Full warning: lazy post ahead. I fully intended to blog while on the road but then, I fully intended to attempt to style my hair every day and wear more than the same 3 T-shirt dress in a continual rotation, too – things happen.
A key component of my transition to veganism has been my love of cooking. Finding alternatives and seeing the possibility in ingredients was easy for me because I was already used to looking at them that way.
But on the road, a B ain’t got a kitchen and stress of near-constant travel will make it want to drown your sorrows deep in a family size bag of Lays potato chips (original flavor, natch) or a tub of french fries. That being said, I did manage to find some great – if not always healthy – vegan eats on the road.
Malibu/Santa Barbara – All the Vegan Spreads & Cheeses
The price of avocados in Malibu, CA is traumatizing. They’re delicious but the thud of each one hitting the conveyor belt was an assault on my soul that made me very glad that I do not have children I’ll have to put through college.
It wasn’t all bad though – I tried a new vegan mozza AND discovered veganaise! Veganaise led me to modify this Creamy Dill Potato Salad recipe (added sweet relish) which promptly disappeared during our 4th of July cookout with nary a soul realizing no actual chickens were harmed in its making.
Mesa Verde Restaurant in Santa Barbara was simply amazing. If you’re ever in the area it’s definitely worth a stop.
San Diego/Coronado – What’s a Falafel?
^ A 9-year-old asked me that question approximately 7 times. He declined to try one after each explanation. Apparently, while most fried things are delicious, chickpeas are just too weird.
Malibu doesn’t have Ubereats (so disrespectful) so getting to San Diego, where I could use both that and my Happy Cow app with wild abandon, made me nearly delirious.
I enjoyed a few veggie rolls at Yummy Sushi and had my first delivery vegan pizza from Landini’s in Little Italy. Granted, vegan pizza costs approximately $10 more than dairy but I couldn’t even be mad after I tasted it.
And Cafe Gratitude sealed my fate as an eventual SD resident after I feasted on their Liberated Pesto Kelp Noodles (get some cashew ricotta in your life, immediately) and Committed Falafel Pita. I’m going to have to work out some kind of stock options or an employee discount because I fully intend to give them all my $$.
Cabo – Soy Vegana
I speak a little Spanish so prior to the trip I made sure to translate and practice a few phrases to help me explain my situation to servers. Everyone was incredibly helpful if a little incredulous. If you have a fave Mexican dish in the US, keep in mind that it may not be available in Mexico (I’m looking at you, veggie fajitas). Most of the stuff we order at home has been modified or Americanized from the original. Luckily, french fries and guac are vegan (+ tequila) and basically, every resort has those.
If you have access to a breakfast buffet fill up on fruit in the AM. It will hydrate you and give you a good base. Oatmeal prepared with water is also a great option and if the breakfast potatoes/hash browns aren’t made with butter dig in!
Our chef at El Patron onsite was very understanding and made me special meal using oil since most of their other dishes were prepared with butter. The folks at Neptune Seafood were also very accommodating. It was dark on the terrace, so no pics, but after hearing I was vegan they made every effort to modify dishes as needed and everything they brought out was delicious.