Farmer and Cook in Ojai

Last time my vegan guy and I were in Ojai, the one vegan joint (Hip Vegan) was closed for some reason (were they on vacation?  I can’t remember).  We decided to make our way on over to the Farmer and Cook market, where they have a cafe on site.  While not entirely vegan, they did have enough vegan options to satisfy our hunger.

Farmer and the Cook Burrito

Burrito

I love burritos.  I especially love it when they contain vegan deliciousness such as cashew cheese.  Also included in the Farmer and Cook Burrito was beans, rice, and veggies.  Yum.  Thank you, omnivorous restaurant, for making the extra cheesy effort for us vegans.

Farmer and the Cook Veggie Burger

Veggie Burger

My vegan guy went with the Veggie Burger.  As you can see, it was served on bread slices and not a bun.  Not a huge deal, but made it…well… less burger tasting (you know what I mean!).  All-in-all this was just a satisfactory sandwich (not burger!), but still well appreciated in the slim vegan pickings of Ojai.

Farmer and the Cook OJ and Lemonade

OJ and Lemonade

Fresh Orange Juice and local Ojai Lavender Lemonade helped wash everything down.

Farmer and the Cook Chocolate Raspberry Cake

Chocolate Raspberry Cake

And let’s not forget about dessert.  I got the Chocolate Raspberry Cake.  That’s four whole layers of cake mixed with a fudgy chocolate frosting and raspberry jam.  It was a little bit dry towards the edges (something one can expect from a refrigerated bakery case), but I’d definitely indulge again should I be in the area in the future.

Farmer and Cook

Farmer and Cook

Farmer and the Cook Bakery Case

Bakery Case

Farmer and the Cook Inside Seating

Inside Seating

Farmer and the Cook Outdoor Seating

Outdoor Seating

Next time I’m in Ojai, I definitely want to check out Hip Vegan.  But if you have time for a meal at Farmer and Cook, make it happen.

Located at:

339 W El Roblar St
Ojai, CA 93023
805-640-9608

Daily 11am – 8:30pm

Advertisements

Herbivore Festival at Crafton Hills College

Despite the rain, I thought the first annual (bi-annual??) Herbivore Festival at Crafton Hills College in Yucaipa was a success.  There were quite a few vendors set up selling food and products and other vendors who were there to provide information about their various causes.  They also had cooking demonstrations, music, aerial acts, and inside lectures.  I was able to browse the vendors (and buy some products) and also watch the cooking demonstrations.  I wasn’t able to listen to any for the lectures, but I heard they were great.

Herbivore Festival

Herbivore Festival

Parmela Creamery makes some awesome vegan cheeses and they were there sampling and selling some of their products.  I tasted their new Nacho Cheese and it was super yummy, so I bought a jar and a jar of their Alfredo Sauce.

Parmela Creamery

Parmela Creamery

Parmela Creamery Alfredo and Nacho Sauce

Parmela Creamery Alfredo and Nacho Sauce

Happy Family has a delicious restaurant in the Loma Linda area (and also in Rowland Heights) and they were there selling a few of their best sellers.  I got a chicken dish for $5, but think it is way better when eaten at the restaurant.  I highly recommend this place.

Happy Family Restaurant Chicken

Happy Family Restaurant Chicken

The Tamale Guy normally serves all sorts of tamales, but for this event, they went completely vegan.  The Potatoes and Veggies Tamale was really good and hit the spot on that unusually cold day.

The Tamale Guy Vegan Menu

The Tamale Guy Vegan Menu

The Tamale Guy Potatoes and Veggies Tamale

The Tamale Guy Potatoes and Veggies Tamale

Loma Linda Market was there serving up a whole meals worth of samples.  They were super generous.

Loma Linda Market Sampling

Loma Linda Market Sampling

Galvans Gourmet Veganeatery was new to me, so I was excited to try one of their dishes.  The TVP Taco was just ok, but the Fried Shrimp Taco was insane.  I can’t believe how crispy they got the shrimp, since it was a cold, wet day and they just had some small portable fryer.  They really did it well.

Galvans Gourmet Veganeatery

Galvans Gourmet Veganeatery

Galvans Gourmet Veganeatery Menu

Galvans Gourmet Veganeatery Menu

Galvans Gourmet Veganeatery TVP and Fried Shrimp Tacos

Galvans Gourmet Veganeatery TVP and Fried Shrimp Tacos

Pies by Domonic based out of Orange County was selling gluten free pies.  I got a Pumpkin Pie and a Blueberry Crumble Pie.  I’m not gluten free and would have preferred a regular flour crust, but it was pretty good.  I ate mine with lots of Soyatoo Whipped Cream when I got home.

