Thursday, August 6, 2015

USA 2015 Part 7: Indianapolis

Indianapolis? You heard that right. This year the vet conference that I was attending was held in Indianapolis. This made me sad, because normally it is held in awesome and exciting cities, and Indianapolis is certainly not a city that is on my 'must visit' list. But to Indianapolis I had to go.

First I had to get there, which meant I had to wake up at 2.30 am to get to the airport for my super early flight from Austin to Indianapolis via Houston. Thankfully I had visited Wheatsville the night before for plane food.

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I'd had a So Delicious yoghurt before leaving, and with the early hour I wasn't really hungry again until I was on my Houston layover. There I munched into this delicious Peach Glazed Doughnut from Red Rabbit Bakery, why was I not eating at least one of these every single day in Austin?

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On the tiny plane that flew us to Indianapolis, I ate the Tofu Po'Boy with Blue Cheese Dressing from Wheatsville. I was a little underwhelmed, as I found the whole thing quite salty and not really much blue cheese flavour came through. To be fair it had been sitting overnight in a fridge. This was the only time I tried their famous popcorn tofu, I would like to try it just on its own sometime. Or in a fresh sandwich!

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I arrived in Indianapolis and checked into my room, then had a very poorly planned nap. I was just so tired after that early start and I couldn't sleep on the tiny plane of certain doom. I woke up groggy and icky, so headed out for a walk. I had read a blog that described Indianapolis as one of the prettiest and most walkable city centers in the US, which sounded good to me. Indeed, it is easy to walk around and there are some pretty buildings to look at!

Pretty building


First stop on my wanders was City Market, home of Three Carrots, Indy's downtown vegan place. I wasn't feeling hungry after my nap, but just wanted to check it all out. I grabbed a menu for future reference and had a chat. There was also a juice and smoothie place there called Twenty Two. There is a lovely herb garden outside the markets, and some of the staff were tending to it. We had a nice chat, and I wish I could have taken some of the bunches of herbs they offered me!

City Market


Three Carrots


My next stop was a Marsh Supermarket... YIKES. I think this was my first time in a supermarket not of a Wholefoods or Trade Joes or Coop persuasion and it was kind of terrifying. This is where all those terrible American brands of trashy food live. I had wanted to pick up some fruit (managed, just, not good quality) and some soy yoghurt (no vegan ones available), but I also had a little walk around to see what else they might have for vegans. I did see a small selection Lara and Cliff barns, some Amy's frozen things, Justin's and Earth Balance nut butters, Vegenaise, Daiya, Light Life, Tofutti and Almond Dream products, plus limited options in the salad bar, so I guess things could be worse.

Like all sensible vegans, I had extensively Google mapped Indy's vegan options, and I was not too far away from a branch of The Flying Cupcake, which does have vegan flavours! I visited the Massachusetts Ave branch, they do have a larger bakery on N Illinois St that has a bigger selection of vegan flavours daily, but that was a bit too far out. I was perfectly happy to pick up a chai cupcake. I didn't eat it straight away, I ate it later in the hotel, so please forgive the photo because the icing got a bit smooshed in transit. It was a lovely cupcake!

Chai Cupcake (slightly smooshed) from The Fluing Cupcake


On the same street was Sub Zero Ice Cream & Yoghurt, which had vegan options. I was starting to feel a bit peckish, so why not! The way it works is that you choose your base (almond and soy are the vegan ones), then your flavours and add-ins. Not all flavours and add-ins are vegan. I had a soy base with strawberry and coconut flavour and raspberries added in. They put it all in a bowl and nitrogen freeze it right in front of you!

Soy-base, strawberry, coconut, raspberry at Sub Zero


After this refreshing treat, I went for a bit more of a wander and saw some more pretty buildings and also a pretty lady bug on a pretty flower.

Lady bug


Church


Three Carrots was closed by dinner time, so I went to a Noodles & Company that was near my hotel and according to the internet had vegan options. I went with the Japanese Pan Noodles with Tofu and a Tomato and Cucumber Salad. It was a great dinner, the noodles were really chewy and delicious!

Japanese Pan Noodles with Tofu and Tomato and Cucumber Salad from Noodles & Company


The next morning I woke up refreshed and with plans to go to Three Carrots to try their biscuits and gravy for breakfast. I was presenting a short oral abstract at the conference that afternoon, and public speaking is equivalent to death for me, so I was surprised I slept well and woke up hungry. However, going through the talk with my supervisor and all her changes left me a quivering, sniffling, nauseous mess. So no Three Carrots. Eventually I did manage to eat a little cup of Rosemary Thyme Sweet Potato Oats by Vigilant Eats that I had bought in Austin, which was really delicious even with just water added!

Thankfully my appetite was back by lunch, and I made a beeline for Three Carrots. I had the Seitan BLT, which was delicious but very messy! I also had a side of kale salad (which was lovely with fruits and nuts in it, I picked out the capsicum) with avocado dressing. I would just like to take a moment to explain how amazing this dressing was. Get a vat and drink it, you will thank me. It is THAT good!

Seitan BLT and Kale Salad with Avocado Dressing from Three Carrots


The afternoon passed by in a blur of nerves and nausea. I know lots of people don't like public speaking, but public speaking triggers some pretty bad anxiety for me, so it was not fun. Especially with my supervisor making changes an hour out. However then it was done, it was adequate, it was over. Relief. I'd like to send a special shout-out to Wallace the corgi for assisting with pre-talk calming pats.

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Indy has several chain restaurants downtown that have vegan options, so I decided to try out P.F. Chang's. I had seen a list of quite a few things on the internet that were meant to be vegan, but when I was talking to my server it turned out that very few things actually were. Reading on the internet later it seems like there is quite a lot of debate as to whether anything is at all! However the server checked with the kitchen and was quite specific on what I could and couldn't eat there, so hopefully at that one at least it was okay! I got the Buddha Bowl, steamed, with brown rice. It was okayish, the sauce was garlicky, but the vegetables were not consistent in temperature. I don't think I would go there again, even with assurances of vegan items.

Steamed Buddha Bowl with brown rice from PF Changs


After dinner I went for a walk to White River State Park, this was a pretty park, though didn't have the lovely wilderness areas I was hoping for. It did have some lovely outdoor works of art, and lots of pretty geese on the river.

White River State Park


White River State Park


White River State Park


Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Sahara


My mum used Instagram to share photos of my girls with me while I was away. Here is Sahara having a snooze.

2 comments:

  1. I'm loving all your America posts. I've definitely never been to Indianapolis, so it's interesting to see you pics and impressions. Isn't it fun to arrive in a new city with all your vegan ideas already mapped out?

    I'm sorry the presentation caused so much anxiety and suffering -- and so glad it went well enough. Satisfactory is satisfactory! ha ha.

    I had one of those peach donuts from Red Rabbit, and I also regret not eating many more of those! I was actually just telling Musty today about that donut and how good it was. Ahhh, memories

    Those Vigilant Eats oatmeals are so good, and also so expensive. I usually only buy them if I can find them on sale. I was totally surprised by that Rosemary Sweet Potato one and how TASTY it is. I hardly ever see that flavor around though, unfortunately. I think it's probably my favorite.

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  2. You are badass! You carried on with your presentation in spite of your anxieties. Very impressive. Of course, Wallace the Corgi looks like he was loads of help.

    Whenever anybody mentions Indianapolis, the first thing I think about is a veterinary clinic that was next to the hotel where we used to stay every year. It was called Avian and Exotic Animal Clinic. I wonder if they were at the presentation?

    I love daisies (my favorite flower) AND ladybugs! :)

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