This weekend we drove down to San Luis Obispo, all 3 dogs in tow, to meet up with some dear friends who drove north from San Diego. We found SLO to be a neat little town, in a gorgeous setting. It's a super dog-friendly city, which is awesome. But is it vegan friendly?? Not bad... read on!
Our first night we ate dinner at Big Sky Cafe, an interesting spot with nice indoor/outdoor seating right downtown. They've got a very big menu, with a few appealing vegan options. A few are definitely vegan (it even says "VEGAN" on the menu - I love that!), and a few more are easily veganizable. Musty and I shared two dishes: the Big Sky Noodle Bowl, a nice miso broth with a lovely assortment of veggies (brocolli! snap peas! carrots! greens! edamame!), rice noodles, and tofu; and the Tagine of Vegetables with preserved lemon couscous with flat bread, harissa. We both loved the Noodle Bowl, it was simple, clean, flavorful, and had a strong but delicate flavor. The Tagine wasn't Musty's favorite, he felt the veggie stew was a bit too mushy and that individual flavors didn't stand out. But, I think that's sort of the idea, and I really liked it. I liked the very spicy harissa, the yummy flatbread, and the veggies - but I LOVED the lemon couscous. Gotta figure that out. It was large pearl couscous, perfectly creamy/chewy, with a marvelous, exotic hint of lemon. Sorry no pictures, because I forgot my camera.
Next review, "The Natural Cafe." A very low key hippee zone, you order at the counter and they bring you the food. It's super "healthy," but I was a bit bummed at the amount of cheese, dairy, and meat on the menu. Vegan dishes weren't clearly marked, which also surprised me. After a substandard bowl of oatmeal for breakfast (boo!), I was really hungry. I ordered the Zen Burger, and got hummus instead of salsa to go with my chips. I'll tell you what, I gobbled it down and there was nothing left. So I guess that means it was pretty good. My friends ordered some pretty straightforward but basically good salads, and a piece of non-vegan chocolate cake that everyone agreed was quite bad.
We had dinner last night at Thai Palace. There was a nice ambiance inside, and a big menu. The waitstaff was really friendly and helped my friend and I pick out veggie dishes without fish sauce - which greatly restricted our choices. We ordered a neat appetizer that had fresh spinach leaves and then fresh ginger, fresh onion, fresh lime, toasted coconut, roasted peanuts, and a nice tamarind-sweet sauce. Mmm. Great array of many interesting and harmonious flavors. For dinner I had a veggie-tofu mix in ginger sauce. It was all nicely cooked, but not particularly unique in any way. Of course, I gobbled it up.
Right down the street from Thai Palace, we popped into Peets to get some warm beverages for a chilly night ... and look what we found! Not one, Not two, Not three... but FIVE different vegan cookies for sale!! How exciting. I got the last German Chocolate cookie (not pictured) - it had a nice delicate chocolate flavor with coconut, pecans, and gentle spicing. Mmm. I don't really drink coffee much, so I wouldn't know ... is this a regular thing at Peet's??
Coming tomorrow... one last amazing vegan find in SLO.
ps. I was bummed to miss a day of MoFo - I was going for a perfect 31 of 31... but my $3 wifi connection at motel 6 sucked my battery dry after failing to upload 3 pictures for 35 minutes. I tried, I swear, I tried!