ROAD TRIP: Amazing Desserts at Nami in Phoenix

Like I said in my last post, if you go to Green, try to hit up the one in Phoenix.  Next door is the all vegan Nami – known for their Tsoynamis (a soft serve type treat) and baked goods.  This place is so good!  My mom and I ended up going here twice on our road trip.

Nami NO's & Mint Tsoynami

NO’s & Mint Tsoynami

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Vegan Sweets at Muffin Top Bakery

Once again, the Inland Empire is coming up in the vegan world.  There is now a bakery that has two locations in the I.E.  Muffin Top Bakery‘s original location is in Riverside and they have recently opened their second location in beautiful downtown Redlands.  I had been buying their breads at Clarks Nutritional Center in Loma Linda (where they also sell a few select pastries), but was excited to have their full bakery menu at hand in Redlands.  I haven’t been to the Riverside location, but I would think the offerings at both locations would be very similar.

Muffin Top Bakery

Muffin Top Bakery

Muffin Top Bakery Display Case 1

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Topanga Earth Day 2012

Last Sunday was Earth Day.  While everyday should be Earth Day, it’s still fun to have festivals every year that bring out eco-minded businesses and food.  This year, I attended the Topanga Earth Day Festival in Topanga Canyon.  I had never heard of this event, but apparently it’s been going on for more than a decade.

Topanga Earth Day

Topanga Earth Day

This event was a lot of fun.  There were many vendors, music, speakers, and even a small film fest.  I’d like to go again next year.

Of course my favorite part of the event was the food.  They had a separate area for food.  Most of the vendors here had vegan options.

Topanga Earth Day Food Vendors

Food Vendors

Some of the food vendors there were La Dolce Vita Gourmet selling gourmet cashew butter sandwiches (vegan options), The Vegan Joint, Green Truck, and JAM Vegan Bakery.

I went with a Mother Trucker® Vegan Burger from the Green Truck and opted to add avocado.  This burger is made with a vegan veggie burger, made from scratch out of local vegetables, topped with Suzie’s sunflower sprouts, heirloom tomato, and beet sauce.  I had had this burger years ago and didn’t like it.  I remember it to be either too chewy or too dry.  Either way, it was not the case this time.  It was moist and delicious.

Green Truck Vegan Burger

Green Truck Vegan Burger

Whenever vegan treats are available, I always save room in my tummy.  JAM Vegan Bakery made an appearance and provided very tasty goodies.  I got a Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcake, Strawberry Cream Cupcake, and an Orange Cake Pop.  Nothing beats peanut butter and chocolate – I thought this cupcake was delicious.  The Strawberry Cream Cupcake had the most wonderfully fresh strawberry frosting.  It had vanilla cake with a real strawberry baked in.  I like the idea, but would have rather had smaller pieces of strawberries baked in, instead of one large one mushing up the center of my cupcake.  The Orange Cake Pop was a super sweet orange cake ball coated in chocolate.  I love being able to take part in this trend (who else makes vegan cake pops?).

JAM Vegan Bakery Goods

JAM Vegan Bakery: Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcake, Strawberry Cream Cupcake, Orange Cake Pop

Come next Earth Day, I highly recommend this event.  And remember, make an effort everyday to do your part to Save the Earth!

Milky’s Frozen Yogurt

Los Angelenos finally have a fro-yo place that has vegan options!  Milky’s Frozen Yogurt sells regular dairy flavors and FOUR vegan flavors!   Look how wonderfully easy it is to find the vegan options.

Milky's

Inside Milky’s

The vegan flavors are made with organic soymilk and are self-serve (so you can mix and match).  Just take a cup, fill it, add any toppings, and pay by weight.

