Travel

Back from Austin!

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Rewind!

Vida Vegan Con organizers Janessa and Michele have returned even more enamored with Austin after a week of very important meetings and venue walk-throughs and just as necessary vegan food truck hopping. They met with old VVC family, new speakers, and met some local Austin business owners, cooking up all sorts of plans for May 2015. Did you spy them around town, margarita or black coffee in hand?

Here’s a few photos of what they were up to:

sweet ritual ice cream at counter culture
Sweet Ritual vegan ice cream parlour!

att leed gold
LEED-certified venue, baby

Chilling with Lily (and Marie & Dan)
Chilling with Lily (and Marie & Dan)

Meanwhile, back in Portland, Jess held down the Vida Vegan HQ homebase (make that: whatever coffeeshop she happened to be running into, then being Tula) and remained obsessing over all things vegan mac & cheese with a certain sold out showcase taking place.

150 vegans + 20 mac & cheese contenders Photo by Kathy Peterman

What’s new with you?

Stay tuned this week for our last minute Vegan Thanksgiving roundup and do let us know if you’d like to be included!

Attention Austin: Vida Vegan Meetup this Thursday at The Liberty!

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Hello, hello! Team Vida Vegan HQ returned from Vegas less than two weeks ago, and as usual, we’ve been hard at work, seriously inspired and sketching out the next three years on our calendar (er, smartphones and Google docs). There is so much in store! It’s no secret that we’re looking at a few very special cities for the much-anticipated Vida Vegan Con III, and that’s in addition to our other events. Read up on this post from way back when, aka last summer, for a reminder on just what those may be: Team Vida Vegan’s Always Cooking Something Up!

It’s also no secret that we adored our first location scouting trip to Austin last February, and with the local vegan community and dining scene growing to epic proportions, including the Capital City storefront, Mr. Natural’s brand-new new vegan brunch, and the new Wheatsville location, we’re coming back in mere days!

0be04a028ad011e3911c127f85a62e1a_8All the Details:

Location: The Liberty & Eastside King 1618 1/2 E. 6th St

Date: Thursday, February 6, 2014
Time: 5:00pm-7:00pm

From the Facebook invite (feel free to RSVP over there, no pressure): Hi everyone! Gonna be in Austin next week? SO ARE WE. Come hang out with us and other vegans and we’ll discuss the finer points of breakfast tacos and just what cupcake flavor is your fave at Capital City. And other stuff, like cats. This time we’re meeting at The Liberty/Eastside King (thanks for the suggestions, guys!!)

Janessa, Michele and myself will all be there — coats, potential scarves and requisite sunglasses in tow — to hear your ideas for Vida Vegan Con III. We’d also like to know just what else you’d like to see and attend, and frankly, where we should get all those dang vegan tacos. All are welcome!

Austin is the best
Austin is the best

We do have a ton of appointments at event venues booked around the Austin area already, and are totally open to more suggestions. Please contact us with any tips!

And if you’d like to see more about our Vegas location scouting, check out the hashtag #VidaScoutsVegas. We’ll have a post up detailing the experience and a few of our favorite locations and meals up soon enough, have no doubt.

Vegan Drinks next week in Las Vegas at Bar & Bistro!

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This sums it up nicely:

Will you be in the Vegas area on January 16th?

Get ready: Janessa, Michele and myself, your friendly Vida Vegan organizers, will be doing some location scouting and vegan eating this winter across the US, and coming to a city* near you!

First up, we’re hitting Las Vegas, NV and wherever we go, we want to get to know the local vegan community. It’s what our growing series of events are all about, and for. If you’d like to talk about being vegan in Vegas, the internet, how to throw your own vegan events and festivals, where you’d like to see upcoming Vida Vegan events, or even where to get the best vegan tacos in town, come meet us for a ‘Vegan Drinks’-style Meetup on Thursday, January 16 at Bar & Bistro.

Vegan Drinks is a social, networking event held in various cities, and while Las Vegas’ is temporarily on hold, we wanted to host a “pop-up” Vegan Drinks evening, if you will, while we’re in town.

