High Five for Friday

I’m having a hard time keeping track of what day is because Nick has been off all week! Yay! It’s been really fun having him around and we were able to sneak away for a few days, so that was an added bonus. How was your week? I’d love to hear about it!

Here are my top five for the week:

1. Last Friday night we got a call from a friend asking us to go bowling, and of course we said YES! It was super fun, even if we all were a bit rusty. 7 adults and 5 kids made for a great night with friends. Lots of fun and LOTS of laughs.

2. Sunday afternoon we had free tickets from our bank to see our local minor league baseball team play. (they are an affiliate of the Minnesota Twins) It was SUPER hot, but it was fun to go to the ballpark and get some fun ballpark food. And you know we snapped a selfie. πŸ˜‰
Kernels Game

3. Nick and I went up to the Twin Cities for 3 days this week and ate loads of yummy stuff I want to tell you about next week. But I’ll leave you with a shot of our favorite treat of the trip. Behold, the Sheba Bar:
Twin Cities vegan fun!

4. We had tickets to a Twins game and we had such a great time! (even though they lost)
Twins game

5. We have a couples massage this morning. BOOM. So excited.

Have an awesome weekend! Do you have anything fun planned?

*Linking up with Lauren
 photo H54Fbutton_zps973d26e1.png

Advertisements

Vegan in the Cities: Day Three

Well, we finally made it. The last day of our most recent trip to the Twin Cities. Unfortunately, this day was our least exciting foodie day, but it’s worth mentioning. (You can find day one here, and day two here)

Remember how I said that breakfast was Nick’s favorite to eat out? You’d have thought we would have gone out to breakfast on Saturday, but apparently we dropped the ball and neither of us remembers what we did. I’m thinking granola bars or (vegan) muffins from Whole Foods or something. Not so exciting. But sometimes necessary on the wallet. πŸ™‚

We did however, stop for coffee. We decided to hit up People’s Organic. We have eaten there in the past and thought everything was great, and we always love when things are organic, so we knew this was going to be a winner.

Morning Pick-me-up

The one on the left was mine. It was a Hemp Milk Coconut Mocha. Nick went a little more traditional and ordered an Earl Grey tea. I had never had hemp milk before, and I was a little nervous, but I figured I’d be adventurous and thought, “I’ll give it a whirl.” (bonus points for recognizing the quote!) It was delicious! Super creamy, coco-nutty and not too sweet. The hemp certainly give it a taste that I had never had before, but it is something I’d definitely order again. Nick said his tea was tasty. He’s a tea man, and he really did like this one.

We missed a few stores in the Mall of America, so we decided to stop by on our way out of town. Plus, I needed to grab a few gluten free cupcakes for Lil Sis for loving on little buddy while we were gone! (read: I needed another vegan cupcake) It got to be lunchtime, and to be honest, there aren’t really a lot of great (chain/franchise) options for vegans and the MOA. We finally settled on Stir Crazy. It’s an Asian Grill which we thought would be like HuHot or Genghis Grill. We LOVE HuHot, so we great hopes for Stir Crazy.

Stir Crazy creations

You can do a Mongolian grill type of dish (instead of a large grill, they have a bunch of woks) or order from a menu. Nothing on the menu really appealed to us, or was really a great vegan option. I liked the variety of veggies, and the option of tofu as protein. However, we were pretty underwhelmed. It didn’t help that our server was AWFUL, but as far as the whole meal went, it was pretty ho-hum. We’d go again in a pinch, but we’d never seek it out again. It’s definitely NO HuHot.

We had so much fun eating our way through the Twin Cities! We hope you enjoyed hearing about all of our tasty finds. We’re headed to Chicago soon, and can’t WAIT to eat our way around the Windy City!

Vegan in the Cities: Day Two

Well, it’s time to talk about day two! We had a lot of luck finding delicious eats on day one and were hoping that day two would be just as good!

It was.

Nick’s favorite meal to eat out is breakfast, so we knew we had to find a killer breakfast place. We stumbled upon the Seward Cafe while researching our trip. The Seward Cafe is not a 100% vegan cafe, but a lot of what they serve is.

Seward Cafe for breakfast

We might have gone a little overboard when ordering. But everything sounded so tasty!