Pies by Domonic Pumpkin Pie and Blueberry Crumble Pie

Pies by Domonic Pumpkin Pie and Blueberry Crumble Pie

Naked Lunch had some savory items and this Chocolatey Yogurt.  I was a little worried it was going to be bitter since it was made with cacao, but it was perfectly sweet.

Naked Lunch Yogurt

Naked Lunch Yogurt

Naked Lunch Yogurt

Naked Lunch Yogurt

I saw three cooking demonstrations while I was at the festival.  The first was done by a very energetic dietician named Kimberly Paulien Slater.  She showed us a recipe for an easy and delicious salad (recipe can be found here).  The second demonstration was for a Raw Nacho Cheese by Paul Zanone who runs a raw meetup group in the Inland Empire.  The last demonstration I saw was by two chefs who came all the way from the UCLA Lake Arrowhead Conference Center.  I thought the effort they put into this demonstration was terrific.  They made a beautiful Butternut Squash Tangine that was also delicious.  The conference center is open to UCLA grads and to organizations and small businesses that want to use the facility for retreats and conferences that are educational in purpose.

Butternut Squash Tangine

UCLA Lake Arrowhead Center Butternut Squash Tangine

After the success of this event, the organizer was toying with the idea of making this event twice a year.  I’m so excited that there is this much involvement in the vegan community out in my home area of the Inland Empire.  Keep watch at their Facebook page for information about the next event.

Vegan Oktoberfest 2015

Vegan Oktoberfest is happening this weekend.  If you didn’t get out there today, you’re still in luck.  Vegan Oktoberfest will run again tomorrow – October 4th.

If you went last year (for the first annual event), you’ll remember it was insane and poorly planned.  The location last year was in a tiny parking lot at the beach somewhere between Venice and Santa Monica.  They oversold the event, vendors ran out of items early, it was super packed, and there was a record heat wave that day (ok – they couldn’t do anything about that last one).

This year was so much better.  They changed locations and created the event for two days.  This year’s event was at LA Center Studios – located just west of downtown and the 110 freeway.  Not only was the space more than double of what they had last year, but there were also so many trees/buildings to provide shade around the area.  My one complaint, though, would be that they could have set up more tents/tarps over the seating area for shade.  Otherwise, I thought this event was a success. Were there fewer people in attendance?  Maybe.  All the lines seemed rather short.  Maybe it was just better planning on the vendors this year?  Maybe Sunday will be more packed?  I don’t know, but was happy I didn’t have to wait in line for an hour like last year.

I got the non-drinker ticket, because I didn’t want to spend a ton on the ticket price and because I was driving.  I did have a taste of Ace Pineapple Cider from a friend and it was really good.  If you like sweet and not really alcoholly taste – hit them up.  I did get to try a lot of food, though, and I have leftovers to last pretty much a whole week’s worth of lunch.

Stop 1:  Ridiculous Baking Co does it again with their awesome Apple Strudel Cupcakes ($4) and Berliner Jelly Donuts ($3).  They also had a German Chocolate Cake, which I did not have today, but have had in the past (yum!).

Ridiculous Baking Co Apple Strudel Cupcake and Berliner

Ridiculous Baking Co Apple Strudel Cupcake and Berliner

Stop 2: The Grilled Cheese Truck is always one of my stops at all these vegan events (including LA Vegan Beer Fest this past May).  Their regular menu includes no vegan items – which is a shame, because they do them so well.  My two favorites are the Cheesy Mac Melt ($8) and the Cheesy Mac and Rib Melt ($10).

Grilled Cheese Truck Cheesy Mac Melt

Grilled Cheese Truck Cheesy Mac Melt

Grilled Cheese Truck Mac and Rib Melt

Grilled Cheese Truck Mac and Rib Melt

Stop 3: The Go Vegan Truck (or is it the Make Vegan Truck?) was new to me and I still can’t figure out their proper name.  The Not Dog ($6) was one of my favorite savory items from the day.  Take a vegan dog, batter it, fry it, and serve it up in a hot dog bun.  Yum.  Their Crispy Schnitzel Cheese Burger ($11) was also good.  True to the name, the patty was crispy.  It was a nice burger, but if I had to pick one item to order, it would be the Not Dog.  I also tried one of their (unlabelled) desserts.  I think it was a Chocolate Rugelach ($5), and it was just ok.  Slightly sweet, nice texture, but nothing to write home about.

