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Road trip wrap-up: the drive home

March 10, 2011

In this post, I’m going to cover both the drive between Dallas and Oklahoma City, and the drive from OKC home to Kansas City. When we left Dallas, we had an important stop to make on our way to the Philip McCluskey event at 105degrees—the first all-vegan store in North Texas, Vegan Freak in Denton!

The place is only about the size of a large closet (and the little shack that houses it is strangely situated right smack in the middle of a parking lot), but they manage to pack a whole lot in there.

Not only does Vegan Freak carry plenty of snacks (including raw ones!)…

…but they also sell makeup, cleaning products, sports gear, reading material, and more.

I bought a handful of stuff, including Nacho Mom’s Fire-Roasted Queso dip, Hail Merry vanilla-maple almonds, a Hurraw! vanilla almond lip balm, and some organic peach olive oil soap for Matt.

We were also very naughty, and picked up one of these VEGAN TWINKIES!

I WISH I could remember the name of the brand that made this, but I can’t. I haven’t had a Twinkie in years and years, but I still know this one tasted just right. SO yummy.

The morning after the Philip McCluskey dinner, Matt and I stopped back by 105degrees on our way out of town to pick up smoothies. We got my two favorites: a Raspberry Rhapsody and a Blueberry Bee.

Driving back to KC, we stopped for lunch in Wichita at Zen Vegetarian (which I’ve written about previously). They had a lunch special going on, so we got soup to start.

For his meal, Matt had the biggest bento box I have ever seen, with an egg roll, vegetarian crab rangoon (which neither of us ate), brown rice, tempura veggies with dipping sauces, and “Love & Compassion”—deep-fried breaded soy protein with pineapple and green and red peppers, sautéed with sweet and sour sauce.

I ordered what Matt had gotten the first time we ate at there—Zen’s Rice Bowl. I gave Matt my egg roll, ditched the crab rangoon, and thoroughly enjoyed the “soy ocean fillet” with brown rice, green beans, and teriyaki sauce.

I’m so happy Matt and I got to share another wonderful road trip together! I’m already looking forward to the next one.

And now, maybe I can finally get back to doing some recipe posts!

50 Comments leave one →
  1. March 10, 2011 12:52 pm

    I am so jealous of all your eating adventures!!

    I walk around the city dying to try new places but I cant afford them 😦

    How do you manage this? Any tips?

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      April 7, 2011 4:40 pm

      The way I’ve dealt with it the past few months with all this traveling is by basically not eating out at home anymore, at least not more than once, MAYBE twice a month. It sucks, because I love going out to eat, but it’s worth it when it comes to travel meals.

  2. March 10, 2011 12:54 pm

    So Fun! 🙂 Makes me want to hop in the car & head out on an adventure too.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      April 7, 2011 4:40 pm

      I love road tripping! 😀

  3. March 10, 2011 12:55 pm

    Looks like you guys had a great time! I especially love the looks of that vegan twinkie, ha. I haven’t had a twinkie in years and years either but I’m sure it’s a kind of taste that one simply doesn’t forget ; )

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      April 7, 2011 4:39 pm

      The Twinkie was amazing…just like I remember them tasting (but not so toxic!)

  4. March 10, 2011 12:56 pm

    I’m impressed with your restraint at only purchasing 4 items at the vegan store. My eyes would’ve been too big for my wallet!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      April 7, 2011 4:39 pm

      Haha, I’m sure I could’ve spent PLENTY more money than I did… 😉

  5. March 10, 2011 3:02 pm

    Vegan Freak sounds a little like Sidecar here in Seattle, all vegan! I wish those Hail Merry snacks would make it up to Seattle.

    Sidecar also has the vegan twinkies and chocolate covered ones. Chris says they are really good.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      April 7, 2011 4:38 pm

      Hail Merry is about to go nationwide, since they won Best In Show from VegNews at the Natural Products Expo recently. So they’ll be in Seattle soon!

  6. March 10, 2011 3:14 pm

    ahh tht is heaven for me!! i love the look of that store!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      April 7, 2011 4:37 pm

      “Heaven” is right!

  7. March 10, 2011 3:39 pm

    We pass through Denton on the way to my grandparents from time to time, so I’ll have to plan time to stop by the store. I’m impressed that it even exists in North Texas, as that isn’t exactly the most veg friendly area.

    I loved road trips pre kids – glad you are having fun with your man!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      April 7, 2011 4:37 pm

      Denton does seem like a strange place for that store…but to me, that’s a good sign!

  8. March 10, 2011 3:51 pm

    I would have gone crazy in that VeganFreak store!
    OMG…a twinkie…I haven’t had one of those in years. I would have to think that a vegan one would rock! :o)

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      April 7, 2011 4:36 pm

      I must admit…it rocked my socks off 😛

  9. March 10, 2011 3:57 pm

    Wow, what a bonanza!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      April 7, 2011 4:36 pm

      Hehe, great word for it!

  10. Marsha permalink
    March 10, 2011 4:31 pm

    Here, I thought you were on your way to Living Light Academy to claim your prize and start to work in their kitchen. I’m glad you took this vacation beforehand!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      March 10, 2011 4:32 pm

      Hehe, not quite yet! Hopefully within the next couple months, though… 😉

  11. March 10, 2011 5:42 pm

    Great photo of you two at the end there! You should run a caption competition for that.

