Friday, August 7, 2015

USA 2015 Part 8: Indianapolis

The next morning the conference started too early to go out for breakfast (this is an 8.30am to 6.15pm conference for the last two days), so I had a cherry choc oatmeal cup in my hotel room and some fruit before heading off for early lectures. Thankfully I had a nice, long lunch break today because I didn't go to the keynote speaker address before the actual lunch break, so I high-tailed it back to Three Carrots because Friday is Mac and Cheese day! And we all know how I feel about mac and cheese. I got the largest serving of mac and cheese (no side serving cups for me) with another side of kale salad and that delicious avocado dressing. My plans to try their other dressings crumbled in the face of needing more avocado dressing.

Mac and Cheese with Kale Salad and Avocado Dressing from Three Carrots


This is GOOD mac and cheese, and if you are ever in Indy on a Friday you should definitely get some! I also picked up a smoothie from Twenty Two. This is the Spinilla Thrilla, and it had almond milk, spinach, vanilla bean, almond butter, banana and date syrup. It was so good!

Spinilla Thrilla Smoothie from Twenty Two


Here is a photo of the beautiful herb gardens I mentioned at City Markets.

Herb garden at City Market


Also, check out this friendly SQUIRREL!

SQUIRREL!


I took a stroll back up to The Flying Cupcake to pick myself up a little treat for later in the day. This time, a lovely vegan chocolate cupcake.

The Flying Cupcake


Chocolate Cupcake from The Flying Cupcake


On the way back to the hotel I stopped by Downtown Comics and found a very cool graphic novel version of Pride & Prejudice.

The afternoon was spent in a variety of lectures, where I learned some interesting things. Also, I got to say hello to Wallace again. You remember Wallace? Here he is doing a very important shoe inspection. Did you know that Wallace has his own Instagram account?

Wallace


Three Carrots is open for dinner on Friday and Saturday, so of course I headed back down to try their delicious Country Supper Plate. This was a HUGE dinner! A gigantic, chewy seitan cutlet sits on top of some more amazing mac and cheese and some creamy and wonderful mashed potatoes, topped with gravy (I found the gravy a tad too salty), with a side salad (with avocado dressing, of course). This was giant, and nearly defeated me. It should go without saying, but I picked the capsicum out of the salad.

Country Supper Plate (Seitan, mash, mac and cheese and gravy with side salad and avocado dressing) from Three Carrots


As I waddled back to my hotel, I stopped by Pearings and got a ginger plum iced tea, which was nice and refreshing, then went to my room, read my graphic novel and ate a cupcake.

I woke up early the next morning to go for a walk down by the river, as someone I was talking to the day before said they had seen raccoons and chipmunks on the trail that goes between the zoo (boo, a zoo) and the river, and I have never seen a raccoon or a chipmunk. Unfortunately being a Saturday morning there were lots of people out early for runs, and they were also setting up for a Colour Run thing, so I saw not a single raccoon or chipmunk. But there were lots of geese and other pretty birds, and it was a beautiful morning for a river walk!

White River State Park


On my way back I passed the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indian and Western Art, which had a beautiful deer fountain outside. I didn't have any time for site seeing in Indy, but there were several museums that I would have checked out if I had had an extra spare day.

Eiteljorg Museum


Breakfast was a Cliff Bar and a granola packet turned into overnight oats, then it was off to a full morning of lectures. One of the lectures I went to was about Hospital Acquired Infection and the rise of superbugs and how many of these were coming from factory farming environments, so how about we all go vegan already, how many more reasons do people need? To cheer myself up about our impending doom, I went back to Three Carrots for lunch and got the Seitan Gyros (which was yum) with yet more kale salad and avocado dressing. I also had a Ginger Bomb juice from Twenty Two, but was a bit underwhelmed as the ginger was not a bomb and it was kind of warm.

Seitan Gyros with Kale Salad and Avocado Dressing from Three Carrots


Ginger Bomb juice from Twenty-Two


On the way back to the hotel I stopped by Soupremacy and picked up a cup of their Black Bean Soup to have for a snack later on, it was a very nice soup. Sometimes they have other vegan flavours as well.

