More Brunching at Real Food Daily

In relation to where my vegan guy lives, Real Food Daily is quite convenient.  And this makes it especially nice when we want some breakfast foods, since RFD serves brunch on Sundays (you can see more brunch items in my last RFD post).

My vegan guy went with his usual tofu scramble, but I wanted something new and got The Weekender ($14.25): scrambled tofu, onions, tomatoes, cashew cheese, tempeh bacon, half order french toast or two pancakes with hash browns or fruit.  I got it with pancakes (added blueberries) and hash browns.  I love this meal, because (1) it fills you up and (2) it combines sweet with savory.  This is great for those of us (like me) who are indecisive when it comes to menu ordering.  I still don’t like their tempeh bacon, but everything else was delicious!

RFD Weekender

The Weekender

And this sweet-aholic always eyes the bakery display case at their Santa Monica bakery.  I didn’t want something too heavy after eating that large meal, so I got the lightly sweetened Blueberry Coffee Cake.  I only thought it was decent – not spectacular.   Maybe it was just too dense and not moist enough for me.  Won’t stop me from trying their other desserts, though!

RFD Blueberry Coffee Cake

Blueberry Coffee Cake

Did you here?  RFD is now serving Pasadena!

Advertisements

More Great Food From Follow Your Heart

Day 2 of Vegan MoFo!!

I try to eat at a lot of vegan-friendly places, but sometimes a girl just wants a good vegan breakfast!  That is why I went again to Follow Your Heart in Canoga Park.  I wish there were more vegan breakfast joints in LA and Orange County.  But, then again, I do love Follow Your Heart.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t too in love with my breakfast choice.  I got the Tofu Eggwich ($6.95): scrambled tofu patty, tomato, avocado, “pastrami” wheatmeat, and Vegenaise on an english muffin.   You also get a choice of potatoes or fruit.  As you can see, I went with the potatoes – so good!  I don’t know what they did to them, but they were delicious.  The tofu patty on the sandwich was not that delicious.  I thought it was going to be a slab of marinated tofu, but this one was smushed up tofu with some kind of thickening/binding flour or starch and spices.  I didn’t really like the flavor.

Follow Your Heart Tofu Eggwich

Tofu Eggwich

I wasn’t sure how big that tofu sandwich was going to be, so I got a side of Cornbread ($2.50).  This sure was a hearty slice of cornbread.  I’m a snob when it comes to cornbread – I like it fluffy and on the sweet side.  Hearty cornbreads just don’t do it for me.  They asked if I’d like honey with it, but since I don’t eat honey, I declined.  It would have been better with some kind of sweetener – jam or agave/maple syrup, though.

Follow Your Heart Cornbread

Cornbread

My vegan guy didn’t care for breakfast foods and went straight to lunch.  He got the Reuben ($10.75): thinly sliced wheatmeat, cheese, sauerkraut, mustard, and Vegenaise, on rye.  I’d like to tell you how good or bad it was, but I actually don’t remember what he thought (and neither does he).  Oops.

Follow Your Heart Reuben

Reuben

To see more great stuff from Follow Your Heart, see my previous posts here and here.

Shhh – there’s vegan food at The Secret Spot

I wish The Secret Spot was… well… a little more secret.  It’s this tiny cafe in Huntington Beach that is run by a bunch of youngins and some older surfer dude that is very welcoming to the customers.  However, like a lot of the reviews say, it takes awhile to get your food.  When I went, there was a longish line that moved very, very slowly.  I expected it, so no biggie.  I had gone once on a winter’s night and it was A LOT faster.

It was a weekend morning and I wanted something I don’t normally have, so my vegan guy and I decided to go here.  I saw on their board that they now had vegan pancakes, so I knew what I was getting.  It was a good thing, too, because their menu is a little confusing for vegans.  I wish they had a “can be prepared vegan” icon next to those items that are veganize-able.

The story of the Vegan Pancakes goes like this.  They looked good, came with syrup and some vegan butter, so I was excited.  I poured the syrup onto the pancakes and saw that the consistency was not like maple syrup (or even agave nectar) – was it honey?!!  I was worried that I had just ruined my vegan pancakes with a non-vegan product (well, not vegan for me).  I asked and the chef said that the syrup was vegan.  She went to get the container and presented me with a giant bottle of corn syrup- corn syrup?!!  Gross!  Who puts corn syrup on their pancakes?  I don’t, and will certainly not in the future, as well. I mean, the pancakes were decent, but that corn syrup was just not good.  The side of potatoes was not good, either.  It was full of bell peppers (yuck).

The Secret Spot Vegan Pancake with Fruit

Vegan Pancake with Fruit

My vegan guy went with another menu item that we deciphered to be vegan – their Western Garden Nut Wrap.  It’s made with their vegan meat substitute and grilled with organic greens, tomato, avocado and homemade BBQ sauce in a spinach tortilla.  I thought this dish was decent, although I don’t think my vegan guy was too enthusiastic about it.