Go Vegan Food Truck

Go Vegan Food Truck

Go Vegan Not Dog

Go Vegan Not Dog

Go Vegan Crispy Schnitzel Cheese Burger

Go Vegan Crispy Schnitzel Cheese Burger

Go Vegan Rugelach

Go Vegan Rugelach

Stop 4: Sabores de Mexico looks like they serve all meat during their normal truck schedule, because they put up some (very hand-made) signs with a special vegan menu for the event.  I really appreciate the effort, but unfortunately, I was not a fan.  I got the Pepperdine Burrito which had rice, beans, pico de gallo, guacamole, Daiya, and tofu.  I thought it was a little bland. Adding Spanish rice instead of plain ol’ white rice might have helped.

Sabores de Mexico Menu

Sabores de Mexico Menu

Sabores de Mexico Menu

Sabores de Mexico Menu

Sabores de Mexico Menu Pepperdine Burrito

Sabores de Mexico Menu Pepperdine Burrito

Stop 5: Donut Friend has been at other vegan events, but I’ve always skipped them in hopes I would make it out to their shop in Highland Park.  I have yet to go to their shop, so I decided to give them a go.  Everything was amazing!  The Apple Fritter ($5) was the perfect texture, the Allison Spice ($4) was a pumpkin cake donut done right, and the Custard Front Drive ($4) had the most delicious custard filling.  The chocolate glaze on the custard donut was a little more rich than I am used to being on raised donuts, but was not overpowering when combined with that creamy custard.

Donut Friend Menu

Donut Friend Menu

Donut Friend Apple Fritter, Bavarian Cream, Pumpkin Spice

Donut Friend Apple Fritter, Bavarian Cream, Pumpkin Spice

Stop 6: Divine Dips is always a great way to end a hot, food-filled day.  The Matcha Green Tea is my favorite.  I also tried the Caffe No-Lait and loved it.  All this was topped with some Whipped Cream and I was a happy girl. ($6)

Divine Dips Matcha Green Tea and Caffe No-Lait with Whipped Cream

Divine Dips Matcha Green Tea and Caffe No-Lait with Whipped Cream

Stop 7: Nary Dairy is allegedly ceasing operations and Oktoberfest was to be their last event.  I hit them up to grab a container of Feta and two containers of Gouda for their 3 for $5 deal.  It’s a great product and we are all sad to see them go.

Nary Dairy Gouda and Feta

Nary Dairy Gouda and Feta

Bonus Stop:  Falasophy was also at Vegan Oktoberfest, but I was too full to grab something from them.  I did get their Classic Falafel Pita at another event and absolutely loved it.  The pita was so thick and fluffy and I loved that they added hummus (as opposed to just a tahini sauce).  Now I kind of wish that I had gotten one to go.

Falasophy Menu

Falasophy Menu

Falasophy Falafel Pita

Falasophy Falafel Pita

Thanks to the organizers of this year’s event for making it a ton better than last year.  See you next year!

 

 

Downtown LA’s Vegan Pizza

I’m actually cleansing as I write this post and have been craving pizza for about a week and a half.  So this pizza picture is killing me!  I remember it like it was yesterday.  Hot, cheesy, sweet, and full of bread… I think my stomach just growled.

But really.  Purgatory Pizza is so out of the way for me.  It’s this tiny shop in a random part of downtown.   One day, I just so happen to be on that side of town with some vegan friends.  I was determined to get it.  Luckily, my friends were up for a slice of the good stuff.  The pizza here reminds me of that greasy stuff you would get as a school kid after a game of soccer or little league.  The slice was thin, but the width was massive.  Oh the memories!   We opted for the very grown-up BBQ Chicken Pizza.  This large pizza set us back $20, but was delicious.

Purgatory Pizza

BBQ Chicken Pizza

BBQ Chicken pizzas are one of my favorite varieties.  Sometimes it’s nice to have a sauce other than ordinary tomato.  And look at those nice hearty chunks of Gardein chicken and pineapple.

Purgatory Pizza

Pizza Slice

Purgatory Pizza has free delivery for orders over $15, but I’m not sure how far they will travel.  If you live in downtown, you should definitely give them a ring to find out if they will come to you.  And for everyone else – their address is:

1326 East 1st Street
Los Angeles, CA 90033
323-262-5310
Monday – Friday 11:30am – 11pm
Saturday and Sunday 12pm – 11pm