Site Meter

April 22, 2011

Happy Easter!

Oh the horror.. and the she-mullets!

Happy Easter from the 1990 version of my little brother and I! 
Hope you have a good one!

I'm currently away, gallivanting around NYC. Looking forward to sharing our adventures with you when we return!

April 12, 2011

Soul Vegetarian East

Soul Vegetarian East is a vegan soul food restaurant that has been rocking the south side of Chicago for thirty years. Steve and I have tried their food at various festivals, but it wasn't until recently that we made it out to the restaurant for the first time.

Soul Veg is in an unexpected neighborhood, a hidden gem among a sea of fried chicken restaurants (seriously, I saw 3 in 1 block!). In an area where there is no shortage of payday loan establishments and liquor stores, it was so encouraging to see a vegan restaurant thriving.

Soul Veg is no frills dining at its best. Upon entering it wasn't clear if we should seat ourselves or wait to be seated. We were seated, but it is still unclear if that is the norm. The environment is laid back and the customers are diverse. The service was very friendly but not the most attentive. The tablecloths are covered in plastic for easy cleanup, and the dishes are what you might expect to see in a cafeteria. Like I said, no frills, but no complaints from us!

The menu leans heavily towards what most would consider the less healthy vegan fare, after all this is soul food! Lots of seitan, and plenty of deep frying! On the other hand there are soup and salad selections for those that want to keep things lighter, along with many fresh juices and smoothies.

BBQ Twist Platter
Steve knew right away that he wanted to try one of the bbq specialties, and decided that the BBQ Twist Platter fit the bill. I kept sneaking bites off of his plate, this was the best vegan bbq I have ever had!

Breaded Tofu Sandwich
I was craving tofu and decided to try the Breaded Tofu Sandwich (aka Filet of Tofu). This cornmeal battered tofu is served with tartar sauce and pickles on a bun. Memories of fast food fried fish sandwiches came flooding in at first bite. It was one of those almost-too-real taste experiences, and I had to remind myself that it was just tofu!

Down Home Greens and Cornbread
Steve and I also ordered the Down Home Greens and Cornbread to share, because, well, our soul food experience would not have been complete without it! I never pass up on greens when I have the option!

Lemon Cake
Something else I never pass up on? Lemon cake. Soul Veg, how did you know my weak spot?!

Overall it was a fun and satisfying first visit to Soul Vegetarian East. We are excited to have this wonderful option for soul food in our area, and we will definitely be returning!

HEY! I have a giveaway winner to announce, don't I? I've kept you waiting long enough! There were 63 qualifying entries and a random number generator chose lucky number 11. Congrats to Amber Shea @ Almost Vegan. Email me your address and I will ship out your NYC vegan care package after I return from NYC later this month! (sarah [at] ordinaryvegetarian [dot] com) Thanks again to everyone that entered!

April 9, 2011

Madison Visit and Contest News!

I am in Madison for the weekend enjoying the company of old friends...

Spicy Tofu Scramble @ The Sun Room
..eating delicious tofu scrambles..

..and even witnessing a bit of protesting

But that isn't what I am here to tell you about, the purpose of this quickie post is to let you know that Steve and I won the NYC Getaway + Engagement Photoshoot! It was a close race all week, and in the final 24 hours we shot ahead thanks to the dedication of friends and family who spread the word on our behalf. We closed out the race with nearly 600 votes, WOW! We owe a lot of people thank yous and hugs, including several of you! I will be announcing the winner for the NYC Care Package Giveaway on Monday. Thank you again for supporting us, we are so grateful! 

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

April 4, 2011

Juicing, French Pressing, Contests, and Giveaways

First off I want to say thanks to all who have entered the "Not Your Everyday Giveaway" so far! To update you on the NYC vegan engagement weekend contest that Steve and I are finalists in, we are currently neck and neck with another couple for first place, so keep those votes rolling in! We are so touched by all of the support we are receiving, and think we have a really good chance at winning this thing! If you missed my post about this exciting contest on Saturday, be sure to check it out.

Despite spending quite a bit of time this weekend hitting the refresh button to see how the contest is progressing, I did some other exciting things this weekend! My family gave me a juicer for my birthday a couple weeks ago and I finally busted that bad boy out and gave it a whirl. This ruby glass of yum is a combination of celery, kale, ginger, apple, carrot, lemon, and you guessed it, BEETS! Oh yes, I could get used to this. It was no surprise that this juice was super refreshing and energizing, but it did surprise me how filling it was.

Even though I was brimming with energy from the juice I was dying to try my other new toy, a French Press! I finally got my hands on some highly recommended beans, and ground them up fresh for brewing. Wow, was this ever delicious! I don't think I'll ever be able to drink drip coffee again! This was much easier and less laborious than I imagined it would be. I still hope to avoid becoming a daily drinker, reserving it for just occasionally on weekdays and mostly to be enjoyed on the weekend. I try to get my daily boost from green or black tea (and now juice!).

And perhaps the most exciting news from this weekend, I FOUND MY DRESS! I have many things left to check off of my to-do list, but this was the one thing I wanted to get done the most. Now for those save the dates...

Don't forget you have until this Friday to enter the "Not Your Everyday Giveaway"!

April 2, 2011

Not Your Everyday Giveaway!

Image Source
Here's the scoop. Steve and I are in the running for a vegan engagement weekend in NYC later this month, and you can help! (There are prizes in this for you as well, so be sure to read all of the details!) Our weekend would involve fine vegan dining, vegan manicures, makeup, and styling, finished off with an engagement photoshoot! Wow, a dream come true!

The story behind all of this awesomeness is that we are one of four finalist couples in Rose Pedals Vegan Weddings' NYC Getaway + Engagement Photoshoot! This final round has moved to facebook and your vote is needed!

In order to vote you must first become a fan of Vegan Weddings on facebook (hit "like" at the top of the page). Then go into the FINALISTS photo album and click on our photo (the 4th one) and "like" it as well! Once you've "liked" our photo, your vote is locked in! Easy peasy!

We appreciate you taking the time to vote for us, and to express our appreciation we would like to do a giveaway of our own! Once you have voted for us, comment on this post letting us know that you have done so. You will then be entered to win a NYC themed vegan care package! We will stuff our suitcases with as many vegan goodies as we can find and ship them off to one lucky winner wherever in the world they might be. (Hey, a giveaway that isn't restricted to North America only, SCORE!)

In the unspeakable event that we do not win, and we do not go to NYC, the winner will then receive a Chicago themed vegan care package. ;) So head over and become a fan of Vegan Weddings on facebook, and then like our photo in the FINALISTS album! Voting ends at 11:59PM ET on April 8th, so that is when my giveaway will end as well.

Extra credit opportunities (leave one comment for each):
  • Tweet this giveaway: "Not your everyday #giveaway! Enter to win a NYC #vegan care package from @ordinaryveg!"
  • Post about this giveaway on your blog or facebook.
  • Ask your significant other, sibling, parent, cousin, or friend to vote, for each person that you get to vote personally you get THREE extra credit entries. (leave only 1 comment for each person you got to vote)

    Thanks for your efforts everyone! As you can probably tell, we really want to go to NYC! Total. dream. come. true. <3 Thanks to Rose Pedals Vegan Weddings for this amazing giveaway and also for sharing our engagement story!