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San Francisco: Power Source, VegNews, Pica Pica, & blogger meetup

March 9, 2012

News & Notes

    • Yesterday I took some time to put together a comprehensive, one-stop-shop page all about Practically Raw, featuring details, press, links, reviews, and more. Take a look and let me know what you think! Anything I’m missing?


Welcome to my final San Francisco trip post!

On our last day there (last Friday), Matt and I started out the day by enjoying a sunny walk to Power Source CafΓ© (not to be confused with THE Source, where we’d lunched the day before). It’s a very tiny but cute-and-hip little joint tucked in between office buildings in downtown SF.

Matt drank a creamy Kale-ifornia Smoothie.

We each got one of Power Source’s Organic Build-A-Bowls, where you choose your own whole grains, vegetables, protein, gluten-free vegan sauce, and other toppings. Matt’s “bowl” had lentils, brown rice, and sweet potatoes, with sunflower seeds, green onions, and a thick peanut sauce.

Mine had quinoa, steamed broccoli, baked tempeh, and a drizzly coconut curry sauce. How macrobiotic of us, eh?

We spent the bulk of the afternoon prowling the Haight and taking a break in Golden Gate Park. That afternoon, we had an “appointment” at…the VegNews Magazine headquarters!

We met up with Colleen and Lyndsay so I could personally hand them a copy of my new hot-off-the-presses cookbook. We had a nice long chat, they gave us a tour of their cool offices, and I officially signed my first autograph. Surreal!

You’d think it couldn’t get any more exciting than that, but that evening, it did…I finally got to hang out with my longtime blog buddy Lori of! We’ve been talking about meeting up for well over a year, and we finally made it happen. As predicted, we instantly felt like we’d known each other for many years.

Lori and her boyfriend Sascha drove up from Los Gatos to dine with us at Pica Pica Maize Kitchen, a relatively new vegan-friendly and 100% gluten-free restaurant in San Fran. Matt and I started with an order of the Tajadas: fried sweet plantains with a tamarind-ish dipping sauce. Yum! Matt’s decided recently that he’s obsessed with plaintains (and has informed me he wants me to come up with a recipe for “fried plaintain ice cream”), so this was perfect.

Lori and Sascha started with the Yuca Fries, which were incredibly crisp on the outside but downright tender inside.

At Pica Pica, you basically build your own “maize bread” wraps. Matt ate the La Shuli: black beans, seasoned tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and plaintains inside a cachapa (100% sweet corn pancake) with guasacaca (Venezuelan guacamole) on the side.

I had the Vegetariana: grilled tofu, avocado, sweet plantains, and mashed black beans (hold the crema) in a cachapa. Really delicious! That said, we were all so busy talking (and sipping wine and sangria) that half of mine was cold before I finished it. But, of course, I still polished it all off.

After dinner, we took a cab to meet Matt’s friend Rachel at Wild Side West, a “classy lesbian dive bar” replete with Wild West dΓ©cor, haha. This place was pretty cool! Especially the intricate outdoor patios.

Lori and I spent the next several hours drinking, talking, laughing, relating, and basically realizing we were soulmates. Seriously, I frickin’ love this girl.

We’re already plotting her visit to Kansas City. It will happen.

Be sure to read Lori’s account of our evening, too!

It was an epic end to our time in San Francisco! We flew home the next day. Back to the grind!

QUESTION: Have you ever met up with a blog buddy in real life?


3 years ago this week…
Crème-filled German chocolate upside-down cake
Whole wheat beer bread
2 years ago this week…
Whole-grain rosemary-olive bread
Black olive tapenade
Almost Vegan random factoids
1 year ago this week…
Dinner with Philip McCluskey at Matthew Kenney OKC
Road trip wrap-up: the drive home

43 Comments leave one →
  1. March 9, 2012 12:12 pm

    those bowls look SO GOOD from power source. i need to go out there. and how fun to meet one of your blogger buddies!

  2. March 9, 2012 12:22 pm

    Gluten-free vegan Mexican food?! San Francisco has everything.

    I still feel like I’ve met you, and it’s crazy that we haven’t, since we were both in the KC area. The timing just wasn’t right, I suppose, although I did attend the same Ethiopian cooking class as you (what? 2 or 3 years ago?). Small world!

  3. March 9, 2012 12:34 pm

    What a fabulous trip, eats, meetup….when are you moving there? πŸ™‚

  4. March 9, 2012 12:46 pm

    Wow that lentil dish with the sweet potatoes looks fabulous! I have some lentils on the stove now, I know what I’m making for lunch tomorrow. πŸ™‚

  5. DEANNA permalink
    March 9, 2012 1:31 pm


  6. March 9, 2012 1:40 pm

    Food first, I guess… (and yes to the plantain ice cream idea!) but Matt’s β€œbowl” looks out of control good! As does yours. As does the Kale-ifornia. (hehe) As do WE!!! I love us. πŸ™‚

    Seriously, KC is coming my way- back to my soulmate! πŸ™‚ ya ya ya!