The Secret Spot Wrap

Western Garden Nut Wrap

And I also saw they had vegan desserts.  I wanted to try their Vegan Hostess cake, but was sorry I did.  This was just a not-very-good tasting chocolate cupcake with a small scribble of vanilla frosting on top.  Hello?!  Hostess is supposed to have that chocolate ganache topping.  Not good, guys, not good.

The Secret Spot Hostess Cake

Hostess Cake

If you want to go to The Secret Spot, I recommend going at an off hour.  You’ll have plenty of questions, and they’ll be able to help you best when there aren’t a lot of customers waiting in line.  Good luck!

3801Warner Ave
Huntington Beach, CA 92649
562-592-4494

Monday: 8 am-9 pm
Saturday: 8 am-9 pm
Sunday:8 am-7 pm

Breakfast at Mother’s Market

Mother’s Market is an awesome place.  Not only is it a great grocery store filled with vegan food, but some locations have a sit down restaurant (available at Brea, Costa Mesa, Laguna Woods, Irvine, and Huntington Beach).  It’s one of the few places in Orange County to get a vegan breakfast – and it’s a good one, too!  The menu is entirely vegetarian (with one tuna dish) and most things can be made vegan if they aren’t already.

The newest member to the vegan breakfast menu are their Gluten Free Pancakes ($9.95).  They come with a healthy side of fruit.  These pancakes are really good.  Most people think gluten free foods are gross (and I agree a lot are), but not these pancakes.  They didn’t even taste gluten free.  I hope they don’t take these off the menu.

Mother's Market Pancakes

GF Pancakes

My vegan guy got the Ma’s Breakfast Melt ($8.95): two slices of toasted sourdough stuffed with tofu, avocado slices, vegan cheese, tomatoes and choice of “fakin’ bacon” or ”Gimme Lean” veggie sausage. It’s served with your choice of  herb roasted potatoes or organic brown rice.  I think my vegan guy thought it was too tofu-y, but I love that type of stuff.  I had a bite and thought it was delicious.

Mother's Market Ma's Breakfast Melt

Ma’s Breakfast Melt

Mother’s also serves lunch and dinner – and they have an incredible selection of juice, smoothies, and shakes.  I’ll have to post some of my favorites from those menus sometime!

Sandwiches from Locali in LA

Locali is a cute little shop that sells packaged foods, eco home products, and freshly prepared sandwiches.  They have a lot of meat sandwiches, but most can be made vegan.

The two most famous vegan sandwiches here are their Baaadasss Breakfast Sandwich ($5.99) and their Reuben.  The Baaadasss Sandwich is made with vegan sausage, vegan cheese, chipotle sauce, and maple syrup on an english muffin.  It’s very sweet and salty.  I think I might have liked it with just Vegenaise instead of the chipotle sauce, because it was a bit spicy for me.  Otherwise, this was a very good breakfast sandwich.

Locali Badass Breakfast Sandwich

Badass Breakfast Sandwich

The Reuben ($10.50 full/$5.99 half) is made with tofu deli slices, vegan cheese, sauerkraut, and vegan russian dressing on rye.  I can see why this is one of the favorite sandwiches.  It’s very juicy and that dressing is wonderful.

Locali Reuben

Reuben

And one item that is not on their menu, but was special when I was there is the Hot Mama Pastrama.  It came with Pastrami seitan, Daiya, and spicy homemade giardiniera.  The seitan was very good – the only thing I liked about it.  The veggies (aka giardiniera) were too chunky for me and didn’t have the best flavor.

Locali Pastrami

Pastrami

I do like Locali’s sandwiches.  The one thing that was grossing me out, though, was the fact that when I was there, there was only one guy on duty.  He had to deal with customers, ring them up on the cash register, and prepare the sandwiches.  Luckily when I was there he only paused to ring up people paying with credit cards (a bit cleaner than cash), but there just wasn’t that awareness of washing hands after handling non-food  items that I would hope there should be.  I know Locali is trying to be eco-friendly and constantly washing your hands makes for a lot of wasted paper towels, but I think a lot of us can agree that we don’t want dirty hands preparing our food.  This won’t deter me from coming back, though.  And, in fact, there will be a Vegan Hot Dog Fest this Labor Day weekend that I hope to go to.  And you should, too, because it’s supporting ARME – Animal Rescue, Media & Education.

5825 Franklin Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90028
323-466-1360

Open Daily 8am-10pm

ROAD TRIP: Vegan in Mammoth Lakes, CA (plus bonus cookie link!!)

If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll probably have remembered I just went on a road trip to Oklahoma City for my cousin’s wedding.  Well, my mom and I (and a sister) were at it again and went on a road trip to Lake Tahoe for another cousin’s wedding.  Lake Tahoe is not too far from Southern California, but we wanted to make it a mini vacation, so we decided to have a few stops along the way.

