Fresh in Toronto

Fresh is another Toronto restaurant that was recommended to us. We had no idea what we were in for and it was yummers.

Upon sitting we were warned that the kitchen was about 35 minutes behind except for starters and smoothies. So we started with that. In Canada, do as Canadians do and order yourself some poutine! It’s fries with cheese curds and gravy. The legend we were told is that someone was carrying all these ingredients separately and dropped them only to find they were delicious together. Sounds like something I would do! We ordered the green poutine and I got a radiant smoothie. Hubby got a banana split milkshake.

Yummers! The vegan version of poutine works for me! The menu is a bit overwhelming, so I asked our server what was popular and landed on the crispy cauliflower tacos. Hubby picked out the Beyond Meat cheeseburger, as usual. He’s so happy to be eating cheeseburgers again.

The portions were so big! We found this to be true throughout Toronto. We both really enjoyed our entrees and they came out in reasonable time. I guess the kitchen was able to catch up.

Though we were fairly full, we had to try a dessert and decided on the chocolate fudge cake. Though, to be honest, it was hubby’s second dessert after the banana split shake.

It tasted very chocolate and the icing was too much. We didn’t finish it.

The space is cute, but be warned that the tables are super close together if only two of you.

Fresh gets four out of five vegan cupcakes. We really enjoyed our entrees and the poutine. And it’s easy to get full here, so don’t order too much. Yummers!


The Hogtown Vegan in Toronto

Last night we chowed down at The Hogtown Vegan in Kensington Market of Toronto.

The food mimics various comfort foods from the United States. Hubby dug into a Philly Cheesestake and I got the Southern Combo. Both of us also ordered a side Cesar Salad.

The portions are very large. Hubby had so much trouble with his sandwich that his shirt got to try it too. Not complaining.

The food was hot and tasty. Not exactly the flavors we are accustomed to, but yummers nonetheless.

We also had to try desserts. Most of the desserts have cinnamon listed as an ingredient, so I was limited in my options (allergic to cinnamon). Hubby picked out the fried apple pie and I got the fried banana split. Both were wonderful. Hubby said his pie crust was the right thickness and apples thinly sliced, the way he likes. I ate all the banana and ice cream in my dish. Yummers!

The ambiance is casual and we sat outside on a beautiful evening.

The Hogtown Vegan gets four out of five vegan cupcakes. We really enjoyed it, even if the flavors were not what we expected. When in Toronto, definitely enjoy a meal here.

True Food Kitchen in Dallas

Legacy East is a new shopping/eating/living area in Plano, Texas. Dallas is an area made of multiple suburbs and Plano is one of them.

I’m visiting family and they found True Food Kitchen for us all to try. The menu is clearly labeled with vegan options and lots of non-vegan things they wanted to try.

I am the only vegan in my family and I love them dearly, so I am very thoughtful about when and where I talk about being vegan. One nephew is 11 and he has been asking lots of questions so we talk and I am truthful in a way that I know my brother is comfortable. My brother and his family is, in return, very thoughtful about respecting my veganism. I love them more for it.

Anyway, back to the restaurant! I picked out a pomegranate chia limeade that was divine and the ancient grains bowl with tofu that was yummers. Behind my limeade is a fresh apple juice that my nephews fought over.

One nephew got an almond butter, apple, and banana sandwich that he adored and was vegan except for a dipping sauce that can easily be excluded. This sandwich is found on the kids menu.

I really enjoyed True Food. The waitstaff was very attentive. So much so that we had two servers at first to make sure we were taken care of. The space is open and clean.

True Food Kitchen gets four out of five cupcakes. The only drawback was a desire for more vegan options. Maybe something that follows the Whole Foods Plant Based approach.

If in this part of the world, there is confidence in finding something yummers at True Food Kitchen.

OCF Coffee House in Philly

We spent four hours on a bicycle tour of Philly. It was really wonderful. We rode all over the grid of the city learning about the history and the changes. Two of my favorite things combined!

