Thursday, July 3, 2008

5, 4, 3, 2, 1 .... Launch!

A launch party that is! We went out to San Francisco this past weekend (and then onto Vegas, the topic of a separate post) to attend the launch party as "VIPs" (haha) for the July/August issue of VegNews magazine. After a delayed flight due to the smoky skies around the city, we finally arrived, dropped our bags at the hotel, and rushed up to North Beach ...

Lunch was at The Usual Suspects, a new (and sadly, may no longer be open?) vegan/vegetarian cafe nestled up against Telegraph Hill (literally!). Since we hadn't eaten all day (and it was 3pm our time), we started with some taquitos served with an creamy dipping sauce. They were gobbled up of course. John went with a big salad topped with lots of veggies and cashews while I had the schawarma stuffed with seitan (no good pic of that). But the best part of the meal? Chatting with Melisser (who was there frosting 200+ mini cupcakes for the launch party, part of her Sugar Beat Sweets business) and sampling her chocolate cupcake with tangerine frosting. Heavenly! Maybe someday she'll give me the secret to what makes her frosting so fluffy.
After a relaxing afternoon of strolling through North Beach, we headed down to SOMO for the launch party at the Electric Works art gallery. After scoping out the silent auction items, we perused the artwork for a bit before the crowds starting arriving. I had a blast meeting VegNews staffers, fellow bloggers, ppkers, and even someone that recognized me from reading my blog (hi Kenya!). The martinis and wine flowed like water. And Lavay Smith and her Red Hot Skillet Lickers jazzed up the evening with their saucy tunes.
During the party, appetizers from local veg eateries (including Millennium, Usual Suspects, and Herbivore) were passed by a wonderful group of volunteers. As dessert time drew near, we stationed ourselves near the bar and managed to score 4 mini cupcakes, courtesy of Sugar Beat Sweets. As you can tell from the photo, they went fast!
Even though it had been a long day, and almost midnight Houston-time, we couldn't not eat at Millennium on our brief trip to Frisco. So we forced ourselves :-) We started off with a roasted beet appetizer with hazelnuts, so delicious. John ordered a salad for dinner... let me just say that it was quite possibly the best salad I've ever tasted. And dang, I don't remember what it was called. There were greens, fingerling potatoes, smoked tofu, other stuff I'm forgetting, but oh I will never forget how much I loved it. For my entree, I had coconut black pepper crusted tofu, served with fragrant rice, oyster mushrooms, edamame and some other veggies. Dessert was a must, even after 1 full size and 4 mini cupcakes that day. I must not have satisfied my chocolate fix yet, because I ordered the chocolate almond midnight. We got it to go and headed back to our hotel room. Most of it was actually eaten the next morning for breakfast!
6:30 am the next morning came fast. The 17 hour trip to San Francisco was a whirlwind of vegan food & sweets, music, art, and new & friendly faces. Wish we had more time, but we'll be back...
I am heading out of town again this Sunday, so forgive me for not visiting blogs the week I'm gone! I do have a post or two lined up to publish while I'm away though. And once I return, I will have some vegan baking bootcamp stories to tell and lots of sweets to show.... NYC here I come! (any advice on where to eat is welcomed of course)

36 comments:

VeggieGirl said...

To say that you had fun in SF would be an understatement - I'd say that you had the time of your life!! I wish that I could try some of Melisser's cupcakes!! :0)

Have an awesome trip to NYC!! May I humbly suggest looking back at my post-series on my recent NYC trip, for dining suggestions??

kindkitchen said...

It looks like you had a great time in San Fran! The food looks yummy..all of it.

Have fun in NYC!! :)

Animal-Friendly said...

You trip to San Fran looks like it was so much fun and full of awesome food! All those cupcakes sounds wonderful (tangerine frosting- YUM!). Is Unusual Suspects no longer open?!? That would be awful!

Have fun in NYC! It sounds like you're doing a lot of traveling and I can't wait to see your posts about it!

Ricki said...

What an amazing trip and party! It sounds great. And the food--!! I am totally envious that you've been to Millenium (all I can do is drool at their cookbook).

Have a wonderful time in NYC! :)

Alice (in Veganland) said...

I would have overstuffed myself with so many crazy vegan choices! So, in my opinion, you did the right thing going for dinner!

jennycestcake said...

Vegan Baking Bootcamp sounds like so much fun! Have a great time and I can't wait to hear all about it!

Sanja said...

It looks like you had amazing food in San Francisco...

And that bootcamp, o my goodness! I hope you take lots of pictures and notes to share. :-) Have fun!

Romina said...

Wow, what a fantastic trip! Congratulations again!!

P.S. I FINALLY visited the Coup here in Calgary, and boy was it great!

Lauren said...

