Please head over to my new blog at TheUrbanHousewife.com, where you'll find this post & more!
When I'd heard a new all vegan restaurant opened in nearby Oakland, my interest was piqued. Previously only available at a Farmers' Market stall, Souley Vegan, specializing in soul food opened up a store front recently. The Bay Area PPKers rule at having meet-ups, so I was lucky enough to try it with a group of friends. A large group of us, around 15 people or so, rolled in on a Sunday afternoon & despite only having 4 tables & 3 people on staff, they graciously accommodated us! In fact, the owner Tamera came out herself to chat with us & thank us for dining there & let us know they're currently working to upgrade the interior & add seating.
The number of menu items may be small, but the options seem plentiful whether you order a plate with pre-selected items or assemble your own for $10. There's also the option of ala carte for those not interested in 3 menu items piled high on their plate in large portions. Collard Greens, Potato salad, Mac & Cheese, Yams, Cornbread, Beans & Rice, Peach Cobbler & other standard soul food fare are the name of the game here as well as BBQ Tofu or Crispy Tofu. I was able to try a large selection of items by sharing with Ryan & the others; while it's a bit heavier than my typical lunch, I throughly enjoyed stuffing myself! I can still taste the yams melting in my mouth, the spice of the Mac & Cheese, & the Potato salad leaves just about anyone craving more. Overall, Souley Vegan is a place worth checking out when in the Oakland & is a welcome addition to vegan dining in the Bay Area!
Souley Vegan: 431 13th Street, Oakland.
As you know, I love making treats for others, so I brought along a little something for all the PPKers partaking in the meet-up at Souley Vegan; Peanut Butter Cups! Ryan, the peanut butter fiend had mentioned he was craving them, so I figured I'd make a larger batch & churned out 20 or so using a recipe from Kelly & Garrick's upcoming cookie book. Unlike another batch I made, these were full sized, as I just happened to have the wrappers from a previous project & put them to use. It's pretty rare I get an inside shot, but I managed to snap one before I completely demolished this little morsel. These aren't just smooth peanut butter inside, but have the same texture as that not-so-vegan brand you find in the grocery store. Mmm mmm!
I was recently blessed with a treat that has been on my "to try" list for quite some time, but seemed unaccessible unless I hopped on a plane to Las Vegas; Ronald's Donuts! My fairy vegmother & favorite vegansaurus Laura, gave me yet another reason to love the hell out of her when she arrived from the airport on my doorstep to deliver the goods. Let's just say I was freaking out & far too excited for a pastry. You see, these aren't dense, cake donuts like you find in other parts of the country, but they're raised donuts. They aren't organic, healthy, or gourmet in any way, shape, or form, these are pure, unadulterated junk food! I talked Laura's ear off about flavors I was interested in trying, but was happy to take anything she had to offer, which happened to be a Bear Claw & a soy Custard filled, topped in chocolate!
Straight up, these are the bready, chewy, delicious donuts you used to eat on Sundays or grab from the break room at work. The Bear Claw was covered with glaze & a cinnamon-sugar topping, plus had an apple & cinnamon filling in a gel that tasted a bit strange on its own, but as a combination with the donut was perfectly tasty! I never fancied myself a filled donut person (& Ryan downright hates them), but we were both in love with the sweet, thick vanilla custard filling of our donut & the chocolate topping made me melt, as it had always been a favorite of mine as a child. I'm tempted to wait for a cheap flight & have all the local vegans chip in to have dozens & dozens brought back to them! If you're a donut fan, you need to figure out a way to get to Las Vegas for Ronald's Donuts at 4600 Spring Mountain Road!
On a final vegan-food-is-awesome note, have you checked out the Top 10 recipes of 2008 on Vegan.com? While I think the blog world has produced some fabulous recipes, Vegan.com has compiled a list of the top cookbook picks; it's always great to have more recipes to try!