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 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.

Vegan Earth Day Festival – Sun, June 21st

Image from VeganEarthDay.org

Father’s Day is this Sunday, June 21st. Also this Sunday is Vegan Earth Day and its first annual festival at Los Angeles Pierce College in Woodland Hills. I am told there will be lots of vegan food, live music, celebrity speakers (Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn! 😮 OMG you guyz!!!1!) and activities for the kids. Free barbecue for Dads, so if you don’t have plans for Father’s day then there is some incentive. Also, admission is FREE but parking is $10 so I’m guessing carpooling is encouraged. This is an Earth Day Festival, after all; did I mention the event is solar-powered!

Looks like it will be fun, check out their website for more info on the musical acts, celebrity guests and more. Did the Santa Clarita Earth Day Festival have vegan food? Something to work on for next year!

Vegan Earth Day Celebration
Sunday, June 21st 2009
10am to 8pm

LA Pierce College
6201 Winnetka Avenue
Woodland Hills, CA 91371

FREE Vegan Cooking Class in the SCV!

The Valencia Library, being the hip and supportive institution it is will be hosting another vegan cooking class to be lead by our good friends Zel and Reuben Allen; authors of The Nut Gourmet and the Vegetarians in Paradise internet magazine. The class will be at the Valencia Library (that’s the library near the Sheriffs Station on Valencia Blvd.) on Saturday, May 23rd at 1pm. If you missed the last cooking class, then think of this as your second chance. The theme for this class will be “Appetizers From Around the World“. No registration required, just show up on time and be ready to cook; then get ready to eat!

Vegans and Vegetarians of Santa Clarita, it is important to support these events happening in our own back yard. The turnout was decent for the last class but we can do better. As long as people keep showing up and showing interest in these events then we can keep having them.

The class is FREE, and after the cooking lesson we all get to eat for free too! How cool is that? Speaking of cool, can I mention my appreciation for some very cool people for getting this thing going? First I want to thank Sue Yamamoto the Library manager for supporting, scheduling and organizing these events for the city of Santa Clarita. Also a big thanks to Zel and Reuben Allen for bringing their entire kitchen to the library and teaching such fun and instructive classes. While we’re at it, why not go visit Zel’s NutGourmet Blog for lots of great recipes featuring almonds, walnuts, macadamias, peanuts, pistachios and more.

Appetizers From Around the World (opens PDF flier)
Saturday, May 23rd 2009
1:00pm – 4:00pm

@ The Valencia Library Meeting Room
23743 W. Valencia Blvd
Santa Clarita, CA 91355

The library’s meeting room is located on the left hand side once you pass the first set of doors entering the library, opposite the drinking fountain and bathrooms.

Vegan Breakfast with the Gibbons

Yet another Vegan Breakfast with the Gibbons is happening right here in the SCV. Mark your calendars for Saturday, May 9th from 9am to 1pm. The proceeds go to help the move of the Gibbon conservatory out of the Santa Clarita Valley where sprawl and construction are threatening the health of these amazing and endangered little guys. If you have never gone, you really should go for a visit before they are gone. If you’re lucky, you may even hear them sing!

Here’s the information that was provded to me:

Breakfast with the Gibbons
at

Gibbon Conservation Center
19100 Esguerra Road

Santa Clarita, California

Saturday, May 9, 2009, 9am to 1pm

An amazing opportunity to view this endangered species of apes up close and hear their songs.

Learn about the endangered gibbons (small apes) and how you can help save the species.

Special fundraising event includes guided tours of gibbon families (some with infants), a vegan breakfast, talks at 10 and 11:30 with founder Alan Mootnick, children’s activities, silent auction, and special gift boutique.

Optional early morning bird walk with LA Zoo curator emeritus Harvey Fischer at 8am.

Donations:

Seniors (65 & up) $30

Adults (20-64) $35

Teens (13-19) $15

Kids (6-12) $10

Families (2 adults; 2 children, any age) $80

Kids (5 & under) free

Groups of 10 or more (advanced purchase only) 15% off

— $5 more per-person if purchased at the gate —


Please send (tax deductible) checks to

GCC, PO Box 800249, Santa Clarita, CA 91380.
Or pay online with PayPal at www.gibboncenter.org/fundraiser.htm

For more info, email: gibboncenter@earthlink.net or call 661-296-2737.
Directions at www.gibboncenter.org.  (Click on “Tours”.)

All proceeds benefit gibbons.

If you missed the Vegan Cooking Class…

Afghanstani-Vegan Goodness

Afghanistani-Vegan Goodness

25 people signed up for the class, with a full waiting list of people sitting idle though we only had about 15 people that actually showed up. Still, I consider it a pretty good turnout for a vegan cooking event in Santa Clarita. I found out that the Valencia Library actually paid and sponsored the event themselves with some grant money they received. I would like to give a big thanks to them for funding a great event, as well as a big thanks to Zel and Reuben Allen for supplying the recipes, ingredients, cookware and creating a fun learning environment.

I must say that the class was more fun and comprehensive than I expected. The class consisted of several different stations with everyone in the class broken into groups  and working on a different recipe. At the end we put all of the different dishes together and had a neat vegan buffet, Afghan style!

I spoke with the Library Manager after the class and told her how much fun it was, urging her to have more events like this. We definitely had room for more people, so next time something like this comes along and the class if supposedly “full”, just crash it and hang out. Free vegan food is reason enough to show up anywhere.