September 10, 2012

Backtracking

TLT With Avocado at The Green Owl
As I've already mentioned in previous posts, this has been a long (a good thing) and crazy (some questionable aspects) summer, and my posting so far has been out-of-order and disorganized, with lots of holes. This is a little hard on me, as a somewhat organized person, to deal with. Do I just forget about posting stuff from July and early August and move on, or keep sneaking old stuff in to more current posts? Do I review books that have been waiting in a pile, post recipes I've tried recently, or talk about restaurants from the summer? I think I should stay in the present, but it's no use pretending that it won't drive me nuts to just ignore July and August. I think I've got to get through the summer antics before I can move on to the present. It will just bug me if I don't. Lucky for you (or not, if you like travelogs) I barely broke out my camera, so there are relatively few photos, and many are of the phone variety. I guess I'll just start with the Midwest portion of the summer today, move on to the Oregon Coast, and then tackle recipes, cookbooks and such.

Greek Salad at The Green Owl
Let's start with Madison, where we spent most of July. Most of the restaurants in Madison tend to be vegan-friendly, but there's only one certified vegetarian/vegan restaurant in town — The Green Owl. Every summer we end up going there multiple times but never get tired of it. We go out to eat a lot with friends while we're in town, and it was especially true this summer when it was super hot for much of our visit, and no one wanted to cook. Most of our friends are omnivores, but they are always willing to hit up The Green Owl. The sandwich at the top of the post is a TLT With Avocado and a side of roasted potatoes, and it was delish. Green Owl makes its own GF bread and I like it better than wheat bread. My husband always orders a Greek salad with lemon-grilled tofu instead of ricotta. The little white blobs are cauliflower. One night we even had a slice of amazing raw, GF coconut cream pie, but alas, I gobbled it up before I even thought of taking a photo.

Another place we enjoy visiting is The Nile, which serves great Middle Eastern food. On one of our visits I ordered a cup of lentil soup and a mixed platter, and though I checked on the veganness of everything, it still came with yogurt. Oh well, easy to remedy. One of the reasons it's easy to eat out as a vegan in many of Mad-city's restaurants is thanks to Dave, the organizer of the Madison Veg Meet-Up group. He works closely with restaurants to provide vegan meals for Meet-Up events, and the restaurants learn how to provide meals for vegan customers. Now, when we say the word "vegan" in restaurants where meet-up events have been held, they know what we mean. Kind of.

We tried some new places this year, and one of them was Umami Ramen and dumpling Bar. As you might expect, this is not an ideal place to visit if you are both vegan and gluten-free. Though you can find something to eat. It's not especially easy being just vegan here, either — I'd describe it as limited but possible. I had a bowl of vegan ramen which was  very tasty. Behind my soup you can see vegan dumplings and edamami.

That's all I've got for Madison, though it's just a sampling of the restaurants where we dined. It doesn't, for example, include a vegan meet-up at Ian's Pizza which was pretty interesting. (Anyone for mac 'n cheese pizza?) After the event, Ian's decided to make every Monday night "vegan night." It wasn't that long ago that I was unable to go to Ian's for lunch with co-workers because they couldn't come up with a vegan slice. Thanks, Dave!

When we travel between Seattle and Madison we tend to spend nights in the same towns every year, and though we have favorite places to eat in the towns, on this trip we went to a few restaurants we had never been to before. Both on the way out, and back, our favorite (and the only) Ethiopian cafe in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, was closed for various reasons, and we were forced to find a new venue. We ended up at Tokyo Japanese Restaurant. Our server seemed to understand our request for vegan food and steered us towards the available options. I had edamame, veggie sushi and veggie soup. All were better than I'd hoped. My husband had a veggie and udon noodle dish which he seemed to enjoy. Now we have two places to eat in Sioux Falls!

