I suppose I owe you that wrap-up…they’re so tedious when one doesn’t take photos of food in a restaurant! Enjoy the scenery instead!
Thursday, December 18
We arrived in Boston with no problems, dropped our bags off at the apartment, and drove to Grasshopper in Brookline. Grasshopper is a vegan Chinese restaurant with a bazillion options on their menu, and although they specialize in Chinese cuisine, you can also order Vietnamese or Thai options. We ordered a couple fried spring rolls for the table and our main dishes. I ordered The Kale & Mushroom Delight; the poet ordered the House Vermicelli Noodles with Roasted Vegi-Pork, Pork-Chop, Spring-roll, Rice Cake and Salad; B. ordered the Sauteed Kale with Black Mushrooms; and C. ordered Spicy Curry Vermicelli Noodles with Sweet Potato and Tofu Broth.
The Kale & Mushroom Delight was ENORMOUS. The menu describes it as “A stir-fried combination of kale, white mushrooms, tofu, and veggie-beef gluten in a tangy ginger sauce,” and by all means it was a massively huge pile of kale, mushrooms, tofu, and etc. Honestly, I wasn’t a fan. The kale was great, but the veggie meats were pretty bad. Maybe I’m just spoiled on Green Sprout… The seitan was sausage style, which doesn’t strike me as Asian, and the chicken had a rubbery texture. The poet’s vermicelli was pretty weird too–instead of being vermicelli noodles with pork, it was the Vietnamese noodle wraps. The pork had a really funky texture too. B.’s mushroom and kale came in a tasty black bean sauce and I would definitely recommend this dish. The curry vermicelli was good too. If you go to Grasshopper, I’d only order vegetable dishes. They were definitely the strongest. The “meats” are rather inauthentic and not very tasty. One plus was that my kale special fed me breakfast for four days!
Friday, December 19
We woke up, grabbed a cup of coffee from Fiore’s Bakery in Jamaica Plain, and hit up some thrift stores. While we were in Goodwill (can’t remember where), the snow storm started. We caught the T up to Cambridge so I could go to Grolier’s Poetry Bookshop and see Harvard. By the time we left Grolier, there was over 1 foot of snow on the ground. Insanity! For lunch, we ordered pizzas at Veggie Planet. The poet and C. ordered a half-and-half large of Lunch for Henry (butternut squash, caramelized onions, sage, and goat cheese) and the special of the day which was awesome looking…but I can’t remeber what it was. I ordered a small half-and-half of the Vegan Peanut Curry ( Coconut rice, tofu, broccoli, and Thai red peanut curry sauce) and the Vegan Oddlot (Fresh tomatoes, spinach, basil tofu ricotta, calamata olives, and fried garlic). I personally like the peanut curry pizza more than the oddlot, but it’s definitely not traditional. The basil tofu ricotta on the oddlot was pretty rad though. It continued to snow through the next day, so you can imagine how it piled up. For dinner we went over to B. & C.’s friend’s house and I cooked some kind of stir fry. It tasted good…I think…there was a lot of drinking involved too…
Saturday, December 20
We lazed around most of the day, but eventually set out for My Thai Cafe in Brookline. Two freezing bus rides later we showed up at the restaurant starving and cold as ice. Unfortunately, I don’t think the proprietors were using heat in the restaurant. So we ate with our coats on. They were also out of the fake chicken (probably due to not being able to get a shipment in). Our order of Fried Wontons and Golden Triangles for the table was good–hot and tasty. The vegetables and spices in the Triangles was definitely a highlight. I ordered Pad Thai (“Our signature Thai dish Pan-fried noodles with veggie-chicken, veggie-shrimp, onions, scallions, and bean sprouts in a sweet-and-sour sauce. Topped with fresh bean sprouts and ground peanuts and served with sliced lemon or lime”), substituting tofu for the chicken, the poet and B. ordered Pad See Ew (“Stir-fried wide rice noodles with Chinese broccoli and a choice of veggie-chicken or veggie-beef or veggie shrimp or tofu or gluten”), and C. ordered a curry. My pad thai was phenomenal. I wish I could have tried it with the chicken, but the tofu was delightful because it was cut into long, thin strips–easy to eat with the noodles. Most places use tofu chunks and that’s a lot harder to work with. The Pad See Ew was amazing too–a different taste than Pad Thai, but very delicious. I only had one bite of the curry, and it wasn’t quite was C. was hoping for, but I thought the balance of the spices was great in this dish as well. Other than it being uber hard to get to from Jamaica Plain and there being little to no heat in the building, My Thai was my hands-down my favorite restaurant in Boston.
