The last two weeks I have used up my Groupons, taken advantage of discounts and felt like I totally went off my raw vegan diet (still having green smoothies for breakfast). In truth, I'm still sticking to a mostly raw diet - lots of delicious salads, green smoothies, and other tasty things. And, somehow, I haven't managed to gain weight. Yay, me!
Here are some of my favorite places that I have visited in the last couple of weeks:
DONUT FARM: first and foremost, you need to go buy your coupon for 2-for-1 salt caramel vegan donut from the Pepple's Ferry Building kiosk. Saturday - go to the Donut Farm on San Pablo for vegan brunch (9-2:30) - the most scrumptious and tasty vegan brunch out there. Best. Hashbrowns. Ever.
RAW DADDY FOODS: delicious raw, organic & vegan "fast" food from proprietor James Hall. I'll be helping him out at the Temescal Farmer's market beginning Sunday (fair weather only!), so please come look me up and give these delicious treats a try.
GRACIAS MADRE: this place is no joke. I am in love with the gorditas de papa topped with creamy cashew sauce, avocado, sprouts and green salsa, the sweet potato chipotle empanadas enveloped in chewy flaky dough on a perfect puddle of fantastic mole sauce, awesome tortillas and killer mole enchiladas (love the kale). Quite possibly the best Mexican food in the Bay Area, no kidding.
LEGION OF HONOR CAFE: most amazing frites & best view from any restaurant in the Bay Area. Those frites were totally worth six bucks, though I do wish I had a slightly larger portion, my ass thanks you for not American-sizing it. Also be sure to get there before June to check out the "Pulp Fashion" exhibit - I'll be back to see it at least a few more times, so send me an e-mail if you want to go with me (I'm a member!).
SATURN CAFE: some very good vegan options, lots of vegetarian options - but seriously: BEST FREAKING GARLIC FRIES EVER! I am so not kidding. They do not mess around with the deep fryer.
MILLENNIUM: I want to marry the dessert chef for coming up with peanut butter chocolate chip bread pudding with roasted banana ice cream. No joke. She's cute and likes cats, too!
ENCUENTRO: most fantastic & economical wine tasting event for Make Work Winery - 3 glasses & 3 tapas for $25, but I could not resist getting the chocolate cake. Chef Eric, Chef Lacey & Bosslady Linda do a great job - say hi to the most awesome server Liz when you go in.
WAT MONGKOLRATANARUM (aka "Berkeley Thai Brunch"): best yellow curry in existence, giant chunks of potato and tofu puffs. Get there early before the coeds snarf it all down.
MEZZE: I bought their Groupon because their menu specifically said "can be made vegan" on several items. used one of my two coupons with a friend on Friday - and was very impressed by their mushroom risotto, wines by the glass selection and very tasty frites (not as good as the Legion Cafe, but I'm seeing a bad pattern here - french fries are, indeed, my achilles heel). Looking forward to my next visit.
I haven't been to Cha-Ya on Shattuck since their remodel, but am very saddened to see that they have removed the chairs from the sushi bar, one of my favorite places to eat there. I'm also dying to return to the Imperial Tea Court in the food mall on Shattuck -- most awesome hand pulled noodles and green onion pancake (tea is pretty good, too). The hand pulled noodles are not available at the Ferry Bldg, so save your appetite for the Berkeley Gourmet Ghetto.