Milky's Poster

Poster Inside Milky’s

On the day that I went with my vegan guy our flavor options were chocolate, original, caramel, and strawberry-kiwi.  I ended up getting the first three (they were out of the strawberry-kiwi).  I thought the consistency was spot on.  Just as creamy as the dairy version.  My vegan guy and I both thought there wasn’t enough caramel flavor, though.  I found that the caramel flavor and original flavor tasted almost the same.  The chocolate was perfectly chocolatey- not too bitter.  I also didn’t taste any “beany” flavor that I’ve tasted in vegan varieties at other shops.  Unfortunately, they were all way to tangy for me and my vegan guy.  Apparently they are supposed to be that tangy?  I never remember having tangy dairy frozen yogurt in my life (and I was a frozen yogurt fiend back in the day!).  I actually don’t remember plain dairy yogurts (Yoplait-type) to be that tangy, either.   I still don’t even think soy yogurts (like WholeSoy) are tangy as well.  Am I completely wrong?  Maybe the fad when I ate dairy frozen yogurt was more sweet and less tang (like how I’ve heard it is now in modern Pinkberry-syle places).  For this reason, I probably won’t be back (sadness), but you should definitely check it out for yourself.  Maybe you’ll disagree with me.

Milky's Frozen Yogurt

Chocolate, Original, and Caramel Frozen Yogurts

The sign out front makes it super easy to recognize.  I love seeing “vegan” proudly displayed on buildings!

Milky's Frozen Yogurt

Milky’s Frozen Yogurt

Milky’s is located at:
1429 S Robertson Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90035
Mon – Fri :11 am-11 pm
Sat: 11 am-12 am
Sun: 11 am-11 pm

Babycakes NYC in LA

Babycakes is an all vegan bakery that specializes in gluten-free and wheat-free goods.  They opened their original storefront in New York City, but have since expanded to the west coast (aka “the best coast”).  I finally got the chance to check out their downtown location.  It’s so hard to find parking down there, but their treats are definitely worth it.

Babycakes has donuts… DONUTS!!  Oh, these are good!  I didn’t even get all the flavors available that day (although I wanted to).  I did get maple, blueberry, pumpkin, salted caramel, and chocolate glazed.  The maple was sprinkled with cinnamon and was wonderful, the blueberry was simply topped with some powdered sugar and tasted like a fried blueberry coffee cake, the pumpkin was a cute heart shaped and had extra amounts of frosting in the indented center, the salted caramel was not too salty and had a lovely caramel flavor, and the chocolate glazed was nice (but a bit too bitter for me).  I could eat these everyday.

BabyCakes Donuts

Donuts (clockwise) – Maple, Blueberry, Pumpkin, Salted Caramel, Chocolate Glazed

I also got two spelt flour cupcakes – a vanilla cupcake with vanilla frosting and a chocolate cupcake with chocolate frosting.  Let me admit that I have had these before.  Long before Babycakes came to LA, I made a visit to their NYC location.  Frankly, I wasn’t too impressed with what I got (cupcakes and a cookie or two).  This is the main reason it took me so long to visit their LA location.  These cupcakes reminded me of that NYC trip.  The cupcake itself was a little dry and the frosting was a little gummy (my same reaction to the NYC cupcakes).

Babycakes Cupcakes

Vanilla with Vanilla Frosting and Chocolate with Chocolate Frosting

Fortunately, the cupcakes were the only disappointment.  I also got some brownies and some chocolate chip cookies.  The brownies were cake-like and moist.  They are the size of mini-muffins and I could have kept popping these little guys into my mouth.  The chocolate chip cookies were also good.  They were chewy, perfectly sweet, and had no graininess at all (something gluten-free cookies often have).

Babycakes Brownies and Cookies

Chocolate Brownies and Chocolate Chip Cookies

Babycakes has made it even easier to get their goodies.  They opened a new location in the Larchmont Village area.  So much easier to park there.  I recommend a trip to either location:

130 East 6th Street
(between S. Main Street and S. Los Angeles Street)
Los Angeles, CA 90014

Sunday 10am to 6pm
Monday through Thursday 10am to 7pm
Friday and Saturday 10am to 9pm

or

236 North Larchmont Blvd.,
Los Angeles, CA 90004

Sunday 9am to 8pm
Monday through Thursday 9am to 9pm
Friday and Saturday 9am to 10pm