The tour happened from 10:30 to 2:30 without a snack, so we were starving at the end. I couldn’t wait too long before eating, so we stared looking at the restaurants close to the bicycle shop.

The second place we looked at the menu had several vegan labeled options! So we decided to try it out.

The weather was a bit chilly and I really wanted something hot to drink. Vegan hot chocolate? Score!

And my first froth art. Another score! It was delicious.

We ordered the vegan omelet and vegan pancakes. Of course we shared.

Yummers! We really enjoyed everything. And the atmosphere is simple. Clearly people like this place!

Everyone orders at the counter that has assorted pastries, even vegan ones, to choose from.

I would definitely return to OCF Coffee House. It gets four out of five vegan cupcakes. Looking for easy brunch food near the penitentiary? Try OCF. Yummers!

Bar Bombon in Philly

We didn’t want to worry about dinner reservations, so we took our chances to find a fun place to eat. On our last trip to Philly we stoped at Bar Bombon for a snack. I remember we got nachos and plantains. It was yummers, but I never got a chance to blog about it. So when there were two seats available at the bar, we eagerly sat down for dinner.

The bartender was super nice and made hubby a custom drink after a short conversation about what he likes. Hubby always loves when bartenders are willing to make something a surprise. Then, after a brief conversation with me, that included how I don’t drink alcohol, he made me this delicious carrot and ginger juice that I adored. We paired these with guacamole. Yummers! He also made sure we understood everything was vegan, even though words like “cheese” are on the menu. Right up our alley!

Next we ordered enchiladas and a Cubano. The restaurant claims to be Puerto Rican, but it felt more fusion. Both dishes were yummers.

We really enjoyed our dinner. Bar Bombon gets four out of five vegan cupcakes. We enjoyed, but the food isn’t necessarily inventive. We will absolutely return and I recommend trying this place if you get a chance.

The Sweet Praxis in Syracuse

I was randomly taken to The Sweet Praxis while in Syracuse. We stopped for coffee and then I had a giant smile as I realized they have vegan options!

A coffee/tea house with pastries and chocolates. Several vegan items are clearly labeled. I picked out a croissant and peanut butter buckeye.

They went great with my peppermint tea. Yummers!

Such a fantastic surprise and everything was delicious. The Sweet Praxis gets four out of five vegan cupcakes. The place was spotless, the people great, and the snacks yummers. Definitely check out this place when in Syracuse.

Teamo in Venice

Eating vegan in Venice, Italy was the easiest of all three cities visited. Our hotel was not in the main tourist area, which was wonderful. We were able to wander the islands (I didn’t even know the Venice we see today is a series of multiple small islands that have been connected with landfill) and see things others often miss.

Of course we were starving as soon as we arrived. Many restaurants are closed during the mid afternoon so I was thrilled to see Teamo was open and had vegan options. Best part? Sitting outside in the lovely weather.

Of course I had to try the vegan lasagna and gazpacho. Both were incredible! Hubby got asperagus risotto (vegetarian) and the Teamo salad without seafood. The vegan menu is small, but there are miltiple vegetarian options.

Yummers! Not the best lasagna I have ever had, but a yummy option for a hungry dinner. The soup and salad were both excellent.

We enjoyed Teamo so much that we went back a few days later. They must only carry so many servings at a time because the only vegan option available was the burger. Which is not actually a burger and I enjoyed it more than the lasagna. It is two seasoned and mixed with vegetables tofu patties served with your choice of raw or cooked vegetables. I got the cooked vegetables because I also got a salad. Yummers!

Teamo gets four out of five vegan cupcakes. Very worth enjoying when in Venice, especially if the weather allows for sitting outside on the calm street/sidewalk.

Berbere Craft Pizza & Beer in Florence

Berbere is a small chain across Italy and yummers!

Looking for a fun evening meal, I found Berbere through Google. One of the reviews had mentioned a vegan pizza. Hubby adores pizza and when in Italy…

This place has an honest to goodness wood burning oven that cooks pizza super fast. I sat right at the bar where pizza is prepared and really enjoyed watching how simple they made it look.