Seward Cafe

What you see pictured was quite the meal. We had ONE (that’s only one, people) vegan fluffy pancake, the Vegan Red Earth breakfast and the Tofu Mock Biscuit Breakfast sandwich with hashbrowns. Let me break it down. The pancake ROCKED. Seriously. Fluffy, squidgy and perfectly delicious. Job well done. Nick LOVED the Red Earth breakfast. It was pinto beans scrambled together with hashbrowns and then topped with Ranchero sauce. It was a bit like salsa and a bit like a chili. He still dreams of this breakfast. I had the Tofu Mock Biscuit. It was tofu, vegan sausage, melted soy cheese & sprouts on a biscuit. It was supposed to be served on an English muffin, but I requested the vegan biscuit. So glad I did! They do biscuits up right! I hadn’t had a biscuit since going vegan and it was perfect. But let me tell you, the real winner of this breakfast was the hashbrowns. I don’t know WHAT they did to them, but they were BEYOND AMAZING. Hands down, the best ever. EVER.

After breakfast we decided to explore Uptown. There are lots of fun, little neighborhoods in the Twin Cities, as with any big city, and we decided to hit this one up because we knew the area a bit and wanted to explore it further. Plus, we had a place in mind for lunch. πŸ™‚ While heading towards our tasty destination, we came across a pretty hilarious sign that made us stop and read it:

Seen in Uptown

While we didn’t end up eating there, the sign did make us stop and think that we need to check it out on our next trip! But on that Friday, we had our sights set on Galactic Pizza.

Galactic Pizza

Their tagline is: “Planet Saving Pizza”. They have lots of fun vegan and gluten free options, and even a CSA pizza that features local, in-season veggies. We had all intentions of ordering pizza, but they had a fabulous half-price pasta bowl lunch special that we just couldn’t pass up. But since we were sharing the noodle bowl, we decided to order an appetizer.

We decided to order the Vegan Garlic Cheese Bread.

Vegan Garlic Cheese Bread

Mmmm. Delicious! The bread was a really chewy, yummy Italian baguette with just enough “butter” and “cheese”. (which we’re pretty sure was Daiya) The sauce they served it with a side of red sauce, which they used on their pizzas, and it was really tasty as well! It was served cold, but it worked. It wasn’t a spicy red sauce by any means, albeit a bit sweet, but in complimented the bread very well. We’d could have easily eaten several orders of this bread!

As for the noodles, we decided on the Thai Peanut Linguine.

Thai Peanut Noodles at Galactic Pizza

Holy cow! That peanut sauce was TO DIE FOR. It was super creamy, sweet, and with just enough heat to balance the dish out. Carrots, bean sprouts, cilantro and greens onions totally completed the dish. While it still seemed goofy that we didn’t order pizza, we were super glad we ordered the pasta bowl. Wowzas. Best Thai noodles I’ve had. We couldn’t stop raving about them!

Next stop was dessert. (if you haven’t caught on by now, I have a MAJOR sweet tooth!) No trip to the Cities is complete (at least for us) without a trip to Izzy’s Ice Cream. We saw Izzy’s on the Food Network years ago when it was featured on an episode of “Throwdown with Bobby Flay”. Needless to say, Izzy’s totally whooped Bobby Flay! πŸ™‚ Every scoop (or scoops if that’s your thing) comes with an “Izzy scoop” which is a tiny scoop on top. It’s fun if you want to try a new flavor, but not quite commit to a whole scoop. My favorite thing to order is the “Dizzy Izzy” which is 5 Izzy scoops! However, we both decided just to go with a scoop each this time.

Izzy's ice cream

Mine is the one on the left. I ordered a scoop of soy chocolate peanut butter with an Izzy scoop of peace coffee. I’ll be honest here and say that peace coffee was NOT vegan. However, it is one of my favorite flavors, and they locally source their milk from a farm nearby, so I didn’t feel too bad about cheating. Nick decided to go for a scoop of soy peanut butter with an Izzy scoop of the soy chocolate peanut butter. Nick and I both agreed that both soy flavors were delicious, but I favored the chocolate peanut butter while he favored the peanut butter. Either way, we didn’t go wrong! Izzy’s is great about always having a soy option on the board. I had just been to the Cities a few weekends before Nick and I went and I tried the soy blueberry on that trip. Mmmmm. It’s always a great thing to walk into a place like that and walk out with a tasty alternative!

Well, we decided to do some random shopping and exploring for a bit. But of course, we got hungry again. For dinner we hit up Pizza Luce.

Pizza Luce

I had been before with Mel a few weekends before (to a different location) and I knew that Nick had to experience it as well. Nick and I LOVE pizza and we couldn’t wait to get our hands on the Vegan Fresh Veggie Pizza.

Vegan Veggie Pizza at Pizza Luce

It was loaded with tomatoes, mushrooms, green peppers, red onions, and black olives with red sauce. We decided to add some jalapenos for heat. You can either get it made with Daiya mozzarella cheese or their house-made “Rinotta” cheese. We decided to try the house-made cheese. We loved this pizza. I think we both would order the Daiya next time, but only because the house-made cheese didn’t quite the deliver the mouth feel we were going for. But don’t get me wrong, it tasted great. Pizza Luce calls themselves the best pizza in Minneapolis. I’d happily agree to that!