How exciting, everything looked great, I am sure you had an amazing time! Have fun in NYC, definitely visit Candle 79 (that's my fav), Blossom (better for lunch,in my opinion), I don't know how you feel about raw food, Pure Food and Wine is great for that. And Candle Cafe is the sister restaurant of Candle 79, I went for lunch and it was really good. A diner type of place, good for lunch and sandwiches. Can't wait to here your review! Have fun!

Moss said...

You must eat at Red Bamboo in NYC!
http://www.redbamboo-nyc.com/

Theresa said...

Wow, that looks like so much fun! Enjoy yourself on all your travels to amazing vegan-friendly places!

Cakespy said...

I seriously wish I could have been there--and I am waiting on more from Sugar Beat Sweets with bated breath!! :-)

brook said...

wow, it looks like you had a wonderful time in sf - i'm sure it was much much more vegan friendly than vegas!

Bianca said...

Damn man, I want one of Melisser's mini cupcakes...guess it's too late...sigh...love the "cover girl" pic!

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

It was so great meeting you! I'm glad you had fun in San Francisco & thank you SO much for the kind words about the cupcakes!

Katy said...

I haven't been to SF since going veg, so I haven't been able to experience any of the yummy vegan food.
Sounds like you had a great time!

shellyfish said...

I love you on the cover! :)

I wish I could have snuck into your carry-on to party with all the pretty vegan people! And munch on Melisser's cupcakes, too! How cool, I'm so happy for you that you were able to go!

The Vegan Snorkeler said...

You're going to NYC? Try Vegetarian Paradise 2 or Red Bamboo (they're right next door to each other), Caravan of Dreams (organic), Pukk (Thai), Candle Cafe, Zen Palate, or Kate's Joint (diner type food). You can go to http://veganfriendlynyc.blogspot.com/ to check out their NYC vegan restaurant reviews or go to http://supervegan.com/ and use their NYC vegan restaurant finder. You will eat well! Can't wait to hear about your trip!

Lisa (Show Me Vegan) said...

How fun! I'm excited to see this issue.

madcapcupcake said...

Congrats again on your VegNews recognition - looks like such a fun trip - and look at all the awesome food :) I will get a NY list together, if I can focus long enough, and email it to you. I'm so jealous. I can't wait to get back to NY. Sigh. Have an awesome trip!!

aTxVegn said...

The launch party looks fun, but bootcamp is going to be a blast! (as if you need it....)

mad about udon said...

I'll definitely pick up this issue. Man, I would kill for one of those cupcakes right now! Sounds like you had a blast in SF.

Hannah said...

Aw, I'm so jealous that you got to go! Looks like an awesome party... Alas, a trip to SF just didn't quite work into my schedule.

bazu said...

Look at you, being all bi-coastal! S.F. looks awesome- I hope to taste Melisser's baking one day. That cupcake looks so cute!

And of course, I look forward to meeting up with you in NYC! Enjoy bootcamp!

Vivacious Vegan said...

What a fun trip - and congratulations again! Those cupcakes look divine. I'm off to check out Melisser's Sugar Beat Sweets website.

LizzyQ ~ Vegan Mother said...

What an awesome time to be had! Congrats again!!!

springsandwells said...

I'm so glad you made such a lovely post about this event. I really wished I could have gone. I live near SF, but I teach on Thursday nights. Too bad. It looks like it was a super fun time. Awesome! How fun to eat Melisser's treats, I'm sure they were delicious. Also, how fun to meet some fellow bloggers. Hope you are on a fun trip, where ever you are this week!
:) Amey

springsandwells said...

Oh, and I forgot to tell you that I was in HOUSTON! but only for about 1 hour, running through that giant airport and just barely making our connection. I thought of you though! I thought to myself, "at least if we miss this flight, I'll try to email VeganNoodle!"

:)

Vicki's Vegan Vice said...

The VegNews event must have been so amazing! Love the photo of you in front of the cover, and I can't wait to hear about bootcamp!

Cookiemouse said...

Sure does look like you had a great time!

jessy said...

wow! looks like you had a super awesome time! and that's so cool that someone recognized you from your blog! w00t!
all the yummies look glorious and tasty; what fun it must have been! hooooooooray!

have fun in NYC, and i can't wait for vegan baking bootcamp stories. yay!

Mihl said...

Sounds like the most awesome day! Did I already tell you how much you deserve that award?

Wheeler's Frozen Dessert said...

Awesome! Nice pictures!

Erin said...

Wow, it looks like your trip was a whirlwind of amazingness! All the food looks great, and I'm jealous of everyone who got to attend that party!

This Vegan Life... said...

Hey Amanda! Thanks for the shout out! It was totally great meeting you at the party. It was super rad to see the faces of some truly inspirational vegan bloggers. San Francisco was so amazing and we totally plan on moving out there ASAP! We met some of the greatest people and would just love to be surrounded by the beauty of the city and a well developed vegan community! Keep up the good work!!!!
BEST WISHES,
Kenya

Aimee Dars said...

What a great recap! Awesome trips!