Here’s the official Meetup event (though please feel free to come if you don’t have an account) and more details:

Location: Bar & Bistro 107 East Charleston Boulevard #155, Las Vegas, NV meetup-logo-300x220
Date: Thursday, January 16, 2014
Time: 5:00pm-7:00pm in the lounge area

Bring an appetite, some cash (this is not a hosted event), maybe some business cards of at least your Twitter and Instagram handles, check out the Vegan Menu and we’ll see you there!

*Okay, two cities within North America, so far. Many, many more to come.  We’re open to suggestions!

Portland Picks with Stephanie Bogdanich, The Lazy Smurf

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It’s now time for yet another round in our continuing series of personalized Portland Picks! These recommendations are from trusty Portland vegan locals and lovers, and we bet all our attendees, whether you’re arriving early or not, want to squeeze in a little time outside of the busy, busy conference schedule to wander in the vegan wonderland. This time, we get a lover, Austin vegan eats expert, taco enthusiast and tour guide extraordinaire, Lazy Smurf.

Your Name: Stephanie Bogdanich

All Things Vegan Smurfy: @veganLazySmurf
Let’s talk…where to eat? The Lazy Smurf says…

You are going to hear again and again that you should get Voodoo Doughnuts. Maybe that doesn’t sound as exciting as it once did since vegan doughnuts are more plentiful out in the rest of the world but Voodoo still has the best I’ve every had. They instantly take me back to my childhood. If you decide to bring one of their trademarked boxes back home on the plane I promise every single person you make eye contact with will ask you for one, so bring extra to share! The second location (Voodoo Too) doesn’t have long lines but they are all cash only and they are all open 24/7.

When I come to Portland Voodoo is usually my last stop but the FlavourSpot is usually my first, the vegan sausage with maple cream sauce folded into a waffle is something I long for. Make sure you go to the spot on N Fremont and Mississippi and then you can wander around Mississippi Ave when you are done.

VooDoo: So Many Vegan Doughnuts.

Shopping?

Walking around downtown make sure you check out Ground Kontrol Arcade, the little Japanese toy store around the corner, Compound, the Museum of Contemporary Craft, and the comic & zine shop Floating World Comics, and of course Powell’s City of Books where, in addition to every book, they also have lots of fun souvenirs.

Get your Northwest tourist on…

People in the northwest are *way* into getting naked and soaking in hot water. If you want to try but don’t have time to hike to the natural hot springs out in the forests then check out the Kennedy School or Common Ground Wellness Center. It isn’t expensive and you can check the site if you want to stick to your preferred gender and even wear a bathing suit if you are a nevernude*.

Only Portland has….

Flooring at Grond Kontrol. Image Source: nerdsinbabeland.com

Whenever I get to Portland one of the first things I like to do is sit down the with alternative weekly newspaper the Portland Mercury, it’s a really fun paper and you can learn a lot about what’s going on in town and what’s going on that weekend.

Spot The Lazy Smurf all around Portland this upcoming week of the ‘Con, and plead with her to start a vegan breakfast taco pop-up some night. Seriously. With that, do stay tuned for the next round! For more Portland Vegan Dining, Shopping & Tourist ideas, check out our official While You’re in Town selection and the VVC 2013 Google Map

*Special VVC note, because Jess just has to include this:

Portland Picks with Sayward Rebhal, Bonzai Aphrodite

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The next round of personalized Portland Picks comes from a former Portlander (and naturally, passionate vegan blogger) who’ll be back in town in a few days to speak at the ‘Con, Sayward Rebhal. As always, our recommendations come from trusty Portland vegan locals and lovers, and we bet all our attendees, whether you’re arriving early or not, want to squeeze in a little time outside of the busy, busy conference schedule to wander in the vegan wonderland. Let’s find out more of Sayward’s “Socially Conscious, Totally Fabulous!”Portland musts below…

Sayward Rebhal, Bonzai Aphrodite
A Portland Farmers Market devotee

Your Name: Sayward Rebhal

Where must one go in Portland?
1. Vintage/secondhand shopping on Hawthorne (especially House Of Vintage, IF you have the time to commit, it is WORTH IT!)
2. Last Thursday/Alberta Arts Walk – those who are in Portland by Thursday, this will be happening! It is soooo good, quintessentially Portland.
3. Powell’s City Of Books. I know everyone will say that, but because obviously!
So…Best vegan eats? 
2. Los Gorditos is the best sloppy street-style vegan Mexican food EVER.
3. Pad Thai Kitchen is so good and sooo generous with portions. So good. Cute neighborhood, too.
4. Nicholos for Lebanese. It is mind-blowingly amazing, don’t overlook it.
5. Canteen. Because you just don’t understand how good a greens/beans/grain bowls can really taste (get the Portland Bowl!)