Although not labeled, I asked for the vegan option. It is seasonal and during my visit they had a beet cream pizza with sautéed green onion and olive.

The dough with beet cream was placed in the oven with onion and olive added at the end. A tasty combination, but would have benefited from more beet cream.

Hubby adored his pizza of tomato sauce, mozzarella, and basil. Not vegan, but he thinks it is the best pizza he has ever had. We also started with a bowl of olives that were very tasty.

Best part of Berbere? It’s half a block from Sweethings. Us and another couple both stopped at Sweethings to pick up dessert and then headed to Berbere for dinner with our little boxes. The other couple, Florentines, said we had gotten the best dessert and pizza in town. They also got the beet cream pizza.

After dinner we walked back across the Arno River and stopped to watch the sunset. A glorious evening!

Berbere gets four out of five vegan cupcakes. It was wonderful, but only one option and a bit dry. Worth enjoying when in Florence. Yummers!

#Raw in Florence

After so many days of heavy pasta and bread, I was thrilled to try #Raw in Florence. Hubby doesn’t normally go for raw restaurants, but he had already eaten a big brunch. It meant I was able to enjoy on my own.

A very cute place just south of the Arno that offers pre-assembled grab-and-go options, made to order smoothies and bowls, and options from the kitchen.

I picked a smoothie bowl of greens, banana, and peanut. All bowls come with granola and fruit.

I was in heaven. My bowl was delicious and just what I wanted.

#Raw gets four out of five vegan cupcakes. My dish was wonderful, but the grab-and-go options looked old. They were browning around the edges and didn’t inspire me to try. The staff was nice enough, but when my meal was ready they asked me to come inside to pick it up; I sat at a table outside. The table next to me got everything delivered. They were American too, so I am unsure why we were treated differently.

Le Fate in Florence

Hubby wanted more Italian food and I want to have an easier time eating, so I found Le Fate. Honestly, eating in Florence has overall been much easier than Rome and I have serveral places to share about.

Le Fate is adorable. We arrived too early as Google indicated it opened at 6:00, but really opens at 7:00 for dinner. The cute bench outside helped us enjoy the evening till 6:10 when we were invited inside to wait until the kitchen staff was ready for us. A glass of wine for hubby and a glass of water for me kept us company during an exciting discussion of current events and the time passed quickly. At 6:45, we were invited deeper into the restaurant to start early. So kind. The waiter had asked the kitchen staff to be ready early for us.

A clean and adorable dining room welcomed us to a fully vegan menu in Italian. Our waiter, already knowing we don’t know much Italian began to explain all the options for us. The choices sounded incredible and we just went with our gut.

As a seasonal menu, I highly recommend just enjoying yourself here.

Although we didn’t order it, we were each provided with hummus and veggies to start. A very mild hummus that just made us want more food.

Next came a house made rice cheese plate.

The cheeses were very mild and paired nicely with the jams. Hubby super enjoyed it. I was happy the rice cheese had a nice creamy texture.

Next came house made spaghetti and I got a black rice dish.

Hubby felt it was the best spaghetti he has ever had, even told the server this (he’s normally fairly reserved). I thought the sauce was very mild. The rice dish was incredible.

Next was a cold veggie dish for hubby and eggplant parmigiana for me. The cold dish was very good. My eggplant was, can you guess? Mild.

Of course we had to try dessert. They had two different ones, so we got one of each. A chocolate thing with chocolate cake crumbles in it and a fruit tart with cream.

My favorite was the chocolate. I wasn’t a big fan of the tart, but it was good.

Hubby feels El Fate deserves five of five vegan cupcakes. I think it gets four of five vegan cupcakes and since this is my blog, it gets four. I highly recommend enjoying this restaurant when in Florence, but the flavors could be more vibrant. Our server was wonderful and to open a bit early for us was a gift. As usual, they didn’t know I would be writing a review. Yummers!

Oh, don’t accidentally land at Il Vegetariano just down the street. We didn’t try it, but it’s not the same place.