During this time that I've not posted, I more-or-less relocated to my sister's apartment in The Mission neighborhood of San Francisco. It was a crazy process. I sold almost everything I owned for well below market value on Craigslist and flew out. I'm actually returning back in a few days to put most of my cooking items into the car and then drive across the country.
This has been a time of relatively reduced cooking. Staying at my sister's place, she lacks what to me seem like the basics of a kitchen, so it's hard for me to cook. Soon, though, I'll be bringing things I need, including a box of spices and true kitchen rags and an apple corer and a zester and mixing bowls and forks and stuff.
Before I left, I thought I ought to try to eat at some of the places with vegan options in Pittsburgh where I'd never been and cover it on my blog. I did only a so-so job at getting this done, but I did hit up a few places.
First, Spak Brothers in the Friendship/Garfield neighborhood. This place is famous amongst 'burgh vegans, yet I'd never actually bought food there. No time to waste, though; my friend Sara and I went one night to pick up a 12" buffalo-style seitan melt to split.
I also took a trip to Pittsburgh's South Side to meet up with an old high school acquaintance who was just giving me a suitcase set because I needed one and she had extra (sooo nice). We went to the Double Wide Grill. That place is damn cool. It's a vintage gas station and is decorated as such. It looks far better in there than I managed to capture in my pictures, but here we go.
this article in Mother Jones recently about how lead in gas seems to be linked with violent crime. That's unrelated, I just thought I'd turn you on to it because it's actually pretty amazing.
I also went to this place in Squirrel Hill called Zaw's because my friend Jen who used to live in Pittsburgh bemoaned her inability to make a curry as good as Zaw's coconut curry tofu. I promised I'd eat there and see if I could figure it out.
It's such a weird place. Take-out only, and it's incredibly dirty inside. But it's always hopping and the owner seems to know most everyone who comes in, and you can see the food being prepared right next to you and it's really inexpensive. Still, the dirtiness of the place is a bit much. I hate to be like this, but, you know, CLEAN UP? Maybe hire someone to really clean, then have them return once a week or month to do it again. I know it's just take out, but ewww. I couldn't take a picture of the floor without throwing up in my mouth a little, but this picture of the register almost demonstrates the general grunge.
eaten my own curry fairly recently that was pretty similar, so the timing wasn't perfect, but that's OK. It had a nice spiciness going and it came with rice, too.
She hadn't known the Maesri secret, but she immediately procured some and made it exactly as I suggested and she said it was almost perfect. She ended up adding 2 tablespoons of brown sugar to make it the sweetness she recalled, and now she's addicted once again. Success!
That's all I managed to get to in Pittsburgh before I left, but that doesn't mean I'm ending the post there -- oh no! I mean, I'm not just leaving Pittsburgh for San Francisco, I'm also leaving Pennsylvania for California. And over the holidays, I did get some good food from the other side of the state where I'm originally from.
In Phoenixville, my little sister and I were thrift store shopping for some new duds for her and we both had a hankering for Pad Thai, so we stopped at Phoenixville's Thai Place where I got the vegan vegetable Pad Thai and she got the chicken one. Now, normally I wouldn't blog about this, but I decided to take pictures because what I got looked about 300x better than what she got. Check mine out:
Vegan Treats bakery in Bethlehem, PA.