One day left to come!

Vegan in the Cities: Day One

A few months ago, Nick and I headed up to the Twin Cities for a long weekend. Nick had gotten us tickets to see a Twins game, and so we just extended our trip a few days to enjoy a long weekend away. We did some research before going to find the best vegan spots around. There were A LOT to choose from! We were pretty excited to go and eat all weekend long! πŸ™‚

The first stop on our trip was the aforementioned Twins game. (which was a noon game that day) Now, eating at a ballpark can be tricky for a vegan, but thanks to our awesome research skills (and Twitter!), we were excited to see there were options. CRAZY AWESOME OPTIONS.

You guys. We ordered a Minneapple Pie! We had read online in a few spots that it was “accidentally vegan” and so I took to Twitter to be sure. Their response was great: “‏Proud to say that our pies are vegan. When creating, we wanted everyone to love it! Thank U!”

Well, we all know what happened then.

It was all I could talk about for the few weeks leading up to our trip. How could I not be excited to eat a delicious, deep-fried apple pie?! Seriously! Well, folks, it lived up to ALL of my expectations.

Minneapple Pie pt 1

The crust was super flaky and incredibly tasty. The filling was warm and cinnamon-y, but not to the point of being overpowering. And it was sprinkled, quite generously, with cinnamon sugar. Every bite was better than the last.

Minneapple Pie pt 2

I don’t know it was because it was THAT good, or because I hadn’t eaten anything like that in a long time, but either way, I’m a fan. Nick and I couldn’t stop talking about how wonderful it was!

Well, after a devastating loss by the Twins, Nick and I headed off downtown a few blocks in search of the Depot Tavern. While the pie was incredibly awesome and tasty, it didn’t quite do the job of filling us up. We needed some real food and a place with some serious a/c! It was a hot one that day!

We quickly ordered drinks: Crispin Hard Cider (on tap!) for me, and an Arrogant Bastard for him. Oh, Crispin Cider, you are wonderfully delicious and refreshing. Good thing I can’t hold my alcohol, or I could be in trouble! πŸ™‚

Drinks & dinner at The Depot Tavern

For the main attraction we ordered the Moshe’s Russet Fries which were Belgian-style and triple cooked. I’m not really sure what Belgian-style means, but whatever it is, it ROCKS. Those fries were (almost) the best I’ve ever had. Nick says they were the best he’s ever had. They were SUPER crispy on the outside and a perfect golden brown. And the inside? Oh, so creamy. And an order was a pound. A POUND.

Vegan full pound of fries!

We knew that we couldn’t live on fries and booze alone, so we ordered some actual food. We finally settled on the Vegan Duck Tacos.

Vegan Mock Duck Tacos

Now, to be honest, I was a little hesitant about these. I like being a vegan, and I enjoy trying new foods. However, I am a HUGE texture person and sometimes the two aren’t very harmonious. I was apprehensive because I thought maybe the “duck” would be weird and squidgy. I was happily surprised to find that wasn’t at all! It had a really nice texture, with a bit of chew (as actual duck would be). It might have been a tad on the sweet side, but nothing that made me think I’d never eat them again. The whole package worked very well together.

After wandering around downtown, securing some aloe vera from THE COOLEST TARGET EVER (Minneapolis is where Target headquarters is located) for my sunburned knees, we decided to hit up the Mall of America. We’ve been there a gazillion times, but it’s always fun to walk around and hit up our favorite stores we don’t have here in Iowa. (like Kiehl’s!)

Well, it’s a good thing we went, and it’s even better think that Nick is super observant because we quickly learned that Cupcake had opened up shop on the third floor! Say what?! Am I the only one who can’t get enough Cupcake Wars?! Well, if you’re out of the loop, this guy won the Grand Champion round. Oh, yeah! Well, of course we had to end our first foodie day with a cupcake. We ordered the Vegan Double Chocolate Delight.

Double Chocolate Vegan Cupcake

Now, I need to admit that I’m a bit of a cupcake snob. I’m totally biased towards Sprinkles Vegan Red Velvet. Have you had that?! OMG. To die for. I’m a firm believer that those babies will be served in heaven. That being said, the Cupcake cupcake was pretty darn good. It had more of a homemade texture to it, and the frosting was silky and thick and not too chocolate-y. It was definitely the best way to end a great day.

Keep an eye out – I’ll be sharing about day two soon!