Vegan Pizza Day SCV

My fellow SCVegans! Today is Vegan Pizza Day and in celebration, our own Tomato Joe’s will be offering 20% off ALL vegan pizzas. Buy two, or three! My suggestions, if you’re into trying new things:

Vegan Garden Combo (on beer crust) with Vegan Italian Sausage

Vegan Barbecue (on skinny crust) with red onions, cilantro and Gardein “Chicken”

Skinny Crust w/ Olive Oil, spinach, mandarin oranges, jalapenos and vegan cheese. I haven’t named this yet, but it’s AMAZING! Any suggestions?

If you have your own favorite custom pizzas with Tomato Joe’s, share them! We can create our own vegan pizza menu with names to match. I can confirm their Whole Wheat and Gluten Free crust are both delicious as well. Also, when you stop by, remember to compliment them on their new sign. Happy Vegan Pizza Day!

Vegan Cupcakes! Now Local!!!

Bake You Happy
Santa Clarita now has it’s own vegan-friendly cupcake shop, and let me tell you they KNOW how to bake. In fact, they were featured on the Food Network show, “Cupcake Wars” and beat the three other cupcake bakeries to win $10,000. I first heard about this shop, Bake You Happy when reading a featured story about them and their television victory in The Signal.

Besides being Santa Clarita locals and cupcake baking champions, they also bake vegan and gluten-free cupcakes every Thursday! When i first heard about Bake You Happy i had to wait till Thursday to test out their vegan cakes. I stopped by with my brother; their shop is located in the Barnes and Noble shopping center on Valencia Blvd. That particular day, they were selling two vegan cupcakes, Chocolate and Red Velvet. We were lucky to grab the last vegan chocolate cupcake they had.

Bake You Happy Cupcake Box

Looks delicious, right? As good as these look, I was still blown away by the fluffy, delicately soft and sweet flavor of these. Just… WOW!

Bake You Happy, Vegan Red Velvet Cupcake

Pictured above, the vegan Red Velvet cupcake. SCVegan approved. Every Thursday!!! This is the spot, i suggest next week you stop by and taste for yourself. $3 a piece. Also, they do custom orders so if you need something for a party just or any occasion you can ask them. Super nice people, the shop is cute and neatly decorated AND they care enough to make cupcakes for Vegans and the gluten-free crowd.

Bake You Happy is located at:
23628 Valencia Blvd.
Valencia, Blvd 91355
(661) 255-5100

RedBrick Pizza now Vegan & Gluten Free!

RedBrick Vegan Pizza: Original crust, red sauce, artichoke hearts, black olives, mushrooms, garlic and diced tomatoes

*** UPDATE – Location closed :-( ***

Santa Clarita just got another another vegan pizza option in RedBrick Pizza! I first heard about this development from quarrygirl.com so credit to her for the heads up. I stopped in there tonight to check things out and right at the counter is a sign proudly announcing that they serve vegan pizza and offer a Gluten Free crust.

Their regular crust is vegan, so is their red sauce AND they offer Daiya vegan cheese! Pretty cool, so if you’re looking for another option for your vegan Super Bowl Party, or any other occasion because really it’s always a good time for pizza, I recommend it!

The Franchise owner, Karim is a very cool guy and he tells me his daughter is vegan; bonus points for that. He even has a separate pizza cutter for both their vegan pizzas and Gluten Free crust which is nice to know.

RedBrick Pizza has two locations in Santa Clarita

23874 Copper Hill Dr.
Valencia, CA 91354
Phone 661-775-2777

and

25343 Wayne Mills Place (Magic Mountain Pkwy)
Santa Clarita, CA 91355
Phone 661-287-3131

Vegan Pizza by-the-slice all weekend at Zpizza

Our local Zpizza will be selling vegan pizza by the slice all weekend!!! Stop in and show your support this Friday, Saturday and Sunday (5/14 – 5/16) and grab a slice of their delicious vegan pizza featuring Daiya Vegan cheese. The vegan pizza will not be out on the rack if nobody has ordered it yet. If you’re the first of the day, they will make the pizza to order, you pay for your slice and the rest of the pizza goes out on the tray for others to purchase. Grab a slice on your way to WorldFest on Sunday!

***UPDATE***

I went to Zpizza in Valencia and got two slices of the plain Daiya pizza. The friendly young girl behind the counter knew about the promotion but the other two employees did not. The one in the know had to talk them into it, which was weird but kind of funny. As proof the girl grabbed a post-it note off of the window near the register showing them that they are running a vegan promotion this weekend. They baked a fresh vegan pizza and i got the the 2-slice deal which includes a fountain drink for $6.50. I would assume unlimited refills if you eat there so a good deal I think. Took only about 10 minutes to get the vegan slices; piping hot too.

