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Almost raw in Dallas (again!)

November 1, 2010

We interrupt this scheduled programming to bring you…a surprise road trip post! Matt and I drove down to Dallas for Halloween weekend. (If you hadn’t noticed, I LOVE Dallas.) Before we left Oklahoma City on Saturday afternoon, we stopped by (where else?) 105degrees for a couple of smoothies. Matt had the Blue Bee Milkshake (again), with blueberries, local honey gelato, white chocolate, and bee pollen. I had the Strawberry Seduction, a blend of strawberries, banana, almond milk, cacao nibs, and coconut butter. 105degrees seriously has some of the best smoothies you’ll ever taste.

When we reached Dallas, we went straight to Cosmic Café, a quirky vegetarian joint about which I’ve written previously. Matt ordered the No Bull Burger, a black bean patty with mushrooms, onions, lettuce, tomatoes, and sprouts.

I ate a non-raw meal for the first time all week, the Cosmic Stir. It was a stir fry with asparagus, broccoli, bell peppers, onions, carrots, squash, snow peas, ginger, and tofu. It was served over brown rice, and I ordered a side of beans. This really hit the spot.

It was Matt’s first time at CC, so we had to order their Sweet Awareness dessert, my favorite. It’s simply peanut butter, tahini, honey, and sliced banana, wrapped in naan and served with a side of mango-syrup-drizzled whipped cream. LOVE!

So, clearly, I broke my recent all-raw status and had cooked veggies, soy, gluten, and even a bit of dairy all in one meal. Oh well! I was actually looking forward to getting back on track, though. After a late night out on Saturday, Matt and I had planned to hit up Bliss Raw Café & Elixir Bar for Sunday lunch. We loved it the last time, and we knew before arriving which elixirs we wanted. I ordered the Hemp Horchata, with hempmilk, agave, and cinnamon. So silky, smooth, and luscious! Matt got the Paradise Lemonade, with goji berries, aloe vera, tocotrienols, coconut oil, agave, and lemon. It’s tart, tangy, and tasty.

For his entrée, Matt ordered the California Pizza, a flax-apple crust topped with pignoli cream, basil pesto, a pineapple pico de gallo, and nice, fat slices of avocado. So incredibly good! The sweet crust and pineapple salsa mingle wonderfully with the salty cheeze and pesto, and the creamy avocado ties it all together.

I got the Greek Wrap: two romaine leaves full of raw tahini hummus, cucumber, olives, tomatoes, guacamole, carrots, black sesame seeds, and a dab of hot sauce.

I really liked it! Lettuce and all. Matt insisted on committing this rare leaf-eating occasion of mine to film again, also taking the opportunity to laugh at how messily I ate the wrap. Hey, I couldn’t help it!

As soon as Matt laid eyes on the chocolate mint cake that was brought to another table, he wouldn’t accept anything else for dessert.

Now usually, I’m not a fan of mint, but in conjunction with chocolate I often do enjoy it. This cake, with its nutty cacao crust, flufftastic mint mousse, and rich, smooth chocolate cheezecake layer was beyond enjoyable.

Beyond compare, even, I’d say.

We left Bliss full and happy, and moseyed over to the new Whole Foods nearby to pick up snacks for later.

This was the biggest Whole Foods I’ve ever been in, which was cool enough, but you should have seen our jaws hit the floor when we found this right smack in the middle of the store:

That's a full-service wine bar, with an actual bartender and an actual bar, and a menu offering a variety of wines, cheeses, and beers. In a grocery store! Oh MAN! Too insane! We couldn’t get over it.

When we finally forced ourselves to stop ogling the wine bar, we picked up a few snacks. Matt got a massive hunk of blueberry coffee cake for himself, and I got some Kaia sprouted sunflower seeds (sweet curry flavor), a bag of Hail Merry blonde macaroons (my #1 reason for going to a Whole Foods in Texas in the first place!), some fresh-grind almond/cashew butter, and a couple bananas.

We knew we had a long night ahead of us at The Church‘s Halloween bash (the same awesome goth club we went to the last time we visited Dallas). After a power nap at White Rock Lake Park, we picked up some sustenance at Espumoso Café. I got a smoothie with papaya, passionfruit, and guanabana (a white-fleshed tropical melon I’d never heard of!), plus a chickpea-mash-stuffed empanada. Yum!

We partied at The Church till 1:45am, then drove back to Oklahoma City right then and there. We finally collapsed into my hotel room bed after 5:30am, and guess what I did at 7am? Woke right back up to start my second week at the 105degrees Academy. Whew! Matt and I packed a lot into our day-and-a-half in Dallas, and it was fun, rewarding, and exhausting…which is why I’m off to take a nap, and will try to post about today’s class later tonight. Ta-ta for now!

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26 Comments leave one →
  1. November 1, 2010 4:12 pm

    CraZy! You are living the raw/vegan way for sure! I just got to go to Whole Foods this weekend after 2 months! The closest one is an hour away. 😀

  2. November 1, 2010 4:14 pm

    Mmmm. Everything looks fantastic. That Whole Foods is insane!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 1, 2010 4:47 pm

      Everything WAS fantastic! It’s too bad we were too full from Bliss to sit down to a glass of wine at WF. 😛

  3. November 1, 2010 5:44 pm

    So glad you took a break from scheduled programming and had so much fun! I love how non-fanatical you’re being about the whole raw thing. It’s really refreshing.

    That chocolate mint cake looks just supreme. Surprised you don’t love mint (it’s one of my faves, esp with chocolate) – my creative thoughts are pumping around your white choc suggestions, and a mint mousse would be just right!