Stolen from the Community Coop Web site. Sorry, Coop, please don't sue me.
On the road, we tried a new tactic for making the trip more pleasant this year — on both the way there and back, we stopped at a couple of places to relax a bit to enjoy a snack or a short tour. This actually made the day's drive seem shorter, though that seems counter-intuitive. In both directions we stopped at the Community Food Co-op, in Bozeman, Montana. We love the beautiful Coop, especially the top floor restaurant and juice bar. On the way to Madison we stopped for tea and green juice, and took advantage of the free wifi to register for the next Vida Vegan Con. On the way back to Seattle we stopped for green juice and also to purchase a tee shirt for Miss E.

We also stopped in Sheridan, Wyoming and had dinner with Laurie, the blogger extraordinaire who writes Mehitable Days, and her delightful husband, BW. Now, I hope Laurie will still be my friend after she sees this. Although my husband and I thought the photos I took of them were very nice, Laurie and her husband hated them, and I promised not to put them on the blog. But, I had a little fun playing with the images to make a collage, just to prove we were actually there! They took us to Olivia's Kitchen, a Mexican restaurant we had never been to, and we all had delicious burritos. Sorry, Laurie and BW, but you have to admit I disguised the two of you well! I promise never to take your photo again. I will only take pictures of food.

I'm not going to disguise the fact that I was thrilled to see Laurie wearing a t-shirt I designed. What an honor that she chose to own it!

At the Missoula farmers market.
In Missoula, Montana, where we spent a night, we visited the downtown art walk in the evening, and the farmers market the next morning. At one of the galleries on the art walk there was a very large, arresting painting of a cow that I was completely taken with, but it was so expensive, as in thousands of dollars expensive, and so incredibly large, that I reluctantly had to leave it behind. At the farmers market, I was surprised at the lack of organic produce, but we still managed to snag some Flathead cherries, and a melon.

I didn't take nearly as many travel photos as I usually do, but I thought this one came out really well considering I took it with an iphone pressed against the car window! I might have to paint it.


And I'm very fond of these cloud shots, taken with the same method.

The last little unplanned side-trip we experienced on our way home was a tour through the historic silver-mining town of Wallace, Idaho. You know how you can pass interesting-looking places over and over and never stop for a look. Wallace is one of those places. It has a shrinking population of fewer than 800 people and seems to keep adding festivals and events to help keep the town alive.

Every downtown building is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Peeking into the Silver Tea Room and antique store.
While walking down the street I met a man who was visiting Wallace with his wife (she was in the jewelry store) who told me they had come for a night but had had so much fun they extended their visit by a few more days. They loved the hotel, the shops and the restaurants.

I took a photo through the window of the Real Estate office, in case anyone thinks Wallace might be a fun place to live — lots of festivals, good skiing and bike trails in a beautiful, historic setting. Not sure about jobs, though.

That about wraps up July.


34 comments:

  1. Yeah, I have a hard time just skipping over things, too, no matter how long past they are - especially when I already took the time to photograph meals and such.
    The travel photos are really nice! I've never taken a road trip, really, so it's cool to see some middle America.
    Laurie seems like a super nice person, from what I can glean :)
    All the dishes sound really great, but I think I like yr husband's salad the most!

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    1. I think we share many "quirks." Never been on a road trip? "Road trip" is my middle name. Most of our family vacations involved a road trip of some sort, and now of course, we've been car-tripping between Seattle and Madison the last three summers. That's getting a little old, though. We're considering a trip to San Francisco, which will be short by comparison.

      Laurie IS a super nice person, but she hates seeing photos of herself. I almost always hate photos of myself, too, so I understand. I just hope she's not too mad at me.

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  2. Oh! I feel a Vegan MoFo theme emerging!!!
    I like your cloud pics a bunch, too!
    Looks like I like exclamation marks tonight.
    xo
    kittee

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    1. A vegan MoFo theme? What? What? The sky was fabulous and I just couldn't stop taking photos. I have to find out what that particular formation is called.

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  3. beautiful photos! all that food look so amazing!

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    1. Thank you. We ate pretty well on the trip.

