When I returned to Brisbane, I experienced post-holiday blues like never before. I had just spent two and a half weeks in a magical vegan paradise, eating amazing food and hanging out with fantastic people (like Amber, Meg, K and Toby). And then I came back to Brisbane, which is hardly a vegan mecca. I stood in the local vegetable shop and shook my fists at the single leafy green option of sliverbeet. I wept on the inside at the ice cream freezer in Coles, with its sole offering of So Good Vanilla. At least I was reunited with my three most loved kitties!
I had brought a bit of America back with me, though. My original carry on suitcase had been sent home as checked luggage, stuffed to the brim with food I had bought for the journey home!
Chocolate and Lolly Haul
* Theo Organic Fair Trade Cherry and Almond chocolate: Yummy.
* Theo Organic Fair Trade Peppermint chocolate: Tasted like toothpaste.
* Theo Organic Fair Trade Toasted Coconut chocolate: Like a coconut rough!
* Theo Organic Fair Trade Orange chocolate: Of course, delicious.
* Vegan Truffles: I was a bit underwhelmed. The chocolate was meh and the fillings were just OK. I am used to being blown away by truffles.
* Rescue Chocolate Pitbull Bar: Peanut Butter, chocolate, rice crispy amazingness that helps animals, hell yes!
* Justin's Peanut Butter Cups: Oh my god, these are the best peanut butter cups I came across!
* Theo Fig, Fennel and Almond chocolate: A very interesting blend. I liked it.
* Whittaker's Dark Orange bar: Again, of course, delicious!
* Wanaka Chocolate bar: OK, not the best chocolate I've had.
* Whittaker's Dark Peanut Slab: Yummy! Whole peanuts in a brick of dark chocolate.
* Whittaker's Ghana Peppermint Block: OMG so amazing. Not even remotely like toothpaste. Gooey peppermint fondant is enclosed in each dark chocolate square. Addictive, delicious and amazing.
* Cocomels: Both vanilla and salted flavour, these are amazing! The salted is my favourite.
* Some healthy truffle balls (Fooze balls, maybe?): Just OK
* Sour gummy bears: Expected them to be a bit more sour
* Assorted little cups, including peanut butter, almond, raspberry and caramel: Very tasty!
Sweet Snacks and Baking Haul
*Peanut Butter Newman-Os: These are amazing. I only have six left. They might be the only six left in the whole of Australia. I want more!!
* Cliff Bars: I enjoyed these! Especially the peanut butter based ones.
* Luna Bars: Not such a fan of these. Too artificially sweet or something.
* Larabars: I enjoyed these! I ate many flavours while I was in the US. Coconut Cream Pie is my absolute favourite! Then peanut butter and PB&J.
* Halo Bars: Very nice, though quite sweet, but they have healthy looking things in them so it's OK.
* Eli's Earth Bars: Oh my goodness, these are amazing. Their version of a Snickers blows Jokerz out of the water. So wonderful.
* Dried Persimmon Slices: Tasty and sweet.
* Cafe Gratitude Thumbprint Cookies: Not bad, though very soft.
* Peanut-Butter Filled Pretzles: I may or may not have eaten most of the bag in one sitting. Delicious.
* Dried Mixed Cherries: Yet to be used!
* Sunsprite Vegan Carob Chips: Yet to be used (trying to overcome my unpleasant associations with carob of the past)
* Mori-Nu Pudding Mates: Yet to be used! I have some recipes needing them. Should have brought home more vanilla flavoured ones.
* Tings. Like vegan cheesy Twisties, but way better. Oh I love these!
* Tofurkey Peppered Jerky: Really nice.
* Plantain Chips (plain): Delicious with mexican-style cream Sheese.
* Stonewall's Jerky, Dirty Chips, Spicy Plantain Chips: Sent to a friend
* Butler's Soy Curls: Still hanging out to be used as Smoky Soy Curls from Vegan Diner
* Food For Lovers Queso: Oh my god, I forgot I had this! K and Toby gave it to me after they got it because it contains wheat, and I managed to get it all the way home without smashing in the bag. Must eat!
* To see what I thought of the packaged Mac and Cheeses, click here.
Sweet and Sara goodies. Oh yeah. Rocky Road (yum) and a Peanut Butter Smore (heaven).
This trip was amazing, and I am so thankful to the university, ACVIM and the universe for allowing everything to line up. I had such an amazing time! And so many amazing memories.
* City: Seattle
* Bakery and Overall Food Place: Back to Eden Bakery, PDX
* Restaurant: Millennium and Saha, San Francisco
* Food Cart/Kiosk/Stall: Home Grown Smoker, PDX
* Vegan Store: Sidecar for Pigs Peace, Seattle
* Hotel: Hotel Vertigo, San Francisco
* Touristy Thing To Do: Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco
Of course, this has just opened my eyes to all that there is there, and I am hopeful that I will get to spend more time in America! Here is a list of things I am dreaming about getting to do, inspired by the most recent trip.
Things I must do in my lifetime
* Spend a whole day at Back to Eden Bakery (PDX) eating everything!
* Get a Mac'n'Cheese burrito from Home Grown Smoker (PDX)
* Order something fresh and seasonal from Cafe Flora (Seattle)
* Spend a morning scoffing donuts at Mighty'O Donuts (Seattle)
* Eat off the menu at Araya (Seattle)
* Eat at Plum Bistro (Seattle)
* Just spend more time in Seattle in general!
* Get the Truffled Mac and Cheese from Source (SF)
* Eat again at Gracias Madre (SF), without burning my stomach with chili
* Eat onion rings and a cheesesteak (both things I meant to eat, but didn't end up eating this time around).
* Buy that marshmallow fluff stuff to bring home.
And that is just based on the cities that I have been to! Then there is the list of cities I still want to go to. So, basically, I am planning to come back. And when I am there I will eat and eat and eat. And hopefully have more amazing vegan adventures with friends old and new.
I'll be Brisbane-bound for a while now. But I do potentially have an exciting trip (non-US) planned for next year. More details later. :)