Weekly Review: March 2-8

I survived my very first road trip! It was really nice to have a week off from cooking! It was even better eating food that other people made for me. There were some surprisingly good eats over the past week, and I only cooked once. Most people think that my standards are really high and that I’m a picky eater because I’m a chef, but honestly I have some of the lowest standards for food. As long as it’s vegan, and not totally disgusting, then I’m happy. I just really appreciate the fact that I don’t have to cook every once in a while.

The week started out on a really good note. Mr. VIW and I started in Grand Junction, CO. I had never been there before, so we were just hoping for some good vegan options. There was a pizza place called Pablo’s Pizza near the hotel that advertised vegan cheese, so we decided to try it, as it was the only place that sounded half decent and didn’t require more driving. I wasn’t really craving pizza, so I wasn’t very excited. We built a large pizza and shared it. I was absolutely blown away. They used Follow Your Heart mozzarella and it worked really well. Typically, Follow Your Heart isn’t my first choice, but it was really good and melted well on their pizza. It was definitely in the top three pizzas I have ever had! The next morning, Mr. VIW and I ran a 10K race. I had never actually raced a 10K before, so I figured I would run as fast as I could and hope for the best. Somehow, I placed first out of about 30 women, and second overall! I was really excited about winning, but they had chocolate almond milk and veggie burgers after the race, and that was just as exciting! I was excited about winning and was determined to get ice cream. There was a place in Grand Junction called Yogo Mojo’s that had vegan soft serve. I had never had soft serve ice cream as a vegan, so I was thrilled.

After ice cream, we headed south and stopped for lunch in Moab, UT. We ate at a place I found on Happy Cow called 98 Center. They had a few vegan options clearly labeled. We tried the banh mi nachos, the vegan pho, and the mushroom cheesesteak. It was a really great find. I loved the mushrooms on the cheesesteak, and the pickled daikon/carrots on the nachos. They had unique take on some traditional foods, and I really appreciated that.

We spent the next day in Page, AZ and went to the Grand Canyon. Not vegan friendly at all, so thank goodness I brought snacks! I got some popcorn at the Grand Canyon, and that was it. That evening, we got a really good meal that made up for snacking through the day. We made it to Prescott, AZ and went to a local burger shop called Brown Bag Burger. I had passed the place dozens of times while living there, but never tried it. They have a homemade black bean burger, they have vegan mayo, and Follow Your Heart cheese. I was so pleasantly surprised. It was probably the best vegan burger I have ever had. I am really not a fan of the Beyond Burger or the Impossible Burger, and all other brands are just mediocre because they come frozen. Sometimes restaurants make an alright alternative, but most of the time they either have zero flavor or fall apart. While in Prescott, we tried a pizza place I had also passed dozens of times called Bill’s Pizza. The had the new Daiya cutting board shreds, and they weren’t bad! I typically can’t stand Daiya, but this was good, it was comparable to Follow Your Heart.

After staying a few days in Prescott, we headed back home. Our first stop was in Flagstaff, AZ. We found the first and only all vegan restaurant of the trip! It was a little place called Red Curry Vegan Kitchen in the downtown area. It was an Asian Fusion restaurant, and it was such a relief to know everything was going to be vegan. We ordered an appetizer sampler that had the crispiest of tofus and the first vegan “egg” roll I have had. I got the pad see ew, and it was really good. I really think that anything with wide rice noodles and soy sauce is a winner in my book! After that we made it up to Grand Junction again. We went to a little cafe in Palisade called Slice O Life Bakery on the way home. They didn’t have any labeled vegan options, but their pumpernickel bread was accidentally vegan. They had a veggie sandwich that we just got without cheese and mayo, and it was really good. The people that worked there were really nice, and super accommodating.

The last two meals of the trip were at Mr. VIW’s grandmother’s home, and I actually cooked! I just made a pasta dish with a lot of veggies, but regardless of what it was, it was nice to get back into the kitchen.

I have really enjoyed having a week off. I did do some work while gone, and I took a few orders, but it wasn’t much. I am looking forward to getting back to work and seeing everyone next week!

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