What you won’t find in this post: A list of elegant vegan restaurants, beautifully photographed entrees, or how I packed enough food to feast upon for four days. What you will find: How I survived, ate delicious food, some great memories, and created a few good pictures from my vegan on a budget weekend.
I did bring a few things with me. A small bunch of bananas. A few Clifbars. A tub of hummus, coconut milk creamer, and popcorn. Oh, and a bottle of wine. I wasn’t a girl scout, but I know about being prepared.
I am afraid that I don’t even remember the name of the cafe where I had lunch on my first day at the convention. I had bumped into Kymberly and we wanted to find a quick lunch close to the convention center. I figured I could always order a salad no matter where we went, and that is exactly what I did. Their chopped salad was pretty good with a good mix of vegetables. A little lemon, oil, vinegar, and pepper made a tasty dressing. It was the company that was the important part anyway.
By the time I checked in to my hotel on Wednesday, it was after 5 and I’d been on the go for over 12 hours. I really didn’t feel like searching out and driving to a vegan restaurant, so instead I headed to Little Italy, a neighborhood in downtown San Diego, where you will find many Italian restaurants and lots of pasta. I filled up on capelinni with tomato and basil and it was quite good. Not shown in the (incredibly bad) photo, the glass of wine I had with dinner.
Because I never made it to a grocery store (and I didn’t have a refrigerator in my room, just my cooler) breakfast on Thursday was a little, um, unplanned. A bagel and some fruit from the free continental breakfast at my hotel, plus a banana, and a Clifbar, were all I had through the day. By the time I finished up my last session for the day at 3:00, I was starving. I decided it was worth it to head over to one of the few vegan restaurants in San Diego, Evolution Fast Food.
I’d been there before, back when I was in town to deal with the death of my Aunt Lois, but I was kind of surprised at how easy it was to drive there from the convention center. Um, two miles straight up 5th St? No problem!
Once there I loaded up on a few things. A Buffalo Chick’n Sandwich, a veggie sandwich for the following day, a peachy dessert that was delicious and so huge that it lasted for the next 3 days, and a raw scramble, made with almonds, curry, cilantro and other seasonings that was really good.
A little later in the evening, I headed over to meet my son and daughter in law for dinner. They are about a 20 minute drive from downtown so it was a pretty quick drive. After a little discussion (they are NOT vegan), we chose the Genghis Grill Mongolian Stir Fry. I was a little hesitant, but it turned out to be very good. The concept is that you select the ingredients of your meal as you pass through a salad bar type area. You pick your protein (they keep the tofu with the vegetables, not the meat, which is good), your seasoning, vegetables, and sauces then they grill them up and bring them to your table. I made sure to tell them that mine was vegetarian, and they promise to keep it separate for the meat-filled areas. It was delicious!
On Friday morning, I brought along my goodies from Evolution Fast Food, and ate some of the raw scramble before my shopping and exercise at the Lorna Jane grand opening. I ate my veggie sandwich while I was at the trade show (right after my Anti Gravity Yoga class when I needed some refueling).
After spending about four hours wandering the floor of the convention center, I was starving (again) and I couldn’t think of anything that sounded better than another Buffalo Chick’n Sandwich. This time I ordered it with fries and it was just as good as I remembered.
It was an early evening for me. After all the walking through the convention center, the classes at Lorna Jane and the trade show, I was pooped. The next day, Saturday, I grabbed yet another bagel and bowl of fruit from the hotel breakfast, but my main fuel for my last session of the convention was the last of the raw scramble (and a banana).
Then I was off to visit Samuel (and his parents) again. They invited me for brunch! We had a potato scramble, salad, guacamole, and a fruit bowl.
While some of my meals seem a little off the cuff and random, they really prove that it is possible to adhere to your vegan diet easily, even when you’re on the road. Nothing was fancy, but all was delicious.
How do you manage when you travel? Do you search for just the right restaurant, bring a lot of your own food, hit the supermarket when you arrive, or…?