Thursday, February 28, 2008

WaterCourse Foods

Do you ever feel like your traveling centers around seeking out the best vegan food each city has to offer? I've even started planning vacations just to sample some of the country's finest (i.e. Portland, Seattle, San Francisco.... and hopefully soon NYC, Chicago, LA other faves?). Even though the purpose of my recent trip to Colorado was skiing and spending time with friends, I couldn't pass up experiencing one of Denver's finest vegetarian (and everything can be made vegan!) eating establishments: WaterCourse Foods. Located in a hip area just east of downtown, this restaurant is a breath of fresh air in ranch country where "wild game" such as elk and buffalo are on most menus. Doesn't it just look inviting?

On our way from the airport to the "high country" (aka mountains) , we decided to stop and fill our bellies, hoping that the elevation change wouldn't affect our tolerance for lots of food (unlike alcohol). We started off with the seitan buffalo wings. Whew, these were spicy! Thank goodness for vegan ranch. I confirmed that they made their own seitan in house, which made me happy. For dinner, I had the tempeh scallopini, John had the reuben, and our other vegetarian companion :-) had the blackened tofu. The scallopini was just what I had imagined, creamy gravy, crispy tempeh, just plain good down-home style cookin'. I felt healthier gobbling up the greens on the side, perfect for sopping up the mushroom gravy. John proclaimed his was the best of the three, a reuben made with portobello mushrooms, special sauce, and saurkraut. We liked it so much we got one to go on the way out of Denver. The blackened tofu came with a delicious coconut cream sauce... perfect on it's own (I promise the tofu is buried somewhere under there!). Our waiter told us this was a customer favorite and it was easy to see why.



And then there was dessert. Oh my goodness they had a dessert tray. I remember the days of picking from the dessert tray of my (then) favorite restaurants, where now I tell them not to even bother bringing it. This felt so nice because all of their desserts are vegan! Which one would you choose from this amazing looking tray? I couldn't just pick one either, so I got the Boston cream pie and a vegan hoho with strawberry frosting to go. (other options included a carrot cake, tiramisu, chocolate cake, and others) The Boston cream pie was a bit sweet for my tastes (though it must not have been for John's because it was gone the next day!), but I loved the hoho. I seriously need to make some strawberry frosting. Very yum.

No food photos from the ski trip itself (come to think of it, no skiing photos either! but you all know what snow looks like...), but we enjoyed chili and a green salad in our condo one night followed by an evening out where the chef made me a green curry with asparagus, broccolini, and plenty of lemongrass.

On our way towards the airport, we made a stop for brunch at WaterCourse to meet up with a friend (+husband and really cute son) living in Denver. As I had been warned, it was packed on this sunny Sunday, with a wait time of about an hour! (really glad it's popular though :-) So we decided to ditch the restaurant atmosphere and enjoy the gorgeous day by getting take-out and heading over to City Park! I loved how they gave us our food in biodegradable containers in a bag made from corn. John got a tofu scramble with basil pesto and some sweet potato "fries" on the side. Our only complaint was not enough scramble and too many "fries" (which desperately needed salt). I got the banana bread french toast with fruit, which I loved, drenched with plenty of maple syrup. I am going to have to try this idea out at home. Hmmmm, the wheels are turning....

To wash everything down, I had the sunrise smoothie (OJ, strawberries, bananas, blueberries, peaches), but I think someone else liked it even more than I did!! Sluuuuuuurrrrrppppp!

So the next time you're visiting the Mile High City, be sure to stop by WaterCourse Foods for a fantastic vegan meal. P.S. they serve breakfast all day!!

23 comments:

Jennifer said...

It looks like you hit the jackpot finding yummy vegan food!

Those desserts, oh my, those desserts....

Anke said...

Isn't it the best when you finally have a chance to go to a great vegan restaurant? We live two hours from an amazing vegan place, and every now and then we take day trip to the city and have dinner there. I love it how I don't have to scan the menu for something they could veganize but how I actually have a CHOICE.

Your pics of the food look amazing, I bet everything was delicious.

Ashasarala said...

Welcome back! I love finding vegan restaurants. I feel like a little kid receiving their most anticipated toy on Christmas morning! LoL

I especially get excited when there are vegan desserts on the menu. In fact, it usually takes the waiter a couple of tries to convince me he isn't kidding!