Mammoth Lakes is a hot spot for skiing (so I’ve been told), but also is a great place for summer outdoor fun.  We weren’t there too long, but I did have a chance to notice plenty of bike and hike paths around the town.  And since Mammoth is full of nature loving individuals, it didn’t surprise me that there were a few spots for vegan food.

Our first stop was a place to get some snacks.  Sierra Sundance Whole Foods is an awesome little health foods market.  They had a great selection of vegan foods for snacking or preparing a meal in that cabin you’ve rented.  Being in a small car with three women, we weren’t thinking “healthy snacks,” so we stocked up on some comforting sugary sweets.  They even carried a local company’s vegan cookie!

Sierra Sundance Whole Foods Goodies

Sierra Sundance Whole Foods Goodies

Speaking of that local cookie company – we passed Mimi’s Cookie Bar’s storefront on our way to our hotel and had to stop to see what other vegan selections they had.

Mimi's Cookie Bar

Mimi’s Cookie Bar

This cookie bar is really cute and they have both non-vegan and vegan goodies.  We got some of their daily vegan cookies and their one and only vegan ice cream.  The Mocha Almond Fudge Cookie (I believe was gluten free) was a bit dry, but had a good flavor.  The Coconut-Lime Ice Cream was just ok – sort of gummy.  The Apple-Cinnamon Cookies (from Sierra Sundance) were also getting a bit dry from sitting on the shelf, but would be fantastic fresh.  And the Gluten Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies were some of the best cookies I’ve ever had (gluten free or not)!!  We went back and got more of these cookies.

****Seriously, you have to try these cookies – and lucky for you, they are running a deal on Fab.com that allows you to do just that!  But hurry – this deal is only on for another 6 days!!  Go get them. Now.****

Mimi's Cookie Bar

Mocha Almond Fudge, GF PB Chocolate Chip, Coconut-Lime Ice Cream

And finally, on our way out of Mammoth the next day, we stopped to get a breakfast burrito at Stellar Brew & Deli.

Stellar Brew Coffee

Stellar Brew

The Breakfast Burrito ($5.50) was full of carrots, potatoes, bell pepper, and vegan sausage.  I thought it was a bit spicy, but good.  I also had wished they used some tofu and no bell peppers (yuck!).  It did give me that wholesome breakfast feeling so I could face the day of driving.

Stellar Brew Breakfast Burrito

Breakfast Burrito

Stay tuned for more from my vegan road trip, including stops in Ridgecrest, Lake Tahoe, and Sacramento!

Brunch at Real Food Daily

Real Food Daily is an all vegan eatery serving up healthy, organic food.  They now have three locations: Santa Monica, West Hollywood, and the newest in Pasadena.  My vegan guy and I used to go here often for their Sunday brunch, but when their tofu scramble portions got smaller and smaller, we stopped frequenting them as much.  The Santa Monica location has a full bakery attached to it that specializes in healthier-for-you desserts.  If you want to star gaze (or impress out of town guests) the West Hollywood location often has celebrities dining in.  I’ve often spotted one on a trip to their Sunday brunch.  Once, we sat next to Leonardo Di Caprio and Tobey Maguire (swoon!!)!  Sorry, vegan guy, but I’ve been in a relationship with Leo long before I met you.

And now back to the food.  I got the Breakfast Burrito ($13.75): whole wheat flour tortilla, scrambled tofu, tempeh bacon, spanish rice, black beans, onions, peppers, topped w/ ranchero sauce, cashew cheese, guacamole, pico de gallo with hash browns or fruit.  This thing is huge and (as you can see) loaded with goodness.   I got it with a side of hash browns, which were crispy on the top and softer underneath.  The tempeh bacon is too smokey for me at Real Food Daily, so I gave the side to my vegan guy.

Real Food Daily Breakfast Burrito

Breakfast Burrito

My vegan guy went with his standard RFD brunch item: Ava B ‘n’ Cheez Scramble ($12.95): avocado, crumbled tempeh bacon, sun-dried tomatoes, cashew cheese (only he gets chopped tomatoes instead of the sun dried tomatoes).  It also comes with hash browns or fruit and a side of toast.  While it looks like a lot in the picture, it’s actually a bit small (especially for the price).  When you see that my meal was less than a dollar more, I would expect almost as much food.  It is still tasty food, but beware if you have a larger appetite.

Real Food Daily Tofu Scramble

Tofu Scramble

I was so stuffed from my burrito, that I couldn’t eat anything more.  However, I saw in the bakery display case a glorious looking cheesecake, so I got it to-go.  The Caramel Pecan Cheesecake ($6.95) was nice and creamy.  I liked it, but my vegan guy thought the tofu flavor was too strong.

Real Food Daily Caramel Pecan Cheesecake

Caramel Pecan Cheesecake

Check out their website to see which of their three locations is closest to you.