Vegan Fast-Food

universo veganoI never thought I’d be in Rome and stumble across a Vegan fast-food joint, but I did. If you are vegan/vegetarian or need a break from a meat centric diet then check out Universo Vegano @ Via Verdi, 4 – 21013.
The burgers are gigantic and should definitely be shared. Universo veganoThe fajita-like wraps look awesome, I really wanted to try the Veghani Lupino but it was sold out. They offer more like soup, vegan hotdogs, a bunch of sandwiches and potato and soy croquetas. If I was them I’d offer fries instead of their croquetas, they are just too heavy and more than enough bread after eating a burger or sandwich. If you eat here you will be fine ordering less than more because the portions are bigger than you’d expect.

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Madrid Pizza

En Guay Si NYC Pizza: this is not NYC pizza but it is tolerable ninja turtle style pizza with a sub par sauce.  We ate it once but I could have done it again (Tom wouldn’t).  And It just wasn’t worth the commute.  However, they got some good reviews and the guys were nice.  They seemed to have a following.

vesuvioPizzería Vesuvio: One of our favorites.  This place can be hit or miss depending on the man making the pizza.  Madrileños seem to love lots of cheese and toppings overflowing their pizza (as I’ve found some west coasterners like too).  But we are all about the plain old well done margarita pie.  Vesuvio has learned to do this well but when it gets busy it can get too cheesy.  Either way this place, the vibe and the people are great.  I love supporting this place.  And to top it off you can order to go from the street and they have awesome mini pie boxes and a margarita pie runs a little over 5 euros.  You can’t beat that really.

Fratelli d’ Italia: the fairly new up and coming pizza joint in the hood of lavapies.  Good Italian pizza made by Italians, can’t really go wrong.  We like to get the margarita to go because we can always pop it in the oven if it is undercooked and it is cheaper than the other pies.  But they have other types of pies and slices, even secilian slices sometimes.  And it is hard to turn down their cannoli and tiramisu.  Fratelli isn’t your regular pizza quickie joint, they also offer Italian meals but I have yet to try one.

I’m a big fan of Fratelli’s and Tom’s a big fan of Vesuvio; either way you can’t really go wrong with these joints when you’re searching desperately for decent pizza in a mal-pizza educated country.

I could name all of the sub-par places we tried, and maybe I will eventually but all you need to know is that these 3 places will get you by if you have the craving.

Planeta Vegano

planeta veganoI love this place.  They fairly recently expanded and now offer everything you can imagine.  If they don’t have it, just ask and they may be able to order it for you.  This place has all kinds of substitute meats; a variety of sausages, slices, gluten, tofu (although cheaper at the Asian markets), frozen stuff etc.  Every grain and bean you can imagine, sauces, tahini’s, oils etc., veganaise, nutritional yeast, allergen free detergents, coconut oil soap, greenie dog treats, the list goes on and on.  I think they even started to add cosmetics like natural hair dye and nail polish.  I can’t wait to see what they have when I come back.  The owners/workers are super friendly and everything is 100% vegetarian and mostly vegan.

Go support the movement @ planteta vegano  c/ave maria, 34 -28012

Ecocentro

ecocentroWhen I first arrived in Madrid I was faced with jamón, jamón, jamón.  Even vegetarian dishes would arrive with jamón splayed all over or bacon sprinkled on top, or tuna hidden in the dish.  It was impossible to eat out as a vegetarian without knowing the ropes.  Then I stumbled across Ecocentro and was pleasantly surprised to find super fresh greens, salads, veggies, everything you could ask for.  The catch was that you pay per pound so it can add up if you aren’t careful.  All in all the food is good, the service is buffet style so quick, and if you haven’t found a local affordable health food store near you yet then you can find some hard to find items in their market around the corner (but also super pricey).eco

The best place I have found so far, pricewise etc. is Planeta Vegano in Lavapies. What are some of your good health food/vegetarian finds in Madrid?

Calabaza!

calabazaWhen in Barcelona you must visit Calabaza on Sardenya, 240 (cantonada Diputacio).  It is the best lunch for your money in Barca and they have vegetarian options!

toms phone 235It’s a cozy place with friendly staff and the owners are always working.  You can eat in or take out buffet style homemade delicious food.  And the empanadas are to die for!  Open from 11:00 a 16:00 Saturday -Monday and 11:00 a 21:00 Tuesday -Friday.  Also available for caterings (#93 531 33 67).

Teleferico to Madrid’s Farmer’s Market

The first Saturday of each month a farmer’s market is held near Casa del Campo in Madrid.  Exact address is: Pº de la Puerta del Ángel, 4 – Recinto ferial Casa de Campo – 28011 Madrid.During the fall and winter months it is mostly wine, beer sellers and olive oil with a couple of cheese stands here and there.  But it is a good time to be had with friends because you can purchase a wine glass for €1.00 and sample all the Spanish wines.  The market is open from 10am – 3pm.

telefericoYou can do what we did and take the Teleferico from the Estación Teleférico Rosales to  the Estación Teleférico Casa de Campo; it’s a lovely walk through the park to the farmers market.  The Teleferico costs €3.85 one way and you can take the subway back from  Estación de Lago which has the line 1 metro back to Madrid center.  Or have a picnic in the park and take the teleferico back, a round trip ticket costs €5.60.  Just make sure it is running on a normal schedule the day you go.