So hurry into the Valencia Zpizza, grab slices and show that we appreciate the special attention. The pizza was delicious too. Really good, CRAZY good!

Zpizza – Valencia

27015 McBean Pkwy
Valencia CA, 91355
(661) 259-5000

TributeFest!!!

Sorry I have been away, but I bring you a post of something new and exciting. Just a warning, I did not expect TributeFest to be the awesome vegan friendly event that it was, so I was not prepared at all to do a review. Also, I drank a lot of beer and probably missed tons of vegan awesomeness because of that. Keeping this in mind, forgive me for taking such awful pictures and just take my word for it that this was great.

TributeFest! What is that? I could explain it in my own words but really the website’s own description is tough to beat.

“Indio has Cochella. Chicago has Lallapalooza. Now Santa Clarita will have Tributefest. The inaugural event will bring together 8 tribute bands covering legendary bands including The Beatles, U2, Bon Jovi, Dave Matthews Band, Tom Petty, Aerosmith, Johnny Cash, The Who, and Sublime. In addition to the music, Tributefest will offer attendees over 30 beers on tap and dozens of food trucks.”

So here’s how it works; General Admission to the event in Central Park is $40. I noticed some early-bird deals for $25 is you jump on it a month or two in advance, but what you really want is the VIP ticket for $60. The VIP ticket/wristband is not like the VIP Coachella wristbands where you can go to a special, roped-off area and wait in long lines to drink small cups of heineken while Perry Farrell just cuts right in because security isn’t letting him into the artist lounge to steal beer from Smash Mouth’s trailer. Nor does it get you special access to hang out back stage with Petty Cash (a tribute to Tom Petty and Johnny Cash), because everyone is allowed back stage pretty much.

No, the VIP ticket is the awesome, red wristband that gets you unlimited 12oz pours of beer. YES, unlimited beer! I am not talking unlimited pours of Budlight, though it could be because they were pouring bud along with some other In-Bev beers domestic and imported. What I am really talking about is unlimited pours of some very tasty craft beers. Beers from the more well-known names like Sierra Nevada, Samuel Adams, New Belgium (Fat Tire) and Firestone Walker. In addition to the lesser known but still great breweries of Lagunitas, Speakeasy, Mission and Bootleggers.

If you know me, you know that I love craft beer. It goes beyond recreational enjoyment to obsession. I drink beer, I make beer, I study beer, I own lots of books about beer. I take classes about taste evaluation and breaking down the components of the ingredients of beer. I even go so far as to wear beer-themed tee shirts on occasion. It’s pretty bad, I know but I honestly do not drink a lot of beer. Usually only on weekends and not even every weekend. A lot of times I am only tasting beer with pours of a couple ounces for evaluation and trying out new commercial beers or homebrews at my monthly club.

Well, at TributeFest we were not getting tasters but full servings of beer. So, I drank the full cup of beer and went to get more beer. So many beers, though… I had to try them. It’s as if the beers were Poke’mon and I was going to catch them all. I did not catch all of them, but I got pretty close. Some of them I caught more than once/twice/thrice… I got there an hour into the festival and the thing goes for 11 hours. I never sat down, I just kept going from tent to tent. For 10 hours. I can’t remember all of the beers I tried, but of the ones I do remember: Lagunitas IPA, Speakeasy Prohibition Ale, Mission IPA, Mission Blonde, Hollywood Blonde, Bootleggers Hefeweizen, Firestone Pale 31, Firestone DBA, Michelob Shock top, Fat Tire, Wyder’s Cider (I wanted to see what all the girls were drinking), something with a yellow tap handle, and to end the night one of the beer reps graciously opened a 22oz bottle of Mission Double IPA that a few of us split. Actually, I might have drank the whole 9%abv bomber. Really, a fantastic IIPA and the perfect way to finally set down my glass.

Between pours I managed to get some food from the visiting food trucks. These are not the food trucks that you might see cruising avenue Tibbitts with suspect tacos and burritos that are sure to give you indigestion. The food trucks at TributeFest were top notch, restaurants on wheels serving simple menus with fresh ingredients built for the Los Angeles night crowed. Not only were some of the trucks vegan friendly but some even had VEGAN right on the menu.

First truck I tried listed vegan fries as one of their menu items. Frysmith had vegan chili fries with Daiya! For a buck or so extra you can bump up to sweet potato fries too.

Vegan Chili Fries: Organic tomato and mixed beans with soy chorizo and smoked paprika, with daiya vegan cheddar. (again, sorry for my poor photo quality. This was around beer number four or five).

