Propaganda Doughnuts 

So last night I mentioned the lady that choked on a doughnut right in the middle of National Doughnut Day, and said I was going to play it safe by not eating a doughnut. Well friends, that was a lie. The truth is I wasn’t too keen on driving downtown by myself at night, but I really, really wanted a doughnut. So badly. And Propaganda Doughnuts had a vegan supply.

Well, when a girl wants to feel safe, who does she call? DAD. At first he said he was too tired, but an hour later he called back and said he’d go if I’d drive. “I’m not going to eat any doughnuts,” He said. “But I’ll go so you don’t have to go alone.”

I called ahead to make sure they still had the vegan doughnuts, and they put four aside for me (thank you!!!!).

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So we pulled up to this cute old storefront you could easily miss from the road, thank goodness Siri was looking out for it. It’s right next to The Bandit Queen, the ramen place I’m hoping to try soon.

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They had vegan ice cream to go with the doughnuts! Love’s is that ice cream I showed you in my cheezy food haul video, it is delicious. If we’d been eating in I would have definitely splurged and gotten a scoop of ice cream on my doughnut.

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I couldn’t get a full picture of the day’s menu because a group of hipsters were standing in front of it stuffing their faces – I don’t blame them, I wanted to immediately begin eating every vegan doughnut in the place. Man did it smell it good in there. Anyway. The only vegan thing was the yeast risen doughnut. The non-vegan options included Blueberry Jam Shortbread, Chocolate Stout with Potato Chips, Smoked Whiskey with Torched Coconut, plain glazed, sprinkles, cinnamon & sugar…

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These. So my dad looked at all these fancy flavors, and what does he do?

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He ignores all those doughnuts on the counter and points to these big, fat, puffy doughnuts back there on the third rack from the top. “I want one of those!”

Guess what? That’s the vegan yeast raised doughnut. He picked the only vegan doughnut in the place. So then of course he had to get a second kind, probably in case the vegan one was no good.

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But we discovered the vegan doughnuts are DELICIOUS. They are so light and airy on the inside, and a crispy on top with a thin layer of sweet, sugary glaze that breaks apart when you bite into it and melts on your lips and tongue. And there’s just this tiny little hole in the middle, it’s like getting bonus doughnut.

I ate one before I remembered to take a picture. I might use another one to make a breakfast sandwich. So much for making Sunday my fat day, I think I’m having a fat weekend.

Vegan doughnuts are not available every day, so check the Propaganda Doughnut facebook page to see what’s offered daily. I think they also sometimes have gluten free options!

Cantina Mexican Grill

Happy Cinco de Mayo!! Today Nadira and I celebrated with lunch at Cantina Mexican Grill. I drive past this restaurant about 10 to 12 times a week, but today was the first time I stepped inside. They were very busy, but as soon as one party left they had the table ready for the next to be seated. We got in after just a few minutes, even though the restaurant was packed!

We didn’t actually have the famous bean dip. I’ll have to find out if it’s vegan ’cause if it is, I must try it next time.

It’s so cozy in the main dining area (there’s a basement, but it’s only open for dinner). Each booth is in one of the sort of alcoves in rows on either side of the bar. We couldn’t really see the other tables over the bar, so it felt nice and private. The one problem for vegans is…the booths are lined with what appears to be calfskin. Furry calfskin. I think they also had non-booth seating, might check that out next time. Anyway.

We started our meal with a couple Coronas. I had already looked over the menu and knew I wanted the Mexican pizza, if it could be veganized. The waiter was super helpful and offered to add extra veggies, and add a side of guacamole.

The pizza turned out beautifully. Ranchero sauce with refried beans, black beans, black olives, onions, green onions, tomatos, and jalapenos.

