28 November 2012

So like, how do you eat?

Now that I've told you how I grocery shop, it's time to teach you how to use all that food.  Like every day.  I'm not a professional nutritionist or anything, but this routine definitely works for me.  If you want to try something like it, feel free to tweak as needed.  I find the most integral parts are making sure I have lots of fruit and eschewing processed foods while still eating whenever I'm hungry.  Which is all the time.  I'm practically pregnant.  NO I AM NOT AT ALL PREGNANT.  Not even 5%.

Let's amble pleasantly through a typical weekday.  Ooh, except can we pretend it's NOT 15F in the morning?  Not that it really has much to do with cooking.  It's just.  Escapism.  Totally healthy.  We'll take yesterday: Tuesday, September 88th.  A balmy seventy-whatever degrees and lots of sunshine.  With a rainbow.  I rolled out of bed at 5:15a (I have to be at work by 7:30, stay with me) and had nothing more than a few sips of cold water before hitting the trail in my UnderArmour shorts.  I ran 3 1/3 miles and the MOON, holy lemons, it was beautiful.  Big, yellow, and shimmering brightly on the rippling surface of Lake Harriet.  I adore my pre-dawn runs.  I mean, I'm not crazy or whatever.

Got back home in about 30 minutes, stretched for 5, showered and stuff, then at 6:45: BREAKFAST!  Oh, breakfast.  Breakfast is better than chocolate.  There.  I said it.  I scooped my pre-made amaranth out of the fridge and heated it up with vanilla unsweetened almond milk.

Okay, hold on.  What in the name of science is amaranth, you say?  It's awesome, is what.  It's one of those grains that cooks up like Cream of Wheat, but without all the gross processed junk.  I eat it because, like many wonderful things in my life, Shelley introduced me to it.  And it's cheaper than quinoa, which also makes a fab breakfast base.


Amaranth + almond milk + granola = breakfast part 1.  Second part - a fresh smoothie!  Fruit is like, the BEST way to start your day.  So much energy will you glean from this magical drink!  I made mine quickly, which means I threw a banana, orange, and a big handful of frozen berries in with a few scoops of almond yogurt and water.  DE-FREAKING-AMAZING.  I shoveled that all down and got just a little bit sad when it was over and I didn't get to continue eating it anymore.


Before I left for work, I threw some decaf vanilla hazelnut tea in my travel mug with a little almond milk.  I drank that at school at 7:45, then at about 9:45 I ate some dates.  Sometimes it's an apple or trail mix.  Come 11:00 I scarfed down another snack - this time one of my home-made granola bars (from Isa Chandra Moskowitz's Fruity Oaty Bars recipe).  When I experienced hunger pangs between these snacks, because, as previously mentioned, I'm always hungry, I had a bite off the 85% dark chocolate bar I keep with me at all times.

I had lunch at 12:45.  This is always a leftover and water.  Sometimes I pack my tupperware too full and can't finish - which is great, because then I just eat until I'm full and save the rest for tomorrow.  When I finished eating I nibbled on my chocolate some more.

After swinging by the co-op to purchase some kale for dinner, I got home at 3:30 and had some more tea with almond milk.  On days I'm a little hungrier (which, honestly, is like every day), I have some dates or a little granola with almond milk.


I started cooking at 4:30p and had dinner ready by 5:15.  For most dinners, I try to include a grain, a protein, and at least one veggie.  Last night I made roasted sweet potatoes with kale, quinoa, and kidney beans.  Seriously, it was a snap.


Other easy complete meals include Indian curries with tomatoes, potatoes, peas, and couscous; nachos with tortilla chips, brown rice, salsa, black beans, scallions, Daiya cheese, and avocados; and risotto with marinated tofu, red bell pepper, and artichoke hearts.

Once dinner settled a bit, I had one more cup of tea and a few more bites of chocolate before going to bed at 9:00.  Usually we decompress with Deep Space 9.  Which is NOT as good as Voyager and Next Gen, by the way.  I'm a little tempted to skip to season 4.  Orrrr watch Voyager again.  This is how I know I have a problem.

recipe: roasted sweet potatoes with kale, quinoa, and kidney beans

I basically make something like this every night.  It's so easy you could shake a stick at it.  (To be honest, even if it weren't easy you could still shake a stick at it.  This is a free country, so I don't want you to feel like I'm limiting your stick-shaking.  Please, by all means, shake away at recipes easy and difficult alike.)

