October 3, 2008

Vegan Mofo: Vegan Exploring!

Vegan Mofo is here and I am so excited. My goal is to make twenty posts for the month of mofo, and read five blogs a day. I love how everyone is getting into the spirit, and there will be a later post highlighting some of my favorites (so many already!). But for now, I want to discuss VEGAN EXPLORING.

This is a fairly new concept to me. It's only been in the past year or so that I've started to plan my vacations and weekend road trips around food. I think this happened after I went to Portland. The Vegan Pilgrimage to Portland is a bit cliche, but it's a necessary cliche. Vegan bars with tofu fritters on the menu and vegan hardcore on the stereo? Food carts with vegan breakfast burritos? Vegan donuts? This is the stuff vegan dream vacations are made of, and it is the reason why I consult Happy Cow or The Square at The PPK (Use the search function!) every time I am traveling more than three miles from my house.

Because, as it turns out, there is incredible vegan food to be found nearly everywhere. And one of the many perks of veganism is that your fellow vegans love to share their good finds.

Danny and I went exploring in Ft. Collins today. Ft. Collins is an adorable, bike friendly, liberal college town, so you'd expect to find some decent vegan fare. VegColorado pointed us to Mugs, a coffee shop and cafe, and we were not disappointed.

Danny had the Seitan Caesar. It was good (not fantastic), but I have never seen nooch (nutritional yeast) sprinkled on anything as condiment on its own. I have heard that this happens, but it was not until this salad that I've seen it done. I was skeptical, but it was actually really good.

I had The Med, a panini with spinach, basil, tomato, chicken style seitan, and Follow Your Heart Mozzarella. I assumed the FYH would be melted (I can't stand it unmelted), but the sandwich arrived with the cheese just slightly warmed and still very much unmelted. And you know what? It was awesome. It tasted just like the caprese I loved in my pregan days. I have no idea how this happened. Maybe it just needed a different context (in this case, a panini), to show its true, delicious colors. I still won't be eating it straight out of the package, but I am thrilled that I don't have to melt the hell out if it to enjoy vegan mozzarella.

Extra props to Mugs for having a whole section of the menu clearly labeled vegan. I am a sucker for menu recognition.

After lunch and a tour of CSU, we went to mooch free beer from the New Belgium Brewery. Minus the ones that are clearly labeled as containing honey, New Belgium beers are vegan. And they are environmentally conscious in their building and brewing procedures, and promote the hell out of bicycles as transportation.

Beer and bicycles! These are my people.

Complimentary and delicious.

We are nothing if not classy.

My manifest.

Vegan Exploring is different from plain ol' exploring in that you have to dig a little deeper, and so the rewards are that much sweeter. Also, because vegan cuisine has not yet been worked over the way omnivorous cuisine has, I learn new things about cooking almost every time I eat somewhere new. If you've got the time during this busy mofo season, tell about your favorite Vegan Exploring experience.


  1. I would have chosen what you went for! it sounds and looks extremely appealing. sure has my tastebuds going only reading about it.

  2. Food looks really yummy.

    If it's a vacation that we get to choose where to go (meaning not an invite), we'll totally choose a place that has vegan food.

    If it's an invite, I get myself psyched up by searching online for places to eat. we'll be going to SC next year, so we'll be close to Atlanta. I already have way more places picked out than I can go to...