All of this on a flaky, fried tortilla crust. The waiter said he had never seen anyone eat an entire pizza before 🙂 He asked if I thought it was good enough to put on the menu, and I said DEFINITELY! I hope they really do add it.
I’d like to go back again for dinner, check out more of the menu & the room in the basement, and maybe play a game of pool with my dad. I hope I don’t ruin their pool table. Oh, and when it’s not rainy and gray you can sit outside!

Did you do anything special for Cinco de Mayo?

Bright Wednesday at Stella's

Sorry I’ve been absent for so long, I’ve been so dead tired after Holy Week I didn’t even have a chance to get on here and say…

Christ is Risen!
Truly He is Risen!

I have decided while I really love keeping vigil on Holy Friday and will probably do it again next year, I’m too old to make do with one hour of sleep! I think I got a total of four hours of sleep over two days.

Anyway, I actually went to Stella’s on Bright Monday, but late at night (11:30!!) it’s too dark to get good pictures. I happily returned last night with my dad and Tete.

I think Whiskey Sour is my new favorite drink. I picked this old school cocktail both Monday & Wednesday because I’m still rocking my Paschal Beehive!

Poor Man’s Potato Wings in mild BBQ sauce, with a side of house-made vegan avocado ranch. They are so crisp and crunchy on the outside, and nice and soft on the inside. I think I’ve tried every sauce now and they’re all great.

Delicious beer-battered onion rings, made vegan upon request. Also served with a side of vegan ranch, but I like to alternate between that and ketchup.

And finally a grilled cheese sandwich with pesto, onions, tomato, and fresh spinach. The vegan version replaces cheese with avocado. I asked to add Daiya, next time I’d leave it off unless they promise to melt it! The sandwich was still very good, though. And it came with a side of my favorite fries…crack fries! I love those skinny, spicy little things.

Tonight I’m going to a special Girls Night Out fundraiser event where there will be raw food & red wine, manicures & massages, and probably lots of blabbing about ex-boyfriends (there will be some sort of relationship specialist there).

How are you celebrating Bright Week?


I guess I wasn’t quite finished with my week of restaurants. This is from a while ago now, when my family and I visited the infamous Wolfgang’s in Eastown.

See? It really is Wolfgang’s.

Ooooh, look at all the FREE CONDIMENTS. And water. Really I was just very happy to see the little bottle of Frank’s.

I ordered the Forsyth, “A skillet of seasoned redskin potatoes, broccoli, onions, green peppers, mushrooms, and tomatoes topped with cheddar cheese and served with a side of hollandaise.” Except I omitted the cheese, and had mine served with a side of guacamole.
I like that it’s served right in the skillet. Although it was nothing special, the veggies tasted fresh and were cooked perfectly – not too mushy, not too crispy.
I do wish they’d add vegan pancake and waffle options because I *love* to carb up, but I would get the skillet again. I think you could also modify a burrito, or go a la carte with seasoned redskin potatoes, hashbrowns, fruit, and possibly a bagel with guac and/or salsa (not sure if the bagels are vegan).

The service was pretty good, too. Somehow there was a mix up and our waitress forgot about us, but the manager was very apologetic, took our order, and everything went smoothly from there. Definitely a place I’d recommend if you’re looking for breakfast in Eastown.

Derby Station Does Meatless Mondays and More

So, one of the cool things about Derby Station is their Meatless Monday special.

When I saw Meatless Monday items on the menu, I thought they were only available on Mondays – but NO. They’re available all week long, but on Monday they are half off! Awesome. There’s a main menu that stays the same, and another menu with specials.

Here’s a really terrible picture of the specials menu. Not every vegan/vegetarian item is half on Mondays, so be sure to look for the items that actually say Meatless Monday.

Crabless Cakes.

The Crabless Cakes are made with chickpeas. As you can see, the presentation is lovely.

They also had a pleasant texture – crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. But they don’t taste like crab at all. They taste like just what they are – chickpeas! That would have been really disappointing, except the taste is wonderful. Just don’t expect a seafood flavor.

