Monday, June 27, 2011

Modern Times

Modern Times is perhaps the newest addition to the vegan-friendly dining scene in Minneapolis. We enjoyed a Sunday afternoon visit. I had the vegan seitan melt and my wife had the TLT (tempeh, lettuce, tomato) sandwich. We added a side of garlic fries. Everything was great!
Seitan melt

The menu clearly identifies the items that can be made vegan. They had Joy Division emanating from the stereo speakers the whole time we were there. Modern Times is located at 32nd and Chicago. You can't miss the bright colors and the cool, retro sign.
Modern Times

Friday, June 17, 2011

Hard Times Cafe

We had dinner at the Hard Times Cafe tonight. We don't make it to this Minneapolis West Bank establishment often enough. I chose the seitan gyro. It was so messy and impossible to eat that I decided to unfold it and essentially turn it into a seitan salad on top of pita bread. Either way, it was quite delicious. It's served with a side of tahini and chips. 
Seitan gyro
My wife had the Vegan Helter Skelter Breakfast, which she enjoyed. It's a nice mix of potatoes, broccoli, and cauliflower. We had a side of chips and salsa. Be warned: it seems like they practically give you a whole bag of chips and a whole jar of salsa!
Vegan Helter Skelter Breakfast

Friday, June 10, 2011

Vegan at Target Field

I admit to being a big baseball fan. I went to the Twins game last night and I hadn't eaten dinner. Fortunately, a vegan can eat pretty well at Target Field. While one has to search a little bit for the vegan stuff, the team's web site makes the search easier by dedicating a page to listing many of the vegetarian (as well as gluten free) options. I started out the night with a veggie burger. During last year's baseball season I confirmed with the staff that the burger has no eggs or dairy products. (I'm not certain which brand they use.) Without reading the ingredients yourself, you have to realize that you're putting a little bit of faith in concession stand workers who might not get questions from vegans on a regular basis. They did confirm for me that the veggie dogs are not vegan. They contain egg whites.
Veggie burger at Target Field
Later in the game I went with perhaps my favorite Target Field item: veggie kabobs. You get two sticks with a variety of skewered veggies, cooked over a flame. They're really simple, tasty and healthy. You might consider asking that they hold the onions...I was still tasting them today! Also let them know that you don't need the container of ranch dressing. These take a few minutes because they make them when you order them. In other words, they don't just make a bunch of them and let the kabobs sit there until someone orders them. That's a good thing.
Veggie kabobs at Target Field
Finally, just to fill in the gaps, I ordered a banana from the "farm stand" that offers fresh fruit near the right field/plaza entrance. 

It's certainly not cheap to eat at professional sports venues, but it sure is nice to find vegan options. As a bonus for eco-conscious vegans, Target Field may be the most transit- and bicycle-friendly ballpark in the country. On average, there are apparently more than 300 bikes locked up around Target Field during a typical game, with significantly more than that during weekend day games. 

Although the Twins have struggled mightily during the 2011 season, I happened to witness a ninth-inning Twins victory over the Rangers on this particular evening.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Open Streets Minneapolis

Open Streets Minneapolis, taking place this Sunday, June 12th, will offer an opportunity for bicyclists (and walkers, skaters, etc.) to roam free on a large segment of Lyndale Avenue. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the street will be turned over to self-propelled transportation between 22nd Street and 42nd Street. With events like this one, perhaps Minneapolis will once again be named the country's most bicycle-friendly large city by Bicycling magazine.

Why do I mention this on Mill City Vegan? Well, Lyndale Avenue is probably Minneapolis' most vegan-friendly street. This seems like a fantastic opportunity to bike to at least a few establishments for an extended Sunday brunch. Here, from north to south, are the places that immediately come to mind:

- I would normally recommend the Wedge, located on Lyndale between Franklin and 22nd. However, their newsletter recently included a really lame, anti-vegan opinion piece. Understandably, some local vegans are suggesting that you consider shopping elsewhere. So let's move on to some places that you shouldn't miss.
- Ecopolitan is located just south of 24th Street. All vegan. All raw.
- The French Meadow Bakery and Cafe is located just south of 26th Street. Stop in for a vegan meal and/or baked goods.
- Galactic Pizza is located between the Midtown Greenway and Lake Street. A vegan-friendly pizza place with awesome delivery guys in little electric cars! You can usually get vegan cheesecake as well.
- At Caffrey's Deli, located just south of Lake Street, you can order a vegan version of their Three Pepper Chicken sub.  I posted about this recently.
- Pizza Luce. Last but certainly not least, this is a long-time favorite with delicious pizza and sandwiches, located at 32nd Street.

Let me know if I missed any. If you don't want to bring your own bike, there are Nice Ride shared bike kiosks along Lyndale Avenue. I'll see you on Lyndale this Sunday!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Evergreen Chinese Restaurant

We can't go very long without a trip to Evergreen. We typically find ourselves ordering one of several different dishes over and over again. This time we both decided to try something off of the menu that we've never ordered before. I had the Fried Tofu with Crispy Soy Bean Flakes. My wife had the Mock Chicken with Cashew Nuts. No regrets. Mine had a unique taste and was pretty spicy. The mock chicken dish was pretty darn good as well. I'm not sure whether either dish will make it into our regular Evergreen rotation, but it's nice to try something new at this vegan-friendly establishment.
Fried Tofu with Crispy Soy Bean Flakes
Mock Chicken with Cashew Nuts 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Psycho Suzi's Motor Lounge

Black bean chili
When Psycho Suzi's announced that they were moving to a bigger location and that they planned to overhaul their menu a bit, I was hopeful that more vegan options would be added. It didn't happen. The new location, with its huge patio right next to the river, is really cool. However, the vegan options are quite limited. I did enjoy the vegetarian black bean chili. The waitress was very thoughtful and asked whether I wanted to hold the sour cream and cheese before I even had a chance to ask. I shared tater tots with my co-workers. Psycho Suzi's does have soy cheese for their pizzas, but I assume that they still use the stuff that has casein. I haven't asked. When I go there for pizza in the future, I'll be sure to double-check.  In the meantime, if you're in the mood for quality chili in a fun setting; this is your place.

"Welcome to Paradise"