That night our fellow friends Megan and Chris had us all 3 over for dinner. It was a wonderfully fun dinner party. First we played with their super sweet little twins, and after bedtime we had our dinner. Megan was so sweet and made a traditional lasagna as well as a vegan lasagna. (*side note: every year I make a little cookbook with some of my favorite recipes of the year, and give it to my friends and family... this lasagna recipe was from one of my past cookbooks and is probably one of my very most favorite meals of all times. It was a REAL treat to have someone else make me my own favorite dish!!). Here's my piece. I had two, actually!
And that night, Laura and Chris took me to another veg-friendly spot they knew: "Rancho's" This was also featured in the VegNews article. I can only say this : WOW!!!! What a freaking amazing place! They have a huge menu, and at least half the items have a (*V) symbol next to them, meaning that the item is or can be vegan! It's a mainly mexican food spot, with very fresh ingredients. They had so many veggie choices it was just awe-inspiring: shitake, tofu, tempeh, vegetable, avocado... the list goes on. I finally settled on an avocado-blue corn enchilada and a tempeh ranchero enchilada, both with red sauce, and a side serving of beans. Oh man, it was a truly delicious menu. I can't wait to go back.
This morning I got up early, since Laura and Chris were headed off to work, and decided to go for a hike at Torrey Pines State Park. Torrey Pines is one of my favorite places anywhere, and it was especially lovely on a quiet, cool, cloudy morning. It was so beautiful just walking around with the sages, cacti, and cliffs... ahhh.
After that little walk, I headed over to "Rancho's" other location - which isn't too far from the airport. Last night I had noticed the breakfast part of the menu, and that they made vegan pancakes! Shockingly, there is nowhere to get good vegan pancakes in all of Santa Cruz. Dharma's does make vegan corn "pancakes" - which are essentially just large disks of cornbread. Most unsatisfying. So, I ordered some vegan multigrain pancakes - and added in blueberries and bananas. You can't tell from this picture, but these were FULL of blueberries and bananas (on the underside). I also paid the extra $.95 for organic pure maple syrup. Oh yum yum yum. These were the fluffiest, hugest, and most delicious pancakes I have had since becoming vegan over 5 years ago. They were THAT good. I couldn't believe it. I literally left the store skipping down the sidewalk!
Just a quick note for those of you are fellow vintage kitchen ware fans... I only had about 10 minute to stop by my favorite vintage pyrex antique spot in the world. I was in such a rush, I didn't have much time to decide about purchases (I got one small refridgerator dish), but I did snap some pics of this lady's booth - it's just so beatiful. She groups all the dishes by color in some very enticing displays!
Lastly... my eating schedule was all weird on account of my flight today, so we ended up getting burritos at about 4:30 today. As a result we weren't too hungry for dinner. So, I just made us a big fruit salad. I broke down and bought plenty of non-local, non-seasonal, and a few non-organic fruits. Oh well. :) The salad had fuji apple, red d'anjou pear, manjo, fresh pineapple (very good one too!), blueberries, and oranges. mmmm. a nice treat.
Hope you all had a great weekend! Be sure to check these places out if you ever make to San Diego!