.

After lunch we headed to Berkeley Bowl, a local independent grocery store. Their produce section is INSANE. Look how big it is!


And they have such neat things! Like giant squash:


It was a super fun day. I always love exploring the Bay with my veg buddies.

MoFo #17: Desperate times call for desperate measures: Vegan delivery from Pizza Hut

Even though I am on the mend from my accident, I still can’t get to the grocery store. Previously I did 90% of the shopping, since my husband often works late. He’s been a good sport about trying to get to the store once a week, but it sometimes doesn’t happen. Thank goodness we had a well-stocked pantry beforehand. But my supply of lentils and beans is slowly dwindling.

On Sunday afternoon we were watching the Raiders play the Browns on tv (does anyone else follow the Raiders? What a game!). We were getting hungry, but our fridge was pretty bare except for condiments and a Brita water filter and some Red Stripe beer. We didn’t want to spend too much money, and Reggie Smith had been advertising $10 pizzas from Pizza Hut every commercial break during the game so we figured what the heck.

I knew the thin and crispy crust from Pizza Hut was vegan, but I wasn’t sure what to expect. We ordered online and I specified that I wanted all of the veggies. There was even a checkbox for no cheese, which surprised me. When it arrived I expected a few sparse vegetables scattered around but it actually had a pretty decent amount of veggies. The crust was no heck (it kind of tasted like soup crackers…), but for $10 for a large pizza it wasn’t half bad. I washed it down with a beer or two and finished watching the game.

The next day I had leftovers and I decided to melt some Daiya on the slices under broiler. I also had some leftover sprouts on the side:

Verdict: while there is definitely better delivery pizza options available and Pizza Hut would never be my first choice, this was cheap and perfectly edible and did fine in a pinch.

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MoFo #4: Source

After attending VegFest and heading to Rainbow for some shopping, we stopped at Source for dinner before heading back home. I’ve been meaning to try this place for the longest time. I don’t often work at my company’s SF location, but this restaurant is pretty much right around the corner from that office! That alone should give me reason to make the trip more often.

Anyway, Source is an all-vegetarian restaurant with quite an extensive menu. A lot of things have cheese, but we were assured any menu item could be made vegan – they just sub out the dairy cheese for a homemade cashew cheese.

Instead of referring to veggie chicken and steak and what-not, Source uses the sounds these animals make. A hot dog is a “bow-wow,” beef is called “moo,” chicken is called “cluck”…you get the picture. It’s a little irksome when you are reading the menu, but it’s not a huge deal. Maybe I’m just a curmudgeon. I was craving a sandwich, so I ordered a vegan “Philly cheese moo” (a Philly cheese steak). The cashew cheese was pretty tasty. It had a queso kind of a thing going on.

All of their sandwiches come with fries and ketchup. The fries were okay. At first I didn’t like the ketchup (it’s clearly house-made from tomato paste…in fact all I could taste was tomato paste) but it grew on me. Personally I would have rather had a small salad with my sandwich, but whatever. I get that fries are a lot cheaper for them to serve.

Autumn and Kathy both ordered the Bahn-mi pita, which also sounded delicious.

I wish I had snapped a picture of their dessert case. All of the desserts are vegan and they all looked AMAZING. I ended up getting two things to go: a chocolate snowball with peanut butter icing for me, and a chocolate chip cookie cream sandwich thing for the husband. Somehow they both disappeared before I could get a picture. Funny how that happens.

Once I’m fully mobile again I need to make an effort to get to the SF office more so I can hit up Source for lunch and try more of their menu items!

And thus concludes my series of posts about an awesome vegan adventure to the city. Back to our regular programming tomorrow.


MoFo #1: Zeni Ethiopian

Yay! Happy MoFo!

My goal: 31 posts in 31 days. Yikes. Let’s see if I can do this!

First up, a restaurant review. Since foot surgery I’ve been working at home and feeling like a lonely hermit. My husband works pretty long hours and has a fair commute, so it’s just me and my cat for most of the day. I love my cat and all, but he’s not much for conversation. Especially considering he sleeps about 20 hours a day.

Anyhoo, in an effort to get out of the house (and get some delicious food in my belly), a couple of weeks ago I went out for Ethiopian with my PPK buddies (go visit Autumn – she’s doing MoFo, too!). I’ve had Ethiopian quite a few times, but not since moving to California. At their suggestion, we tried Zeni.

Every time I’m at an Ethiopian restaurant I always go for the vegetarian platter so I get to try a little bit of everything. This one had a combo of  ye miser wat (red lentils in red sauce), ye kik alichta (split yellow pea puree), ataklet wot (stewed cabbage, carrots, and potatoes), ye gomen wot (collards), ye timatim fit fit (injeera pieces in a tomato sauce), and a house salad. Excuse the less than stellar photo, the lighting was pretty dark:

The food was pretty good. The red lentils were probably my favourite. The timatim fit fit dish (the one with the pieces of injeera in a tomato sauce) was new to me. I’m not sure what I thought about it. It’s not something I would ever order by itself, but it was okay on the platter. One thing I liked is that the house salad had nice, fresh vegetables. At other restaurants usually they serve you a sad head of browning iceberg lettuce. Not Zeni! The lettuce was nice and crisp and the veggies were fresh.

The only thing I would say that was a bit off was the injeera. It wasn’t bad per se, it just wasn’t as good as some of the other injeera I’ve had in the past.

All in all it was a really great night out and I was so happy to have a reason to hobble out of the house and spend some time with friends and good food. I live pretty close to two other Ethiopian restaurants so once I am healed and walking properly I will have to try those out for comparison. And of course now that I have Papa Tofu Loves Ethiopian (kittee’s zine) I can finally make yummy Ethiopian at home, too!

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