Sunday, December 21
We stocked up on supplies for the Poconos at Harvest Coop and on the way home I grabbed a sandwich at Fiore’s. With so many vegan choices, it was hard to decide, but in the end I ordered the BBQ tofu wrap. It was tad oniony for my taste, but the BBQ sauce and tofu was great. I also ordered a Blackberry Chambourd Vegan Cheesecake us to share. At $7 it was kinda pricey, but worth it. The wine and blueberries worked great together and the dark chocolate drizzle was the perfect complement. If I lived in Jamaica Plain, I’d end up spending all of my money at Fiore’s. For a non-vegan bakery, it’s heaven, with over half of the choices vegan. Cookies, cupcakes, sandwiches, cheesecakes, brownies, coffee cake–vegan. And their coffee is great too!
Sunday, December 21-Wednesday, December 24
In the Poconos. I wouldn’t recommend vacationing there; although it was so bad it was awesome. We had super good eats though. Heidi’s brussels sprouts, Isa’s tofu scramble, my french toast, Heidi’s pizza dough with vegan and non-vegan toppings, peanut curry stir fry, Trader Joe’s chorizo, lots of coffee, lots of wine, lots of beer and lots of vegan white russians.
Wednesday, December 24-Friday, December 26
In Cuba, NY (western NY). We stayed with the poet’s and C.’s sister-in-law’s family (along with their brother) in Cuba for the Christmas holiday. For a non-vegan family, they were incredibly accommodating. Several of the women are vegetarians or pescatarians (oh how I hate that term, but I’ll give them some love) so cooking vegan food wasn’t an issue. In fact, while they asked for a suggestion once or twice, they cooked all the food without asking me to pitch in! While I washed some dishes, it was a nice break from the pots and pans.
Friday, December 26-Sunday, December 28
Back in the Poconos! We went sledding a few times…and no one broke a bone! The little snotty kids tried to take over our jump though. They need to learn some manners, geez. (smile)
Sunday, December 28
Back in Boston, we went out for one last dinner together at Pho Pasteur in Allston. Vegan Boston described it as super vegan friendly, and I suppose it was, but the vegetarian options were not as vast as I hoped. In fact the online menu looks really different than the one I ordered from. I had a noodle dish with crispy tofu, veggies, and a peanuty sauce. The tofu and vegetables were chunked in an unmanagebly large way and I had a lot of issues mixing the noodles, veggies, and sauce together. Additionally, the sauce came to the side of the dish and when I mixed it together it was cold. Bummer. I took home leftovers, but made the poet eat them. All-in-all, a disappointment. The poet and B. said the beefy pho was great…but it was beefy.
After Pho Pasteur, we made our way over to Wheeler’s for dessert. An all-vegan ice cream parlor? How could you go wrong?! First off, I can’t imagine why Wheeler’s chose a location in downtown Boston (next to Symphony Hall). A neighborhood like Allston or Brookline or Jamaica Plain makes a lot more sense. It was 8 pm or so when we got there and the cafe was dead. I think we woke up the guy working there. No street traffic in the vicinity either. No Black Label either. BUMMER. Do you have any idea how much I was looking forward to alcoholic vegan ice cream? Sigh. Anyways, down to the nitty gritty. I ordered chocolate peanut butter swirl with pretzels, the poet ordered chocolate pudding, C. ordered espresso, and B. ordered cookies and cream. Everything was delicious. The poet really like the chocolate peanut butter with pretzels and everyone loved the cookies and cream. I was a big fan of mixing the espresso with the chocolate pudding. The chocolate pudding was super dark, a lot like VCTOTW’s chocolate mousse, just frozen. Other than the utter emptiness and deadness of the place, Wheeler’s was pretty good. I just don’t see them staying in business in that location for very long. Maybe they get a lot of people at other times, who knows. I just hope they make it.
Monday, December 29
Before we flew back to Atlanta, I stopped at Fiore’s again. This time I ordered the vegan lunch box with a slice of vegan pizza, hummus, pita chips, grape leaf wrap thingies, and a chocolate chip cookie. For $7 it was a ton of food! And really good food too. I wish the pizza were more consistent, everything is just dollopped on top of the crust, but the cashew cheeze was fab. I’m not a huge fan of grape leaf things, so I gave those to the poet after a bite or two. He really liked them. I loved the hummus. The chocolate chip cookie was kind of disappointing, but I have really high standards for my chocolate chip cookies. The poet ordered the vegan coffee cake and it was to die for. After another cup of coffee, it was back to Atlanta!