This forms the basis of many a quick meal.  The quinoa could be anything - rice, couscous, barley, millet, pasta, you name it.  The kidney beans could be another legume, tofu, tempeh, or a homemade protein.  And seriously, use any veggies.  As long as you know how to cook them.


Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Kale, Quinoa, and Kidney Beans
GF - 45 minutes - serves 4

Olive oil
2 medium sweet potatoes
1c uncooked quinoa
Salt and pepper to taste
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch kale, washed and chopped
1 can kidney beans
1/4t crushed red pepper
1/4c white wine
2T sesame seeds
1t red wine vinegar

Preheat your oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Scrub and chop your sweet potatoes into bite-sized pieces and spread them evenly across your baking sheet.  Grab your olive oil spray bottle or considerably less awesome oil-distribution tool and drizzle those babies down.  Sprinkle with salt and stick 'em in the oven for 30 minutes.  Don't even turn them.  Don't even look at them.


When they come out they'll be as done as I am at 8:30 on a weeknight.  You should be able to smush them with your super cool bamboo saute spatula.  At 8:30 I am also getting to the point where I could be smushed by a spatula.


In the meantime, set up your quinoa.  Pour the dried grain into a small saucepan with 2 cups of water, a sprinkling of salt, and a dash of olive oil.  If you want to get fancy, use a dollop of Earth Balance instead.  Bring the pot to a boil, then turn the heat down so it simmers for about 15 minutes, or until it looks like this.


In the meantime of the meantime, you can chop the onion, garlic, and kale.


Bring some salted water to a boil so you can blanch your delicious greens.  How much water?  I don't know.  This much.


Turner taught me this tactic.  Flash blanching your kale for just a minute or two will bring it to the optimal taste and texture.  Seriously.  It's a neat trick.  So when it looks like this:


It's ready.  Drain it in a colander.  Have a bite.  Mm!

In the meantime within the meantime, have your onion sauteing in a wok or large skillet.  Once it's translucent after 5-7 minutes, add the garlic and saute for another minute.  Next toss in salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper.  Mix it up and add the white wine.  Turn up the heat and wait for the wine to reduce.  It should boil away almost completely in 8 minutes or less.

Time to throw everything in the wok!  Reduce the heat and add the kale, beans, quinoa, and sweet potatoes.  Mix it up so all the ingredients are evenly distributed.  Sprinkle on the sesame seeds and red wine vinegar, mix some more, and voila!  Ready to serve.


I am constantly amazed at how little seasoning is required to make these things taste good.  If you're like me a year ago, you'd pass over this recipe completely.  But a year ago I didn't know I was being a MORON and missing out on the amazing subtle flavors of whole foods.  This is something more than just a handful of crazy vegans would appreciate, too - Matt loves this kind of stuff and always gets himself a second helping.  And does the dishes.

I have reason to believe he's going to set me up with a music system in the kitchen for my birthday in a couple of months.  Possibly because he's sick of me yelling, "Can we listen to A Very Potter Musical again?" at him in the living room while I'm tooling around with the stove.  Or possibly because he's totally great.  (He's totally great, you guys.)

26 November 2012

How do you, um, grocery shop?

I love it when people ask me this question.  It makes me giggle.  Like in a happy this-question-is-epically-embarrassing way, not in a Mean Girls way.  (By the by, did you know that movie is absolutely thriving in popularity among the middle school girls of Edina?  You know that I'm not allowed to wear hoop earrings, right?)

