Saturday, 6 October 2012

Vegan MoFo VI, Day 6 - Planning my US trip

This is kinda a cop-out post, but Saturday isn't a "required" day, so suck it.  I was actually gonna make food, but I'm super crampy and can't be bothered, so I'm taking the opportunity to instead plan my trip to the US.  What does this have to do with food?  Well, when I say "plan my trip", I really mean "figure out where I'm gonna eat and what I'm gonna bring home".

I'm starting my trip in New York.  I will eventually be in the city, but I'm starting out upstate in Pine Plains with my mom's side of the family for about a day and a half.  At first blush, it doesn't seem promising, but my plan is to get off the bus not in Kingston (which is nearer), but in New Paltz, where I'll be able to hit up Lagusta's Luscious!  And in case you're wondering, yes, I will be buying the vulva chocolates (hopefully to share with PPKers if I can arrange a meet-up when I'm in NYC).  I might try to convince my grandma to have lunch in New Paltz because it'll probably be home eating the rest of the time I'm there.  Pine Plains is pretty far away from, well, everything, and the places that are near-ish don't have many options.

After that I'm in NYC.  I have so many options and only just over a day.  The only thing I'm certain about is going to Dun-Well Doughnuts.  I freaking love donuts.  I have no qualms about eating a full dozen by myself.  There are only 2 vegan donut options here, and they're not exactly amazing (they hit the spot in a pinch, but meh), so having access to proper donuts is exciting.

After NYC, I'm going to DC for about a day.  I can't get Southern food here unless I make it myself, so I fully intend to go to Soul Vegetarian Cafe (their website is a bit crap, so I won't link it).  I will also most definitely go to Sticky Fingers.  Again, hopefully I'll meet up with some PPKers, so I'll leave any other choice up to them.

After DC, it's on to Chicago, and frankly, looking at the menu, I could eat every meal at the Chicago Diner.  I mean, they put umlauts in words to indicate that these are the vegan versions of the things they're offering!  I'm at least going for brunch when I get there and some other meal (because I'm determined to try the Reuben).

Then it's on to Dallas (well, the Dallas area).  Everyone thinks any part of TX outside of Austin is a vegan wasteland, but Dallas and its suburbs have loads of options, including completely vegan restaurants.  And they're not all downtown or in the swanky gentrified areas!

My first food stop will be Spiral Diner and Bakery.  I went to the Ft Worth location a couple of times when I lived in Dallas, but I've never been to the Dallas location.  I also now like vegetables, so it'll be a brand-new experience.  I'll also be eating several meals at Veggie Garden - not just because my friend Joy owns the place, but because I loved the food since before she took over.  Now that it's all vegan, I can't wait to try as many dishes as I can put in my face.  I also have a soft spot for Fadi's - it's an omni restaurant, but the vegan options are great and they have the best forking pita bread on the planet.  Another friend pointed out D'Vegan, which serves Vietnamese food, including pho.  I'm also determined to find some Ethiopian food.

After Thanksgiving, my mom and I will be road-tripping to Nashville to visit my grandpa.  Since we'll have to go through Memphis, this calls for a trip to Imagine Vegan Cafe.  An awesome PPKer makes desserts for them, so if nothing else, I'll go there for that.  But the menu looks pretty impressive, and they do Sunday brunch, so I see us stopping there both ways.

As if that wasn't enough, my brother and I will then be taking a day trip to Austin.  My plan is to start at Biscuits + Groovy (because it's a restaurant that specialises in biscuits and gravy).  Again, there are so many places that I want to try and not nearly enough time.  I really have no idea where to start.  If you look at Jojo's blog, Vegan in Brighton, you can see why this would be such a difficult choice!

When I was looking at hotels in Dallas, I limited my search to those with gyms.  Otherwise my clothes won't fit on my way home.

So, where else should I eat?  What should I absolutely not miss in NYC, DC, Chicago, Dallas, and Austin?

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