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Almost vegan in San Francisco IV

February 24, 2011

I’m still alive! Sorry for the long absence, but the last week has flown by, what with getting back into town, attending some social engagements, wrapping up some important work, and getting ready to go out of town again. That’s right, Matt and I are leaving tomorrow morning for a road trip. Where to? It’s a surprise. 😉 You’ll see! (In fact, I’ll probably spill the beans on the Almost Vegan Facebook and/or Twitter page tomorrow.) In the meantime, here’s the tail end of our San Francisco trip.

Last Thursday, I braved the rain and cold in downtown San Fran and spent the afternoon at Honey Honey Café and Crepery. Though I started out with just a bottomless cup of coffee, the memory of a certain Parisian crêpe came creeping into my mind as my tummy began to growl. So I rolled with it, and ordered this strawberry-and-Nutella-stuffed crêpe. Disclosure: neither the crêpe, nor the Nutella, nor the small scoop of ice cream on the side were vegan. But a meal like this is a once-in-a-blue-moon thing for me, and I thoroughly enjoyed every bite.

That evening, for the first time during this entire vacation, Matt and I were spontaneous about where to eat. We ditched my wish list altogether and sprang for something that sounded randomly good: pizza!

I’d just read in a magazine that morning that Paxti’s makes a mean Chicago-style deep-dish vegan pizza, so that’s where we went. A glass of Merlot served as our appetizer.

(I’m just posting this next pic because I think Matt looks sexy in it. Teehee.)

Our pizza was well worth the lengthy wait. Matt ordered onions, mushrooms, and red pepper on his half (hidden under the sauce on the left), while I got artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, and crushed garlic on my portion. The entire thing also had a layer of Daiya vegan cheese buried beneath the toppings. Yes, I finally tried Daiya! (I’m not big on cheese in general, as you know, so I never did get around to giving Daiya a try before this.)

Get a load of this crust! It was crunchy and cornmeal-y at the edges, and cut-with-a-fork soft in the center. The mounds of sauce, vegan cheese, and toppings made this a huge, heavy meal, and Matt and I both did something we rarely do—we left some of it behind. Note to self: next time, order the 10-inch pie, not the 12-inch!

All in all, San Francisco was a joy. I knew I’d like it there, but I didn’t know I’d LOVE it so much, thanks in large part to the food. San Fran truly is a vegan’s paradise!

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30 Comments leave one →
  1. February 24, 2011 1:57 pm

    That pizza looks delicious even though i’m not a fan of Diaya. Glad you had a nice time and I can’t wait to see pictures from your next road trip!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      February 24, 2011 3:04 pm

      The Daiya was alright, I asked them to go light on it and heavy on the sauce so there wouldn’t be too much cheesiness. I think its strength AND weakness is that it did indeed taste very much like real cheese. So I can see why everyone else loves it, but for that very reason, it’s not my cup of tea!

  2. February 24, 2011 2:47 pm

    Wow, deep dish vegan pizza!

    Since I’ve lived GF/vegan so long, I guess I wonder why you bother to get a vegan pizza if you don’t mind if the crepe and ice cream is vegan or not? It must be easier and cheaper to find just regular pizza, right? I guess I don’t understand the rationale since the dairy doesn’t seem to bother you in the other circumstance. This doesn’t come from a place of judgment, just curiosity.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      February 24, 2011 3:02 pm

      Totally fair question. It’s more a matter of a bunch of little reasons, rather than one big philosophical reason. Probably the biggest thing is that I just hate cheese. It grosses me out in general. I’m not even a huge fan of vegan, or even raw, cheeses. So I almost never get any type of cheese on my pizza. This time, I did, because everyone’s talked my ear off about Daiya for so long that I decided to give it a shot. In any other circumstance, though, I would’ve gone cheeseless.

      The crêpe wasn’t something I sought out, it just sounded really good to me that day (and, had there been a vegan option, I would certainly have chosen it). Both crêpes and Nutella are tasty to me, too, unlike cheese/dairy, so the “ick” factor wasn’t there. (When I ordered, I didn’t realize it came with ice cream, or I would probably have told them to just leave it off.) As yummy as it is, though, I know that the egg in the crêpe and the milk powder in the Nutella are not things my body appreciates receiving on any regular basis. But as you know, my focus is more on personal health, so as a once-every-few-months thing, I’m at peace with a bit of egg or real Nutella. Hope that makes sense, and answers your question.

  3. February 24, 2011 3:32 pm

    I’m excited to hear about your road trip. I’m traveling through you, lol!

    I graduate in December and I plan on going on an extending wandering (basically from March to August of 2012), so I like using your blog for ideas!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      March 9, 2011 4:41 pm

      I’m glad I can provide you with traveling ideas! I’m envious of that trip you’re planning 😀

  4. February 24, 2011 3:32 pm

    Mmmmmm…..crepe. I’m really glad you let yourself have one and chose not to worry about it. You seem really good at policing yourself to not make decisions like that regularly, so I don’t see any harm in it.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      March 9, 2011 4:43 pm

      Thanks for your affirmation, Alayna 🙂

  5. February 24, 2011 5:30 pm

    I’m sad, once again, we didn’t get to meet. And I’m jealous (endlessly) at all your amazing food! My bf would NEVER venture to so many “healthy” or vegan places as you got to try out. I’ll have to take one day (or 3) and try out all these wonderful places! Hopefully with a friend… and an empty belly starting out.

