We love the stuff we do. Recently the Seabirds Food Truck came to our neighborhood and having heard rave reviews everywhere we looked, decided to head down and try what they had to offer...and man, were we impressed! In a world full of fusion kabobs, fancy cheese covered sliders, and bite size fried versions of everything breakfast, the organic, vegan menu of the Seabirds Food Truck carves a healthier path of its own. Owner and founder Stephanie Morgan opened the Seabirds Food Truck in June of 2010 with the goal to "...provide healthy, local food that's convenient and fairly priced". We think she's done a pretty good job! The lines to her truck are filled with veterans and newbies alike, and the girls working the truck are super friendly; couple that with the seriously yummy menu items and you have a recipe for food truck success!
The menu the day we visited!
We found the truck at a local elementary school fundraiser with about 5 other trucks. I was really glad to see that the fact that the truck was serving only vegan food wasn't deterring anyone. We hopped in line and decided on an order each of the beer-battered avocado tacos. The girl at the register was super helpful (and a fellow vegan!) and noticed my newly-purchased 'friend not food' pig shaped necklace, which led to us bombarding her with questions and her being friendly enough to put us in touch with Ms. Morgan herself! Before we contacted Stephanie though, we wanted to see just what those tacos were all about. We found a picnic table to squat on and took our first bites. The soft tortilla was filled with crunchy deep fried avocado, red onion, and cabbage slaw, drizzled with a jalapeño cilantro dressing. It was seriously mind-blowing. I would never even think to coat and deep fry avocado, but it really gives this awesome beer-battered flavor that is like nothing you've ever had before. After we each finished our two tacos we went back and got a third serving to bring to Alex's Mom so she could enjoy them as well...and enjoy them she did! She was hesitant when we said they were 100% vegan, but being a good sport she tried a big bite...and loved it! (I think her favorite part was the jalapeño cilantro dressing :)
Me and the tacos hangin' out in front of the beautiful Seabirds truck!
We got in touch with Stephanie to compliment her on a job well done and ask a few questions:
Fettle Vegan: How long have you been vegan? What prompted you to start your own organic, vegan food truck?
Stephanie Morgan: I've been vegan for 5 years now. A few years ago, I was living in northern California and occasionally would order veggie burritos from a traditional food truck. I wondered if there was a vegan food truck around and googled it but found nothing. I was so disappointed. I figured if I wanted it to exist I would have to create it myself.
FV: What's your favorite meal on the truck's menu?
SM: Any dish using tanaka farms veggies really, but I especially like our Grilled Beets & Beet Greens with Chive dressing and our Truffled Cauliflower.
FV: Most popular menu item on the truck?
SM: Beer Battered Avocado Tacos
FV: Whats your long term dream for the truck? i.e., open more trucks, write a cookbook, convert more vegans?
SM: I wrote my first cookbook a few months ago (available on our website and in theiTunes store). Next is a restaurant in Downtown Santa Ana- hopefully open by Summer 2012. And of course I'm always trying to turn more people on to a healthier and more sustainable way of eating.
Beer Battered Avocado Tacos-from the middle!
We love that Stephanie has created a cruelty free, healthy option in a world generally targeted to carnivores. Her truck is absolutely worth a visit. Its creative and delicious, and surprisingly reasonably priced! Check out their day to day schedule at their website, seabirdstruck.com, or get their updates via twitter @SeabirdsTruck.
I had never been to Las Vegas before Thursday evening. I turned 21 in September and everyone urged me to go as soon as possible but I don't drink, and I'm a total introvert. A place like Las Vegas totally terrified me. Luckily, my boyfriend is pretty neat and decided to plan a nice short, bar-free trip that wouldn't totally overwhelm me. We also figured we could make it a little bit of a vegan adventure and see what kinds of things Vegas offered for vegans...beside beer. We're only about a 3.5 hour drive from the city so when Alex got off of work at 2 pm, we started our drive. Luckily, we didn't hit traffic anywhere other than the slight slowing at the state line. We started being able to see the lights from the strip crest the mountains when we were still an hour out. Wow.
At the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, NV
Once we finally got checked into our hotel and slightly bundled up, we ventured out into Sin City. The whole place seemed to have this constant buzz, though when we first arrived the streets seemed pretty empty. Obviously, Vegas is all about the night life. We walked through casino after casino, gambling away a grand total of 10 dollars! We toured through exhibits, art galleries, museums, indoor atriums and tattoo parlors. There really does seem to be something to accommodate everyone, which was really great. Everything not related to gambling or drinking pretty much closes around 8 pm, but it was really cool to be able to walk around and explore a place with so much history and so exclusivity. I felt like everyone we saw dressing up and partying could have been famous-everyone was so good looking! We went into the Cosmopolitan last, but it was by far my favorite casino...next to Paris that is. The Paris Resort and Casino replicates a french rue (road) with real shops and cobblestone streets lining the way through.
These pictures really don't do this food justice. Stupid iPhone...