An abomination to hummus purists everywhere, the hummus trio consisting of roasted garlic, roasted red pepper, and a rotating flavor is the perfect shared snack for [cough cough] people of non-Middle Eastern descent, or just enough for one of my people 🙂 What you have to realize is we make huge bowls of hummus and eat it in one sitting (with lots and lots of pita bread only), so this really is just a little snack. Definitely save it for Meatless Monday when you can get it for $3.75.

The fries. They are not marked as vegan on the menu because they’re served with an aioli, but just ask for a vegan version.

Veggie Boneless Wings, made in-house, and as far as I can tell they are soy-free and lentil-based. These don’t have the texture or taste of real wings, they have a clean taste and the BBQ sauce makes them wing-ish. Definitely recommend! And they’re great with the vegan aioli and pickled veggies seen here making the plate look fabulous.

I don’t see this on the menu anymore, but it was a tempeh jerk with vegan cornbread,

and some sort of vegan slaw.

“Green Lentil Vegetarian Burger with Caramelized Onions, Red Cabbage Slaw & Chipotle Vegannaise on a Brioche Roll”. This was Mumra’s so I only got to try one bite, but it was AMAZING.

“House-made Veggie Meat Loaf, Garlicky Smashed Potatoes, Roasted Mushrooms, Caramelized Onions, Spinach, Peppered Mushroom Gravy”. Again, this was Mumra’s, but the bite I had was wonderful. And again, it doesn’t taste like meat, but is made with very clean ingredients, with earthy flavors, and has a great taste all its own.

Beet Sliders. I’m not a huge fan of beets, but since I’ve never had anything bad at Derby Station I decided to give them a try. They’re super messy to eat, but worth the embarrassment 🙂 Not sure what they marinated the beets in, but they no longer tasted like dirt by the time they made it on these buns. The vegan aioli made an appearance again – I think it can only make everything taste better. No matter what it is. I would like to see the chef put it in a dessert.

Sooooooooo, in case you haven’t figured it out, Derby Station is definitely a great spot to try a wide variety of vegan options (even more than what’s shown here!), and you can get a great deal stopping in on Monday. Have you tried Derby Station yet? What’s your favorite veggie item???

Global Infusion

If you’ve been to Marie Catrib’s, you may have noticed Global Infusion in the cute little strip mall across the street on Diamond. In all these years, I’d never been inside!

Until just the other day. It was a very cold day and Mumra and I were out running errands. We stopped in at Global Infusion to warm up with a hot beverage.

There are plenty of options on the drink menu, including organic fair trade coffee, and Grand Rapids-made kombucha by Bloom Ferments & Hop Soda by Proper Soda.

There’s also a wall of shelves filled with jars of various flavors of tea – more than I can list here, this is only about half!

Since Mumra is a huge fan of quickly ordering before I even have a chance to read the menu, I just ordered whatever she did: the Red Blush Chai with almond milk. It was actually kind of spicy and not too sweet, great for the cold weather.

I tried this fermented tea on my second visit, it has a nice smoky flavor.

They have baked goods from Marie’s available, as well as lots and lots of chocolates (some of which are vegan). And that’s not all…

They also have TONS of fair trade merchandise, so it’s a great place for gift-buying or just treating yourself! Check out the “A Featured Supplier” section of their website to see how your purchase can help people around the world.

Loaded Potato Pizza at Brick Road Pizza

Brick Road Pizza is nothing new to this blog, but recently they added new menu items. Mumra and I could not resist trying them out.

This is what I was interested in: The Loaded Potato Pizza. Carbs on delicious carbs. It ain’t cheap, but it’s worth it on some special occasion when you have a few extra bucks. Or when your mumra just wants to get out of the house.

We started with the vegan goat cheese, served with yummy garlic toast. It’s basically just a soft cream cheese with pesto in marinara sauce, but the flavors combined are wonderful.

And then there is the loaded potato pizza (with characteristic burnt crust, my one pet peeve when it comes to Brick Road!).