Because, really.  How DOES one grocery shop as a vegan chef?  Or even just as a healthy person?  I offer classes on this subject.  Kasey will be my first pupil.  Holla, girlfriend!  She signed up weeks ago.  You gotta schedule these things in advance.
  1. Choose your grocery store.  Mine is the Linden Hills Co-Op.  "But Alli!" you'll say, "It's so expensive!  RIDICULOUSLY so!  How do you expect me to pay a thousand million bajillion dollars for half a pound of kale and a handful of goji berries?"  Well, friends, I don't expect you to shop at a co-op.  It's ridiculously expensive.  Were you not paying attention?  Matt and I shop there because it's 4 blocks from our apartment and we really care about the quality of our food.  Putting money into our local economy is a major bonus, too.  I'll whip up a post about the co-op sometime.  You, on the other hand, may choose to continue shopping at the same Cub, Target, Rainbow, or CostCo you're used to.  My point is, if I may dig it out of the shambles of this tangentally pretentious paragraph, you can shop vegan anywhere.
  2. Set up a base.  The first time you do this will probably be the most painful, but subsequent trips'll be a piece of cake.  You need to make sure you have the appropriate pantry supplies, including grains, beans, and condiments.  Here's a list of non-perishables I always keep on hand:
    • Brown rice
    • Quinoa
    • Whole wheat couscous
    • Oats
    • Cornmeal/polenta
    • Whole wheat pasta
    • Flour: whole wheat, whole wheat pastry, and white
    • Seeds: flax, sesame, sunflower
    • Dried lentils
    • Canned beans (you could do all dried, but I find using canned beans way easier)
    • Canned artichoke hearts
    • Oils: olive for sauteeing and roasting, peanut for Asian, and canola for baking
    • Spices: salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, oregano, thyme, and good curry and chili powders, at the very least.
    • Veggie boullion cubes or veggie stock
    • Vinegars: the unsung heroes of your kitchen!  Balsamic, red wine, apple cider, and brown rice.
    • Mustard
    • Agave nectar or pure maple syrup


  3. Nab some foods that store well.  Things that will form flavor bases, veggies that last forever, perishable proteins, stuff like that.  In addition to the stuff I always pack for my granola, I like to have:
    • Garlic
    • Onions
    • Ginger
    • Nuts
    • Potatoes
    • Sweet potatoes
    • Squash
    • Dates
    • Lemons
    • Frozen peas
    • Frozen edamame
    • Frozen berries
    • Tofu
    • Tempeh
    • Earth Balance
    • White cooking wine
    • Non-dairy milk
  4. Fill your cart with fresh produce!  Like your cart's not already full?  Well, when you go back, week after week, fresh produce is most of what you should be purchasing.  You should aim to get at least one fresh veggie for each day you'll be cooking.  I usually get whatever looks good or is on sale.  I confess, though, I do have a short list of favorites.
    • Greens: kale, chard, or collards
    • Eggplant
    • Tomatoes
    • Avocados
    • Oranges
    • Bananas
    • ANY FRUIT THAT'S GOOD OMG FRUIT'S THE BEST
That's how I roll.  Now, there are tons of other guides for vegan grocery shopping.  Check out The Kind Diet and Skinny Bitch.  Mine's pretty similar to those.  Despite how scary this huge list is, you'll be glad for the variety, trust me.  And you certainly don't have to buy it all at once, either.  I'll show you how to use all these crazy foods every day next time.

Does this not make you super hungry?  I'm so glad Mom's taking us to Rice Paper for Matt's birthday tonight.  Let me tell you what I gave him.  I'm telling you.  It's a custom-made Captain Adventure hoodie.  Dude.  Who wouldn't want to be married to me?

18 November 2012

Minneapolis: Peninsula

NEW FAVORITE.

I wasn't that excited to eat here.  I thought Matt and I were gonna be dining on boring noodles with bland veggies, an assumption I based on my previous experiences with Malaysian.  The aforementioned experiences are also the reason I hadn't had Malaysian often enough to discover the truly exceptional facets of it (the ones at Peninsula).  Oddly, one such disappointing meal was in Wellington, New Zealand.  You'd think their proximity to Malaysia itself would make the country's best Malaysian restaurant better than mediocre.  But no.  Apparently it's Minneapolis that's the perfect distance from the motherland.  (Or, it's time for me to admit that the location has no bearing on this situation whatsoever.)

Peninsula is practically perfect in every way.

Peninsula
2608 Nicollet Ave S
Minneapolis, MN  55408
(612) 871-8282

Our love affair started with 001. Roti Canai for $4.  (My marriage always has room for bombshell food.  Also kittens.)  Our extremely helpful and personable server recommended it when I asked if they could make anything vegan.  While the menu denotes dishes that are vegetarian or available vegetarian on request, it has no marking for vegan stuff.  Your server totally knows, though.

Roti Canai is a super duper authentic Malaysian dish that includes a big injera-like crispy, thin pancake of heavenly-smelling bliss.  The sauce - which you need to order vegan to avoid chicken - has a deep, creamy, curry flavor with just the right amount of kick.  According to our server, you can eat it however you like: dip small pieces in, spoon the sauce over the roti, stuff the roti in your pie-hole and pour the sauce in... the possibilities are endless.  (Anyone else read pie-hole in Jane Lynch's voice?)  You MUST order this.  You haven't lived.


