Category Archives: Where To Eat

Napa Love

Vegan MoFo

Visiting Napa never gets old. Going to the farmer’s market, the Oxbox Public Market, and my favorite wineries is always amazing. Oxbox Market is owned by the same company that owns the Ferry Building in San Francisco, both markets feature interesting cuisine and specialized culinary shops. There are several vegan options at Oxbow: C Casa has tacos with white bean filling, roasted potatoes or avocado, Gotts Roadside has veggie burgers and sweet potato fries and Three Twins has sherbet.

 

Trefethen

Barrel Tasting

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Cafe Brasil

Vegan MoFo

You know those select few restaurants where you fall head over heels for one dish? The food is amazing, so you feel an obligation to order something new every time you visit; however, you just can’t bring yourself to order anything other than your favorite dish. It makes me feel so boring, ordering the same exact thing every time, but it is so darn good I can’t help myself. That is how I feel about Cafe Brasil, an aptly named Brazilian eatery in Santa Cruz. It’s been about a year since I’ve eaten there and I still day-dream about their food.

I try to visit this place every time I’m in Santa Cruz and on the occasions where I don’t I leave with a longing. The dish that has captured my heart is the portobello breakfast. A marinated and grilled portobello with sautéed spinach and garlic with creamy polenta, tomato slices and bread. Back when I was first introduced to Cafe Brasil, I was not vegan and I would order this with a poached egg, but now for a dollar more I get savory sautéed tofu and veggies. Everything on the plate works in tandem to bring out every flavor you ever hope for in your breakfast. The meatiness of the portobello is met by the sharp tang of the spinach with a wave of buttery, herb-flavored polenta.

Polenta Breakfast

I am very big on textures in my food. I like to roll it around with my tongue to get a feel of the food before I eat it. For that reason I love to eat smoothies, high pulp orange juice, chocolate mousse, chia pudding, stew, curry, and, of course, polenta. Polenta is high on the list of textures I love and Cafe Brasil does not disappoint. They also have a fresh juice and smoothie bar, which does give me the opportunity to vary my order up a little bit. Using ingredients like guava, açai, acerola, coconut pulp, avocado, papaya, watermelon, passion fruit, pineapple, mango, and my personal favorite, cashew fruit they make a wide array of tropical juices and smoothies that will blow your mind. I didn’t know until I ate at Cafe Brasil that cashews grow on fruit that looks similar to an apple. Their fruit tastes light, faintly sweet, with a richness similar to that of the cashew itself. With no end to the drink variations I always feel satisfied in ordering something new each time so my order doesn’t seem so predictable.

Cashew Juice!

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St. Patrick’s Day in SF

Ironically the only place in California where it didn’t rain on March 17th was San Francisco; it was icy-cold though. I wandered the streets of San Francisco with some friends enjoying the citywide celebration and Irish pride all over the city. The temperature caused everyone to stand a little closer to each other among the crowds.

Our first stop was the park with a quick vista of the Golden Gate Bridge, I don’t care how many times I’ve seen it or how familiar I get with this city; whenever I see that bridge a part of me thinks of all the tourists and photographs that are devoted to this one particular view. It will never be commonplace.

For lunch we stopped at Patxi’s for some exquisite Chicago deep dish pizza. It did not disappoint. The crisp red ale we ordered paired perfectly with the deep, cheesy layered goodness of the pizza. It’s a 30-minute wait for the deep dish style but it’s well worth it when you sink your teeth into such a huge pie. The spinach, onions, cheese and sauce bring out the best in each other especially when loaded on top of the thick crust with the right amount of crunch; it was perfectly satisfying especially on such a cold day.

In true St. Patrick’s Day spirit we then traveled to O’Reilly’s Pub for some guinness and real holiday celebration. An afternoon full of green lighting, leprechauns, and a few Irish themed drinks definitely set the mood. Did you know that Guinness Extra Stout is a vegan beer? That made me quite happy.

The cap of the day was The Creator’s Project at Fort Mason. Walking through a giant illuminated cube that seemed to produce music spurred by the wind immediately engulfed us in the 3-dimensional experience. Then being packed in a warehouse with tons of people to see Squarepusher with his entrancing artwork moving across screens all over the stage paired with his fluid, rolling sounds as well as the Yeah Yeah Yeahs with their contrasting energy and vibrant performance. It was truly unforgettable. I’ve been to some memorable shows, but this one seemed magical, the raw, experimental aspect of this definitely left an impression.

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