Month: July 2013

Vegan Adventure California – Part 3

We considered taking the coastal highway back to San Francisco, but ultimately 5 hours in a car was too much for me. Regardless of which way you go, it’s a beautiful drive between Mendocino and San Francisco.

The Coastal Highway –

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Mendocino County –

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I didn’t need the Ravens’ cookie or scone though, because I found a vegan restaurant in Petaluma thanks to my VegOut app. The Sunflower Center is a gluten-free vegan restaurant with a significant number of raw options, but does have a good selection of cooked items (I knew I could get H to go there if it was all raw). H had the shiitake mushroom pizza and I had Lydia’s favorite salad with a side of black beans for protein (adding in what I expected to eat for dinner, I was severely short of my protein requirements on Friday). We shared a mint chocolate volcano for dessert.

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Our road trip buddy

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Coming into San Francisco…

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Vegan Adventure Califonia Part 2

After our sugar overdose, we got on the road towards Mendocino. Some road work and congestion around Santa Rosa made it a tad longer than it should have been. It was a lovely drive through forests and rolling fields of vineyards. We checked in to Stanford Inn by the Sea around 6. H started a fire and we split a chocolate chip cookie, because we certainly had not had enough sugar that day.

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Our first meal at Ravens’ restaurant was on ethnic night. H ordered the special Japanese meal and I got a mushroom sandwich. This was my least favorite meal at Ravens’. The teriyaki was good, but nothing special; same with the sushi. My sandwich, both the bread and the mushrooms were a little dry. The best part of the meal was the roasted potatoes. Still in a sugar shock from Cinnaholic, we skipped dessert.

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The next day we woke up fairly early, as we were still adjusting to California time. At 9:30, we headed over to Ravens’ for breakfast. Breakfast is included in the price of the room, including an entree, coffee and juice. The fresh-squeezed orange juice was delicious. Everything on the menu sounded good and I had a hard time deciding what to order. I settled on the Stanford Inn Florentine with tempeh. H ordered the portabella Benedict. The hollandaise sauce on both dishes was phenomenal. Pre-vegan, I never really liked hollandaise, but I could have licked the plate to get the last drop of this sauce. The sweet potato hash was a good complement.

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I went to a gentle yoga class after breakfast. It was me, a newly wed couple who checked into the Stanford Inn because they were unprepared for the chilly weather during their camping honeymoon, and about 15 elderly people. The average age in the room was about 80. This was a very gentle yoga class using a chair for much of it, but it was just what I needed after a 4 1/2 hour flight and a 4 hour car trip.

Continuing the relaxation, H and I went to our scheduled massages at 1:00. It was 90 minutes of pure bliss. Robin, my masseuse, really went at my back, which has been in pain for several weeks. After massages, we walked around the resort to see the water, llamas and gardens.

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At 4:00, we headed over to the main building for tea, another free treat for Inn guests. The dessert of the day was a plum tart, which went well with my fruity cup of hot tea. H took advantage of half-price cocktails with a Bombay martini.

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For Thursday dinner, we split a Caesar salad with grilled tofu. The croutons weren’t that great, but the tofu and dressing were fabulous. H had Xxx entree and I had the ravioli. It was 4 large raviolis, which was not what I expected, but I’m use to the frozen bags of ravioli you can get at whole foods. This was clearly made from scratch and filled with nutty cheese deliciousness. We finished the meal with a banana split and creme brûlée.

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Friday morning I woke up early and drank a cup of coffee on the balcony while reading Vegan Health and Fitness. At 8:00, H and I went to a much more strenuous yoga class. The yoga room at Stanford Inn is a lovely space. There are forest views and from one corner or the room you can see the llamas. I had never done yoga with llamas watching.

Our last meal at Ravens’ did not disappoint. H loved the portabella Benedict so much, he ordered it again. I had the cinnamon swirl French toast. Not knowing what our lunch options would be, I also got a strawberry scone to go with the last in room chocolate chip cookie.

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Vegan Adventure California – Part 1

Not that I would describe the flights H and I have been on as easy but I can only imagine how hard it will be flying with twins. Our last child-free escape was to California for a vegan adventure. After what happened on our last flight from O’Hare (we missed our flight due to a short, but ridiculously slow moving security line and United closing the gate early), we got to the airport two hours before our scheduled departure time. We breezed through a security line three times as long as the June flight only to find out that our flight was delayed. And then delayed again. And again. We got into San Francisco about 2 hours later than planned, picked up our rental car and checked into a nearby hotel after midnight.

After a leisurely morning at the hotel (Aloft sells soy milk!), we headed out to Berkeley for lunch and cinnamon rolls. We ate at Cafe Gratitude, where we split the I am Magical (black bean burger) and Yo so Bueno (black bean tacos). Both dishes were very good.

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For dessert, we walked over to Cinnaholic and had two amazing cinnamon rolls. H ordered the oreo explosion, but they gave him a s’mores instead: frosting, chocolate chips, crushed animal crackers and Dandies marshmallows. I got the chocolate chip cookie dough roll: frosting, chocolate chips and a mound of cookie dough. I probably gave myself gestational diabetes from eating it, but it was one of the best things I’ve eaten in my life.

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