    Hope you’re having a great week 2
    love
    Ela

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 1, 2010 8:11 pm

      It’s funny; I’m the type of person who can get very obsessive and particular about so many things, but when it comes to veganism or raw foodism, I have yet to fall into that perfectionistic trap.

      I’ve never liked mint, for some reason, but memories of Andes mints are enough to leave me still fond of the mint + chocolate combo. 🙂 A mint white chocolate mousse? Ok, I would definitely try that!

  4. November 1, 2010 6:07 pm

    You guys sure know how to eat! Everything you ordered looks ridiculously good! The cake would have been hard to resist for me too, I have to admit. I’m glad you had such a fun road trip!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 1, 2010 8:12 pm

      Hehe, why thank you! That cake was KILLERRR. I’m not even sure I should be calling it a cake. It was like part cake, part pie, part mousse cloud, part cheezecake, part fudge…gah!

  5. November 1, 2010 6:42 pm

    Oh Amber. Words cannot express. How is it fair that you have a raw academy near you, and then all these raw restaurants and places with amazing smoothies too? Why can’t I figure out a way to move over there? I want to go out for those smoothies with you… and I’m normally not interested in smoothies at all! Somehow coconut oil, bee pollen, and cacao nibs sounds better than the standard banana-peach-soymilk smoothie I can make here 😉

    So glad you got to see Matt this weekend! Hope he enjoyed the raw chocolate 🙂

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 1, 2010 8:17 pm

      It’s simply NOT fair, clearly; nor is it fair you can’t seem to move yourself out here! I totally agree with you on snoozeworthy smoothies…they bore me to tears. But start mentioning superfoods, exotic fruits, vitamin infusions, and obscure raw products, and I am IN!

      I sent a couple bars of the chocolate home with Matt – I won’t be seeing him again until 11/13 😦 But we had a spectacular weekend, so we saw each other off with big smiles.

  6. November 1, 2010 7:12 pm

    Ok so now you’ve made me extremely jealous I never made it to Dallas, if only for the food!!!

    Strawberry seduction was my fave, I replicate it all the time. Sometimes I put spinach and spirulina in it too!!!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 1, 2010 8:19 pm

      Ahh, you really should’ve ducked down to Dallas at some point! It’s only ~3 hours south of OKC. It’s my very favorite city to road-trip to. 😀

      I’m more of a raspberry girl, but since I’d already tried the Maca Picchu, I sprang for the Strawberry Seduction. I loved it!

  7. November 1, 2010 7:36 pm

    OMG…everything looked sooo good!! It sounds like you had a great time together!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 1, 2010 8:20 pm

      A fantasmic time 🙂

  8. November 1, 2010 9:10 pm

    We were going to go to that Whole Foods last time we were in town, but we ran out of time. I have been to Cosmic Cafe! And since I ordered what you ordered last time you went to Bliss, I’ll just follow up and do it again. 🙂 Because those meals look amazing, too. Aren’t these restaurants so lucky to have all of our free advertisementes? 🙂

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 2, 2010 2:21 pm

      Hehe, I’d love to see another post from you about Bliss! You know what, they ARE lucky. More restaurants should comp our meals, don’t you think? 😉

  9. Matt permalink
    November 2, 2010 1:03 am

    It’s late and I’m tired after all the driving, but I had a fantastic weekend. So much good food! Dallas is definitely a place we’ll be visiting again. 😀

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 2, 2010 2:21 pm

      I had a great weekend with you too! Can’t wait for us to go back. 🙂

  10. November 2, 2010 2:19 pm

    Oh my…what delicious looking food…especially that pie…yum!!!
    What a huge whole foods. I don’t get to whole foods very often because I have to drive over an hour to get to it. :o(
    I have never been to Dallas, but clearly I need to go someday. 🙂

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 2, 2010 2:22 pm

      The pie/cake/whatever-it-is was just ridiculously good.
      Sorry you have to drive so far to get to a WF! 😦

  11. November 2, 2010 2:32 pm

    GEEZ. I think I just drooled all over my keyboard. THAT FOOD IS INCREDIBLE. I want. All. Of. It.

    That chocolate mint pie thing- woah.
    The California pizza, the smoothies, and the Sweet Awareness dessert… oh and the black bean burger. Words just don’t do them justice but you seemed to find amazing adjectives. YUM YUM YUM!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 4, 2010 6:08 pm

      I hafta admit, I’d eat all of it AGAIN if I could! I feel like my adjectives pale in comparison to their magnificence. Get thyself to Dallas! 😛 Really, though, if you ever have a chance, you MUST visit there. SO much to see, do, and eat – I could recommend so many places to go!

  12. November 8, 2010 9:06 pm

    From all of us at BLISS RAW CAFE & ELIXIR BAR we thank you for making BLISS a part of you and your husbands roadtrip. We are especially greatful for the kind review. Incidently the Mint Chocolate Cake was made by our Executive Chef Kelly Dennis…former Executive Chef/Pastry Chef of 105degrees! Kelly Dennis is currently menu testing new recipies that will make their debut in December!!!! A tip of the hat to you Amber Shea for sharing your mouth watering roadtrips with everyone who follows your almost vegan blog!!!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 8, 2010 9:18 pm

      How fortuitous that 105’s former pastry chef is now at Bliss! I feel very fortunate to have gotten to eat one of her spectacular cakes. And how exciting that you’ll be debuting new menu options in December! I hope to come to Bliss for another visit within the next few months, and I’m certain I will love it just as much as the first two times 🙂 Thank you for creating such a wonderful raw restaurant for Dallas!

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