The 105. Curry Tofu Hot Pot for $12 is a soupy palette of tofu, eggplant, basil, snow peas, green beans, mushrooms, and cabbage in a deeply penetrating red curry.  Each morsel was cooked just right and suffused with this spicy creamy BAM taste, although it was light enough on the whole that we didn't feel bogged down by having eaten (or, overeaten) it.  Even the tofu was perfect!  First of all, they make the tofu itself from scratch at the restaurant.  Not sure how (it's a secret, our server confided), but it definitely involves magic of some kind.  Then the tofu is lightly breaded and cooked in the curry until the flavor becomes omnipresent, and it finds the balance between too chewy and too soft.  And that wasn't even the best dish!


Meet the 104. Spicy Golden Tofu at $12.  Like with the Hot Pot, make sure your server knows you'd like it vegan.  There's egg in the breading, otherwise.  This puppy gives you a tasteful stir fry with onions, bell peppers, chilis, and some kind of better-than-real crispy breaded and fried tofu.  Once this tofu reaches the inside of your mouth for the first time, your life will be OVER.  All you'll ever want to do again is eat more of it.  The outside is perfectly crispy and salty, then the inside melts onto your tongue with the excellent spicy flavor of the stir fry.  This is the best Malaysian I've ever had, hands down.


Bet you don't think it could get better.  Well guess what.  They played Gangnam Style while we crammed our dinner in.  Op.

HAAAAAY SEXY LADAY

[EDIT 3/17/2013]  Ugh.  Dudes and dudettes!  The tofu here is made with EGGS!  Sorry.  I am way disappointed.

16 November 2012

Edina: Biryani

I called Mom and I was all, "Let's meet at Chapati at 6!"  'Cause.  It USED to be Chapati.  She knew what I meant.  I mean there's only one Indian place in the whole kingdom hotel tennis court city of Edina.  And it turns out I got to eat chapati at Biryani anyway, to my eternal joy (but did not get to eat biryani at Biryani).  And I didn't even have to fly to Kenya and get Mama Kamau to make these chapatis by hand with nothing but her hands and a wood fire!  Although I would fly there.  Like right now.  Nnnnot even kidding.

Biryani
7078 Amundson Ave
Edina, MN  55439
(952) 946-0009

Biryani's menu's got a nice, varied vegetarian section.  It won't tell you what's vegan, though, even if you can zero in on dishes that don't say "creamy," "paneer," or "cheese."  No matter what you pick, let your server know you need it without dairy.  If he or she is anything like our server, you'll get a friendly, reassuring delivery of a dairy-free meal.  Our server actually asked me if I'm vegan.  Talk about intuition.  (That's what I get for asking if there's dairy in the tea, the naan, the curries, the water, and the tablecloth.)

I started with Red Spiced Tea for $2, which I really enjoyed.  I got 3 cups out of the serving, and if you want your server'll refill it for you.  It tasted like chai, in that it was somewhat spicy and exciting.  It was definitely not boring like earl grey (sorry, Picard) or overly cinnamony like Good Earth tea (I'm a freak for not liking that stuff, although I'l be the first to admit I'm a cinnamon enthusiast.)


With your curry, Biryani offers you the INGENIOUS MAGICAL CHOICE of naan (egg-filled), rice (boring-filled), or chapati.  Uh.  Like it's a question.  Let me tell you, that chapati is METAL.  Salty.  Simple.  Hot.  Perfect.  Better than naan?  You decide.


Baigan bharta: $11.  Of course, that price includes your chapati.  Or rice, if you're boring.  Orrr gluten free.  Hearts!  Anyway, my old eggplanty favorite sans ghee was spicy, smoky, creamy, flavorful, and heavenly on the chapati.  That's why Biryani is almost as favorite as Best of India.  Nothing I consumed wasn't effing DELICIOUS.


There's a Domino's next door.  Some poor employee from over there got strapped to a gurney and wheeled past the front windows of Biryani for having, I guess, a seizure.  The EMTs carted him away in an ambulance under the watchful eye of a police car.  MAYBE HE HAD A SEIZURE FROM INHALING TOO MUCH CHEESE OMG SUCH a good thing I'm not a doctor.

10 November 2012

recipe: leek and potato soup

When I did my semester in London 6 years ago, I had this amazing flatmate named Lauren.  We shared a kitchen with our other 4 flatmates, and at that time I wasn't much of a cook.  I could make cookies.  Big whoop.  Not the best way to go about being vegan.  Happily, Lauren made a mean leek and potato soup from her mum's recipe.  She switched out the dairy milk for soy, and BAM.  I was hooked on the stuff.

