Road food is not kind to vegans…or really, to anyone. TC and I were eating a very unhealthy breakfast of fries (for me) and French toast (for him) somewhere in South Dakota and he said, “Ugh, I feel like I’m gonna have a heart attack after eating all this heavy food this trip.” Which led to a certain song being stuck in my head for the rest of the trip…
Before you get on my case and say, “You whiny gluten-free vegan, of course you won’t be fed in America’s Heartland! Oh, you vegans, always wanting people to cater to them…”
Put a sock in it. If there’s one thing I learned from studying Jewish texts, it’s this from Hillel the Elder, “If I am not for myself who is for me? And being for my own self, what am ‘I’? And if not now, when?” I was not expecting to be fed, and I prepared for it by packing:
- Protein bars (Larabars, mostly)
- Protein powder (Garden of Life RAW protein in chocolate is my fave)
- Reheatable pouch food (Tasty Bite Indian entrees)
- Food from Ownie Mom including soup, blueberry banana walnut bread, and summer berry crisp–all VGF
- Supplements in a 2-week pill container
The method: bringing a cooler and buying ice and bottled water every day on the road (sue me, I recycle the bottles when possible)
And now, to the pictures:
TC and I drove straight through Saturday-Sunday, and I drove through the “Mountains of Maryland” to arrive in DC at 08:30 on Sunday.
Bandit’s owner took us out to Union Market for brunch. I had a lentil and rice dhosa filled with curried sweet potato and eggplant. All I wanted to do was sleep, but the dhosa was pretty darn good, too, with the proper combination of crispy hot outside, soft warm inside, and cool creamy sauces.
It’s funny that the Union Market website describes the venue as the “epicenter of culinary creativity in DC,” because to my eyes, it was the epicenter of hipster conformity. Welcome back to DC, Q.
Fave place to eat in Washington, DC now (sorry, Sticky Fingers…) is Nooshi in Barracks Row.
I had the tofu “fries” and Singapore stir-fried noodles (made VGF). So spicy and delicious.
TC cooked dinner for me every day, even though Bandit‘s owner’s kitchen was in the process of being upgraded. So I was able to bring leftovers to work, which was awesome.
Bandit the Frenchie and Pomely the plush kitten.
Fajitas on the grill!
I also got used to drinking more or less “straight” protein shakeage. Garden of Life RAW protein is my saviour.
I remember why I don’t live in DC anymore. Lack of sleep, 4 hours a day of commuting, zero exercise, barely leaving the office…no wonder I was depressed, overweight, and artistically blocked. NEXT!
Bidness Cat and Stewie got into some wine at work…
We stopped in Philly on the way up to see various members of my family. We visited Crash Bang Boom (AKA: The Goth Store) and The Strange and Unusual (take note, Motionless in White fans: besides a lot of Ouija board memorabilia, they vend Blackcraft Cult t-shirts, and [used?] coffins–COOL SHIT).
Longtime readers of this blog may recognize the placemat: we visited my grandparents (and their pool) in central New Jersey. I baked Simple Mills Vanilla Cake Mix with bananas and some ancient Whole Foods Market brand vegan chocolate chips. Too late, I realised the mix didn’t contain xanthan gum (and I had been keeping some in the freezer at my grandparents’ house for this very reason). The cake didn’t really turn out solid, but I think that was user error.
On the way up to Massachusetts:
Can we visit Danbury Acres?! Name that Abbot & Costello film reference.
On the way back from seeing my paternal grandparents, we stopped in Catskill, NY. Visit this historic, artsy little town, people! There are cats everywhere!
After hanging out with Ownie Mom in NW NJ, thus began the long slog back West. Besides the aforementioned lack of healthy dining options throughout the middle of the country, there are lots of behemoth antique malls.
Cracker Barrel (or Crackhead Barrel, as TC says), Perkins, IHOP…I have learned to just bring my notebook and write while TC eats something he later regrets.
If, however, you are vegan and have absolutely zero alternative, the “Country Vegetable Plate” at Crackhead Barrel, without butter (blasphemy, I know), is alright and relatively cheap.
Devil’s Tower, Wyoming: only 8 hours away from HQ, so hopefully we can return before it snows and actually hike around the national monument.
Travel companions who are almost as old as I am: Benjamin Bunny and the Grumpy Bunny.
Apparently that fire ban in Grand County, Colorado doesn’t apply to some people.
It was very exciting to come back to receive these two compilations from Russia at the post office: Terror Night Volume 1: Industrial Madness and Terror Night Volume 2: Sounds of the Dead Future. Terror Night is an Internet radio show from Russia featuring “best world dark electro, aggrotech, and industrial music.”
My earworm for the last part of the trip:
A cut rate, it’s too late, you’ve bargained with my depressed state
I step back, please relax, you’re giving me a heart attack