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  4. Phew, Andrea; you seem much more organized than I am, so it's especially refreshing that your posts can get backed up as well. I have more drafts than I should and many more photos.

    That travel photo is gorgeous; I had no idea you painted in addition to everything else. Who needs to buy art when you can make your own?

    So, you're going to VVC again. I'm going to have to skip it, but am hoping to make Chicago.

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    1. My need to be organized exceeds my skill — I have a lot of drafts, too, and tons of unused photos.

      Much of my art is still in Wisconsin, but we brought a few pieces back with us this summer. Of course, most are still wrapped and others are leaning against walls. So much for organization.

      It was a spur of the moment decision to go to VVC - not sure I'll make it to Chicago, though. You should definitely aim for Chicago since it's such a short fight from NYC.

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  5. oh my gosh, what a month of adventures! How fun. I love that a resourceful vegan can happily enjoy life and find things to eat just about anywhere!

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    1. It's true that a vegan can usually find something to eat, but my favorite kind of restaurant is a vegan (or vegetarian) one where I don't have to play 20 questions. :)

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  6. I'm glad you're posting about your summer because I love reading about it! We're planning on going to the Green Owl (and something else special, which I'll post about) sometime soon. Maybe even this weekend. :)

    That's wonderful that you got together with Laurie & BW! Such an adorable shirt and how on earth could they ever take a bad picture? They seem to be a very photogenic couple, IMO.

    Real estate looks pretty cheap in Wallace. Not a bad place to invest in a house if you can find a job!

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    1. I hope you enjoy the Green Owl. I think I've tried most of the menu items if you have any questions. :)

      I think Laurie and BW are extremely photogenic, but they don't think so, so I couldn't print their photos without the "disguise." It was fun playing with the images, though. I'm a little nervous about it, and even worse is the fear Laurie might print the photo she took of me!

      Delete
  7. I'm the same way- if I have unused posts, it makes me a little crazy. I mix in old stuff with new stuff all the time. :-)

    Your restaurant eats look amazing, especially the TLT at the Green Owl. Yum!

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    1. Yes, I sometimes mix in old stuff, but when I have a whole post worth of old stuff ... well, you understand what has to be done. :)

      This was my first time ordering the TLT, though I've admired it on other people's plates before. I was trying to break out of my usual rut and try new things, and I had something different on every visit. "Yum" sums it up.

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  8. Ah, I fret about missing things and posting out of order as well! The ol' OCD makes me get a little twitchy when I think about it. :) I like this big ol' recap post of yours though.

    I've been meaning to try Umami for a while, and I've been curious about The Nile as well - now they're definitely on my list of new places to go in Madison. :)

    Finally - I like that shirt design! :D

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    1. We get so caught up in visiting all our old favorite places that we forget to try new ones, but this visit took us to several new spots. Too bad I was such a lazy blogger and failed to take photos. We also went to Ha Long Bay Vietnamese & Thai Bistro on Willy St. (We went with friends who said this was their favorite restaurant.) We liked Sa-Bai Tong on Odana Rd., and we always go to Monty's once for a greasy hit.

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  9. My name is Marge and I am from the Community Coop, I see you swiped a picture off our site, the pic of a woman in flip flops who just so happens to be our attorney. Ahem.

    Hey, Andrea sorry about Marge. She just doesn't like flip flops. What a beautiful travel food log. I have seen clouds from both sides now, but these are super pretty. Great post.

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    1. Oh shucks, Marge, I thought you'd get in the co-op spirit and let me slide on this. I mean, everyone steals stuff from the Internet except me, and I thought, just this once ... But, anyway, thanks for the compliments.

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  10. Replies
    1. Thanks. You're not thinking of stealing the design, are you, you know, because of the photo. But just so you know, someone already has.

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  11. We'll let you go this time, Andrea. No we understand copyrights. It's your image. Who stole it? We can take care of that.
    Was it somebody with the initals MR?