The Fries were great, paired nicely with Laguinitas IPA. The extra hops tend to cut through the oil in the fries and cleanse the palate. Normally not something I would drink with chili but it worked nicely. After finishing my fries I went for more beer and met one of the guys from The Greasy Weiner Truck. I asked him about their menu because I noticed they had a veggie dog. He told me their Greasy Hippie dog is vegan and the buns are vegan. Also, their dogs are all deep fried but their vegan dog is fried in a separate fryer with the french fries while the meat is in their own fryer. COOL! So I stopped over there and grabbed a Greasy Hippie. By this time I was probably on beer number nine so I let the greasy guys pick the toppings for me.

The Greasy Hippie: Veggie Dog, saut’eed onions, mustard, pickle and sauerkraut. Again, definitely feeling the effects of alcohol. This was my third attempt at taking a picture and it seemed really good at the time.

The Greasy Hippie was very tasty, reminded me of Dodger stadium as a kid. The buns were very soft and fluffy, the dog flavorful the the crispness of the pickle and sauerkraut really made the whole thing. I Grabbed a Mission Blonde before making my way to the Greasy Hippie Truck. The Blonde Ale didn’t have the caramel notes or hop presence that would obstruct the delicate and sour crispness of the saurkraut. Instead flavor was enhanced when taking a drink and the slightly sweet, biscuity malt flavor mingled with the almost steamed hot dog bun and just melted in my mouth. Funny how I remember the beer stuff so well…

Speaking of beer, I drank a lot more before eating again. Earlier I saw a sign that I kept meaning to check out because they had “vegan” all over the menu. After the sun set I made my way over there.

Kabob 'N Roll Menu Board

Kabob N’ Roll was the highlight as far as food goes. See all those little red words next to the menu items? That says VEGAN and it’s up and down the whole menu!

SEE!

By night time I decided on a falafel sandwich. I do not remember what I was drinking because I completely forgot about everything as this was far and away the best falafel sandwich I have ever had. Not that I have been to a ton of Falafel places but I have been to several and it’s not even the same thing. It’s like comparing falafels to oranges.

Falafel Sandwich: Too drunk to remember every detail but it was vegan and amazing. Also, the first picture I tried to take of this is all blurry because I almost fell over. Not very cool.

I am pretty sure I was walking around telling strangers to try the falafel. It was just beyond tasty. As far as food goes, that was all I ate. I am sure there were other vegan options, and lots of trucks i never even managed to visit. I was just too full after drinking 12 gallons of beer. On a side note, the Guy from Mission Brewery opened up their bottle of Double IPA near the completion of the festival. I talked him into it, or maybe he just wanted the loud drunk guy to go away. Either way I am now a huge fan of Mission as their ales are excellent and their IIPA is a fantastic beer.

So that’s what you can expect at TributeFest. Vegan food, great beer and a rare look at me completely sloshed. Also, there was music. The crowed was relaxed and security had a very easy time. Parking was a breeze (and free) and the bathrooms were even clean for hours.

To recap; Unlimited Beer, great vegan food, reasonably priced (considering how much it costs to go to the lame LA county fair? This was cheap!), local (Central Park!!! You can stay in the SCV and easily find a safe ride home), and they have music too!. Come by Next Year and make this thing an every year event in Santa Clarita.

I’m Still Alive

Really, I have just been very busy with work and sometimes I do not have as much time to blog as I would like. But that’s ok because Santa Clarita Vegans are patient; we have to be. However, just because I took a break doesn’t mean the SCV has slowed it progression towards becoming more vegan-friendly. Lots of exciting news coming up, including Santa Clarita’s own Vegan Pizza Revolution. New places with vegan menus and existing places stepping up their game. It’s all very exciting, stay tuned as I bring it to you.

Time to play, “IS IT VEGAN?”

Photo from Quarrygirl.com

Photo from Quarrygirl.com

You know how sometimes, when you leave the SCV in search for an all vegan restaurant you come upon a place that just doesn’t seem quite right? Places that come off as a bit shady, with seemingly clueless employees that just answer every question about ingredients with a “yes, all vegan”. Maybe the food wasn’t vegan at all. Maybe you were tricked! Deceit! Lies! For shame!

Or, could it be that the restaurant itself was lied to by its wholesaler? Or was the wholesaler lied to by the manufacturer? Why are there so many people touching my food? Well, no matter how many people are getting paid by my restaurant order, it all comes down to what is on my plate. All I want to know, is what is in my food. Is it vegan?

The fine people at the LA-based vegan food blog, Quarrygirl.com decided that they will not just take someone’s word for it anymore; because some people can be ignorant, liars or both. Instead, they will ask SCIENCE for the answers. Science does not have a charming smile nor a good sense of humor, but it does have honesty and right now that is what we are looking for.

Armed with lab kits and a contamination-free testing environment, the Quarrygirl team tested some of Los Angeles’ favorite (and sketchy) vegan restaurants to see just how vegan their food really is. The results my shock you.

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