    Sounds like an exhausting but enjoyable whirlwind! I’m curious to see what’s in store for you next, Ms Hot Chef!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      April 7, 2011 4:41 pm

      Hehe! What caption would you put on the photo? 😛

  12. March 10, 2011 7:07 pm

    Ah where is this place that’s where I live!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      April 7, 2011 4:42 pm

      Do you mean Denton, or Wichita?

  13. March 10, 2011 8:48 pm

    Yeah, look, you know I love grocery stores and the idea of a vegan-specific store blows my mind, and I’m super envious of Hail Mary and would give my pants right now to try those smoothies you keep rhapsodizing about (see what I did there?)… but I think I’m gonna go chill with my other KC friends instead. 😉

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      April 7, 2011 4:42 pm

      HAHA! You won’t get away from me that easily, missy – dreamland or not! 😛

  14. March 10, 2011 8:54 pm

    I need to hit this place up when I am in North Texas. We drive that way all the time!!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      April 7, 2011 4:43 pm

      You should totally stop in there sometime!

  15. March 11, 2011 7:38 am

    How adorable-love the look of that store!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      April 7, 2011 4:43 pm

      It was pretty cute 🙂

  16. March 11, 2011 10:35 am

    So, I’m blaming it on my period (TMI, I know), but that twinkie looks freggin’ ridic right now… Cravings, anyone!? Yeah.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      April 7, 2011 4:44 pm

      Haha! I tend to be a queen of TMI, so no worries 😛 Now I want another one of those Twinkies…

  17. March 12, 2011 2:21 pm

    What a fun place! And the foods all look amazing~

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      April 7, 2011 4:45 pm

      There were lots of yummy options to choose from!

  18. thequirkykitchen permalink
    March 12, 2011 10:00 pm

    Vegan Freak looks so great! I wish there was a store like that where I live.What’s a twinkie? I’m from the UK and we don’t have them…..I’ve heard of them though

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      April 7, 2011 4:46 pm

      Oh man, a Twinkie is a log of moist, super-sweet yellow cake filled with fluffy, creamy, sugary whipped frosting. Too bad they’re TERRIBLE for you!

  19. March 12, 2011 10:47 pm

    Hi! I’m a lurker on your blog and found out about Bliss Raw Cafe from you post….and went there tonight. I had the spaghetti and meatballs. It was yummy! I can’t wait to go back!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      April 7, 2011 4:47 pm

      I’m so happy to hear you went to Bliss, Mindy! Matt’s had the spaghetti and meatball plate and liked it a lot. Glad to hear you enjoyed it!

  20. March 13, 2011 1:34 pm

    It all looks great but I’m pretty jealous of that twinkie! I haven’t had one in…11 years? Not even vegetarian, gross “real” twinkies.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      April 7, 2011 4:48 pm

      I can’t remember the last time I had a real Twinkie, either!

  21. March 14, 2011 10:04 am

    A vegan twinkie?! NICE!!!! I am loving that store, I would have spent our savings in there 😉

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      April 7, 2011 4:48 pm

      Heh, it was hard not to!

  22. March 14, 2011 11:01 am

    Glad you had a great time – waht a cute little shop, and a cool name – “they” all think vegans are freaks, anyway, so why not name the store that way?
    I too don’t know what a twinkie is? Looks cake like with a creamy middle? Mmm

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      April 7, 2011 4:49 pm

      A Twinkie is a log of moist, super-sweet yellow cake filled with fluffy, creamy, sugary whipped frosting…that’s TERRIBLE for you! 😛

  23. March 14, 2011 2:07 pm

    Amber! You really crack me up!! I love it how the world knows everything you are eating hehe. I feel like a secret spy (well not so secret anymore). As always… love your posts xxx

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      April 7, 2011 4:50 pm

      Hehe! You never have to spy secretively, I’m always happy to hear from you, Tanya!

  24. March 18, 2011 11:07 am

    Man! I didn’t even know about that shop! WTF?! Looks fab!

    I got myself some of that Hurraw chapstick when I was home. I am *trying* to save it until I run out of my current two tubes of other stuff I’ve got going on – hate to have too many in the rotation – control freak thing… Not sure how much longer I can hold out, though. Finding myself applying the old chapstick way too often, just so that I can use it up! What do you think of it?!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      April 7, 2011 4:51 pm

      The Hurraw chapstick is really yummy-smelling, and smooth to put on. It seems to not stick around as long as other chapsticks, though, so I predict it’ll be gone soon…I’m a lip gloss addict too; I know just what you mean about “the rotation”!

  25. March 21, 2011 11:33 am

    Yummy! Got to love vegan twinkies! By the way I think the brand of the twinkie should be called a Dillo. The bakery near me makes the vegan twinkies and ships them to many different vegan stores and that’s what they’re called. Here’s the website for the twinkies for anyone who is interested:

    I’m jealous of those smoothies they look and sound so good!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      March 21, 2011 12:26 pm

      YES, that’s them! Thank you so much for that, Brandi!

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