Girls Weekend Part 1

The Lovely Ladies, Monica & Laura, and I headed out early this morning to Massachusetts for a girls night away filled with shopping, eating, relaxing and laughing.

What's girls weekend with out a few road snacks?

After a little unsuccessful shopping at the mall the girls and I went to Macaroni Grill for lunch.

Delicious Bread and Olive oil

yummmy pasta

Then it was time to check into our hotel.

Sorry this is short! Having too much fun! To Be Continued……….

Quick Night in MA

As you read in my last post the Hubz and I took a quick trip to Massachusetts to have a night away and to do a little shopping at The Container Store and Ikea to outfit our new apartment.  Our goal is to have everything organized and beautiful ….but first we need to be able to move in.  On our way down to MA we shared a Twist drink that the company sent me to try. These beverages are certified organic and are basically flavored waters.  The first flavor we tried was West Indies Lime which was delicious! It tasted like key lime pie and was almost creamy just like a pie and brought me back to Key West…..aww I dream of the beach.

Once we arrived and checked into the hotel we were hungry and decided to head to The Pulse in Somerville for dinner which you can read all about here. Since we were not satisfied or full from our meal at The Pulse we walked down the street to Joshua Tree for a beer and sweet potato fries.

We woke up early the next morning and decided to head to Watertown to the Deluxe Town Diner for some yummy vegan pancakes.  However when we arrived we saw a new breakfast wrap filled with tofu, soy cheese, veggie sausage, avocado and black beans and we both decided to go with that and coffee.

The food was really good but the homefries were a bit cold and the coffee was some what watered down.  The service was slow and my bottomless cup of coffee was bottomed a number of times.  I loved the atmosphere though; it is an old diner and still seems to have the original fixtures which brings you back to a different time.  Overall the food was really good and their pancakes are delicious as well.

Rating:

  • Value: 4/5
  • Food: 4/5
  • Atmosphere: 3.5/5
  • Vegan Friendly: 2.5/5

After breakfast we headed out to The Container Store where we picked up some great items to organize our new place and then we were off to Ikea where we found a great new dining room table. I can’t wait to show you all when we finally move into our new place and put it together. After hours of shopping we decided to have a quick and super inexpensive lunch at Ikea; we both got the organic pasta with marinara sauce for only $2 each! It wasn’t the best food but it did the job.

After Ikea we headed home which felt like forever so we stopped for iced coffee and finally made it to my grandma’s where we made dinner and got ready for our garage sale which was extremely successful.  The rest of the weekend has been spent relaxing.

Restaurant Review: The Pulse Cafe- Somerville, MA

Over the long weekend the Hubz and I made a quick overnight trip to the Boston area for a little getaway and to visit a few stores in search of items for our new apartment.  The first night we were there we decided to try The Pulse Cafe; a vegan restaurant in Somerville that was rumored to be good.

The cafe is a small cafeteria like place with table service, we were greeted and seated immediately as there was no one else there.  After looking over the menu we decided to ask our waitress which two items she recommended and based on her recommendation we went with the BBQ Seitan with slaw and cornbread and the Veg Burger with a mixed green salad.

At this point we are seeing the food and thinking wow this looks pretty good….however our eyes were deceived.  The seitan was like eating a sponge, the texture and consistency was awful and I couldn’t finish my half it was that bad. The bbq sauce on the seitan was like sweetened tomato paste, the cornbread was dry, and the slaw was AMAZING. The slaw was the highlight of both dishes which is pretty disappointing considering it is just a side.

As for the burger it was was bland even with the chipotle mayo which you couldn’t even taste.  The burger was mushy and with the bun and tomato there was a real lack of great texture, it needed something crunchy and more seasoning.  The greens were boring and under a few leaves we found a piece of tomato and red pepper.  There was dressing on the salad leaving it very bland as well; just a little lemon juice, salt and pepper would have made the salad 100x better.

The food was disappointing, the prices were expensive ($13 for a veggie burger? come on) and to top it all of the seating was horrible.  The dining area has two levels that are separated by a railing; we were seated on the lower level.  A group of 3 people came in and were seated on the upper level right next to us so the only thing separating us was the thin railing.  The group then proceeded to look down on us and watch as we ate which made both of us extremely uncomfortable.  To top it all off we were the only people in the cafe so there was no need to seat someone so close to us.

Overall I would not recommend or visit this cafe again. I found that there was as lot of hype on the internet over this place due to the pure fact that it was vegan. All though it is vegan the food and prices were not worth the visit, especially with a number of great vegan friendly restaurants nearby. To top off the whole experience both the Hubz and I left hungry since we were unable to finish our food.

Ratings:

  • Value: 0/5
  • Food: 2/5
  • Vegan Friendly: 5/5
  • Atmosphere: 1/5

Anniversary Weekend, Portland ME: Part 3

We had a pretty quiet night on Saturday, after our relaxing soak and dinner at Whole Foods we went back to our room where we enjoyed a few yummy vegan chocolates from Whole Foods. We split a Health Crunch and A Chocolate Salted Caramel Cup both of which were delicious.

We headed home on Sunday morning but not before stopping in at Whole Foods for an iced coffee and bagel with cream cheese.