MV Food Log

I am going to try to make this food post short and sweet

(probably not gonna happen).

-Best pizza on the island and maybe all MA = Giordano’s. Go get a slice, the slices are bigger and better than the pies to go. Really amazing. End of the season people line up to the gills until the last pie is sold out.  Wish I could get a slice now.

-I don’t want to blow up the food cart market on MV but there is now one cart (genius idea) on the V called ArtCliff Diner.  Late night diner food.  Vegetarian options and all.  I can vouch for the falafel and fries.  A filling late night dinner but tons of garlic (on the fries), which i love. at a fairly normal/ to low MV price range for a generous portion.  Long lines and limited parking but perfect for those late night bike rides home or you can probably catch them open at an earlier hour with less of a crowd.  Wish I had land here because this womans diner fail/success is every beach lovers dream.  Check them out when you visit.

-Seafood. well, I can’t really say whats the best because we don’t really eat it.  We’ve kept fish out of our vegetarian diet for years and T’s allergic to shellfish anyway.  But I did break my fish edge this time and tried some clam chowder from the reknowned The Bite in Menemsha.  It was meh.  Long wait for a tiny cup of cream and maybe 4-5 tiny clam morsels. (I guess its’ changed)   This is usually the spot for clam chow but i have to say for breaking the muscle/clam/ameoba barrier it was sub par and not worth the hype.  But no matter where you go on the island I hear the lobster will not let you down.  So don’t stray and get specials, apparently just get the lobster. Read every review on MV.  Lobster customers are never disappointed.

-Ally’s General Store Cafe? (the back ally) has some good vegetarian wrap /sandwiche options.  Not bad if you are in West Tisbury but maybe not worth the ride over if you’re not.

-If you are craving sweeties, then head to Fiddleheads.  Best damn brownies on the island and other good pasteries/bread to boot.  Not to mention if you are missing some hard to find ingredients that Cronig’s Market doesn’t have then this place might have it. Oh my god and PIES i forgot to specify the PIES. so good.

-Oh and if you haven’t ever tried the back door donuts that have been going on forever then you should head around the corner of 5 Post Office Sq.  Unfortunately people have caught on over the years and now you have to wait in a super long line for fresh amazing donuts if you don’t arrive an hour before opening (7pm).  Actually, it used to be a hush hush thing like in many cities where bakers are up at 2 am getting ready for the next day and a local stumbles by and scores a fresh amazing pastery. Now it is a structured marketing gain for the buisness. And totally worth the wait.

Don’t worry about bringing too much over to the island.  There is a  Stop n Shop and its not outrageous pricing.  Also most people say bring your own liquor over if you drink, but honestly liquor was cheaper and beer was steaper but by not too much depending on where you were coming from.  So just fill up on gas if you are bringing a car and everything will be fine because you can still find good deals on this increasingly popular island.

Please share your favorite spots in the comments below.

NY Veggie Update

If you are visiting the outskirts of NYC, just a bit more upstate it can get a little tricky finding some mostly vegetarian menus.  For the most part you can get by with a salad here and there but if you find yourself near Pine Bush in Orange/Ulster County NY then check out Pure City.  Although the main courses may seem quite expensive, the portions are pretty big.

And don’t leave without trying the vegan cheesecake with raspberry sauce, it is amazing.

Ulster County near the towns of New Paltz and Poughkeepsie also has more of a variety of vegetarian restaurants;  One of my favorites being Lemongrass down the main street in New Paltz.  As a college student living in New Paltz, my roomates and I loved using FastLane; which I could see being beneficial to travelers with no car who just want to stay in for the night.  Check it out!

And if you are further south in Orange County, the town of Warwick has a great café called The Tuscan which offers a variety of super awesome wraps, salads, and sammies for vegetarians.  I honestly can’t get enough of their buffalo tofu wrap, and stop in whenever I’m in town.

Feel free to share your NY restaurant suggestions, meat and veggie alike in the comments below!

Maria’s Alemania

If you haven’t checked out Maria’s Alemania Bakery and Restaurant on the corner of Hermano Miguel and Mariscal Sucre then you have to go there right now.  They have the best bread in town; and that is saying a lot because there are a ton of good panaderias in town.  What I like about them is that they make pan de agua.  Most bakeries here only have pan de leche or pan dulce; they are good too but sometimes I want my bread without the milk.  Not to mention, some of their german pastries really hit the spot.  And just like Nectar, you won’t feel embarrassed trying out your spanish there, she’s a great lady.