Who doesn't love a good recap post, eh? While going through all of my pictures from 2010, it should be no surprise to you that I found a LOT of food pics in the mix. Here are the most memorable meals of the last year for me.
Those two dishes probably look familiar to many of you. They are the dishes from the trip that brought me to start this blog. The first photo is of a bowl of "sip" at Food Fa Life in Salem, Jamaica. "Sip" is what differentiates vegetarian soup from meat-based "soup." (How clever, right?!) The second photo is of the meal we were served following the sip. I fell in love with this little eatery, that was basically a mobile home on the side of the road, run by one beautiful woman, using one tiny stove, covered in big steamy pots. The owner sat with us while we ate and we had a lovely conversation about religion, politics, vegetarianism, the environment, and just the way of the world. I regret not taking that woman's picture.
The most hilarious meal of the trip - and of the year! - was this "veggie wrap" that was served while at the resort.
It was filled with nothing but shredded lettuce and diced tomatoes. Thankfully, the rest of my meals were quite nice while I was staying at the resort. I couldn't help but laugh when this came to the table, though.
In 2010, I had vegan dim sum for the first time at Bo Ling's in Kansas City, which was a really interesting experience, though quite expensive. The dishes to choose from were hit or miss. Here are the ones I liked the most.
spongy seaweed-turnip cakes
The opening of Fud in Kansas City was definitely a highlight of the year, and I know I wasn't the only one anticipating the opening of its doors. I had experienced owner Heidi's culinary magic a few times before through her raw "cooking" classes and home dinners. I knew amazing things were in store at her restaurant! Because her restaurant's hours weren't quite compatible with my schedule for most of the year, I was only able to eat there a couple of times. Here's what I greatly enjoyed.
raw blueberry cheezecake with agave drizzle
chocolate chip cookie with cashew soft serve
NACHOS! In my opinion, the BEST item on their menu.
Switching gears to the sweeter side, let's talk about frozen desserts, starting with overly-trendy Glace' near the Kansas City Plaza. How could anyone say no to pineapple-cilantro or lemon-basil sorbets?
Glace' always had a line winding out the door and down the sidewalk, so I did not frequent this place often in 2010. However, when a Yogurtini opened nearby and I discovered they always offer at least one sorbet, I knew I had found my back-up plan.
Yogurtini offers PLENTY of vegan toppings: various nuts, various fruits, coconut, graham cracker crumbs, cereals (if you have a super-sweet tooth), and a couple of sauces, including agave nectar.
Malay Cafe in North Kansas City was probably my favorite (Kansas City) restaurant of 2010. I'm still dreaming about their gado gado (hold the eggs, though).
During my Pacific Northwest Road Trip, I ended up at a seafood restaurant with my (not-veg*n) companions. I wasn't able to phone ahead, so I kept my expectations low. The staff I spoke with were very friendly, though, so when I was told I'd be getting "jasmine rice cakes and grilled veggies," I was expecting a little more than this.
Oh well! Luckily, my meal at Sky City, on top of the Space Needle, surpassed ALL of my expectations and quickly became the best meal of the trip. I still dream of this heirloom tomato salad.
The rest of the meal paled in comparison to it, but was still excellent.
Other memorable Washington meals:
black bean balls at Darby's Cafe in beautiful Olympia
The Bloom Burrito at Bloom Organic Cafe in adorable Bellingham
I also had a taste of their lentil nachos, which were superb.
I ate hominy for the first time at Pepper Sisters and enjoyed it
The award for Best Fried Tofu of 2010 goes to...
Nimbus, located on the top floor of Bellingham's tallest building
Visiting Portland, Oregon - the Vegan Mecca - was such a treat. Unfortunately, a few days isn't enough time to try it all. (I'd probably need a month.) Still, I ate well during those few days. You better believe I'm already planning my To-Eat List when I return in 2011.
The Vegan Voo Doo Doughnut
cozy seitan stew at Vita Cafe on a cold and rainy Portland night
vegan poutine at Potato Champion
At the Boise Fry Company in, you guessed it, Boise, I ate some unforgettable Okinawa sweet potato fries with blueberry ketchup and vanilla salt. I'll probably be talking about these fries for years to come.
Not the most enticing picture, I realize, but just take my word for it and board the next flight out of your nearest airport to Boise right now.
My favorite meal of my South By Southeast Road Trip/Move was at Wild Cow in Nashville. I just love everything about this place.
A close second (and third) of the move would be my stops at Flaco and Reggae Shack, both in Gainesville, FL.
An impromptu road trip to the new Babycakes location in Orlando was a sweet little venture.
My Vegan Thanksgiving in Tampa was certainly the most memorable Thanksgiving I've ever had.
2010 was a year rich in travel and excellent food. I didn't realize how much traveling I had done until I started recapping my year through pictures. I'm overwhelmed with gratitude for all the amazing opportunities to travel that came my way this past year. Going through all of my pictures also put things in perspective for me. 2010 was a stressful year for me; I had a lot of negative things happen to me and weigh on my mind. In going back through my pictures from the year, I realize that 2010 is one of the most amazing years of my life. I'm so thankful for everything that happened to me: the good and the not-so-good.
This has filled me with great excitement for 2011, which is already bound to be a year full of surprises. I can't wait to share it with you, my readers.
I wish you health and happiness and adventure in 2011. See you next year!