Monday, June 23, 2008


in the elevator today...

Woman #1: They made me eat some vegan cake at the party this weekend.
Woman #2: Vegan cake? What is that?
Woman #1: It's cake with, like, the meat products taken out.
Woman #2: It's been a long time since I made a cake, but I never heard of a cake with meat in it!

Believe it or not, meatcake actually exists. Now who is going to volunteer to make a vegan version of this--maybe with a smiling cow on top?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Not too much going on this month. I'm having friends over for a vegan dinner this weekend; I'll post about that next week. My meals haven't been particularly inspiring lately otherwise. I've been eating things like pasta salad, stir-fries, and veggie burgers. I've also been using the yogurt maker I got for my birthday. I'm making dairy yogurt, but the instruction booklet includes less than enthusiastic directions for using soy milk to make soy-gurt. It does its best to warn you away from that option, since only certain types of soy milk can be used to make soy-gurt. I'm having enough trouble with regular yogurt as it is. It's delicious in flavor, but the consistency is still decidedly thin.

Anyway, I thought I'd write about a few of my favorite vegan spots in DC for anyone who might be visiting this summer. A Northern Virginia installment will follow!

Asylum(Adams Morgan): As HS knows, I kind of hate this place. It's a biker bar by night, but they're locally famous for their vegan brunch on the weekends. Even though it's a favorite place for HS' friends to meet, I always think the food is mediocre at best, and the ambience...well, it's pretty clear that it's a bar. But apparently they have a new chef and things might improve. On the link, scroll down to see the vegan menu.

Dos Gringos (Mount Pleasant): Well, I like Dos Gringos much better. It's actually my favorite brunch place in DC. It is tiny and the most prominent menu is in Spanish. It's not primarily vegan/vegetarian, but there are plenty of options. The great thing about Dos Gringos is that everything is customized. You build a sandwich starting with the bread, and adding yummy things like bean mash or chipotle grilled tofu.

Lunch or Dinner
Java Green (Downtown NW): Guest blogger Hot Slice says: "Try the rice bowl with spicy vegan sausage." I never go to this place since it's out of the way for me (ironic because it's downtown), but I'm going to try to make it there soon. It's a vegetarian cafe where most things are vegan. Everything possible is organic, fair trade, and biodegradable, and it uses carbon offsets.

Tonic (Mount Pleasant): OK, so this place is fairly meat-centric, but what puts it on my heavy rotation list is the half-price burger special, which includes vegan black bean burgers. They're served with tater tots and the half price means your dinner can cost as much as a trip to Starbucks. The dining room is well laid out, with nice booths, and is rarely crowded.

Sticky Fingers (Columbia Heights): This place is a freakin' national treasure. I am usually highly suspicious of ersatz foods such as tofu cheesecake. However, Sticky Fingers is an awesome bakery first and vegan second in my mind. All of the baked goods taste totally authentic. They've also branched out into savory foods. HS and I picked up lasagne and peanut noodles there last week. Everything is vegan. They also make wedding cakes (pictured above). We decided not to have a wedding cake because dessert is already included, but I am set on getting a cake from Sticky's for a special occasion in the future. They have a genius copywriter who uses words like "slathered" and "nestled" to describe their cakes. Mmmm!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Kill your television

I don't watch much TV. Maybe 2 hours a week, plus a DVD about twice a month. My current TV is about 6 years old, and when I turned it on last week, it made a popping sound and a red light fluttered urgently for a few hours. The next morning, the light was gone and the thing was completely dead. (NB: I don't recommend Philips electronics. The companion DVD player died about 2 years ago.)

I was thinking of going without a TV until HS and I shack up in a few months, but HS, for one, was not too keen on the idea (something about the NBA finals, but also, we're really enjoying Flight of the Conchords on DVD).

I rummaged around in my parents' basement for an old TV to hook up in the interim. I unearthed my old TV, a Signature 2000 (two thousand!), which dates from the early 90s. It works fine, but seems to have no DVD hookup. Ah well.

I'm writing this because I've lived without a TV for years in the past, and I'd like to hear from people who have chosen not to have a TV. If you don't have one, are you glad? If you do have one, do you ever want to turn it off for good? I often notice that when the TV is on, all attention in the room is focused on it. I don't think this is good. I used to leave it on most of the evening for background noise, but now I much prefer quiet.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Happy belated World Vegetarian Week!

OK, so I'm a little slow on the uptake re World Vegetarian Week. But I'm at least happy that my birthday fell during it, so I can say I celebrated. This article on Alternet is meant for non-vegetarians, but it still taught me a few things, most notably, that chickens can "worry about the future" and are at least as smart as cats and dogs. I mean, holy crap, if chickens get stressed out, what hope is there for the rest of us?

I have extra reason to celebrate WVW because my father, truly one of the most carnivorous people I know, has decided to cut down on his meat consumption. My mom says he read an article in the New Yorker that talked about all the bad stuff that's in meat and turned him off of it. I'm a little surprised that he is just now finding this out, but better late than never, I guess! If I find out which article he read, I'll link to it.