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    1. I don't know who copied it and I don't really care, though they copied the words, flourishes and arrangement — can't remember if the bird was there too. I always do searches when I plan a design to make sure there aren't already similar ones, and there weren't any I could see. Oh well. Now there are two. I always worry that it was me who duplicated, but I don't think so. Once I had a design pulled because I used the words "kiss the cook," and someone copyrighted those words! I changed mine to the less catchy but still un-copyrighted, "kiss the chef." :)

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  12. The GF bread looks so good! Better than wheat is a big compliment.

    Your shirt is very pretty. Maybe you should do a giveaway for one. ;-)

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    1. I tried to get their bread recipe but was unable to.

      The giveaway idea is a good one. I'll have to give it some consideration!

      Delete
  13. Your mid-west food looks good, but you know what is missing? Ecopolitan and French Meadow and Common Roots and all the other great vegan places in Minneapolis, lol! You are missing out :-) Just kidding--it looks like you were actually able to find some decent food in SD, which is impressive!

    Courtney

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    1. One of these trips we should head to Minneapolis, but unfortunately it's not on a straight path along our route. One day, though ...

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  14. I second the giveaway idea! This post actually reminded me that I've thought about buying one before. You could do one during mofo.

    The salad looks especially good to me.

    That looks like a neat town.

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    1. We'll see about the shirt. They're a little pricey, but you guys are worth it. :)

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  15. Oh, I forgot to also say that's neat you had dinner with Laurie. And it was a good idea, I think, to edit the photos that way. That's what I should have done with Maud's.

    Regarding your car trip food post, was your car always dirty when your boys were little? Or not? Ours is atrocious after road trips. And since we take road trips a lot, our car is always atrocious.

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    1. Well, I haven't heard from Laurie so I'm hoping it's because she's busy with her new house and not because she was speechless.

      Jenny, our car is always dirty now, so I don't think I can blame the kids. But, maybe it was dirtier when they were around.

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  16. Oh, the meal from the Nile looks right up my alley (yogurt aside, of course). I've got to try that the next time I'm in Madison, in addition to several trips to the Green Owl. :) I'm so glad you've decided to sign up for Vida Vegan Con! I look forward to meeting you! Great job on the shirt design. Super cute!

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  17. The Nile is a great place to eat. The owner used to be part of our favorite Madison Middle Eastern restaurant, Lulu's, that is now closed, and the menu is similar to the old one. It's not far from The Pink Poodle.

    I look forward to meeting you, too, in Portland. It should be a great conference.

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  18. LOL - You are a wicked, wicked monkey!!! Good thing for you I WAS too busy with the new house, I missed this one completely and if you hadn't just fessed up on my blog, I would have gone on being merrily oblivious. Molly didn't even rat you out! :-) I have to admit, it was funny and you did a very good job editing the photos, though you managed to make us look even more hideous than we did in the original, but at least now I can blame the special effects. And you slightly redeemed your devious duplicity by posting that superbly flattering photo of my bodacious tatas. LOL

    Just remember, I do still have the photos I took of you guys... you'll never see it coming! ;-)~

    And to everyone who liked the shirt, it is adorable and I highly recommend it! And thank you for your kind words, FoodFeud & Molly! And you too, Andrea, of course. :-)

    The food all looks delicious, especially that turquoise bowl full of goodies!

    Wallace looks like a town worth visiting for sure, I love quaint little historic towns like that! Good for them for keeping the place vibrant, despite their population drain. And we've got to get back to Missoula soon. Haven't been there since our honeymoon nearly 25 years ago! Shameful. I love your scenic shot through the window - impressive! Though seeing that vile smoke hanging in the distance brings back unpleasant memories!

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    1. Now, now. I didn't think you looked hideous in the original photos and neither did Ken, but I don't think anyone would recognize you after seeing the edited versions! And they're not hideous either. I probably should have kept quiet about this because I DON'T want to see the photos you mentioned.

      The shot through the car window as we sped down the highway was a surprise. Who knew that was even possible?

      Delete

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