Everything looks so yummy here, especially the desserts!

And what an adorable little boy. The look on his face is priceless. :)

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

I'm guilty of planning my vacations like that too! For spring break last year, for example, I wanted to go to NYC... because of the food! (Of course, I like the museums and atmosphere too, but not as much as the vegan food hehe.)

The only problem I would have if I went to Watercourse Foods is that I'd be overwhelmed; how do you choose just one thing?!?! I think I woulda gone for the one in the coconut cream sauce-- wow does that sound decadent! And I think you definitely made the right choice in ordering the French Toast for breakfast. Now you have me wanting to go to Denver!

In any case, it's good to have you back :o).

Oh, and the little boy is adorable!

Melody Polakow said...

wow.... everything looks so good...

I'm glad you had a great time on your trip... I grew up in Denver... so I love hearing it has become more vegan friendly... It wasn't even vegetarian friendly when I lived there! (year ago!)... except for the Rainbow Grocery on Colfax Ave..

Theresa said...

Vegan breakfast all day? You've got me contemplating a trip to denver just for that...

pleasantly plump vegan said...

that place for sure sounds perfect. and a vegan dessert tray!!! wow. love that they use boidegradable stuff. too cool!

Ruby Red Vegan said...

My answer to the first sentence of your post is YES. Vegan and vegetarian restaurants can be so exciting because I see a lot of things on menus that I never see on food blogs! And John's lunch reminded me that I really, really, really need to try my first vegan reuben. I am so jealous of all your awesome feasting! It makes me in the mood to go on vacation: I've done NYC, Chicago, and LA, and now I want to do Seattle, Portland, and San Fran. Feel free to pack me inside your suitcase on your next trip.

Both breakfasts (ahh! I would take the extra "fries") and the smoothie look to die for!!!

Colleen said...

My husband and I went to Watercourse on our "honeymoon" (aka move from PA to CA). By far our favorite vegan spot on the trip and possibly since. The Lorna Doone was awesome. We hope to be able to go back again soon.

Romina said...

Those scalloppini look so delicious! I used to eat beef scalloppini when I was a kid (never veal, I refused to eat veal) and I miss it so. I forgot about it since then, but now I'm definitely craving some veganized scalloppini!

Ricki said...

Sounds like a great trip! All the food choices look incredible. Ah, those desserts. . . but what the heck is a hoho (asked this clueless Canadian)?

BitterSweet said...

Wow, a vegan dessert cart? That's the stuff of dreams if you ask me! And the real food looks pretty darn tasty, too. ;)

LizzyQ ~ Vegan Mother said...

If I am ever in Denver again, I'll go there for sure!

Hey, we've got vegan breakfast all day here in Salt Lake too!!!

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

Yes yes yes! I basically travel around & plan out tasty vegan meals for the whole trip! I'm excited for all the veg food in Europe!
Everything looks so good! I hope you had a lovely trip.

Leigh said...

A vegan Ho Ho? That's it, I'm going.

Veggie Cookster said...

You're making me hungry with all those mouth-watering photos! Sounds like a great restaurant and trip! :)

the little one said...

Thanks for the recommendation! Will definitely have to remember this for the next time I'm in Denver. Too bad I don't know when that will be . . .

julie hasson said...

That food looks scrumptious! Thanks for sharing your trip with us!

Steph said...

It was so good seeing you and John during your visit Amanda! I love the pic of Ben drinking the smoothie- he really enjoyed it!

Cody said...

The restaurant *does* look inviting. Chartreuse is lovely like that.

The buffalo wings look delicious.

Al said...

Yay WaterCourse! I've actually been there once while visiting my sister-in-law in Denver and, yeah, fricking amazing. The seitan buffalo wings are great. The tofu scramble was awesome. And, she's a good sister-in-law, so whenever she comes to visit up in the hinterlands (Minnesota) for the holidays she gives us WaterCourse desert for a present. It doesn't last long.

bazu said...

Wow, that place looks wonderful! I'm glad you had a good time in CO.

textual bulldog said...

Wow, that place looks amazing! I really liked Denver the one time I passed through, so maybe this is reason to go back (yes, I totally plan my vacations [at least in the U.S.] based on vegan food... is that sad?)!