When figuring out details of our itinerary, Alex kept consulting a super helpful website he found, Vegas Vegan. The Vegas Vegan is written by a girl who grew up in the city and knows its in and outs. She had posts about different restaurants and what they serve, plus a rating from 1-5 leaves on how veg-friendly they really are. It hasn't been updated in about a year, so its hard to guarantee everything is accurate, but we had no issues with it. We were lucky enough to stumble upon Holsteins, pictured above, on our own though. We walked through the Cosmopolitan's Chandelier Bar people watching and keeping our eyes open for vegan friendly foods on menus we passed for each restaurant-walking around the city totally starved us. Holsteins seemed from the decor that it should be totally off limits; covered in prints of cows and pigs and the cuts of meat they represent-ew. Lucky for us, we read over the menu anyway and found that they home make their very own 'urth burger', a vegan patty served up with avocado, lettuce, and sprouts. The burger was delicious! I ate mine without the bun to avoid some gluten late at night, but the patty was way better without it. You could really taste the flavor and feel the texture of the patty. It tasted baked and when cut open little chunks of real veggies actually ended up on my plate! I got sweet potato fries with the burger and had a few as well. They weren't bad, just very deep fried and not for me, so Alex got double fries that evening. There was only one other vegan option- a garden salad- on the menu. On Vegas Vegans website it would probably only get one green leaf for not having many options, but the burger is so tasty and so worth getting!
Also on the website, we found a vegan donut shop! WHAT?! Donuts? For vegans? In Vegas? For suuuuper cheap? Well then sign me up. I'm a sucker for sweets (I'm sure you've noticed), and I will never say no at least a taste of a delicious treat. Two websites confirmed that this off-the-strip donut shop was vegan, but when we drove there (about 10 minutes away from the strip in Chinatown), we were totally confused. It looked like any other donut shop, and had no mention of anything vegan friendly. Alex was probably nervous at this point...he knows better than to offer me goodies and then refuse them. We got out of the car and headed inside. We opened the door at Ronald's Donuts to a morning group of older couples having breakfast together in a booth and a middle-aged couple behind the counter. We gawked at the hundreds of delicious glazed and chocolate covered things in the case for several minutes before Alex finally asked, "So, we heard you guys have vegan donuts here?" The woman smiled brightly and explained that of the three long shelves of donuts, the entire top two rows (about 80% of their total product) were vegan! AWESOME! We picked out two to share on the car ride home, a glazed cinnamon twist and an apple fritter. These are obviously loaded with sugar, so go easy on 'em. I can say this: these were the best donuts I've ever had, vegan or not.
After our donut excursion we took one last walk around the strip to cash in out gambling vouchers ($0.32!). The strip is a little bit bizarre in the morning. Remnants of GIRLSGIRLSGIRLS! cards littered the streets and no one under 50 was out and about before noon. But, in the daytime you can really appreciate the architecture of the massive hotels and see just how big Vegas really is. Delicious food and exploring a whole new place with my very favorite person was really neat. I think I'd like to go back and see the Beatles Love show and stay in Paris or Caesars Palace. Its such a convenient and entertaining place to visit, but I could never live in a place so surrounded by desert. The temperature changes alone would mess with me. The above picture is the landscape we watched almost the entire way back home. It was a little The Hills Have Eyes-esque, but gorgeous nonetheless. There's even a ghost town on the way, Calico, that you can stop at. Next time, I guess!
Alex and I are visiting Maine this week for the holidays! Last night upon our arrival, my cousin and fellow veg Devin took us out to a local veg-friendly restaurant in Portland. Local Sprouts Cooperative features a menu for both herbivores and carnivores.
With menu items like sweet and spicy tofu, falafel, and fish tacos its hard to pick just one dish. Alex settled on the 'Classic WeeBit Grassfed Cheeseburger' with bacon and a chai latte made with soymilk, while Devin and I both tried 'Rob's Vegan Moonburger' with a creamy aioli sauce and green tea. Each meal came with a side of whatever the house salad of the day is. Ours was a warmed mix of greens, noodles, carrots, onions, and bean sprouts. It tasted like the inside of a spring roll. YUM! I cleaned my plate. The aioli on the bun was the perfect hummus texture, and the patty was a slightly sweet nut-based patty that had a similar taste and texture to baked falafel (see our recipe in the recipe section!).
Rob's Moonburger with Aioli at Local Sprouts Cooperative.
The atmosphere of this place was great. The walls were all hand painted with funky designs, the tables and seating all in curved lines. There was a small stage and piano at the front for when they have in house music. They even told us about a New Years Eve event they're throwing with lots of music and food and invited us to attend! Even the bathrooms were filled with chalkboards and chalk for you to leave your own message. I HIGHLY recommend this place to anyone who gets to visit my home state. I was truly proud to return and find that Maine is offering some delicious and quality choices for its vegans and just generally health conscious people. Afterward, we were lucky enough to peruse the (freezing) streets of Portland and see a vegetarian restaurant called the Green Elephant Vegetarian Bistro. The decor was really neat, but had already closed for the night so hopefully we make it back there this week!