Nicholas Restaurant. Image Source: One Armed Dino blog
Where to for lovely juice and cocktails?
1. Green smoothie or juice at Sip (a cart out front of People’s Co Op)
2. Drinks at Sweet Hereafter (or the Bye and Bye, if you’re up that way)
3. Vegan Boba Cocktails at The Tea Zone downtown (it’s off-menu, you have to ask)
 
Some very special shopping…
1. FUBONN! An entire supermarket-sized Asian foods store. Amazing.
2. Stock up on bulk soy curls vegan chap stick at Food Fight!
 
Anything else you’d like to add?
Look, it’s all so good! You really can’t go wrong.
For real. With mere days to go, do stay tuned for the next round! For more Portland Vegan Dining, Shopping & Tourist ideas, check out our official While You’re in Town selection and the VVC 2013 Google Map

Portland Picks: Steffers C, The Roaming Vegan Gnome

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It’s now time for another round in our continuing series of personalized Portland Picks! These recommendations are from trusty Portland vegan locals and lovers, and we bet all our attendees, whether you’re arriving early or not, want to squeeze in a little time outside of the busy, busy conference schedule to wander in the vegan wonderland. Next up, is Steffers C, a Northwest native with a fondness for great microbrews, running marathons, and traveling the world. Let’s find out her Portland musts below…
Running & Roaming.

Your Name: Steffers C

Your Blog: The Roaming Vegan Gnome

What Steffers says you simply must see in Portland:

1) Portland Underground Tour

2) Pittock Mansion….for the view (I mean, the house is surely nice and all, but expensive. Scenery is free!)

3) If you have a car (or know another VVC goer/local with a car) head up the Old Columbia River Highway. The best waterfalls are up there (Multnomah included, but so many more) and Crown Point has some awesome views in good weather.

What and where to eat?

1) Obviously, soft serve at Back to Eden.

2) That beet burger at Portobello.

As for that beer (and tea!)…

1) Not exactly cheap, but the Belgium Burns cocktail at Bazi Bierbrasserie. It is WRONG WRONG WRONG to mix Scotch with anything, but the bartender makes it SO RIGHT. And Delirium Tremens is totally vegan.

2) Happy hour at Hopworks is my favorite after school activity.

3) My favorite soy chai hangs out at Townshend’s on Alberta. Any one of the variations from it is acceptable.

Where to shop?

The deli case at Barbur World Foods. Image source: Willamette Week.

1) Barbur World Foods has the best hummus in their deli case (along with vegan kibbeh, fatayer, baba ganoush, and fresh, hot, delicious pita.). It’s also home to an awesome grocery full of wonderful things like a variety of olives, Lebanese sweets, Field Roast sausages (?!) and fresh figs. It’s not close-in, but it is a 20 minute bus ride/drive away! (Vida note: and totally worth it for those wood-fired pitas! – Plus, near Green Wok)

2) Obviously, Food Fight!, for delicious junk food! And carrageenan.

3) Hawthorne Vintage. Go ahead and try to spend less than an hour in that place.

Only Portland has…

Darcelle. Just look it up. The turning point in the adult life of almost all Pacific NW natives includes Darcelle.

-

The view from Pittock Mansion. Image source: GreetingsfromPortlandia.com
Ask Steffers about her favorite spots to run in Portland next weekend at the conference – she’s amazingly helping out all over the place! With that, do stay tuned for the next round! For more Portland Vegan Dining, Shopping & Tourist ideas, check out our official While You’re in Town selection and the VVC 2013 Google Map.