Monday, May 5, 2008

Souley Vegan, Peanut Butter Cups, & Ronald's Donuts!

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!

46 comments:

shannie cakes said...

those donuts look amazing.

i live outside of pdx home of the famous voodoo donut-- which thankfully offers vegan donuts but only in the cake donut variety (which i've never liked).

i was just in vegas for a friends wedding (they got hitched on the starship enterprise!) i'm kicking myself for missing this shop. well it's probably all for the best interest of my body!

i added brown sugar to my last batch of p.b. cups-- they were ammazing!

Celine said...

I am so envious that you got to eat the donuts! and the PB cups? I know my husband is going to badger me until I finally cave in and whip up a batch for him. used to eat these babies for breakfast, back in the days.

Jess - The Domestic Vegan said...

I think I must have OD'd on donuts as a child, because usually one look at those sugary, sticky, super sweet confections makes me feel nauseous--yet, somehow, those Ronald's donuts look amazing! I must try. When I'm FINALLY in town, I'd definitely chip in for dozens & dozens of donuts to be brought back. Hell, I'd even go pick them up--I have never been to Vegas!

Those PB cups look perfect! I'll take 10, please.

Vegan_Noodle said...

Vegan soul food in Oakland? Would have never guessed... but lucky you! And how sweet to bring along those peanut butter cups! Those are definitely the kind of thing where an inside shot is rare; just too good to wait for that.
Oh, and I'm glad to see a review of Ronald's! I'll be in vegas in June and this place is right on the top of my list of things to try. Even if they are vegan junk food...

Robin said...

So the next time you go to Souley Vegan, give me a call. I'm only up in El Cerrito.

now I need to figure out when i can get down there...

Luna 22 said...

Your food always looks so good! Those donuts look fabulous and the PB cups are amazing. Next time I'm in Vegas I'll have to stop in and check them out.

jordanpattern said...

I'm kicking myself so hard for not having found time to go to Souley Vegan!

Oh, and you've finally pushed me over the edge; I'm making PB cups after work tonight, darn you!

VeggieGirl said...

Melisser, can you bring me on your next delicious vegan dining adventure, please??? :0D

I read that top 10 recipe list - such great choices!! Vegans represent!!

mel said...

Your PB cups were fab! And donuts!!! You need to somehow book some gigs in Vegas and get a client to pay for a donut run!

Melanie said...

I haven't had a donut in like 6yrs. And I never realize how much I missed them until this post, lol. When I was a kid Tim Hortons was donut heaven. Now I wouldn't touch that stuff with a ten foot pole cause it's so not vegan. I think I'll have to arrange my own trip to Vegas!

Octavine Illustration said...

next time i'm in oak-town, i'm definitely going to try Souley Vegan...it looks amazing (and that is coming from an omnivore!~)

Bianca said...

Oh my god, I want some of those donuts! I really, really miss donuts...probably more than anything else!

Hannah said...

Yum to all of the above, especially the peanut butter cups. The donuts look incredible, but for some reason I find those little morsels of chocolate/peanut buttery goodness more tempting!

DJ said...

Those donuts look awesome! And those lucky PPKers with their peanut butter cups...

Animal-Friendly said...

The peanut butter cups sound amazing! And the donuts- oh my! I absolutely looooooooove cream-fulled donuts! I think I would definitely be willing to go all the way to Vegas just to grab some of those

The Vegan Tornado said...

shut up, this is adorable. i heart melisser. i will bring donuts for you anytime. or er, in july when i am in vegas next :).

also, i want some of those peanut butter cups so very badly.

Cakespy said...

I simply don't know what to do with all of the pleasure I am viewing in this post. The donuts look so bitchin'. I prefer vegan to nonvegan in taste and texture--got to try those on my next road trip!

jaxin said...

I'm going for a 3 day trip to Vegas later this month and the only freaking thing I can talk about is getting my Ronalds Donuts!! :D

Kati said...

1 single Ron's Donut fueled me for a whole day's worth of hiking in Red Rock Canyon - kind of feels like lead in the stomach, but it's guaranteed to keep hunger at bay! Personally, I think Ron's and Go Raw Cafe alone are worth a trip to Las Vegas.

Urban Vegan said...

I always think Philly is veg-friendly until I read a post like this. (I did enjoy a Vegan treats dount for breakfast the other day, tho!)

Rural Vegan said...

Wow those PB cups look good! I wouldn't be able to get a picture before snarfing it down either.

Those Ronalds donuts are incredible, I always make sure to stop them when in Las Vegas.

Zen Vegan said...

Ooh, peanut butter cups. I've missed you so...

Lisa (Show Me Vegan) said...

Your peanut butter cups look delicious! You could call them peanut better cups instead.

Bee Roach said...

I'm so jealous of all your awesome food (pb cups, donuts, soul food) that I am going to cry and feel sorry for myself!! There has been way too much donut talk lately, I really need to make myself some.

Mandee said...

Melisser, those donuts look great, you lucky thing!

I've added your blog to a list of favourites on my new blog

Kitteh xox

VeganFabulous said...

I can hardly stand looking at all the pictures on your blog! How do you eat all of the stuff that you make>>??!

meghan: sugar-shock.blogspot.com said...

dear melisser,
you can't fire me!
my trip was super quick and precisely so my friend ted wouldn't fire me from his friendship!
haha...i promise i will be back sooner than later though, and i will DEFINITELY get in touch.
xo.

Virgo Girl said...

Um, I guess I need to make another trip to the Bay Area, Vegan Soul food in Oakland?! With a layover in Vegas for those donuts!

kittee said...

Dog god, I freakin' love southern/soul food. Recently, Soul Vegetarian from Atlanta had a booth here, and dazee and I scurried out to get some suppers from them. I really dig it, even though it's not hard to make at home, there's something to being able to get it without washing up afterwards. The mac/cheeze looks great, as do the sweets. The bear claw, I'm worried about it. It's already calling me from a darkened closet. kitteeeeeee, kitteeeeee.

Vee sends you a shy kiss.

xo
kittee

pleasantly plump vegan said...

mmm, vegan soul food!

Erin said...

Such amazingness you guys have out on the west coast. Thanks for letting us live vicariously though you.

jess (of Get Sconed!) said...

I need to get my butt to san francisco again! and vegas!

Tish said...

I've got to try that Souley Vegan, I'm only in Alameda so it'll take all of 8 minutes to get there. And I'm not even vegan! Looks so yummy. And my boyfriend will be in Vegas in August for a conference, I'm asking for some donuts to be taken home. Then we go in October and I can check it out for myself. I love junk food!!

bazu said...

I'm dying over here, M. I love me some soul food and some bear claws too! I want to come to S.F. and camp out at your kitchen!

FJK said...

Thanks for the tip off to souley vegan. We live in Oakland and we'll give it a try.

Elspeth said...

Are there any non-dairy, *non-soy* donuts anywhere? I was just reading the nutritional info. on Mighty-O Donuts in Seattle that sells "vegan" donuts that have soy flour! I really don't understand why wheat flour isn't vegan, but I find it so frustrating that vegan food tends to have soy in everything. I'd love to hear more about non-dairy AND non-soy items, restaurants, etc. (I'm allergic to all dairy and soy.)

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