Potato, bacon bits, cheddar, sour cream & green onions. I don’t know why it’s so much fun to put actual food on pizza instead of regular toppings. Maybe because you get to eat it with your hands. Whatever the case, this pizza was wonderful.

Looking forward to trying the other new items. Anyone else checked out the new menu yet?

Part of my Restaurant Week 2014

Thai Express

My first visit to Thai Express was so long ago, I didn’t even have the blog yet. That is far too long if you ask me. Luckily, I made a return visit recently.

I realize this is not the best picture. I was parked out back, it was snowy and cold, and I didn’t feel like going around to the front to get a picture! But aren’t you more interested in the food?

The meals come with one fried spring roll, and they have both vegetarian and non-veg. Our waitress remembered what each of us ordered and brought out one of each kind accordingly.

I had the stir fried vegetables “in special house sauce” with tofu. Each dish is made to order, you can customize it any way you want! I only ordered a 4, but it still had the kind of heat that kind of burns in the back of your throat. And made me choke a little. I felt like a huge wimp when I heard the ladies at the table behind ours order all 9s and 10s. Anyway, a little choking didn’t take away from the wonderful taste of the food – veggies were nice and fresh, and still a little crisp. The tofu had a great texture and flavor.

Service was also great. Besides remembering I ordered a vegan meal, the waitress was friendly and the food came pretty quickly. The decor is nothing special, but the restaurant was clean and had a cozy hole-in-the-wall feel.

Now, unfortunately, the fortune cookies are made with eggs. However, I couldn’t resist taking a peek inside.

I’m still waiting on this mysterious “blonde from afar.” Meanwhile, I’m happy to recommend Thai Express for anyone near the Kentwood/Grand Rapids border. Thai Express is located in the Town & Country plaza, in the same lot as Mediterranean Island and Gursha.

Vegan Sofritas at Chipotle

Not too long ago, Chipotle restaurants in Michigan finally started selling Sofritas. Hooray!! And I recently had a chance to try it.


Sofritas comes from sofrito, a Spanish word meaning, “gently fried.” In Spanish and Latin American cooking, sofrito is an aromatic combination of sautéed garlic, peppers, onions, and tomatoes often used as a base for stews, rice and beans, and meat dishes.

(Thanks, google!)

As you can see, the Chipotle sofritas is made of tofu braised with chipotle chilis and roasted poblano peppers. Ordering tofu always seems a little scary to me because it was just recently tofu went mainstream, and people figured out how to prepare it in a way that actually tastes good. Still, every time I order tofu I try not to get my hopes up. I expect it to taste, well, kind of like Nothing.

I always enjoy watching the burrito artist try to wrap my burrito. I had black beans, rice, salsa, veggies, guacamole, and the star of the show…a big ol’ spoonful of Sofritas. I have no idea how anyone eats these things without making a huge mess.

Anyway, I’m giving the Sofritas an A+. There was no weird tofu texture, I’m not even sure I would’ve guessed it was tofu if I hadn’t known. And by braising it, the tofu really absorbed all the flavors. It had a mild taste that reminded more of tomatoes than peppers, but in a very good way. The veggie burritos are pretty filling anyway, but with the addition of Sofritas and a side of chips & salsa, I didn’t need to eat dinner after having this for lunch.

In case you’re wondering about the other ingredients, here’s the Special Diet Information from Chipotle’s website.

Have you tried the Sofritas yet? What did you think?

Part of my Restaurant Week 2014

Restaurant Week!!!! 2014

Well, I’ve been saving up all kinds of posts about restaurant visits, mostly because I’ve been too lazy to write anything. Now that I’ve got enough for at least one a day for a week, I’m just going to take it easy in the kitchen and get all these restaurant reviews posted! If you’re looking for vegan food in Grand Rapids, this is your lucky week 🙂 And be sure to also check out my Vegan in Grand Rapids page.