March 30, 2010

So this weekend, for Chris’s birthday, we took the Amtrak up to Glenwood Springs.   I’m sure you’re all dying to know….did we cheat??

Now, let me start with a little disclaimer: when it comes to small towns, vegan choices can be somewhat…limited.   That was to be expected.  What we didn’t expect, however, were the vegan options on the Amtrak!  They have a “vegan burger” (not veggie burger – VEGAN!), they had oatmeal and fruit for breakfast, they had soy chips!  We were in vegan heaven to say the least.

Once we got into Glenwood, we went to the local brewpub to grab a snack before exploring the city.  We figured it would be a kind of don’t-ask-don’t-tell weekend so we ordered onion rings without making sure there wasn’t egg in the batter (gasp!), and ordered soft pretzels without confirming that they weren’t dipped in butter (oh my!).  Of course the onion rings probably did have egg and the pretzels probably did have butter…but who really knows for sure?

Dinner soon came and we opted for a cute Italian restaurant with a bubbly little old lady as the proprietor.  I got the gnocchi with tomato sauce (vegan?) and Chris got the eggplant parmesan (vegetarian – good enough!)….of course there was fresh grated parmesan on our pastas…not so vegan.  But OH so delicious.  We won’t tell anybody if you won’t.

The next day our bed and breakfast keeper made us a vegan breakfast, complete with vegan blueberry pancakes, potatoes, fresh fruit, fresh juice, tea, coffee, nuts, the works!  The pancakes were light and fluffy and delicious (especially with homemade strawberry syrup!) – and we were thinking “these are vegan?!?”.

After sitting in the jacuzzi post-breakfast, we rode our (slightly undersized) bikes through Glenwood before working up an appetite for lunch.  We spotted a family mexican restaurant across the bridge and had some delicious veggie and bean enchiladas (confused waitress: “but what meat do you want inside your enchiladas?”).  Of  course, there might have been some cheese on the enchiladas…

The enchiladas led us to an afternoon nap before having to walk all the way across town (poor us!) to get massages and sit in the vapor caves (both of which were AWESOME).  Relaxed and rejuvenated, we decided to stroll through town to find a cute dinner spot, ultimately settling on “Rib City” (it just sounds vegan, right?).  After sitting inside for 5 minutes seeing people scarf through their most-likely-frozen-and-reheated sandwiches (with of course nothing remotely vegan on the menu) we decided we’d ditch the chain and go local.

We ended up at another really cute Italian place, this time having pesto and puttanesca.  Both vegetarian, but my pesto sadly had a cream-based sauce (that’s not real pesto!!)…Chris’s meal however was vegan vegetarian pescatarian(thanks Cyndi – anchovies are definitely not vegan!), and also delicious.  Puttanesca is definitely something to keep in mind for a vegan meal (minus the anchovies)…lots of flavor, and very satisfying (as long as you like capers as much as I do!).

SUNDAY….sunday sunday sunday.  Sunday was Chris’s birthday.   And we took a very serious birthday vow that we would not be vegan for Chris’s birthday.  For breakfast we had amazingly poached eggs with english muffins and potatoes and ham, and fresh fruit and muffins!  It was an amazing birthday breakfast (despite the fact that Chris’s muffin had wax from the candle all over it!).  After almost missing the train, we missed lunch in the city and ended up having pulled pork on the train (they were out of veggie burgers, so it was that or chipotle beef).  And then, to top it all off, for dinner, what else but Sushi Den – and wow, you forget how good fish tastes after not eating it for 40 days, but IT WAS GOOD.   Very good.  Shhh.

Now I’m telling you this story because I know you’re not going to tell anybody else.  So let’s just keep this between you and me, and we’ll make it through this last week of veganism.   🙂

P.S.  We watched Food, Inc. last night and are now feeling pretty good about not having eaten any meat in the past 40 days.  Check out the movie – you’ll think twice about eating processed food and packaged meat.


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