Vegan In Virginia – Guest Post: Living Foods Cafe, by Chris Z.
Within a few minutes of saying goodbye to my friend Chris and leaving Virginia behind (you know, it actually feels quite good to “finish” a state, and exhilarating to start the next one) I had this odd sensation that I had missed something. As I was driving… err… I mean, I pulled over and looked at my emails and then scanned my HappyCow app. No! I completely missed a vegan restaurant. And what’s worse, it was only a twenty minute drive from where I had been staying for the last few days. Doooood. Crud! But then I thought, ‘Hey, I wonder if Chris would be interested in checking out the restaurant and writing a guest piece about it. He lives only a hop skip and a jump away.’ So I shot over a text (again, after I had pulled over ::clears throat::) to ask him if he’d be interested. Luckily, he said yes! Which meant I didn’t have to backtrack. Woohoo!!
When Kristin first asked me to do a guest post on Will Travel for Vegan Food I was equal parts excited and terrified. Excited because who wouldn’t want to write (and eat) for their favorite food travel blog?! Terrified because my last foray into web logging (“blogging” for short) resulted in a blog so bad that it spawned a parody site authored by one of my dearest friends…but I digress. If I’ve learned nothing else from Kristin’s adventures it’s that you should face your fears head on…and eat lots of amazing vegan food! So without further adieu I welcome you all to my first (and quite possibly last) post for WTFVF. :-)
Living Foods Cafe, located in Virginia Beach, VA, is a 100% raw, organic and vegan cafe tucked away inside the Essential Wellness Center. As soon as I walked in the door I was greeted by a friendly receptionist (whose name eludes me at the moment) who handed me a menu and pointed me towards a fridge containing a handful recently-prepared items from said menu.
This would be a good time to mention that, per the advice of Living Food Cafe’s website:
“Please call your order in ahead of time so that we may have it ready for you.”
I remember reading that on their site earlier in the day but I didn’t really think too much of it. The reason it could make a difference to you is that, in my case, the chef was not there when I arrived. This resulted in limiting my options to what was present in the cooler. It’s certainly not a deal-breaker by any means, but if you have a hankering for a particular dish you best heed this warning and call ahead. :-)
The good news is that even though my options were limited, I still ended up with a rather tasty, very healthy lunch. To drink, the “Daily Fresh Green Juice”, which, as one might expect, was loaded with greens and powerful antioxidants. One of the more refreshing juices I’ve ever had.
For my entree I went with the “Taco Nut Meat Salad”, a light-yet-filling garden salad with a delicious “taco” filling (minced nuts along with unknown spices), fresh salsa, all topped off with a poppy seed dressing. One of my favorite aspects of this dish (along with the other foods at the cafe) is that the food doesn’t try to be a facsimile of a meat counterpart. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate a good seitan dog with the best of them (…Vegan Come Koala…), but sometimes I’m just looking for a meal that has fewer ingredients than states in the US. Living Foods Cafe excels in its simplicity.
Finally, because who doesn’t love crunchy things, I ordered a side of “Flax Seed Chips”. Normally these are served as part of the “Chip Dip Trio” but the with the “Dip” and two of the “Chip” counterparts absent, I went with what was available. While the chips themselves didn’t knock me out of my seat, they served quite well as edible cutlery for my salad.
Well, I guess this brings my first guest post to a close. I want to thank Kristin for the opportunity and to all you WTFVF followers out there for reading along. I’m tickled to think that more than 3 people could possibly read this. :-)
Cheers to my fellow vegans!
*** *** ***
Have I missed any of your favorite vegan eateries, or has a restaurant opened since I left the scene and it’s a MUST share?! If so, and if you’re interested in writing a guest post about it, please email me at kristin @ wtfveganfood.com. Would love to hear from you! :)