Sunday, July 8

Veg*n Noms in Michigan

So, I thought I'd do a little review of where I stopped for food along the way during my visit to Southwest Michigan—inspired by the wonderful work/play of Will Travel For Vegan Food.

In case you don't know what veg*n stands for—it's a general term to include vegetarian and vegan. Since I do still eat eggs and honey, I can't say I'm vegan. But I try to opt for vegan, because I don't eat dairy (and well, it's the best choice for animal activists everywhere... or more importantly, the animals). Everything was found via a google search of "search nearby" locations along the way or—I'm listing these in order of my lil adventure:

Sugar Bear (Paw Paw, MI) was my first stop (after my class at YogaGlow at Fernwood), which was tagged for having vegan sweets at their ice cream shop. But when I walked in there was so much more. They basically could "veganize" quite a few things on their menu, and when I started asking question the waitress brought out their trusty binder that covered all "food allergies." I had the Chicago Style Veggie Dog (which does have egg in it, unfortunately, but they did have vegan burgers and vegan stuffed pitas—all of which I realized after I ordered... always ask questions before you order people) and potato chips (I needed some serious salt after the 100° yoga class I just did outside). I may have grabbed three different flavors of Ope's vegan cookies on the way out too... and two of them (oatmeal and peanut butter) were amazing (the third one is being saved for tomorrow)! Thanks to Sugar Bear I looked up Ope's online only to discover they call home Kalamazoo, maybe I can go check them out. If not, it's ok, because thanks to them there are tons of restaurants around town with their products so I can eat anywhere!

UPDATE: The third Ope's cookie, double chocolate chip, was possibly my favorite. It's chocolate, I guess I could have predicted that :)

Sugar Bear, Paw Paw MI
Vegetarian Section & Vegan Options on the Menu
Veg*n Not Dog, Chicago-Style w/ Potato Chips

People's Food Coop (Kalamazoo, MI) had to be a stop to grab snacks for my weekend and some dinner for the night. I was very excited to try out their hot food (Thursday is vegan jerk tempeh, dirty rice, and roasted veggies in a coconut sauce), which was ridiculously yummy and I should probably have gotten less of it because I'm pretty sure I just ate two dinners. I also picked up a couple vegan breakfast burritos for the mornings, a vegan reuben sandwich (I love that I don't have to miss reubens... I wonder if Urbana's Food Coop or Strawberry Fields would make this one? So good.), and some nut bars for the day at the beach. I'm good for the weekend if I can't find anything else (which, thanks to Ope's, I can—I'm loving Kalamazoo!).

People's Food Coop, Kalamazoo MI
Vegan Reuben
Veg*n Nut Peanut Butter Bar (with honey)
Fuel (Kalamazoo, MI) was so close to being great... it offers up veg*n soul food, but doesn't market it as such. It's in this tiny little building that is so charming and well designed, but on 100° day the AC is running but not working (it was the same temperature as outside in there, sans breeze). They were out of the crab cakes and the vegan beignet (both of which I loved when when I was not vegan, so pretty disappointed)... at 7pm on Friday night and we were one of two tables in there (so they didn't make something on their menu that day? Not sure). The food was amazing, but for what we were served (amount and actual ingredients) it was probably double the price it was worth—and I value taste and presentation. I'm glad we went, but I wished it was everything it could easily be.

Cuban Stack (Mashed Green Plantains w/Garlic, "Chickenish," Black Beans, Red Sauce) 
Raw BBQ (BBW Mushroom on top of Mashed Cauliflower & Cabbage)
Schu's Bar & Grill (St. Joseph, MI) was too dark for pictures, but they served up a yummy veggie burger with guacamole on top (mmmm). We weren't expecting to be in St. Joe, so I had to do a quick google search for veg*n food as we walked away from the beautiful Silver Beach County Park. No results when I searched vegan, but vegetarian came up with Schu's... and that was it I believe. We talked about returning here next fourth of July, so I'll have to more research. Or be prepared to do lots of cooking, which is fine by me :)

Not bad for a four day excursion to Southwest Michigan, if I do say so myself. And it was fun to chat about food with you, hope you liked the lil switch too! 

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