I've played around with my own recipe over the years, and - with the help of Turner's culinary genius - this is what I've had the most success with.


Leek and Potato Soup
GF - 40 minutes - serves 2-3

Olive oil
1 big leek
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2t thyme
1/2t marjoram
1/4t crushed red pepper
1/2t salt
Few dashes freshly-ground black pepper
1/4c white wine
2 medium-sized Yukon gold potatoes, chopped
3-4c vegetable broth
Splash of white wine vinegar (or red, if you must)


Before you do anything, I'm gonna make you wash your leek.  You don't know where that thing's been.  If you do it wrong, you'll be chopping it on your nice clean cutting board with your nice clean knife and all of a sudden - EW.  Dirt.  Lots of dirt.  Your life is ruined.

Grab your unwashed leek and chop the frilly white end off, then slice the rest of the leek into 3 shorter pieces.  Take each of those and cut them in half length-wise, so the inner layers are exposed.  You can discard the darkest green layers on the top - you only want to use the light green and white parts for cooking.  Fill a bowl with cool water and cram your leek bits in there.  Let them soak for five or more minutes.

When you take them out, check out all the dirt that settled on the bottom of your bowl!  Gross, right?  Good thing you're not smearing that all over your cutting board!


Gratuitous clean leek pictures aside, now we can move on.  Preheat some oil in your soup pot over medium heat.  Chop your leek into little half-moons.  They don't have to be any smaller than 1/2 inch because you get to puree this stuff later. Hooray!  Lazy chopping!


Toss your leek into the pot and sautee until the white bits are translucent, about 10 minutes.


Add the garlic and let it go for one minute.  Next throw down the thyme, marjoram, crushed red pepper, salt, and black pepper.


Mix it up, then add the potatoes, along with the white wine to deglaze the pot.  Turn the heat up so the wine reduces and let that bubble for up to 5 minutes, or however long it takes to evaporate.

Pour in the broth.  At this juncture, I like to add just enough to cover the potatoes, then add more later when I'm blending.  Bring it to a boil, then leave it at a simmer with your lid on for 15 minutes, until the potatoes are soft and easily smashed.  Add a splash of vinegar.


Turn off the heat and grab your best friend, the immersion blender.  (If you don't have one, use your boring blender, but don't burn yourself.  It would totally suck to have a heat blister on top of the sting of lacking an immersion blender.)  Puree to your heart's content, adding more broth or water to achieve your desired consistency.


Serve with a nice baguette!  And maybe even some garlic cheese toast.  Fancy.  Halitosis abounds.  Breathe on your cat.  See what she does.

recipe: garlic cheese toast

I mean COME ON.  Look.  Just look.  How can you not.


Garlic Cheese Toast
20 minutes - serves 2 as side

Bread - preferably un petit baguette, but you can use whatever you have
Earth Balance
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
Vegan mozzarella, such as Daiya
Marinara sauce for dipping (optional)


Preheat your oven to 375F and put on an apron or something, gawl.  You are going to get Earth Balance on your hands at some point, and you're going to want to wipe it on something instead of washing your hands for the grillionth time.

Slice the butt ends off your baguette and saw off 6 pieces of bread, each about 1 inch thick.  If you wind up having extra bread, congratulations!  You have extra bread!  Maybe you're like me and you want to eat it while you're cooking.  This is not conducive to singing, however, I've discovered.


Smear some Earth Balance on each cut side of every piece of bread.  There's not really a too much here.  Throw each buttery slice onto an ungreased baking sheet.


Take your minced garlic and spoon about a half a clove evenly onto each piece.  If you want, you can always chop more garlic and spread it out.  But unlike with the Earth Balance, I find that there can be too much garlic if you're not careful.  Sprinkle some mozzarella over the bread, too - you'll use 1-2 tablespoons per slice, if it's a baguette.  Add a dash of salt and pepper to each, and you're ready to slip that tray into the oven!


Let them bake for 10 minutes.  The cheese should be melted and the bread should have that nice, toasty golden brown hue.  Oh, and it should smell mouth-wateringly incredible.

If you've got marinara, serve with that.  If not, they'll still rock.