After we ate our breakfast we spent a good 45 minutes roaming the aisles of the store picking up a number of goodies such as donut peaches, kale, apricots and coconut milk yogurt. Luckily I brought our cooler bag which I filled with ice from the hotel so that we could get some refrigerated items to bring home with us. Once we finally got on the road we decided to stop in York, ME at Stonewall Kitchen so that we could try all the hot sauce, jam and mustards that they have there, who doesn’t love free samples? The place was insanely busy and there were tons of rude people who kept pushing and shoving so the hubz and I made this a quick trip and got out of there before we were trampled.

From there we headed to Kittery ME to visit the outlets. We also picked up lunch for the road which we ate in Kittery after our disappointing trip to the outlets there. When did the Kittery outlets become so horrible?

After Kittery we decided to take the “scenic” way home and headed on Route 4 to Concord and to our delight we spotted Redhook Ale Brewery and decided to stop in and take a tour. When we arrived we had about an hour to wait before the next tour was to occur and since we were in no rush we decided to wait and get a sampler of their beer to try. We also had some chips and salsa because I only finished half my salad and I knew without a little food in my belly all that beer was going to have quiet the effect on me.

I finished all of the IPA and ESB but only took a few sips of the Slim Chance doesn’t exist it’s now the Blonde, the seasonal and the limited release (oatmeal stout).  I also snacked on some chips but tried not to eat too many.

Finally the hour passed and it was time for our tour, which we almost didn’t stay for.  We are glad we stayed though because for only $1 each we had a very informative tour and received a Redhook tasting glass as well as 4+ samples. It is one of the best tour deals I’ve ever seen.

We finished our trip in Concord NH where we stopped at Boloco to get something to eat for dinner.  I was excited to see that Boloco has bowls instead of wraps now (I know my husband said it’s been like that for awhile), anyways I was pumped and decided to get a Goloco Bowl.  Goloco is basically putting whatever you want in a bowl or wrap; for mine I had brown rice, organic tofu, fajita veggies, cucumber, corn salsa, tomatoes, scallions, balsamic and black bean hummus.  The hubby got a wrap and we shared an unsweetened ice tea.

We had the best time in Portland – great city and I can’t wait to go back again.

Anniversary Weekend In Portland ME: Part 2

After our “wild” night out on the town in Portland we decided that we needed to get some veggies in our systems,  so we went to Whole Foods. This would start our day of eating entirely from Whole Foods. As soon as I saw the 2 different kale salads, I was in heaven.

I quickly devoured this entire bowl of goodies which consisted of 2 types of kale salad, vegan chicken salad, tuscan pasta salad, snow peas and a little bean salad. There was also a piece of sweet potato that I didn’t like, so after a nibble it went into hubby’s bowl.

The Hubby and I also shared a Vita CoCo Coconut Water.

Once we filled our bellies it was time to head out to do something active and since I had heard great things about the various trails around Portland we decided to try one out.  We chose the Fore River Sanctuary Trail which lead us to f Jewell Falls, Portland ‘s only natural waterfall.

After our  2.5 mile walk we were hot and in need of some iced coffee and a shot of wheat grass from……WHOLE FOODS- this would be trip 2 of the day.  While we were there we decided that we would head to Freeport to do a little outlet shopping and visit L.L. Bean so we picked up some lunch for our trip. For our lunch we each had a donut peach and shared vegan chicken salad, a multigrain roll and a salad of kale, red cabbage, pasta salad and a few other treats

Freeport was fun and we really enjoyed L.L. Bean which was filled with every camping item that we could ever want …and never need.  Neil also enjoyed a nap in one of the tents.

After his nap at L.L. Bean it was time to head back to the hotel for a real nap in our bed before we headed out for the evening. This evening was a little, well more like a lot more low key than our first night in Portland.  We made last minute reservations at Soakology a wonderful foot sanctuary and teahouse.  I unfortunately couldn’t take any photos during our soak which was the most relaxing thing that either of us had done in a long time.  I did a peppermint soak and the hubz did a Maine Woods which had spruce in it and he was in heaven.

While you sit in huge comfy chairs with your feel in giant bowls of warm water the soakologist provides you with a warm neck wrap.  We sipped on some tea and relaxed while having our water warmed up ever 15 minutes for about an hour.  We had the most relaxing time and after that we headed out for a walk and then dinner at ….take a guess…

Whole Foods!

I know what you are probably thinking, aren’t there any good vegan friendly restaurants in Portland? Yes, there are a number of great vegan friendly restaurants in Portland however for our trip we had one pricey night out and decided to keep things less expensive and enjoyed the convenience of Whole Foods. If you are looking for some good vegan options that aren’t Whole Foods I suggest: Green Elephant (vegetarian, but mostly vegan), Mesa Verde (Mexican, with some vegan options), Silly’s (pubish food, tons of vegan options), Wild Burrito (vegan-friendly), Bintliff’s American Cafe (vegan-friendly w/vegan brunch options), Aurora Provisions (vegan-friendly with local tempeh and tofu and vegan desserts); there are also a number of vegan-friendly Indian and Thai restaurants in the area as well.