    That pizza looks insanely delicious!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      March 9, 2011 4:44 pm

      I’m sad too =/ But don’t worry! We WILL meet someday 🙂
      And don’t be too jealous – all these places are at your lucky little fingertips! 😛

  6. February 24, 2011 9:08 pm

    Holy moly, you two brought so much sexypants power to that restaurant that I’m a little surprised it didn’t implode the moment you both walked in. 😉

    Oh, and I’d say I was getting ready to make the couch up for you two, but then I remembered that one can’t drive to Australia from Kansas. Lame.

    AAAAND awesome awesome crepe-y going with your instincts not getting pedantic being free livin’ lovin’ Amber wheeeeee!!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      March 9, 2011 4:46 pm

      Haha! Shush 😛 Aw, I’m totally phobic of couchsurfing but I’d absolutely take YOU up on the offer 🙂 I wish we could just hope on over there! Someday, I will make it…

  7. February 25, 2011 4:59 pm

    Wow, excited to hear about more on-the-road happenings! I hope you’re resting well, though: We’re just going back and forth to Anchorage a lot atm and it’s really knocking the stuffing out of me: traveling can wear you down…

    Interesting about the daiya–I see that you say that it tastes pretty much like dairy cheese: which means I probably wouldn’t like it either!
    love
    Ela

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      March 9, 2011 4:47 pm

      Traveling IS stunningly energy-sucking, isn’t it? Luckily, I got a nice amount of sleep throughout this trip.

      Haha, you’re right, I don’t think you’d be a big Daiya fan any more than I was!

  8. February 25, 2011 9:20 pm

    Wow! That pizza crust looks amazing–no matter how many times I try making a homemade deep dish, it never comes out quite as good as the chicago-style “real deal.” And I don’t blame you for shelving veganism for that awesome crepe treat–sometimes you’ve just got to treat yourself 🙂

    SO happy you enjoyed your San Francisco trip!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      March 9, 2011 4:47 pm

      I have “issues” with homemade pizza crusts too 🙂 and deep-dishes? Forget about it!
      Thanks for understanding & affirming my crepe-impulses! 😛

  9. February 26, 2011 7:55 pm

    That’s a helluva pizza!

    These posts of yours just added more fuel to my ever-burning desire to visit San Fran. It’s the #1 place on my To-Visit list. *dreamy sigh*

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      March 9, 2011 4:48 pm

      It really was!
      You HAVE to go to San Fran. HAVE TO. You will flip.

  10. February 26, 2011 9:44 pm

    That pizza looks fantastic. Guess I will be making pizza tomorrow as it sounds so good after seeing you pics!

    Also wanted to let you know that I awarded you the “Stylish Bloggers Award” on my blog. Bloggers so need an accolade such as this once in a while to encourage them to keep on keeping on. Your willingness to pass this gift on to others is not only a kindness but an inspiration. Hope you will pass on the award to other bloggers as well and Congrats! Thanks for having a great blog!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      March 9, 2011 4:49 pm

      Aw, thanks for the award, Anne! 😀

  11. March 1, 2011 10:37 am

    That pizza looks irresistible. Mmm good. Glad you had such fun in San Fran. It is a great place to visit.

    Anne’s comment above, about the Stylish Bloggers Award…how fun, thoughtful and what a great idea!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      March 9, 2011 4:49 pm

      I had a blast in San Fran, more so than I even thought I would. 🙂

  12. March 1, 2011 10:52 am

    love the thick look of that pizza!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      March 9, 2011 4:50 pm

      It was deeelish!

  13. March 2, 2011 9:50 pm

    What did you think of the Daiya? I think it tastes pretty good (at least the cheddar style does), but I just can’t get past the texture of it. And the stickiness. Ick. The only way I like it is on a grilled cheese, and I think that’s because I get the flavor, but the bread prevents me from “feeling” the cheese.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      March 9, 2011 4:51 pm

      Well, like I told Brandi, the Daiya was…alright. I think its strength AND weakness is that it did indeed taste very much like real cheese. So I can see why everyone else loves it, but for that very reason, it’s not my cup of tea! Sounds like you have a similar issue with it 🙂

  14. May 4, 2011 10:59 am

    YUM! That pizza looks mouth-watering!
    (And I’ve figured out why all of Matt’s meals don’t seem appetizing to me…he puts mushrooms on everything.) 🙂

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      May 4, 2011 3:11 pm

      Haha! Yes, he kind of does! I’m not a fan of mushrooms either 🙂

  15. May 4, 2011 11:00 am

    I almost forgot to say something about the crepe! Oh.my.goodness. I want one….

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      May 4, 2011 3:11 pm

      We should make crepes sometime 😀 They’re pretty easy to make!

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