Was that not the easiest recipe you've ever read?  Why don't I make this every day?  I should start like a 30 Days of Garlic Cheese Toast Challenge.  It's a double challenge.  Because it'll be a challenge for me to make and eat it every day, and also a challenge for everyone I see to have a nose every day.

03 November 2012

Houston: Radical Eats

Oops!  Becca and I spent last weekend in Houston visiting with 3 of our fave peeps.  It was sunny.  Take that, East Coast.  (Too soon?)

Our wonderful hosts, Dane & Teresa, kindly had their ears to the ground for the vegan beat.  They took us to this totally lovely Tex-Mex hole with a 100% vegan menu.  A-MAZING.  Not only does their website have a super fun blog and recipe section, but the restaurant itself is comfortable and chill.  Perfect place for a Saturday lunch.


Radical Eats
3903 Fulton St
Houston, TX  77009
(713) 697-8719

The ordering process was a little confusing.  The place is switching from counter to table service, so it's a work in progress.  We walked in and were immediately greeted by a server who walked us through the specials, gave us menus, then had us choose a table.  We gave our orders to our server from there, but paid at the counter before we left.  They're friendly.  No big deal.  [EDIT] Check out T's comment below about Texas.

Free chips and salsa are kind of a given at Tex-Mex joints, but this place adds jalapeno sauce to the mix.  The homemade chips were super good and salty, so dense and crispy that it's not hard to see that these little triangles used to be tortillas.  The subtle flavor of the salsa complements the chips well.  It's got a nice slow burn so you don't notice the heat until you're swallowing.


The jalapeno sauce was hot enough to blow up a Beanie Baby, but you can still pick up on the roasted, seedless jalapeno flavor.  I'd been a jalapeno sauce virgin and I enjoyed it immensely.  I don't usually like the taste of these little chilis raw.  Roasted, though.  Exquisite.


I pretty much wanted to stick my face in everyone's plates, but restrained myself with difficulty.  I settled for elbowing my lunch compadres out of the way as I greedily snapped pictures of their food before they touched it.  Then I spent like a grillion minutes writing food notes down instead of having what's called a "conversation."  On top of THAT, I had to borrow St. Emily's camera and make her send these pictures to me afterward.  I am a total b-word sometimes.  Will it ever stop?  Who could ever love me?  When did I make such a wrong turn on this road called life?

LOL J/K I'll be obnoxious for like ever.

Emily and Dane both got the lovely Mole Enchilada Plate Special.  It seemed odd to prepare such a dish without some good and melty vegan cheese - that texture and flavor was definitely lacking.  Add that to the fact that some of the veggies inside were undercooked and the thing had a prime deficiency.  The spicy mole was good, though, with an earthy flavor.  The rice and beans happened to beat out the enchiladas for taste.  All in all, not the best meal at our table.


Becca's Torta for $5.50 wasn't very Tex-Mex either, but it was one hell of a sandwich.  Does that not look like a big ol' slab of cooked dead animal?!  Don't freak.  It's nice, melty grilled eggplant, refried beans, greens, vegan "gourmet" cheese, and what we think is vegan garlic aioli but might be veganaise and wasn't included in the menu's description.  Becca ordered hers without tomatoes, but it also came without the pesto and vegan sour cream that was promised in the menu.  It turned out just fine.  Better with pesto, though?  We may never know.


Then there were the tacos - YUM.  Order 3 and you've got yourself a solid meal.  The Street Taco at $2.50 (middle below) is filled with potatoes, portobello, red chili gravy, cilantro, and onions.  It was so delish that T gulped it down in one hot second.  The Fried Avocado Taco for $4.15 (left below) has got baja style fried avocado, as promised, Asian slaw, and creamy rooster sauce.  This thing was magic - the flavors you usually see in fish tacos came together to perfectly set off the cornmeal encrusted fried avocado.  Can you go wrong with fried avocado?  I don't think so, silly.


I nabbed the best of all 3 of the tacos: the Po' Boy for $3.50.  With cajun rice, bean & corn fritters, Louisiana hot sauce, and remoulade sauce, this thing went straight to the French Quarter of my heart.  In a nice way, not in an artery-clogging way.  The cajun flavor was authentic enough to fool me, and the hot, tangy sauces dripping over the crispy fried cornmeal & beans were HEAVEN.  Every taste was in perfect balance with its compatriots.  This thing owns.


We left with full bellies and skipped, hand in hand, into the sunset.  And by skipped hand in hand, I mean braced ourselves against the wind, and by into the sunset, I mean into Dane's Prius.