Black Bean soup and wholewheat bread from Soupremecy


Cafe Patachou is another downtown cafe that has some vegan options. I didn't end up eating there, because often I was in lectures during their breakfast hours and at Three Carrots for lunch and then they were closed by dinner. I did stop by thinking I would pick up a vegan field roast sandwich to take for the train the next day, but turns out their bread isn't vegan so this sandwich is wrapped in lettuce, which would not keep very well for a train journey in the morning.

The conference ended, and because I am anti-social I went out for dinner alone, again. It was very tempting to go back to Three Carrots again, but I figured I should try out some of the other vegan options Indy has. A lot of these are a bit far away from downtown, so you would need a car, or a taxi or to spend quite a bit of time on a bus to get there, but I found one that was half an hour walk away so it seemed like a good opportunity. I also thought I would check out where the train station was on the way, as I had a very early train in the morning. I am glad I did because the entrance to the station is obscured with no signage, so I would have been in such a panic in the morning. If you are catching Amtrak from Indy, shoot me a message and I will let you know how to find it!

Eventually I made it to my dinner destination, La Margarita. I was told it would be an hour wait for a table, but as I was a single diner I was happy to eat at the bar. As soon as I sat down I was greeted with a mammoth plate of chips and salsa. The red salsa was too hot for me, but the green was nice and mild and the fresh tomato was very cooling.

Chips and salsa from La Margarita


For dinner I channeled my inner Austin and of course ordered some tacos. The vegan taco they can do is the Al Pastor, which has seitan, pineapple, coriander and onion and comes with a side of rice, salad and guacamole. These were really lovely!

Al Favor Tacos from La Margarita


The other reason I picked this restaurant was that the walk would take me past Rocket 88 Doughnuts, which have some vegan flavours. The day before was national doughnut day, but obviously every day is a good day for doughnuts. By the time I stopped by they only had almond glazed left, they were all out of cinnamon sugar. I am sorry to say but I was really underwhelmed by this doughnut, I am glad I only bought one. The actual doughnut part was just really flat and kind of smooshy, maybe it was a bit under? Anyway, it is a sad day when you have a bad doughnut.

Almond-Glazed Doughnut from Rocket 88


Then it was back to the hotel for an early night, as I was leaving on an early train to my next stop - Chicago! As for Indianapolis, it didn't suck. It is still not a place that I would choose to travel to, but if you have to go there for work or for conventions (they do GenCon there) then you will be able to eat some good food still, especially if you have a car as there are several places that sounded fabulous but that I couldn't get to. The hardest thing was finding a place to pick up some groceries! However there is a Wholefoods under construction downtown, so soon you will be able to pick up all the fruit and vegan yoghurt you desire for your pre-conference breakfast!

The other contentious issue with Indianapolis was that Indiana had recently made changes that allowed businesses to discriminate and refuse to serve customers based on their sexuality under the guise of religious objections. I was very unhappy about having to go and spend money in such a state! However the mayor of Indianapolis wrote a letter for conference attendees saying that he opposed these changes, and there was signs of support for equality in many shops. From the 'Equality for All' badges at the convention center to signs on shop windows.

Equality for all Indianapolis


Serves Everyone Indianapolis


Finally, this sign. We all know that the greatest person to come from Indiana is the fictional in reality, but always real in our hearts, Leslie Knope.

Knope sign Indianapolis


Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Dim Sim


I love this beautiful photo of Dim Sim that my mum Instagrammed for me while I was away. Anyone who shares their life with a black critter will tell you that cameras are confused by their glorious blackness and it can be hard to get clear photos of them.

2 comments:

  1. You fared very well in Indianapolis! That country supper plate looks just my speed. I wish you'd come through our area. There are loads of raccoons, chipmunks, deer, and groundhogs where I live… but no vegan doughnuts. :( But our state was one of the first in the country to legalize gay marriage! So all totaled, that's a win for us! :)

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  2. SQUIRREL!

    I completely understand why you would want to have dinner alone after the conference ended. People in mass quantities are exhausting!

    I must admit I am impressed. You didn't stuff Wallace in your bag and smuggled him out of there. Well done! I would have been tempted to take him! :)

    How nice of your mom to Instagram pictures of your kitties while you were gone. That is a beautiful shot of Dim Sim. Black animals really are hard to photograph!

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