  7. March 9, 2012 3:18 pm

    Man, I totally want to be in SF right now enjoying all their great vegan dining options! That’s great that you got to check out VegNews’ headquarters–I’ve communicated with Lyndsay before and she’s great πŸ™‚

  8. March 9, 2012 3:50 pm

    Yay! I was looking forward to seeing your account of your meeting with Lori–it got me so excited that the two of you met up. Wish I could have been there as well.

    I missed your cafe g post, so going to check that. Glad they’re still going.

    I have a few writer friends in real life who are also blog friends–it makes me wish I could meet more of my other blog friends.

    • March 9, 2012 3:55 pm

      It would’ve been so cool if you could’ve joined us! Maybe you’ll have to come visit KC at the same time as Lori and we can all three hang out. πŸ˜‰

  9. March 9, 2012 5:04 pm

    So cool that you got to sign your first autograph! I’m ordering my copy this week and I can’t wait to make something from it. Look for my sure to be enthusiastic review soon!

    Meeting blog friends is so much fun. I love that you can just pick up talking to each other like you’ve actually met before. You guys look like you had an awesome time!

    • March 9, 2012 5:45 pm

      Ooh yay! Thanks so much for ordering it; I can’t wait to hear what you think.

      Agreed. Something tells me you and I would get along quite well – and I think you’d be a fun person to drink with! πŸ˜›

  10. chenaraw permalink
    March 10, 2012 1:54 am

    I was pretty much drooling by the end of this post! How fun to finally meet a blogger buddy! I’m glad you had such a good time.

  11. March 10, 2012 2:50 am

    Everything looks so good! Speaking of looking good, guess who got her copy of your book? πŸ˜‰ LOVE!!

    I’ve met a ton of people from an old bulletin board I was a part of back in the day (you know, before social networking sites). I was on a teen moms bulletin board, and eventually we all moved on to diaryland, xanga, livejournal, myspace, and not facebook/twitter/google+….but quite a few of them I’ve met and consider to be very good friends!

  12. March 10, 2012 5:12 am

    Oh my gosh, I think I finally understand what you’ve meant when you’ve said that you’re happy for me meeting up with blog friends but envious too! I wanna be there… but am so deliriously ecstatic that Lori gladdens your soul πŸ™‚

    Love, love the build-a-bowl idea! So my thing πŸ™‚ One day I’ll try plantains properly! I’ve only had them in packet chip form (in New York.)

    • March 10, 2012 11:33 am

      Yes yes!

      We will totally fry you up a big batch of plantains when you’re here. But be warned, we’ll have to hide them from Matt, lest he eat them all.

  13. Matt permalink
    March 11, 2012 11:01 am

    1. The food at Power Source definitely seemed like health food. That’s good and bad. Good because I felt like I was eating wholesome stuff that my body would appreciate. Bad because it was a little bland. I wasn’t into the saucy stuff which was supposed to be the flavor.

    2. The VegNews crew was awesome and gracious. Gave us a tour, were very complimentary, so easy going and friendly. Quality people.

    3. Lori and Sascha were great fun. Amber and I clearly had a great time with them. Would love hanging out with them again anytime. You should meet them too!

  14. March 11, 2012 4:49 pm

    Sounds like an awesome time!!

    And fried yuca is amazing, lol. πŸ™‚

  15. March 11, 2012 5:04 pm

    A classy lesbian dive bar, lol. How is it that you check out the California gay bar before I do? I have yet to go to one. I’m going to Cali again this summer and I’m determined to escape from family at some point and find one.

    Looks like you all had a heck of a time!

  16. March 11, 2012 6:11 pm

    The cafe looks adorable! I love the bright colours!

  17. March 12, 2012 5:20 am

    Good eats, as usual, and good friends, too. I’m so glad you and Lori hit it off so well. She always seems like she’d be fun to hang out with when I read her blog.

  18. bitt permalink
    March 12, 2012 2:18 pm

    Everything looks amazing, that maize bread wrap is intriguing me. Think you could recreate it? Must have been so fun to visit VegNews headquarters. And exciting about your book too!

    • March 12, 2012 2:20 pm

      Funny enough, I just saw a cachapa recipe on Pinterest the other day. I’m avoiding corn for the time being (the Pica Pica meal notwithstanding!), but maybe sometime this summer I’ll give it a whirl!

  19. March 13, 2012 10:48 pm

    That was a very hearty and healthy meet-up you had. The vegan food you had are awesome as well as the pictures taken. Were you at San Francisco for a sort of vegan adventure, tasting and exploring everything vegan?

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