Monday, March 30, 2009

Spring Break in Lawrence!

I just got done with my LAST spring break ever, folks. Sad, yes, but it was a lot of fun! I got to relax and eat lots of really good food in Lawrence, Kansas with some friends. I couldn't ask for more, really! Surprisingly enough, there is a vegan-friendly town in Kansas!! Lawrence has so many options for vegans, and you don't even have to try that hard!

Let's start with the BEST place to get vegan food (or any food, really!) in Lawrence: Nice Cafe!!!! It is located in the back of the all-vegetarian Casbah Market downtown, and it is sadly kind of hidden away....but my friend Anna works there, so I knew all about this hidden treasure! Mostly Jamaican-style food, but a few other veg classics and healthy smoothies/juices and salads. Just real, healthy, delicious food for cheap. WOW! My favorite thing they serve at the Nice Cafe is their Patties, which are Jamaican savory pastries, like empanadas, and theirs are baked and even made with whole wheat flour! Bonus.Hmmm....what could be inside that delicious little patty??? Anything your little heart desires!My new favorite thing in the world: the Jerk Tofu Patty.
Second favorite thing in the world: the Vintage Patty, which is the Jamaican rice and peas and jerk tofu all in the patty together all family-like. The sauce in the background is their Catch-a-Fire housemade hot sauce that is wonderful because it has good heat AND good flavor, which can be a hard combo to find!!
They also have all sorts of killer sides to go with those great patties: Lentil soup...drizzled with their Good Sweet Brown Sauce (made from yams!)
Housemade Jamaican Slaw, my favorite non-patty item!

Create-your-own-salads....sorry about the bad picture, lighting wasn't my friend. But they have two housemade dressings: creamy mustard and nice nori. mmm....

Onto another delicious eatery: Local Burger! While they do serve meats at this joint, I have to credit them in that everything besides the actual meat burgers is vegan. It's a really cool place and the people are really nice! I like that.
Last time I went there, I got their "Best Veggie Burger in the World" which is made with quinoa and such, but this time I had the Tofu Filet, which is their healthier, vegan version of a fish filet sandwich. It was delicious! Really savory and flavorful, with a little bit of a breading on it. Did I mention the whole wheat bun AND pickles?? How silly of me! And, it came with their side of the day, which was homemade Sweet Potato Fries. I was a very happy girl. They also had two different vegan desserts, and I got the Coconut Haystack, which was so yummy. Of course, I only remembered the whole camera thing after I gobbled it up. woops!
Another place we went for some tasty veg food was La Parrilla, a Latin American restaurant. There were a surprising amount of vegan options there! And the staff was really helpful in pointing out which items were "safe" and whatnot, which was cool.
We started out with the FREE (!) homemade Chips and Salsa...a must with Latino cuisine.
For my entree, I got the Grilled Veggie Rice Bowl, which had Oaxacan rice, seasoned black beans, and a big mound of grilled veggies, with a little dash of lettuce and chili verde sauce. Very filling and flavorful! I hadn't eaten Latino food in a restaurant in a long time, so this was very nice! Next time, I want to try their fried plantains!!!
So, I really did minimal cooking while in Lawrence. One, because I was on my spring break and I wanted to be lazy and served at meals. Two, because there are so many tasty options in Lawrence that I wanted to be able to try them all in just a week's time! But one morning, I did get up and make everybody my Egg McVegan breakfast sandwiches. Everyone has their own version of this, but I like to put a drizzle of maple syrup in mine, to mimic another well-known breakfast sandwich that will remain nameless. You know who you are.

Not pictured is the amazing La Prima Tazza coffee shop that makes killer soy lattes!! Mine didn't turn out so pretty, but it tasted great and was huge and really inexpensive and the barista was nice! Best coffee in town, I say!

I also bought a really old copy of Vegan Vittles at a used bookstore, The Dusty Bookshelf, downtown on Mass Street for like 5 bucks. Yay! Now if I could only find room on my bookshelf for it....


Lisa (Show Me Vegan) said...

what a great break with all that delicious food!

Veganissexy said...

Wow good lookin stuff. You are so lucky there were so many options and choices while you were away. I love when places actually have delicous healthy food to choose from!

Bianca said...

Damn, I need to go to Lawrence, Kansas. That Jamaican food looks scrumptious!

And I adore Egg McVegans. My friend Steph makes some bomb ass ones!

Bianca said...

Hey, on the Teese — I get mine through Vegan Essentials. The new sizes are only $4.99. Shipping sucks, but it's super good so I don't mind.

Note though: the Cheddar is good, but Follow Your Heart is better and more widely available. However, the mozzerella Teese is the bestest!